Reflecting on Star Trek: The Next Generation, 30th Anniversary…


30 years ago on this day, Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered with its two-part pilot episode, “Encounter At Farpoint.” And ever since, the show has had a profound effect on my journey through life.

I was lucky enough to catch it on its premiere night, not quite as eager in the beginning. But something drew me, being a mixed cast of characters on a big starship, seeking out new life, new civilizations, and boldly going…. On this new starship, the NCC-1701 Enterprise D, held an android seeking humanity in itself, a mighty alien warrior eager for new challenges, a blind engineer expanding his self in science and technological advancement, a ship doctor balancing her work with the challenges of single motherhood, a ship counselor with empathic abilities often not very helpful, a charming first officer, and a captain who seeks the peaceful, diplomatic, humanitarian solutions to every problem.

This would go on for seven years, and four movies. Star Trek: The Next Generation became a show I grew up with, identifying with much of the crew on their journeys and moral dilemmas. To me, the show was about finding self in seeing what’s out there. For the crew and the journey, establishing humanity’s place in the Alpha Quadrant as a member of the Federation; ever-exploring and spreading peace along the way while interacting with new alien species. Each crew member had an ongoing quest to reaffirm their place on the bridge as an individual and team. Through them as inspiration and admiration, I often dealt better with relatable challenges in school, social explorations, and direction in life.

So, I love Star Trek: The Next Generation. Here are my top five favorite episodes in no particular order:

  • Darmok – Picard is trapped on a planet with an alien with a very complex language system. The challenge puts Picard’s communication skills to a great test, with the solution being finding common ground and learning about each other.
  • Q Who – The omnipotent Q throws the Enterprise into a distant uncharted space, where they meet the Borg. The experience is a lesson in humility for humanity, with new and iconic challenges to come.
  • Yesterday’s Enterprise – An awesome episode with much of everything packed in; time travel, an alternate reality, epic ship on ship battles, revealing history connecting the classic series with the new, crew members put in new roles, moral dilemmas, high stakes.
  • Chain of Command Part II – a gut-wrenching episode where Picard is held prisoner and tortured, physically and mentally. The acting between Picard and his Cardassian captor is intense, with an unforgettable ending. How many lights are there?
  • “The Offspring” – Data creates an android daughter for him, in a continual effort to be “human.” This raises dilemmas and challenges on multiple levels, in a new role he must take on as a father and protector. A mix of emotions results with twists and turns, leaving me as a viewer feeling sad in the end for a fictional character whose existence didn’t last.

Overall, I love Star Trek: The Next Generation for what it was to myself, and what it gave to its growing audience – a vision of the future for a possible destiny in the stars, where the exploring and bonding with the universe and ourselves will never stop. With that, I best recall that epic last line of Captain Picard from its very first episode, that still remains a most important marker for us all…

– Orion T

Picture of Today 9/8/2016, Boldly Still Going..


50 years ago on this day, a five-year mission began.

To explore strange new life and new civilizations, and you probably know as that message began the science fiction phenomenon, Star Trek. For decades, I have always been a Trekkie at heart, following all the series and all the movies with so much I wish I had the time to say about it all.

And here we are, looking back to the show that put forth some pretty crazy concepts back then (and through later reboots and spin-offs). Behold a crew exploring the final frontier, where all were welcome on a Federation spaceship with no boundaries on race, religion, gender, or non-threatening alien species

Much was already gained in that experience, centuries earlier. We have expedited the tech used in the show. I took the picture above with my phone, that can communicate at the touch of a button. We have computers that can respond to voice commands, give us endless amounts of information at any time, do video-conferences, and more. We have handheld devices that can detect heartbeats, sleep patterns, and give medical data on the fly. With simple instructions, we can produce objects through 3-D printers. Modern VR tech might as well be the earliest form of the holodeck. And if testing goes well, the NASA EM Drive will bring us much faster to the planet Mars. Who knows how far the tech will progress after that?

And, there is so much more to learn from the show about ourselves and the many interesting moral challenges we continue to face. Star Trek examines every facet of humanity to some extent, including religion, war, philosophy, politics. There are challenges to the open mind in many episodes, while there are breaks of fun and action-packed sequences.

Cheer’s to the five-year mission, that was originally televised for less than three, yet expanded and built upon itself for fifty and beyond. The legacy shall last for as long as humanity shall move, perhaps into that final frontier.

But for now, some of us have a railcar to catch. Here is are a couple more shots of the transport craft above, promoting the nearby Star Trek exhibit at the Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum.



– Orion T


Picture of Today 3/1/15, to Live Long and Prosper..

Yes, that is an original outfit worn by Leonard Nimoy, as Spock – science officer to the USS Enterprise. It was on display at the entrance to the open public, this weekend at the EMP Museum in Seattle.

As many of you already know, the actor behind the ears passed away days ago. While Nimoy is best known for playing that character through many years, it’s important to know hE was also a director, a musician, an artist, a voice actor, a writer, a poet, and much more. His experiences and well roundedness contributed to the building of our Vulcan friend. Spock’s “fascinating” view of humanity from the outside was a character trait brought forth by Nimoy after advice from another (detailed from the excellent “These Are the Voyages” first book by Marc Cushman). The humanistic yet logical demeanor Nimoy brought to his character helped bring realism and seriousness to the science fiction genre.

For me, the character of Spock through Nimoy influenced my development over the decades. Through repeat viewings of Star Trek, I often admired his Vulcan logic to solve troubling dilemmas. To consider both sides of an argument, and use the most intelligent, non-violent to find the best answers. His subtle humor, and observations of human behavior, and philosophical exchanges contribute to the intelligent commentary that was often Star Trek.  Nimoy’s development and dedication to the character lasted through books, movies, cartoons..and his own reflections in interviews and autobiographical accounts. 

And to his soul “being the most human,” here is a poem Nimoy posted on Twitter, one week ago..

Thank you Leonard Nimoy.. your contributions to the betterment of humanity will live long and prosper.

Star Trek, is that you?

Recently, the official international poster for the upcoming movie, Star Trek: Into Darkness became a happening thing. This is now everywhere, awaiting our gawks, to explore strange new wallets. I feel compelled to take part, so here we go:

Star Trek: Into Darkness Int poster

I look at this,  and I am reassured…

Don’t fuck with Star Trek.

Star Trek will come at you with guns, explosions, Matrix fashion sense. No more of that space exploration crap. Now It’s Die Hard .. on our planet, in the future. This is not your grandpa’s Star Trek. It may be your daddy’s Star Trek because that did have some action, explosions, cheesy villains on the big screen. However, this new presentation is bigger, wider directed, more smoke.


Also it seems, no more hailing frequencies crap for Uhura. She is now very serious with a gun. Also present is Spock, looking very logical while in inappropriate pose, with a gun. Kirk is also concerned, with a gun. We got the Sherlock guy as some badass, evil space terrorist. The ground is exploding, that’s not good. Where’s McCoy, my favorite crew member? He’s probably elsewhere, growling about his ex-wife, bones or something. I look forward to all of this, in 3-D.

Seriously, I am. I love action movies. I love science fiction. I love science fiction with action. This is one of many expectations delivered, but with a familiar franchise attached. It’s just sad, Star Trek won’t hang around for more fresh questions and intellectual dilemmas, as we explore the possible extent of our human destiny.

Star Trek is too busy for that now.

Look at this new International trailer. Hear the ominous horn repetitions. The situation is indeed, most dire. I think old Spock would say that.