“Space. The Final Frontier” were the first words heard in the opening sequence of the original Star Trek series which premiered back in 1966. Since then, the franchise has branched out into numerous films, games, toys, theme park rides and also accumulated a mass following of all ages and backgrounds. Star Trek’s cultural impact is also significant, being known for a having a multicultural and multiracial cast during an era where that was practically unheard of and since the show was placed in the future, they weren’t afraid to tackle serious topics from the decade such as things sexism, racism, nationalism, and global war.
CBS has taken on the enormous task of rebooting the series in the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery where the main character is a black woman, a first for the franchise. Sonequa Martin-Green plays Michael Burnham, the adopted human sister of Spock, a first officer on a ship an entire 10 years prior to the start of the original series. In an interview with “CBS This morning”, the actress talked about the show’s legacy of being inclusive and how it continues in Discovery:
“I think the craftsmanship of this show is through the roof. I am floored by everyone’s artistry. I appreciate how courageous this story is and I appreciate how they’ve woven me into that family because Spock is an institution. Stories can be so healing. Art is so healing. And I think when you have a story that shows a picture of a utopian future – it’s been this way the entire time this is the legacy of ‘Star Trek’ – and I think that when you can tap into that, when you can key into that, I think that having a vision of it can help you actualize it.”
Oh course, wherever there is progress, there will be those attempting to stand in their way and in this case they were supposed “fans” who were none too pleased about their beloved space show being centered around a black woman. Martin-Green was disappointed, but unfortunately not surprised.
“That is the legacy of it. Star Trek’ has always gone boldly, it always has. That’s been the essence of it. So the naysayers – I think it’s completely antithetical. If you say you’re a longtime Trek fan, it doesn’t make sense to me.”
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Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on CBS on September 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET, 7:30 p.m.