50 of our shared STAR TREK MOMENTS

trek-50-logoI wasn’t sure what to write on this incredible day when Star Trek turns FIFTY YEARS OLD!

I didn’t want to let the moment pass without saying at least something.  But what?  Then a few days ago, I received a message from a podcaster who was still working on an interview I’d done with him:

To be honest with you, I’m pretty much over Star Trek at this point. When I can finally bring myself to finish this episode I’m gonna upload it to the network and then I’m done with Star Trek fandom. There’s plenty of stuff to spend my time and money on. I’ll post you as soon as the episode is up.

This really broke my heart, mostly because it wasn’t the only message like this I’d seen recently.  Some members on the SMALL ACCESS group had expressed similar sentiments, as had others here and there.

I understand the reason for being frustrated or even angry at the moment–with the studios, with other fans, with Star Trek in general.  But then I started remembering all the reasons I chose to become a Trekkie in the first place.  Heck, I sometimes wonder if it was actually the other way around and Star Trek chose ME!  But however I got here, I can’t quit you, Star Trek!  I can’t even imagine doing so…no matter how many lens flares I see or how many fan film guidelines I read.

So here’s my little celebration of Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary: 50 moments we’ve all shared over the years as fans.  Even if you don’t recognize all 50, hopefully you’ll remember enough to feel that Star Trek magic again. Maybe, if you’re contemplating walking away from Star Trek, this trip down (Jonathan) Memory Lane will help you remember why you came to Star Trek in the first place.

It was hard to choose only 50 moments, so please feel free to add more moments of your own in the comments section…

TOS Arena
Admit it…even though it was just a bulky rubber suit, you thought the Gorn totally rocked (especially we he threw rocks)!
TOS Devil in the Dark
Speaking of rocks, that moment when you discovered that this “devil” was actually just a terrified mother protecting her unborn children…
C’mon, how awesome were those TOS Klingons…and they certainly brought out the best (and worst) in Captain Kirk.
“He knows, Doctor. He knows.”
“Captain Kirk, I shall consider it!” (Best…beard…EVER!)
“Gentlemen, I suggest you beam me aboard…” (Even without remastered digital FX, you were on the edge of your seat the first time you saw this, weren’t you?)
Founding members of the Federation, Spock’s parents, Kirk stabbed, an Orion spy disguised as an Andorian, Kirk showing his tactical wizardry…how many times did Trek episodes just NAIL IT???
Nothing says Star Trek quite like being buried in tribbles…!
Everyone say it with me: “It’s……..green.”
Yes, this happened…
And yes, network censors, THIS happened, too!
Tholians–they take the time to do a job right…assuming the enemy doesn’t have at least one working thruster.
Even when Star Trek was hitting viewers over the head with a moral lesson, they still did it in STYLE!
Sure, it was “just” a Saturday morning cartoon, but all of our favorite characters were back, baby!
Me in 1973
That moment when you first put on a Star Trek uniform (yeah, that’s me on the right back in 1973)…
That moment your son wears a TNG uniform and sits on Levar Burton’s lap for a photo….
Gazing for hours at the blueprints for the most awesome and beautiful space vessel ever…no bloody A, B, C, D, or E!
And no matter how beautiful you thought the original Enterprise was, remember when you first saw the magnificent refit?
Go on, say it…we’ll wait.
You Klingon sons! You’ve killed my bastard!
“And Admiral, it is the Enterprise.” (Yeah, I know it was actually the USS Ranger, but still a magical scene.)
THIS finally happened!
Each moment you realized how mind-blowingly AMAZING a Star Trek novel could be!
Man or machine?
Let’s make sure history never forgets the name Enterprise.
So, um, this happened…
…and then Riker said “Fire!” and then we all had to wait three and a half frickin’ months!
Worf got kicked out of the Klingon club???
Spock on TNG??? We must be dreaming!!!
My favorite groundskeeper, Boothby.
And really, how incredible was it to actually have WHOOPI GOLDBERG on our show???
Make room for Scotty!
Kinda makes you wonder how much Picard had to drink last night…
Remember how DS9 accurately portrayed a post-9/11 paranoid society…five and a half years BEFORE the Patriot Act?
And you thought that interracial kiss was controversial!
Admit it: you cried. I cried. I still cry. We all cry.
Who knew Ferengi were into cosplay???
The perfect way to celebrate 30 years of Star Trek…can you believe this was TWO DECADES AGO???
That moment when Dukat discovers that Sisko left his baseball on DS9…
…and that moment when Sisko comes back to reclaim it!
And now Trekkies everywhere can have a proper Klingon wedding!
That moment when you realized that you kinda wouldn’t mind if Tuvix WASN’T split back into Tuvok and Neelix…
Well, the USS Prometheus wasn’t exactly a TARDIS, but it was sure fun watching the two Doctors!
The moment when you realized that the cute Borg chick in the sexy cat suit that they brought in to replace Kes is actually an accomplished actor and is now the most compelling character on the show!
Every fan dreams of being the hero. Hooray for Reg Barclay for finding the Voyager!
That moment in the first season when you watched “Dear Doctor” and realized how good ENTERPRISE could actually be…
…and that moment in the beginning of the fourth season where you were re-reminded of how good ENTERPRISE could be…
Seriously, how totally awesomely awesome is Shran????
That moment when you first met Empress Hoshi Sato…yowza!

Man!  Is that 50 already???  I’ve got so many more: Picard playing the flute in “The Inner Light.”  Kirk and Spock dressed as gangsters.  General Chang quoting Shakespeare in the original Klingon.  Any scene with Vic Fontaine in it.  The saucer section of the Enterprise-D crashing in “Generations.”  The Enterprise-E fighting the Borg Cube.  Voyager and Equinox cruising alongside each other.  The Romulan commander playing cat and mouse with the Enterprise in “Balance of Terror.”  Gowron.  Martok.  Species 8472.  Spock meeting himself in “Yesteryear.”  Finally finding out how the Klingons lost their bumpy foreheads.  William Shatner shouting “Get a life!” to a convention full of Trekkies on SNL.  Anything from JJ Trek (I’m sure I could find SOMETHING!).

I need another 50 years to fit it all in!!!

And that’s my point, I suppose.  There is so much to Star Trek…much, much more than fan film guidelines and fans arguing about fan film guidelines.  Much, much more than apparent corporate greed and a subscription-based new TV series.  Star Trek is not only about what the studios make and give to us; it’s about what WE FANS make of Star Trek, too.  It always has been.  And I’m not just talking fan films or fan fiction or cosplay.  I am talking EVERYTHING…from reading a Trek comic or novel to debating at length who the best captain was or which series blew the others away (DS9, of course!).

If you’re thinking of walking away from Trek fandom, please hear me when I say: “Don’t.”  Scroll down this page again and then type in one of your own moments in the comments section.  Or type in as many as you want…there’s an endless supply!  Let that be your anchor.  Let that be your last battlefield.  Star Trek needs its fans, now more than ever.

Read Kirk’s words in this one final moment from Star Trek history that marked the revival of the franchise from a near-death oblivion:

“Dammit, Bones, I need you…badly.”

Star Trek will live on and prosper as long as there are fans.   Believe in it.  Love it.  Stay with it.  The human adventure is still just beginning…


19 thoughts on “50 of our shared STAR TREK MOMENTS”

  1. TOS, the 4th season of ENT, the movies, the TOS novels. While there were many episodes of TNG that were cringe-worthy (mostly those annoying Troi-centric or Wesley-centric episodes), there were many TNG eps that were excellent (such as “Inner Light”).

    But really, the Kirk-Spock-McCoy trio and Mr. Scott… Nothing gets better than these.

    Re your comment on Shran: Indeed, Shran was pretty awesome. I was watching another show in which the actor (Jeffrey combs) played a character in it, and all I could do was see him still as Shran.

    1. Jeffres Combs’ character of the Vorta Weyoun is also one of my favorite villains in all of Trek history. His Ferengi Commerce Authority agent Brunt was also fun to watch. That actor is master!

  2. Star Trek’s Legacy, is the generations of people it has inspired to create a better civilization, and better technologies.

    I can’t count the number of people I know that credit Star Trek with putting them on a path where Might should be used to fight for what is right, and that prejudice, intolerance, and senseless hatred should be part of the past.

    The Enterprise sits in the Air and Space Museum, along with real aircraft and spacecraft,
    because of all the engineers and scientists, that were inspired to create real aircraft, spacecraft and technology because of the show. I am proud that one of my projects (B.E.A.R https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/neutral-particle-beam-accelerator-beam-experiment-aboard-rocket?object=nasm_A20070004000) Is occasionally on Display in the Smisthsonian Air and Space Museum.

  3. That moment after school, my brother and I would come home and watch Star Trek (reruns it was in the 70’s). One day he was being ornery and kept switching back to Bonanza. We stood there and and rotated the dial back and forth, until I turned and one punched him in the gut and knocked him out. I finally had to get mom because he was just sitting there staring into nothing and not responding. But I always got to watch Star Trek after that.

    Or the time recently, when MeTV was playing a TOS episode on Saturday night, and my wife says, “I want to continue watching STNG. Let’s finish up the season.” (I’d made her watch all of TOS and we’d moved into STNG. Thank you Netflix.

  4. Told you I would make an honest effort to come back and read it. Yes, you’ve relived some great, and in my not so humble (I don’t do false humility) opinion, some mediocre and even bad ones. That’s wasn’t my point and that wasn’t the point of the fan you quoted. The point is somebody crossed the line and brought down death on fan films, and I have no interest in supporting nor forgiving either side in this mess. A pox on both/all their houses. In a span of a year, two forces have destroyed what was fifty years of greatness, and that’s unforgivable.

    1. It’s only destroyed if we let it be…that’s my only point. All other fan film factors are merely small planets orbiting the sun that is Star Trek. It can either continue to burn brightly or fade away. I’m not ready for it to fade away. 🙂

      1. Tell that to Star Trek Phase 2. Tell that to Star Trek Continues after they’ve finished the episodes they have in the pipeline. For many years, I’ve said that the true spirit of Star Trek resided in fan work, and Peters and CBS/Paramount have just possessed that spirit like demons from hell and replaced it with a untenable guidelines. I love Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura (My first crush and that’s saying something for a kid who grew up in the South in the sixties), Chapel, Sulu, and Checkov– and of course we can’t forget Riley.
        I loved Shatner’s Kirk. I learned to love Cawley’s and Gross’s Kirk, and I love Pine’s and Mignogna’s Kirk. I love all the Spocks, and Uhura’s, and I think it’s a damn shame that Diane Duane’s universe isn’t the Trek Prime Universe. But all that has been washed away by a stupid lawsuit because somebody crossed a line. What was that line? I don’t know. Maybe it was how funds were used, maybe it was something else, but in the end, it’s not Alex Peters who is paying the price, nor is it CBS/Paramount. It’s Star Trek Phase 2, it’s Star Trek Continues, and it’s the fans. I can’t and won’t forgive that.

        1. You don’t have to forgive anything (although holding onto anger is kind of a waste of energy–but that’s a subject for my next blog site: Spiritual New-Age Mumbo-Jumbo Factor).

          I’m just saying that Star Trek itself hasn’t changed in terms of what the last 50 years have been. Even if there is never another fan film ever, we’ve still had some amazing ones. For one brief, shining moment that was known as Camelot! Even if Disco is atrocious, I’ve still got 650 hours of other Trek I can watch almost anytime. I treasure those 50 years and how they’ve been such a big part of my life, Cobalt, and I’m not about to abandon all they represent just because, in these 5 seconds, things look sucky. But that’s just me. I won’t force anyone else to do as I do…only ask them politely and let them choose. 🙂

  5. “And a double dumb ass on you!” from STAR TREK IV. We saw it on Thanksgiving Day 1986. I believe it opened the previous day.
    There was the punk on the bus who flipped them off when Kirk asked him to turn off the music. Spock put an end to it with a nerve pinch to enthusiastic applause from the other riders.
    From TNG onward, we watched them all when they were originally aired.
    I wish I could post a picture of me in my uniform. It was shot on film and is boxed away somewhere.

  6. You picked out some great moments both in your main list (and in your bonus mentions), if I sat down and wrote a list of 50 (and I might do this weekend) I imagine it would share a large number of similarities.

    That bit about first seeing the Refit, I remember watching that over and over again on a recorded VHS tape when I was young… And yes no matter how much I love the (no A, B, C or D (or E)) 1701 the refit is right up alongside her as one of the best spaceship designs in Sci-fi (with I think only the TARDIS and Millennium Falcon coming coming close).

    I have started my own Star Trek rerun (as I imagine many have thanks to Netflix) and I will admit its the first time I have watched the remastered series in its entirety and I am loving the show even more than I did first watching as a kid courtesy to weeknight reruns on BBC2 (UK readers should remember those days) and looking forward to rediscovering the series which jumpstarted my love of all things Star Trek, sci-fi and a fascination with space.

    1. I’m loving the remastered episodes, Chris. My six-year-old and I watch them each night while I exercise. Last night was the first half of “The Return of the Archons.” He’s loving all of them.

  7. I recognized your son!!! LOL

    SUCH a wonderfully written remembrance! Thanks, Jon!

    Trekfully yours,

  8. Someone on small access posted about a new network “H&I” (Hero’s & Icons network) and they are running EVERY series from beginning to end m-f & Sun. TOS and STNG are on from 6pm -8 pm, and the other 3 start at 11 pm ending 2 am. Luckily, I am semi-retired and can watch most nights. Here is a link to the network, and hit the menu for watch listings around the country. You may need an antenna because H&I is on over the air broadcast.

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