Having assimilated itself into the very fabric of society over the past half century-plus, it’s small wonder that as Star Trek fans, we often incorporate small elements of our love for Gene Roddenberry’s space saga into our daily lives. As usual, it’s the little things that do the trick, reminding us why we not only love Star Trek but admire its ideals and influence in our 21st century world.
Here’s a look at a few of the ways Star Trek has subconsciously become a vital subroutine of our daily lives.
The familiar swoosh of Federation and Starfleet doors is a welcome sound to the ears of any Trek fan, and here in the modern world we’ve also enjoyed similarly responsive methods of entry for decades. While the swooshing doors of the Enterprise may signal the beginnings of bravery and heroism, what Trek fan hasn’t taken a second to prepare themselves for adventure as a sensor-operated door opens before us? Sure, it might be heading into the supermarket, but those clean-ups on aisle three can be dangerous to navigate…
“Beam Me Up” And Other Phrases
In days past, our parents and grandparents might have blundered into situations when they wished the ground had opened up beneath their feet, but we Trek-savvy types are far more likely to glance at the skies and silently implore Scotty to beam us up. Indeed, there are a veritable slew of Trek catchphrases that can suit any occasion. People taking liberties? Tell them the line is drawn here, no further. You wish to be obstinate in the face of enduring pressure? Tell them there are only four lights! And, of course, when disembarking from your car and heading into town, tell your friends to remember where we parked. Yes, Star Trek has an ever-ready quip for any occasion.
On TV, the stoic and measured Spock showed us all that devoting a second to weigh up the various factors of any given scenario can be a sensible way of taking control of the situation and making it work in your favor. Certainly, the Kirk approach of shoot/kick/kiss first and ask questions later has its merits, but balancing the ingredients of a problem can often yield the best results (and not all of us have the dashing gung-ho-ness of the legendary Captain James T). Captain Picard had a similar approach, utilizing the talents of his bridge crew to come to a conclusion, and while you might not have Data, Geordi, Worf and company to show you the way, the process still works.
Phones as Communicators
Ahhh, the heyday of the flip phone in the 1990’s gave many of us our favorite Trek moments, snapping back the cover of our cell phones and answering the call. While the technology of the phone has evolved from being less like a communicator and more like a PADD, the moment remains the same as we answer our Smart Phones, Red Alert icons flashing and LCARS display illuminating our screens. You might not want to lose yourself in the moment completely and request a shuttle to pick you up and take you back to your ship, but with the right apps and sounds you can certainly bring a touch of Trek tech to your communication devices.
Star Trek Food
The food of our future is one of the elements that holds the least appeal. Replicated food and synthetic alcohol hold sway, reforming random matter into any meal you might desire without any of the random touches that skill, seasoning and time of cooking would add. Little wonder Romulan Ale was so highly prized, or toasting marshmelons over a roaring camp fire was such a treat. Here on Earth in the 21st century, we can have food that reminds us of the living, wriggling Klingon delicacy Gagh, or the tame (by tame, Klingons mean dead) Pipius claw that Riker ate onboard the IKS Pagh in Star Trek: The Next Generation’s season-two episode “A Matter of Honor.”
And why would we want to replicate that? Why not! What could be more fun than sitting down for our regular dose of Trek with a plate of questionable-looking but tasty fodder? Tomato-heavy pasta dishes, stuffed marrow, huge racks of ribs that look like the flaming ribs of a targ, “Trek food” can definitely be a treat.
We might not be able to perform a Vulcan Nerve Pinch, sense the approach of death with our twitching ganglia or transfer our katra via a mind-meld, but we can certainly incorporate a little dash of Trek into our day-to-day lives. Do you have any other suggestions? Add them in the comments below and try them out – you might be surprised at just how enjoyable it is.
Mark Newbold has been an avid Trek fan since the 1970's, when TOS was shown on UK TV, but it was the original cast movie series and TNG era that sealed the deal. Mark is a writer for Star Trek: The Official Magazine, is editor-in-Chief of Star Trek: The Neutral Zone and was a stage host at Destination Star Trek Germany in 2018. At heart, he's a Niner. Follow him on Twitter.