Legacy Of Hope

By Fred Shedian
Posted at October 25, 1999 - 5:00 AM GMT

When Gene Roddenberry created this thing we call Star Trek, he created a legacy that would live longer than he himself would. Although he died across the street from a hospital eight years ago, all one must do is tune in to Star Trek and they will see part of the Roddenberry legacy. However, how many people actually know what he created? Has creation been overshadowed by our own preferences and attitudes?

Star Trek has been, and always will be, about this thing called hope. Webster's dictionary defines this word as a desire accompanied by expectations of or believe in fulfillment. The universe this man created transported us to a time when humanity had finally figured out what was important in life. Racism, sexism, and greed had taken a back seat to ideas regarding coexistence, prosperity, and the betterment of all. This desire is one that burns as bright as it did thirty years ago as today.

In modern society, fans criticize writing and character development of Star Trek on a weekly basis. I myself have taken stances on what could be done to improve the current incarnation of our beloved television show. Yet, sometimes I believe we all, you and I, lose sight of the central theme of Star Trek. To do this is to discredit the Roddenberry legacy. It has been and always will be about one thing....hope. Today's shows still deal with a time when mankind has overcome the differences and prejudices we face each day. We still see a place where we all wish we could be...a time when a war against the Borg is not overshadowed by the color, race, or sex of a Captain, First Officer, cook, yeoman, or midshipman.

When we honor the memory of Gene Roddenberry, an act we do every time we watch his "Wagon Train to the stars," let us not lose sight of the gift he gave us. It was the same gift that helped Jews in Germany during World War II. It is the same gift that helps millions of us every day. It is the gift of hope. For us to remember Gene Roddenberry is to remember a man who brought us over thirty years of one of the most important resources on this planet....hope.

"Star Trek is a 'Wagon Train' concept - built around characters who travel to worlds 'similar' to our own...their transportation is the S.S. Yorktown, performing a long-range exploration-science-security mission..."

-Gene Roddenberry
March 11, 1964

I leave the below area blank, in memory for all the ideas, suggestions, and lessons Gene Roddenberry never had the chance to share with the rest of mankind.

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Fred Shedian writes a weekly 'A Take On Trek' column for the Trek Nation.