Difference between revisions of "Star Trek franchise"

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An episode of ''Star Trek: The Next Generation'' has one major example of anti-religion bias. The third-season episode entitled "Who Watches the Watchers," implies that an alien culture discarding religious beliefs is a positive development.
 
An episode of ''Star Trek: The Next Generation'' has one major example of anti-religion bias. The third-season episode entitled "Who Watches the Watchers," implies that an alien culture discarding religious beliefs is a positive development.
In the episode "Tapestry", Captain Picard dies and goes to the "afterlife" where he meets his erstwhile adversary "Q" who implies that he is God.  Picard refuses to believe this, and makes a comment that "The Universe is not so badly run." This suggests that Picard was aware of the concept of God, but does not indicate that he believed in God. That phrase might be pointed more toward the character of Q controlling the universe than God's existence. However the majority of episodes remain silent on religion.
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In the episode "Tapestry", Captain Picard dies and goes to the "afterlife" where he meets his erstwhile adversary "Q" who implies that he is God.  Picard refuses to believe this, and makes a comment that "The Universe is not so badly run." This suggests that Picard was aware of the concept of God, but does not indicate that he believed in God. That phrase might be pointed more toward the character of Q controlling the universe than God's existence. However the majority of episodes remain silent on religion.  In another episode where the ship is trapped and aliens will perform experiments that will kill half the crew, Picard admits to 'Ryker' (actually an alien in disguise) that he does believe in God, because the universe is just too orderly to have happened on its own.
  
 
=== Bajoran religion ===
 
=== Bajoran religion ===

Revision as of 03:53, 10 September 2008

The crew of the Enterprise from the original 1960s show.

Star Trek is an American TV series created by Gene Roddenberry, which premiered on NBC September 8th, 1966 and ended June 3rd, 1969. The show featured a crew of space explorers traveling around the galaxy in a Constitution-class starship called the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, set in the 23rd century. It never caught on with late night viewers and was cancelled due to low ratings, but soon established a strong following in syndication that saw the show become much more popular than it had ever been in its original run. The original TV show became a franchise. Many different spin-offs of the original program have now been made, the last of which was a prequel with the original 'Enterprise' space ship.

Extraterrestrial life

The drama of the shows typically arises from the crew's contact with various forms of extraterrestrial life, mostly, but not always, humanoid (e.g. the "Crystalline Entity"). In various ways, the premise of the ancient astronaut theory is used to assert the seeding of life throughout the galaxy as brought up in The Next Generation, although not to the overt extent of a later, unrelated, TV series, Stargate SG-1.

Religion in Star Trek

As a humanist, Gene Roddenberry infused Star Trek with humanism's dream of a world (or galaxy in this case) where humanity (and many other intelligent beings) were constantly improving the life quality of all beings both through improving technology and improving societal conditions. People worked together for the common good, rather than for money, and without any class or other distinctions. This is a small part of what is expected in the Christian view of heaven, except that humanism believes that mankind can achieve this through its own efforts, rather than with the help of God.

Roddenberry rarely had the shows overtly reject religion, although some episodes would make reference to it as a part of culture. For instance in an episode with a man who could not die, it was noted that in one his personas in earth history he had been Lazarus (who Jesus rose from the dead). In another episode a world where the Roman Empire never fell was now chasing down followers of "the son" (who the crew mistook to be "sun") and their message of peace and love instead of violence and oppression.

Later series, under the control of other producers particularly after Roddenberry died, also brought religious concepts into the show, but seldom with the same direct references to Christianity, but rather to more generic religious thought.

The Next Generation

An episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation has one major example of anti-religion bias. The third-season episode entitled "Who Watches the Watchers," implies that an alien culture discarding religious beliefs is a positive development. In the episode "Tapestry", Captain Picard dies and goes to the "afterlife" where he meets his erstwhile adversary "Q" who implies that he is God. Picard refuses to believe this, and makes a comment that "The Universe is not so badly run." This suggests that Picard was aware of the concept of God, but does not indicate that he believed in God. That phrase might be pointed more toward the character of Q controlling the universe than God's existence. However the majority of episodes remain silent on religion. In another episode where the ship is trapped and aliens will perform experiments that will kill half the crew, Picard admits to 'Ryker' (actually an alien in disguise) that he does believe in God, because the universe is just too orderly to have happened on its own.

Bajoran religion

Star Trek: Deep Space 9 included religion more than any other series. An overarching theme of the series was the relation of the main character, Captain Benjamin Sisko, to the Bajoran religion in his role as the emissary to the Bajoran prophets. The prophets were beings who lived in a stable wormhole (a unique phenomenon in the Star Trek universe referred to by the Bajorans as the Celestial Temple) that perceived all of time as a single event with no concept of past, present, or future. Despite their immense dissimilarity to other races in the galaxy, the Prophets took unusual interest in Bajor, sending 'orbs' which were used as tools of prophecy by the Bajoran clergy, and in Sisko who it is revealed exists solely to fulfill a predetermined historical path in an Armageddon-like showdown as the avatar of the prophets against the 'Pah Wraiths' (aliens like the Prophets who were expelled from the Celestial Temple).

Other religions

Star Trek: Deep Space 9 also had the Dominion, in which the Founders (shape-shifting aliens sometimes called changelings) are treated as living gods by the races under their control.

The Klingon religion in various series suggests that the first Klingons realized they had no need for their gods, and killed them, although they still hold to an afterlife where the honorable dead join with the deified Kahless and the dishonorable dead are forced to spend eternity on the Barge of the Dead with the Demon like figure Fecklarr.

The Ferengi (mainly in Star Trek: Deep Space 9) had a religion of sorts based on the concept of The Great River (as shown in "Faith, Treachery and The Great River"), which was similar to "The invisible hand" a phrase coined by Adam Smith. Ferengi also hold that if they achieve enough profit during their lives, they will meet the Blessed Exchequer who will grant them access to the Divine Treasury, whereas an unsuccessful Ferengi may find himself left in the Vault of Eternal Destitution.

The Prime Directive

Starfleet had The Prime Directive which said that they should not interfere with the natural progression of a species. The directive sometimes clashed with morality or common sense and on many occasions was ignored by Starfleet officers. There was also a Temporal Prime Directive which said that when going into the past (by various means) they should not try to alter the course of history. When someone from Starfleet (or elsewhere) violated the directive officers were justified in working to stop them as long as they did not violate the directive themselves.

The series and films

Series Name Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) Star Trek: The Animated Series (TAS) Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9) Star Trek: Voyager (VOY) Star Trek: Enterprise (ENT)
Original Air Dates 1966-1969 1973-1974 1987-1994 1993-1999 1995-2001 2001-2005
Number Of Episodes 80 22 178 176 172 98
Movie Name Star Trek: The Motion Picture Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Star Trek III: The Search for Spock Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Star Trek: Generations Star Trek: First Contact Star Trek: Insurrection Star Trek: Nemesis Star Trek
Year of Release 1979 1982 1984 1986 1989 1991 1994 1996 1998 2002 2008
MPAA Rating PG PG PG PG PG PG PG PG-13 PG PG-13 N/A

The Original Series

The main characters from the original series were:

External Links