In yesterday’s Tidbits it was noted that the mainstream media was again paying attention to Star Trek, with many stories about the return of the venerable franchise. And this week we will see what is likely the biggest example yet in the form of a cover story in the new Newsweek all about “How Star Trek taught us how to dream big.” Details below.
Star Trek: big news & big ideas
Taking a break from politics and the economics news, one the two big news weeklies in the US is devoting its cover to the final frontier with a beautiful image showing a silhouette of the USS Enterprise (classic). The issue is not out yet, but some of the Star Trek aspects are already online at the Newsweek site.
Cover Story: We’re All Trekkies Now
covering the history of the franchise up to the new movie, and how it ties into today (with some comparisons of President Obama and Spock)…excerpt:
It’s the Spock plot strands that give the new “Trek” its best shot at once again commanding the zeitgeist. Spock’s cool, analytical nature feels more fascinating and topical than ever now that we’ve put a sort of Vulcan in the White House. All through the election campaign, columnists compared President Obama’s unflappably logical demeanor and prominent ears with Mr. Spock’s. But as Spock’s complicated racial backstory is spun out in detail in the new “Trek”—right back into childhood—the Obama parallels keep deepening.
Side Story: Vulcans Never, Ever Smile
Caltech Physicist (and co-writer of the TNG episode "The Dauphin") Leonard Mlodinow analyzes the enduring power of the franchise — excerpt:
To me, the success of the “Star Trek” franchise is based not on an irresistible world or set of characters, but upon its “corporate culture,” a culture of imagination. Bell Labs was not the only precedent. Think of Walt Disney, who didn’t just pioneer a few cartoon characters, but built an empire based on an environment that valued and nourished creativity—it is no accident that the company has an arm called Imagineering. Or think of Google, a company created on the very idea of searching. Google seems to invent the future, and ways to see into it, every day, taking us under the oceans, above the Earth and, of course, into the worldwide web of knowledge. Similarly, Gene Roddenberry’s real creation is a franchise culture dedicated, like his fictional characters, to “boldly go where no man has gone before.” That makes “Star Trek” more enduring than any set of characters or episodes Gene himself created, and bigger than any one of its products or the people who pass through it.
Photo Gallery: Famous Life Forms on ‘Star Trek’
A look at some of the famous faces that have appeared on Star Trek, inlcuding King Abdullah II of Jordan and Stephen Hawking.
Newsweek Photo Gallery shot of Stephen Hawking filing his scene in on Star Trek: The Next Generation ("Descent")
The Star Trek issue of Newsweek Magazine goes on sale this week.
Cover of Newsweek (May 4th 2009 issue)
[we will try to get a better image]
Also in Time Magazine this week
Although it didn’t make the cover, Star Trek is the topic of a two-page spread in the new issue of the other big news weekly in the US, Time Magazine. (story isn’t online)
Past Star Trek Covers
This is not the first Time Star Trek has graced the cover of a news weekly in the USA. Newsweek has had Star Trek on the cover before: during the 20th anniversary in 1986 with a picture of Leonard Nimoy, and in 1994 William Shatner and Patrick Stewart graced the cover of Time Magazine in anticipation of the passing of the torch in the film Generations.
Previous Star Trek news weekly covers from 1986 and 1994
HEYYYY!! Notice they have a pic of the GOOD enterprise on the cover!
Gotta get a copy!
Awesome! Star Trek is on again . These are wonderful times to be a trekkie….
So ‘Newsweek’ didn’t deem the new ‘E’ design worthy enough for their cover either then?… ;)
Nice to see this kind of Trek coverage overall though.
That cover reminds of “Tomorrow is Yesterday”.
Damn, I still love seeing the Connie to this very day.
Takes me back to when I was a kid.
“How Star Trek thought us how to dream big.”
shouldn’t that be taught? ^^
I too noticed the tos E. wonder y they did that.
also. i dont see the rammscoops on those nacels.
maybe they’ll change at the last min and put gabes Ent in there by mistake
truly the geeks have inherited the earth.
That’s good, through out the article he stresses the thoughtful elements incorporated into the film.
I also found this film to be a cerebral experience, as well as a visceral one.
This is a true sc-fi adventure film that portrays characters living in a galactic community, in a complex and challenging way. Especially for the younger crowed, it’s important.
Accusations of CGI over substance are unfounded.
May 4 issue, nice. That is my birthday ;))
This is the first time it’s really hit me- Star Trek is back. It’s operating at full capacity again, people are taking notice, people are complimenting it. Not just on the Internet, but y’know, in the real world. Star Trek is a force to be reckoned with once again.
wow! that’s big!
TIME mustve been anticipating Generations to be the greatest Star Trek film ever….
:) It’s really a wonderful time for us…
Now look at her – what a beauty…
Comparing Spock and Obama how insulting to Spock. Spock never needed a teleprompter.
Hey heres Nacells Monthly !
What the hell happened to the Bussard Collectors on the
lense flares ^^
Thats some good coverage. Time, Popular Science, Mens Health ( the article is up at http://www.menshealth.com/cda/article.do?site=MensHealth&channel=guy.wisdom&category=life.lessons&conitem=8f5276391c360210VgnVCM10000013281eac____ – dunno if thats been posted before ) At the superstore I must have caught at least 12 mags with some Star Trek reference on the cover.
I still have my National Enquirer clippings for Star Trek 6 .. not quiet in the same journalistic league :)
Glad that Trek is getting some mainstream recognition again. Newsweek has in the past sometimes tended to be haughtily derisive of the franchise (particularly in the issue with Spock on the cover). I wonder if the critics sometimes are embarrassed by their inability to recognize Star Trek’s many high concepts and literary allusions. And then play catch up in an attempt to acquit themselves by declaring the show “middlebrow?”
Does the new film have such concepts that TOS made famous? My favorite aspect of TOS was the philosophical and literary allusions mixed in with the wonderful character bits and science fiction aspects. A combination that was unique on television at the time!
All this Obama/Star Trek comparison makes me want to throw up.
I wish people would keep that Marxist out of my Star Trek!!! He has nothing to do with the new Star Trek. I doubt Orci was sitting around saying “Oh, let me see how I can work Obama into this new movie. It needs the “Obama spirit” or it’s not really Star Trek.” True Star Trek has always had an optimistic feel — as well it should. None of the other Star Treks were written with Presidents in mind at the time of their writing. I don’t blame Bush for Nemesis.
I resent people turning Star Trek into a political commercial like this.
Don’t come down on me for being political either. I didn’t start it!
When you promote this kind of stupid thinking by posting this CRAP on your site don’t get upset when there’s a counter point of view presented as a rebuttal!
I’d rather not get into politics AT ALL — but when you wave red flags like this…well, what do you expect?
Not all of us are Obama Kool-Aid drinkers.
I want to add that my post above was, in part, a response to another article I read talking about the so-called “Obama optimism” being infused into the new Trek…and it went on to say Nemesis was dark because it came out during the post 9/11 Bush administration.
What a crock of BS!!!
Again, let’s keep the contemporary politics OUT of Star Trek…and articles ABOUT Star Trek!
As much as I hate politics on the internet….#20, you don’t even know what a Marxist is.
The only reason Obama was brought up was because Obama talked a lot about optimism and hope and all of that which infected his supporters. An optimistic future like the one he talked about is right in line with Roddenberry’s vision.
“I like Star Trek. I believe in the Final Frontier” – Barack Obama.
#20, quit trying to pick fights. You sound like someone at a Teabagging ceremony or in a Sean Hannity audience. I’m not saying you have to support anyone. But at least put some thought into your arguments.
Anyone calling Obama a ‘Marxist’ or a ‘Socalist’ doesn’t know what the hell those words mean, and are essentially the equals of the “Star Trek in Name Only” crowd.
20. The Great Barrier
While your post goes over the line just a bit, I agree, politics and Trek should be kept separate to a certain extent. However, don’t forget, Star Trek has many times been used to address political issues.
#15. “Spock never needed a teleprompter.”
Don’t be silly. What do you think was in his blue scope all those years?? :P
Anyway, it’s good to see the better looking ship on the cover! If this new series of films takes hold, probably won’t happen again.
#17. “lense flares ^^”
#20- The only thing that it happening here is the obvious parallel that TOS is recognized for promoting a vision of great optimism in very troubled times. Like him or not, Obama’s election to office, through the votes and sentiments of many in this country, represents that same feeling of optimism…wanting change for the better. Nothing more.
The parallels will be drawn, it’s inevitable.
20. The Great Barrier – April 26, 2009
I’m with ya there man…in full.
I hate getting into politics also but when I’m spoon fed this crap it irritates me.
Nice cover though…reminds me of when I was a kid running around the yard
doing battle with the Enterprise and Space 1999 Eagle models I built.
I am boycotting the cover and setting up a website to protest the fact that the bussard collector domes seem to be missing in the shot. :)
Apparently Zach Quinto started Twittering yesterday… is anyone following him?
Nimoy himself made the Obama comparison. And gee, the Trek future has no money. Socialist?
I wrote a letter to Time about their Star Trek coverage in 1994—and it got printed. :)
I’m going to puke if I see one more “tie in” with Trek/Obama… Come one, it’s a frikking movie, leave politics out of it. UGH!
The Newsweek cover refreshes my mind and memory of just how beautiful this ship was at one time.
I think the Vulcan in the White House thing has something to do with ears.
Um, can we have just ONE of these types of articles that doesn’t descend into a pointless “he’s a commie/he’s a fascist” tirade? I doubt very many people are impressed with that kind of talk.
I think the larger point with Star Trek coming back now is that it is doing so at the right time. We are in the middle of troubling times, a period of great upheaval. Just like the late 1960’s.
People need something optimistic to look forward to. And Star Trek brings us this.
And although I enjoyed about 2-1/2 seasons of Battlestar Galactica, the bleak and depressing sci-fi that has become the norm is wearing thin. Sure, there has always been sci-fi that shows a dark future, but when is the last time you’ve seen any sci-fi movie or program that shows us getting things RIGHT in the future?
We need some optimism. We need the vision of Star Trek to come back in its full glory. And not a negative, dark reimagining of it, either.
14 posts before hand. not bad.
BTW, what’s wrong with the nacelles in that pic?
#15 and #21 Amen! Newsweek should not be spoiling things with petty-insult politics. Get out of the tank for a moment fellas.
No reflection of current issues?
Great Barrier has missed the point of sci-fi- lol.
Well Star Trek has at least always mirrored the times, politics and topics- thats why i twent down the toilet over THAT 8 year period where Archer was Interrogating (Torturing) Aliens (enemies) and now has risen from the Ashes as America is doing atm.
The writers may not have known who would be in the whitehouse but they knew who wouldnt be and that things were going to change – optimism was growing and IDIC is now symbolised in the new Presedent… like it or not.
Star Trek Lives!
I love the cover photo! THAT is an image that means “Star Trek” to me.
Yes, even with the lens flare. ;)
Wow, I don’t know what it is, but that Newsweek cover actually brings a tear to my eye. There’s something so innocent and pure about that one image. Very moving.
Yeah, because Star Trek has NEVER addressed or reflected political issues of the day…
“Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”
“The Omega Glory”
“Bread and Circuses”
“The Voyage Home”
“The Undiscovered Country”…
Nope. Not at all.
Please never again insult the great race of Vulcan’s by comparing them with our current president.
#30… in that respect we will resemble Trek’s future… no money!
Let’s wait a few years and see where we are as a result of current policies before we hail O as the great saviour.
#20, 21 Great Barrier- I’m sure you’ll get bashed to death, but I support you.
I detest hypocrisy in all its forms. It continues
to create devisive conflicts in politics- and Trek.
I wish the two would be kept seperate around here.
sweetheart, would you like your previous back?
Only Nixon could go to China.
not in the least!