Happy anniversary to one of the most popular and influential sci-fi icons of all time!  On September 8th, 1966, the original Star Trek series premiered on NBC.  Though its initial low ratings caused it to be canceled after only three seasons (on June 3, 1969), Star Trek's enduring cult popularity eventually led to syndication and a ton of spin-off material including books, games, five additional TV series and 12 feature films.

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Star Trek's enduring popularity can lately be attributed to the awesome special effects, sterling acting, and excellent writing that have graced the two most recent Star Trek films.  Those things were not really a part of the original series, but it garnered and maintained popularity nonetheless.  Which brings us to Star Trek's single greatest attribute: it was science fiction that actually was about science.  Sure, the original series may have been laughably overacted.  Sure it was incredibly corny.  Yes, it literally used the same set every week to portray various alien planets.  But none of that matters, because Star Trek's great saving grace was that it was really all about humanity's insatiable curiosity.  Star Trek taught us that even in three hundred years when humanity is traveling through space with no more inconvenience than what we fly with now, there will still be things to discover.  There will still be challenges to overcome.  In short, there will still be a search for meaning.  Gene Roddenberry was a freakin' genius.

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