Star Trek, through five (soon to be six) live-action TV series, 13 movies, countless tie-in books and other media - and many, many conventions - has emerged in the last half century as one of the most beloved American pop culture brands in existence. And today, Star Trek formally celebrates its 50th birthday, as the original Star Trek series debuted its first episode, The Man Trap, on September 8th, 1966.
In that 50 years, much has changed. Different captains, different crews, different Enterprises. The look is different, the technology is different and with the advent of the most recent series of films, even the continuity is different. Original cast members have passed on, and different actors are now associated in the public’s mind with Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and all of the other original characters. But throughout, Star Trek has remained beloved — and now there’s an official video marking the show’s birthday.
Paramount Pictures has released a short video compilation on the official Star Trek movie Facebook page to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the franchise’s birth [see above].
The 90-second video features memorable images and quotes from Star Trek characters across the series’ many movies and shows, everything from “Live long and prosper” to “KHAAAAAAAN.” There’s a lot of the original Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Uhura, quite a bit of Picard and a healthy amount of the current movie cast, including the late Anton Yeltsin. It ends with the phrase, "The adventure continues," probably alluding to the upcoming TV series Star Trek: Discovery, before listing the ratings and Blu-ray/digital availability of the upcoming 30-disc 50th Anniversary Blu-ray set.
The video is a quick and enjoyable jaunt through Star Trek history, though some completists may complain about the lack of mention of Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise, as well as Star Trek: The Animated Series.
At any rate, as it celebrates a half century, it’s safe to say Star Trek is in pretty good shape right now. A few years ago there was no active Star Trek movie or TV series in development, but now there’s about to be both. The Abrams movie franchise is likely to continue indefinitely, while Star Trek: Discovery has smart people in charge and looks promising. In all, as seen in the video, Star Trek doesn’t look bad at age 50.
The Star Trek 50th Anniversary TV and Movie Collection will be released this month. Star Trek: Discovery debuts in January on CBS’ All Access streaming service.