A Better Future (Thoughts From Star Trek Beyond)

Typically science fiction describes a dystopian future – a world much worse than our own where people have barely survived some sort of cataclysmic event.

Star Trek is different.

I have to admit, I was never interested in Star Trek. I was more of a Star Wars fan. I saw some of the films with William Shatner, but I never watched any of the television shows or offshoots.

After seeing Star Trek Beyond, I realized the allure of the vision of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek.

Star Trek paints a picture of a better future.

In a world where we are more aware of the worst news across the planet 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, dreaming and creating a better future has become a lost art.

According to www.StarTrek.com: “Founded in 2161, the United Federation of Planets is an interstellar alliance of more than 150 planetary governments, spread out over 8,000 light-years. Members of the Federation are united in various endeavors involving trade, exploration, science and defense.”

Star Trek also was one of the first to introduce a multi-cultural “family” with different ethnic groups represented in leadership on the U.S.S. Enterprise. In the future according to Star Trek, strength comes from the unity of humans from every ethnic background along with other species from other planets.

It’s in this context of peace that we are reminded of the purpose of the Starship Enterprise which is “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

On the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, Director Justin Lin (director of another mult-cultural family with The Fast and the Furious franchise) along with writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung created an entertaining film dealing with issues like immortality, hope in the midst of the impossible, and exploration.

This particular film seemed especially prescient as the Federation faces danger from a villain using terrorist tactics bent on destroying the Federation. Our heroes must find strength in unity.

Scotty shared an old phrase his grandmother used to say “a stick in a bundle is unbreakable.”

In a broken and divided world, for us, “to boldly go where no one has gone before” may not be geographical but relational.

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