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15 “Star Trek” Facts Prove the Series Was Light Years Ahead of Its Time

Star Trek was a revolution. It all began in the 60s, and to this day, new franchises are still produced, and merchandising is more popular than ever. The series shows a future full of intergalactic adventures and managed to amass many loyal fans. In short, Star Trek has had and will continue to have a long life and prosperity.

Bright Side brings a few fun facts you may not know about this iconic sci-fi series.

1. Spock was to be red.

The famous Spock, known for his characteristic eyebrow, lack of emotion, and well-known hand gesture, was to have a very different look from the one we know. The creator of Star Trek suggested that apart from the pointed ears, he should have had a reddish skin color to give him more of an unnatural look.

2. Eddie Murphy had to be part of the Star Trek universe.

In the ’80s, a Star Trek movie was going to be made, and one of the writers found out that Eddie Murphy was a fan of the show. At the time, the actor was hanging out at Paramount studios and was often seen, so a special part was written for him. His role was to be that of an astrophysicist, but the scenes were never used because they decided to give the plot another twist.

3. Stephen Hawking played a special role.

The physicist was the only person to play himself in the series. After a meeting for a Star Trek video premiere, Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock in the original series, learned that Hawking was interested in appearing in the show. The actor arranged for the famous physicist to appear on Star Trek: Next Generation in 1993.

4. Leonard Nimoy created the Vulcan salute.

The famous Vulcan salute was devised by Spock’s actor, Leonard Nimoy. The actor said he decided that Vulcans were people who oriented themselves with their hands. The salute became so famous that it has even become an emoji. When the actor passed away, social media flooded with people recreating the Vulcan salute in Nimoy’s honor.

5. A lot of Star Trek technology became real.

Star Trek first aired in 1966 and is set in a very distant future. It was clear that there would be futuristic machines, especially gadgets related to space travel. One of them was the replicator, which prepared meals in seconds. Thanks to 3D printers that can materialize objects in a short time, making meals that way will soon be a reality.

6. Star Trek fought for ethnic and gender diversity.

Star Trek presented more than 50 years ago a utopian future where there are good relations and equality among all, regardless of ethnicity or gender. In short, it was one of the forerunners in promoting diversity. The character of Lieutenant Uhura encompasses all of this. She is a woman, African-American, and has a vital role in the series as an essential part of the team’s functioning.

7. There are inside jokes hidden on set.

Many of the tubes that could be seen on the ship’s set of the original Star Trek series had the inscription “GNDN,” which stood for “Goes nowhere, does nothing.” It was a little inside joke they had that was replicated on the ships made years later.

8. Captain Kirk was not even in the pilot.

The pilot episode did not feature the emblematic Captain Kirk but another character who was scrapped from the script when the pilot was rejected. Producers had to fight to keep the series, but they had to change the plot slightly. It was then that the captain that all Star Trek fans know came to be.

9. Star Trek: The Next Generation had the highest rating of the franchise.

The 1980s series had the highest ratings of all the series made from Star Trek. It became the highest-rated syndicated show near the end of its run and helped other series to be approved. Paramount launched a spin-off of the series, which did not achieve the popularity of The Next Generation but had enough viewership to be on the air for 7 seasons.

10. Star Trek creator didn’t want a bald captain.

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry didn’t like the image of Patrick Stewart as the captain. He thought he was a talented British actor but simply didn’t think he was a good fit for the role, amongst others, because he’s bald. In fact, he wanted the actor to wear a wig when he auditioned. The president of Paramount saw that audition, and when it was over, he said, “Hire the English actor, but take off the wig.”

11. An entire episode was written for Robin Williams.

The show’s writers wanted Robin Williams to appear in 1991’s fifth season of The Next Generation. The actor was a fan of the series. He even made a reference to it in Mork & Mindy. On the other hand, the show’s writers were fans of Williams, and that’s how the idea of having him as a special guest came up.

The writers created a character just for him, but unfortunately, although Williams wanted to be there, he couldn’t due to problems with his schedule, as he was filming the movie Hook.

12. George R. R. Martin almost worked on Star Trek.

The writer of Games of Thrones, George R. R. Martin, had an interview to be part of the series writing team. He commented that he had worked for The Twilight Zone and wrote novels and short stories, mostly science fiction. To which they replied that Star Trek was not a science fiction show but a show for people. Martin replied sarcastically and did not pass the job interview.

13. Teleportation was invented as a way of cutting costs.

Teleportation in Star Trek is essential to the plot. However, this was a device they pulled out of their sleeves to keep production costs from skyrocketing.

14. Fans rescued the first show.

Star Trek was the first show to see the importance of fans. In 1968, when they planned to cancel the series after two seasons, some science fiction fans got wind of it and organized a mass mailing of letters to try to save it. Thanks to this, another season was made, followed by a movie, and the rest is history. To this day, productions of the plot are still being made.

15. The kiss that caused a stir.

In the 1960s, when many still frowned upon mixed-race couples, Star Trek came stomping in and gave a glimmer of hope for future relationships when they aired a white man and an African-American woman kissing. Thus it became a revolutionary show.

Bonus: Leonard Nimoy’s dad owned a barbershop.

Leonard Nimoy’s dad was a barber, and in an interview, the actor shared the fact that his father had a picture of him in character as Spock with his distinctive haircut, and many kids would go to him to get their hair cut with the “Spock cut.”

What do you think the future will be like? What artifact would you like to see invented?

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