Star Trek comeback

As seen on digg.com, Paramount Pictures has released a high definition video trailer of the next Star Trek movie: Star Trek XI.

Get it here!
It is to be released exactly on Christmas 2008. This choice of a date obviously signifies a desire to make a spectacle out of its release, because Christmas is among the most expected and valued days in the western world today. While I can be wary of hype, I think hype around Star Trek is well deserved. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If there was ever a time the world needed Star Trek it is today, when we are just about to make the first steps towards making space routinely accessible to the masses, when we are developing technology faster than ever, when we are facing paradigm shifts more often and more significant than ever.With all of this comes an enormous opportunity to screw up as well as an enormous opportunity to evolve as a humanity and create an incredible new world. Star Trek is among rare of the cultural phenomenons which at its core promotes positive and responsible use of technology – one which results in a truly better world. It may sound like an utopia, but what else is an utopia than a world gone right? Isn’t that what we should believe in? Isn’t that what we should strive for?

The new movie, directed by a very talented producer J. J. Abrams, is to lead us to the beginnings – to where it all started – the time when legends such as Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock were still kids growing up to become heroes that they were. By placing the drama so much closer to the real world time we are living in we are capable of making more parallels to reality of our own.

I think that the world today is more susceptible to taking what Star Trek presented more seriously, if nothing than for all of the incredible technologies which were literally realized yet were first seen in Star Trek, from ubiquitous mobile communications, multi touch screen equipped devices (datapadds in trek — iPhone, Nokia N800, Neo1973 and many others) to holograms and androids (albeit still fairly AI-primitive). And the more of such technologies emerge the less far fetched more impressive things like replicators, teleportation (of at least dead objects) and even ultimately warp engines will seem. And as humans believe that something is possible, it usually, sooner or later, becomes possible.

Indeed, nanotechnology is a big field nowadays, and advanced nanotechnology seems closer and closer, and it is exactly it which will lead to replicators as we know them from Star Trek and objects-teleportation which will mark probably the most significant paradigm shift in all history – because it will render physical objects, not just digital matter (as information) copyable (replicable) at a very low cost.

Positively minded science fiction, like Star Trek, is necessary to guide the people’s imagination of technology use in a positive, constructive rather than destructive direction. It is also among the most powerful of driving forces towards exploration of space, which is in my opinion becoming absolutely essential, not just because of the technologies whose development it inspires, but because of a mental shift in human minds which happens as they experience Earth from space, as fragile and beautiful as it is. I heard that most people who visit space come back as renewed environmentalists, simply because the really experience what a treasure this planet is.

But when it comes to space exploration, list of benefits will never stop at technological development and renewed environmentalism. It is in human nature to go beyond – and space IS the final frontier, or the biggest container of “new frontiers”, the unknown and unexplored, not just places, but visions and new ways of thinking Have you noticed how space exploration in Star Trek always coincides with exploration of human condition? That’s what I mean, as we explore more of the universe around us we end up learning more about ourselves, for it is in the experience of the new that we find something new about ourselves, through our reactions to the new.

Star Trek may not be the only science fiction series with a space theme, but as far as I am aware it still remains unique in the way it describes humans in the future and in space. It is the only one which promotes something more than some fantastic plot in space (star wars, fighting with some weird monsters, saving the Earth countless of times.. whatever). It is a consistent theme of exploring space and ourselves as we strive to evolve and better ourselves.

This is all why I am glad Star Trek as a phenomenon and as a meme is still so very much alive, and will get an additional boost by the end of this year (and throughout this year as the hype for the new movie continues to propagate).

Cheers

Tags: , ,

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008 at 8:42 pm and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through this RSS 2.0 feed. You're welcome to leave a response, or a trackback from your own site.