Jon Stewart Cites Star Trek (& Star Wars) At Rally To Restore Sanity

Yesterday Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held the "Rally To Restore Sanity and/or Fear" in Washington DC. Part of the 3-hour event included a debate between the two on reason vs. fear and Star Trek (and Star Wars) played key parts. Watch the video below.


Jon Stewart uses Star Trek & Star Wars to argue against fear

Stewart made up a fear of "corbomite" in drinking water to instill fear, then admits he got the idea from the Star Trek episode "The Corbomite Maneuver", noting how Kirk invented corbomite to bluff Balok. Stewart and Colbert also then showed geek cred by pointing out the continuity error in the episode of having Uhura wearing command gold with a science patch! Later Stewart used Star Wars’s R2-D2 to make the point not all robots are evil, at which point R2-D2 joined them on stage.

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It was great

The trash can made some good points. Is he running for office?


hahah – R2 nearly fell on stage…

I was waiting for R2 to fly off (fall off) at the end. It would have been funny.

I’m not going to talk politics.

All I can say is that Trek is such a deep and abiding influence on society because much of it stands for something good. Whether we know it or not, Trek espouses the importance of ethical behavior, which in this day and age should be first and foremost in the minds of all citizens.

Starfleet is bound by a military-like code — not just of honor, but a real code with real regulations that are rigorously enforced. Does anyone think that such a code could work among our elected officials, whether right or left? No, and the fault for this is ours.

We, the people, have allowed people to abuse simple ethical rules — as simple as “Do not lie,” — and have rewarded them for it by electing them to office.

This is not a political matter, fundamentally, but one of ethics and willingness to abide by standards of behavior that civilization has established throughout history.

I admire Stewart and Colbert for playing the role of gadfly, much as Socrates did, casting the image of society upon a multimedia mirror. And now they have taken this to the logical end, rallying support for a better future.

In that both Trek and the view they espouse are dedicated to improvement of the human condition, I can think of no better reason that Trek is cited, and I think it is a mutual honor that Trek finds such currency amongst perspicacious minds in these trying times.

Was is mind-blowing to me is Jon Stewart using ‘corbomite’ in front of a large audience in the nation’s capitol!!

Don’t fret about “corbomite”. The REAL worry is DHMO…

See for yourself.

@8: Haha, I love that gag! :D

@6: Post of the week, right there. Love it.

I’m not going to talk politics either, but I have made one observation: every pic I’ve seen from this rally has at least one person smiling and/or laughing.
I have never seen anyone laughing at a Tea Party rally. Ever.
Take from that what you will.

I like to see it shown that many of us view life through a Star Trek lens.
I’ve always liked that Jon Stewart is an equal-opportunity guardian of rhetorical logic, pointing out fundamental stupidity in ANY party line or social caste, simply calling it as he sees it. Any given week he burns on both sides of the political fence–which face it, puts him right in line with me. Some of us may admit to straddling the fence politically, but I’m ALWAYS gonna shoot down those “How can they possibly think they’re gonna get away with that?” offenders.
R2D2 one of the good guys? He’s way more selfless than C-3PO, risking life and wheel casing for his buds. The good of the many, and all that.


Well put, Hat Rick.

If there’s anything in society worthy of satire, it’s politics—both right and left. “Restoring Sanity” probably won’t sway the election in the slightest way, but it’s always good to sit back and, as Picard once said, “…bow to the absurd.”

@5 Uh-oh, someone’s been drinking the DHMO again!

Colbert >>> Stewart

that is all

“I have never seen anyone laughing at a Tea Party rally. Ever.”

Maybe that’s because we’re really concerned about our grandchildren’s future. The national debt is nothing to laugh about.

I just thought it was great to see corbomite get the “calll-out” it well deserves (and ingeniously and in the right context). And it was a great show in a reasonable political way.., Yes, sanity. Thanks Jon and Steven. And R2! The most common sense of all SW characters.


This event proves that the folks responsible for that debt ARE something to laugh about. Might be all we can do, in fact.

#8 – Yes sir, we can’t forget the constant threat of DHMO. We’ve gotta remain vigilant against communist infiltration and commie indoctrination. That’s how your hard core commie works Mandrake. We will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our precious, natural bodily fluids. :P

– 24thCRS!

@19 It’s too late! Didn’t you hear already how every cancer known to modern medicine contains tremendous amounts of DHMO!?!?

Anthony, I admire your efforts to keep this non-partisan, but I frankly think a thread like this — about a political rally, for heaven’s sake — is a lost cause.

Folks are gonna get political. Maybe we could just agree to keep the dialogue civil: no generalization, no demonization, no name-calling. How about that? It’d be great if people on all sides of the spectrum could learn to discuss politics in a level-headed and civilized manner. The country would benefit!


I’m sorry Anthony. My enthusiasm for Jon Stewart got the best of me. Anyway great article and work on the video. I’ve read there were over 200,000 at the rally. (NY Daily News article on atttendance below)

Anthony, name calling and finger pointing are bad habits that are very hard to unlearn. Good luck. And good luck to Stewart et al. I too remember America as a nice place to live. It’d be great to see her that way again.

Well I am not going to politic tonight, but I got to say, I laughed in astonishment when they were pointing out the Error of Uhura’s uniform.


“You’re gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola Company.”
—Col. Bat Gauno, soldier, philosopher



This site airs it’s own partisan politics enough for the rest of us, unfortunately. Time to return to Star Trek news.

@10: I’ve been to a Tea Party Rally and I saw most people were good-natured and having a good time with lots of laughs and smiles.

Politics aside, I think that sometimes even the media (whether right leaning or right leaning) have an agenda to make the Tea Party movement seem more negative than it is?

I think it’s like an avalanche. Once it starts with the negative reports, nobody wants to report to the contrary that it’s not — only to protect their own reputation and not because it’s necessarily politically motivated.

I would have liked to go to this. Hopefully it will air on TV at some point somehow. I learned long ago how not to talk about most politics in public. I worked for Broward County (FL) during the Obama/McCain election and we were under extremely strict orders to remain neutral and not share opinions, just help people vote and move along. You wouldn’t believe some of the opinions people carry with them, especially so openly at polls. Things I wont discuss here, but actually scared me as a human being. Politics are one of the few things that could literally turn friends into enemies and tear apart whole communities. It’s best to just keep some opinions to one’s self.

Besides, there’s Star Trek to be discussed with is by far a much better subject, as it actually offers the hope of a better future. Something real life politics could take note of.

The worrying thing is that politics doesn’t just affect day-to-day lives. If you believe the science media these days, we are at, or very close to, a pivotal point in the ecology of the planet.

Our economic situation is now dictating where funds are allocated for things like scientific research and education.

The wrong policies at a time like this could lead to profound disaster down the road, whether you believe that to be economic, ethical and moral, or ecological disaster.

I’m desparately trying to remain non-political, but given those possibilities, I know which one I’d rather bank against.

I think that may be the problem with politics. It’s not just about how people think a certain set of circumstances should be handled. It’s become invested in what religion you are, and how much money you have, and how much money you stand to lose.

Politics should be dictated by morals and compassion, but most people who make it into power seem to forget that, and so do most of the people who vote for them.

29. Wow! I am from NZ and I cannot ever recall having people air their political opinions while they are waiting to vote. Most just wait quietly until a booth is ready, go and vote, and leave quietly. Nobody wants to know your opinion. That is what voting is for.

It is not that people do not express their political opinions at other times but just not on voting day. I am not aware of any law that says a private citizen, in other words, someone who is not a candidate or any party official or affiliate, cannot say anything. It is just that we don’t. It seems kind of rude really.


(i’m still pist that their not including khan in the trek sequel)

@ 19

Dr Strangelove FTW!

So much for not getting political on this site.

Anybody wanna talk Bajoran religion? I’ll give you a topic: The Bajoran d’jarra caste system was a direct result of the expedient nature of the First Republic.

No takers?

I got such a nerdy belly laugh and a thrill from this, those guys are great.

R2 ran over my foot! lol Not many people will get to put that in their memoirs.
Funny stuff. I’m sure there was a point in there somewhere but i was just looking for the laughs – hey, its before 7am Monday morning in rocking downtown England, so i can’t be bothered with political points right now
:-D Have a good week gang!


Depends on your point of view, Bill…

Okay, I see Dr. Strangelove references here. Yes, Vultan, I get your reference. Okay it’s time for Dr. Strangelove fun. I MISS THE SIXTIES AND STAR TREK.

Video no. 1. You can’t fight in here… this is the war room!

Video no. 2. Um, Dr. Strangelove has trouble with his right arm.

I wouldn’t say Uhura’s uniform is an error so much as it’s a reflection of the fact that it took them a while to decide what the exact insignia would be. In the two pilots, it was common for the same color uniforms to have different assignment patches. See here:

Dang! I was at the rally and forgot to contact Anthony after the Corbomite and R2-D2 bits. Well, actually the networks were so overloaded (215,000 people tend to have a LOT of electronic devices), that I was having major connectivity issues. Glad other readers were on the ball!

It’s amazing that just the fear of talking about politics stops people from speaking out.

What I think we need is a television show that would transcend those fears and give a voice to these issues we are facing. One that would talk about politics, war or other issues we face with being afraid to take on these issues for the simple fear that just by doing so prevents others from talking back or in support.

I think everyone is missing the most important thing. Stewart and Colbert said that the The Corbomite Maneuver was Season 1, Episode 10. What were they thinking! Everyone knows that it’s episode 3!

Forget poiitics. This is a disaster!

#43. Exactly! We need “Star Trek.”

I wouldn’t say that the rally was political but more of an observation of how politics has descended into fear mongering and name calling.
For example one of the signs displayed stated,
“I may not agree with your opinion but i respect your right to state it”
There was a great duet with Ozzy Osborne and Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) and vibe of the rally was a chilled out afternoon with a lot of laughs in the Autumn sun.

@43 what a show like Crossfire? lol
Those types of shows soon end up as a slanging match and the point gets lost

@44 – I guess it depends on whether you’re talking about what order the episode was shot or when it was aired. While it’s listed as episode 3, and was likely shot early, it was not aired as the 3rd episode. I’m at work, so I don’t have it in front of me…but it’s likely that you’re both right. :)


Bah! Who needs airdate order when you can watch the show in its proper production order.

I think after many political stories (in canada), i’ve come to get really sick and tired of politics, because as anthony mentioned above, the partisan-effect. Either you a liberal or a conservative, etc… This problem has also crept into Canada too recently. I must admit its really turned me off from Canadian politics and i can imagine Americans being turned off by politics too recently. Good rally though.

Now the question arises…. did anyone really care about the issue that they were discussing and will people sorta think about it, or is it “back to business” as usual ?