Star Trek Beyond


Supplemental 28 – Another One with Your Questions

Mission Log gets caught up on current events: the passing of Anton Yelchin, the buzz around Star Trek Beyond plus Star Trek 2017. Then we tackle listener questions about fan “gatekeeping,” religion in Star Trek and much more.

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  • Durakken

    With regard to Sulu, as someone who creates characters I’m firmly on the side of Takei, especially since Takei was the largest influence in the character and he said “please don’t” and they did it anyways which is a trashy thing to do, because they “paying respect” to a sexual preference by disrespecting him as a person and creative person. Also, taking characters that are one way and making them the opposite is wrong, because then you aren’t respecting the material for what it is and this is even more the case for established characters/stories.

    You are also mistaken that Sulu has never been portrayed as gay or straight. He has a daughter, It makes no sense for him to be “repressed” in this open future society and that is the only way you get him having a daughter and being gay. By introducing that to the character you are creating inconsistencies in the universe. It’s just bad writing…

    So it’s just wrong on number levels. Instead of making him gay, they could have made him bi, or they could have done it with another character, or introduced a new character… or brought back a character that people would be excited about as an easter egg like M’ress or the Native american character from the animated series, How about Scotty or Checov? Did they have any relationships. I don’t remember any.

    • I have heard about making Sulu gay and I am bummed by it. I get it, it’s an alternate universe, oh well. I just think retconning gets old imo.

      • Durakken

        Another aspect, that could make it worse. I don’t know the facts with regards to this, but Sulu should be older or the same age as Kirk. This means that Sulu’s genetics and all like that would be established in the same way as the original universe so you can’t make him gay in one universe and not in the other unless you’re arguing the homosexuality is a choice, not a natural thing which probably isn’t a good thing to imply in modern times.

    • I guess some would say the daughter could have been adopted etc…but I think it’s pretty clear the implication was the Enterprise B Sulu female was his biological daughter.

    • Earl Green

      I think of it this way: JJverse/Kelvinverse/Cho Sulu may be gay or bi. “Prime” timeline/Takei Sulu doesn’t have to be. Different universe. Different stuff happens. There’s an easy escape hatch for anyone who needs one; I’m really not too fussed about it, to be honest.

      • Durakken

        Me neither, but I still don’t like it, especially within all the context

    • Judie Liri

      Openly gay men can have biological children. They either use an egg donation and a surrogate or just have a child with a women (usually single) as a form of parental partnership (with two households), without them being a couple. So, Sulu being a father is not a reflection on anything other than him wanting to have a child.

      • Durakken

        And Kirk wooing every guest actress says nothing of him being straight either, just that he likes to flirt a lot. I’m sorry, but not even Sulu having sex on screen is really enough to say that it’s a reflection on his sexuality, because action doesn’t say anything concretely about preference.

        It’s silly to argue that Sulu being gay isn’t changing the character when you’d saying it would change Kirk even though Sulu’s daughter is more evidence that Sulu is straight than all of Kirk’s flirting.

        • Judie Liri

          I disagree that having a biological daughter makes a person straight. It can still be either way – see my comment above. Regardless of Sulu – insisting on this as evidence for anything relating to gender preference is very misleading.

          • Durakken

            Its evidence in favor of Sulu being straight, more evidence than Kirk’s flirting is for him being straight. My point is that it’s just wrong say there’s no reason to presume him straight when there clearly is, unless you’re adding a lot of stuff that just doesn’t follow from what we know about the star trek universe.

          • JusenkyoGuide

            No it’s not. You think in the 23rd Century they wouldn’t have some kind of egg/sperm donation programs for homosexual couples?

            Hell, we have an ON SCREEN cannon reference to the notion that a human child could be taken out of his mother and implanted in a surrogate Bajoran woman to carry to term and give birth to… So obviously surrogate moms are a thing.

          • Durakken

            I just remembered this.. even though they can, bcause we can, create a bio child from two people of same-sex, it may be banned along with a host of other such fertilization techniques due to the eugenics war. Adoption also would not seem appropriate with star fleet officers given the nature of their work which would be considered as a negative thing that would restrict adoption. You don’t want a kid to be adopted after having parents killed only to have her new parents killed as well.

          • JusenkyoGuide

            Donation/surrogate isn’t cloning. Also, it would be hard to equate eugenics and the Augments with creation of a child from two same sex parents to the Augments. Plus, it’s also worth noting in Tears of the Prophets, Bashir had to do some tinkering with Jadzia to allow her and Worf to have a baby… so obviously some kind of manipulation is allowable under Federation law.

            As for adoption… really? One, I would love to see a real world law that states members of the military, the police, or firefighters are not allowed to adopt because bad things MIGHT happen. Two, point is seriously bunk given the families aboard the 1701-D (Borg invasion anyone?), or even the Saratoga (Why the hell was Jake and Jennifer Sisko on that ship at Wolf 359?!). And three… Sulu’s husband is not Starfleet.

          • Durakken

            technologies used in Eugenics could be more or less restrective at the time. We don’t know what they are considered since any random person could practice Eugenics even under the strictest law as long as it allows you to choose your own partner.

            Bashir has a questionable record so who knows.

            There is no law against military personel from adopting, but it is a consideration which would turn up. Those in riskier jobs and jobs that puts couples out of contact are put low on the list, because adoption agencies are trying to put children in the best situation they can. We have these rules and it is extremely difficult given these issues with a glut of children to adopt. The federation likely does not have anywhere near the amount of children to adopt while simultaneously having a greater number of people who are much better suited to adopt.

          • JusenkyoGuide

            You mean like how Worf’s adoptive father was in Starfleet? Not to mention how most of the command crew of the 1701-D are either orphans or half-orphaned? Or how Worf adopted a human child? Or…

            Obviously Starfleet officers can and do adopt. And, again, Sulu’s husband isn’t in Starfleet so…

            As for Dr. Bashir, this was being done with Worf (You know, Mr. Honorable-by-the-book) and with the blessing of Captain Sisko. Hell, IIRC, Odo, ODO knew about this. And of course we have the Doctor doing work on Miral Paris not to mention whomever did the stuff needed to produce K’Ehleyr.

            Re-watching Generations, there’s nothing in the script to say anything about where or how Demora Sulu came to be. She could be adopted, she could have come from a donated egg, she could have been genetically engineered, heck, she could have been the product of a passing anomaly, a god-like being, and a transporter accident. It’s not like the Enterprise didn’t encounter any of them! So Sulu having a daughter is proof of Sulu having a daughter, not his sexuality in the Prime timeline.

          • Durakken

            Worf’s Father was not an officer. That is a different story all together and I’m pretty sure he was was out of that long before Worf came about.

            You’re taking a joke of the crew having a parent dead or parents being uncaring to seriously. Only Worf was adopted and that was under precarious conditions which might have been a rare time when a Starfleet officer would have been select over anyone else due to security and precautions with the Klingon Empire.

            I didn’t say that Officers CAN’T adopt, I said it is very unlikely that there are children that would go to Starfleet officers if any simply based on whats best for the child. Him having an adopted child would realistically only be done in unlikely situations.

            Whether his partner is in Starfleet or not doesn’t matter. If one of them are that is enough to weigh against it.

            Worf is not “by the book”. He’s “by the imaginary book i’ve made up in my mind about imaginary klingons”

            Sisko breaks the law numerous times.

            Odo doesn’t follow Federation law.

            Miral’s operation was an operation, not genetic alteration.

            K’Ehleyr there is no reason to suspect genetic manipulations.

            There’s nothing in most scripts about the father and mothers of most characters and the best you can define any character as because none come right and say one way or the other is that they’re bi-sexual. This line of thinking, to presume just because nothing is directly said then anything is viable, is asinine. I can make the argument that Kirk is really a Klingon Sleeper agent because it doesn’t say he’s not in the script. He hates klingons, he has family, etc. but just because there evidence and reason would dictate otherwise doesn’t mean he’s not. We can do this with everything.

            It’s worse in this case because the actor, the creator, overall character aspects all point to him being straight, just like they do for Kirk.

          • JusenkyoGuide

            Sergey Rozhenko was on board the USS Intrepid when it responded to the Khitomer massacure. He’s the one who found Worf, so he was active duty at the time. It also makes no sense that there would be a restriction on officers but not enlisted for adoption.

            As for the joke…
            Picard, parents dead (Admittedly this gets a pass due to his age)
            Riker, mother does when young, father abandons him while a teen.
            Data, as much as it can be said that he HAD a father, said father abandoned him shortly after constructing him.
            Troi, Father dies while young, raised by her mother… for a given value of raised.
            Dr. Crusher, both parents killed when she was younger, raised by her grandma.
            La Forge, actually has both parents, at least until season 7.
            Yar, both parents dead, fended for herself.
            Wes Crusher, father dead, raised by mother and then the 1701-D bridge crew for a season.

            Yup, some joke.

            So obviously there seems to be orphans, and obviously Starfleet personnel can adopt. That’s all onscreen cannon as opposed to speculation. So there’s nothing stopping Sulu from adopting. Nor is there anything forbidding a donated egg and surrogate mother, a point that has not been addressed.

            As for K’Ehleyr…

            36 INT. CORRIDOR

            Troi and K’Ehleyr walk, deep in conversation.

            I didn’t know it was possible
            for a human and a Klingon to
            produce a child.

            Actually, the DNA is compatible
            — with a fair amount of help.
            (a grin)
            Rather like my parents.


            As for your final comment, sorry, no. It is not. Everything is indeed possible until put up on the screen. That’s what cannon is about. Hell, if you think about it, when we meet Demora Sulu, she’s what, 22, 24? Brand new ensign… She was born around the time of TMP. Think about that, 5 fricken movies later and natta from Sulu. Nothing about his little girl, nothing about missing his whatever his partner was. Heck, he spent his shore leave with Chekov at Yosemite… We had NO clue that he had a daughter until it was brought up on Generations. And thus it is cannon.

            So, yeah, Kirk MIGHT be a Klingon sleeper agent (Why not? If Captain America is a Hydra member…), there’s no way to know one way or the other and frankly, we have nothing that says Prime Sulu was straight, gay, bi-sexual, whatever.

            We DO have a cannon instance of an alternate being a different sexuality though… Kira and her mirror counterpart.

          • Durakken

            The difference between an Officer and Enlisted is duration of duty. Just like today it is probably common place for a young person to enlist for a few years for one reason or another.

            And again, all of these adoption you’ve listed are special cases. Worf was rescued by Rozhenko creating a bond there which would have created positive rather than negative for the adoption agency. That along with the willingness to adopt. We know that Worf suffered a bit of bigotry and a number of parents probably would not have wanted to deal with that which opened up that avenue.

            Rozhenko is ultimately the only adoption you’ve shown where an officer adopts and it’s a special sitation as it is the case in all the other ones I can think of.

            K’ehleyr… “fair amount of help” does not imply dna manipulation and even if it did there’s nothing to indicate this is a Federation thing that happened.

            Another reason to go against the whole adoption thing is also the fact that Sulu is fairly insane btw. Just look at the insites into his mind we get in TOS. He’s often dreaming up weapons and attacking people.

            As far as Sulu not talking about her. Some people don’t talk about family or don’t with certain people. And those movies make it less likely an adoption since an adoption review board would look at those adventures and out right tell them they cannot put a child in that situation. If there was an adoption the only way it “could” happen where it would make sense is by making up siblings we likewise don’t hear about and that’s even iffy with Sulu’s career.

            Kira and Mirror Kira, as far as I know don’t have a different sexuality. Just one is more out with hers and the other not and this is because their respective positions in life, but even if it were the case that’s a totally different situation to the what we have with Sulu, because at no point were the Kiras the same being where as both Sulus were the same being.

          • JusenkyoGuide

            You keep moving the goal posts… and honestly, your objections keep getting more and more unrealistic. Rozhenko held the rating of Chief Petty Officer, this isn’t something that happens after a year or two. In the US Navy currently it’s about 15 years.

            And given how lower ranks have a higher casualty rate aboard the Enterprise, you’d think that they’d be even LESS likely to be considered safe.

            In any case, your point is bunk. I spent some time looking at adoption laws and rules and… guess what? Not only are military personnel allowed to adopt, they are encouraged to. There’s nothing in anything I was looking at that said the danger or the moving would have negative consequences to adoption under US laws or rules.

            Since the Federation and Starfleet are supposed to be reflections of the best of us… Sulu could have adopted. Or had a daughter with a surrogate mother, or, yes, some kind of manipulation using the genetic material of both him and his husband. The point about his not talking about his daughter was because she didn’t exist until Generations. It came out of left field and does make his comments or lack thereof telling. But this has ALWAYS been the case. Geordi builds model ships. Where the hell did that come from? There were no hints about it at all until he was finishing that model of the HMS Victory in main engineering. Kirk’s brother appeared out of nowhere… and disappeared just as quick along with his nephew. They happen because the writers want them to happen, nothing more, and honestly 99% of the time, they quickly disappear again, never to be spoken of in later eps.

            Now, to your idea that Sulu is insane… the best helmsman of the fleet, a decorated, respected officer, the captain of the USS Excelsior… right. Admittedly, Starfleet doesn’t have the best record sometimes when judging for command fitness, but as a main character…

            Finally, it’s becoming readily apparent that your objection is less cannon and more the idea that Sulu is gay. Perhaps even the idea that a homosexual couple can have children as well.

            Doesn’t matter. Simon Pegg noted that when Nero went back, his entry sent shockwaves throughout the timeline. We therefore cannot assume anything about the Kelvin Timeline. Personally, I’m happy with that as it allows the differences in apperance, in technology, in everything to be waved off as wibbly, wobbly, time-y, wime-y stuff. It may be that Sulu isn’t homosexual in the prime timeline, though I still hold there is nothing on screen that states that. But in the Kelvin timeline, he is. And he has a daughter. THAT is now cannon for the Kelvin timeline. It’s the same reason why Kirk now has blue eyes instead of brown, even though they are indeed the same person.

    • Sulu having a daughter is evidence of Sulu having a daughter – absolutely nothing else.

      • Durakken

        You mean it’s not proof. It is evidence that makes it highly likely that Sulu got it on with a lady, especially in the Utopia world of Star Trek. It however is not 100% proof that he did… and even then it’s not proof that he isn’t gay, but it is evidence.

        She could be adopted, or magically created in some other way, but considering we have no evidence for that and the evidence we do have points to Sulu getting it on there’s no reason to even suspect those other things, especially when the whole “intent” of what they said they were doing was to make it low key in the first place which the people who decided this are being hypocritical about along with the “pay respects” thing.

        • Konservenknilch

          Lots of gay couples have kids nowadays. So its neither proof nor evidence about Sulu’s sexuality.

  • Troy Brooks

    I can’t wait for DS9 when it comes to the religion topic.
    And I’m just leaving it there

    • Judie Liri

      Me too. As I was listening to this supplemental I was thinking about ‘In The Hands of the Prophets.’ That’s gonna be a big hot debate in the comments section.

    • Yeah…big time commentary when that comes around!!

  • I just want to put out there that I avoid trailers so much now. Obviously, I feel they show toooooo much! It has made my movie going experience much more enjoyable…Captain America Winter Soldier, Thor Dark World etc…Star Trek Into Darkness, you should try it sometime! I have skipped all trailers for Star Trek Beyond…fingers crossed!!

  • nathankc

    Link to the tragically unnecessary Shaun Cassidy cover of Illia’s Theme:

    • Earl Green

      Someone please dub this over the opening titles of Enterprise and post it on Youtube. I think there may have been a fantastic missed opportunity here.

    • Konservenknilch


  • Earl Green

    By the way, guys, thank you SO MUCH for taking on the gatekeeping topic. Gatekeeping was fiercely annoying in the “fake geek girl” days, it was annoying during the whole “Puppies” debacle at the Hugo Awards, and…it’s still annoying. Trek’s been through it multiple times (TOS vs. TNG, classic timeline vs. JJverse, and I expect we’ll be going through a new round of it again in January), Doctor Who fandom’s been through it multiple times, and so on. With Trek, though, it’s particularly infuriating because this is an intellectual property, or a universe, however you want to put it, that has *diversity and representation written into its DNA on a very fundamental level*. For someone claiming to be a fan of that universe to then deny entry to others says, in brief: I watch it, but I really don’t “get” it. That gives us all a moment to press pause and reassess why we’re Star Trek fans, which can be instructional in itself.

    One of the reasons I rail against gatekeeping and “received wisdom” in fandoms (“the odd-numbered movies always stink!”, “[insert episode/movie here] has no redeeming qualities!”) is that it reeks of a status quo of entitlement: mine is the only view/voice that matters (spoiler: wrong, with a Capital Wrong). One of the reasons I look forward to Mission Log every week is that it challenges those. Sometimes it finds the reason why the view is so widely held. Sometimes it finds that there’s no valid reason for that view to be widely held, and there’s more there than we thought. Every fandom needs iconoclasts. Keep up the great work. Seriously – I’ll do the Supertrain podcast so you guys can stay on this beat and retain your sanity. (At least it’d be over in, what, eight, nine episodes?)

    • Thank you, Earl. And remember, NOBODY is going to do “Supertrain” without me!

  • Ascarion

    The thing about the Sulu being gay issue that kind of irritates me is: Why Sulu? The obvious answer then comes to mind is: It’s because George Takei is gay. It feels very much like it is done just for fan-service and that would be kind of wrong, I think.

    Although thinking about it a bit more, I guess the list of possible candidates isn’t particularly long, if you take original canon into consideration. All of the other male main cast have had some sort of straight relation during the show’s run. Which of course doesn’t mean they couldn’t have a gay relationship later or be exclusively gay in the Abrams-verse, just like Uhura and Spock have this relation that never happened in main-line Trek.

  • Good episode; I agreed with both you guys on every topic you addressed in this episode.

    It’s interesting that David in Ohio automatically assumes Kirk must practice the same religion he does. If we’re giving the characters traits that the actors that play them possess, why can’t Kirk be Jewish? Culturally Jewish, at least; not necessarily a practicing one. The idea may irk David in Ohio, but I’m perfectly happy assuming that most Earth religions have been abandoned by Kirk’s time. I don’t care for Bread and Circuses, partly because it should be a parallel universe episode and isn’t, but especially because of that ending. I can’t help wondering how William Shatner felt about having to look so pleased with the notion of some form of Christianity cropping up on another planet… although, when you think about it, just because those people worshiped the “son of god,” it doesn’t mean that that religion or the “son” they follow are anything like what we’re familiar with on Earth.

    • CmdrR

      I’ve often wondered about the end of Bread and Circuses. Shat and LN are consummate performers, so they talked about Jesus with a straight face, but it’s just odd that humanist Roddenberry allowed a Christian stamp of approval on his show. Dunno. I always figured that was network tampering.

      • CmdrR

        Mmm. My words taste delicious as I am forced to eat them. Reading ‘The Fifty Year Mission.’ (pp.187-188) Jesus was always in the plan for B&C. So, I guess Rodenberry’s humanism/dismissal of religion either came later or came unevenly. Still learning about Trek after 50 years…

        • That’s interesting, @cmdrr:disqus. Haven’t read that passage yet, but in the (unpublished) interview we found, Gene said he “hated it.” He was evasive about who should actually be credited (blamed?) for the ending.

          • Robert Karma

            I recently rewatched that episode. The fascinating aspect that backs up the secular Humanist future comes into play when everyone was clueless about the Sun God until Uhura pointed out she thought it was the Son of God. IT didn’t occur to them because Christianity was no longer an active force in the 23rd Century but they were familiar with the belief system that was popular pre-WWIII. It also shows the Bible erred in not discussing other worlds that God created and that had fallen into sin and needed his Son to go save them. Once you think about what the episode says about Christianity you realize it is not positive. God keeps making mistakes across the universe.

          • CmdrR

            I agree. There are inconsistencies when you hear several key players talk about all that went into TOS. I only learned about GR’s humanistic beliefs after years of watching episodes that mention Christ, Christmas, Thanksgiving, “the one sufficient” God, etc. The comments on Bread and Circuses come from Dorothy Fontana and Ralph Senensky, who should know. But, I tend to think Roddenberry was forced to concede some Christian themes in order to keep TOS on the air.

          • CmdrR

            OK, so I’m a dog with a bone. Continuing on with ST The Fifty-Year Mission… There’s further indication that Roddenberry may appear to embrace Christian beliefs while actually looking at them as something separate from himself. On pp. 296-297, folks are talking about a stalled novel, The God Thing, elements of which may be seen in ST:TMP. There’s a big malfunctioning machine that visits Earth and delivers a prophet in the shape of Christ. Roddenberry is quoted as saying: “Actually, it wasn’t God they were meeting, but someone who had been born here on Earth before, claiming to be God. I was going to say that this false thing claiming to be God had screwed up man’s concept of the real infinity and beauty of what God is.” // To me, this shows the fluidity of GR’s beliefs on God and Humanism. I’m open to other interpretations.

          • Robert Karma

            Roddenberry did return to the “let’s go meet God” thing but it was never the Judeo-Christian deity but rather a super alien who just appeared godlike. It’s difficult to parse what is meant by “God” anyway since the word means such drastically different things to different people. Humans tend to assign their own personal interpretation when they see the term “God” used. When a person tells me they believe in “God” I ask which specific god. If they reply “Christian” I then ask them what interpretation of the Christian God do they follow. Within Christianity there is quite a continuum of belief from the Young Earth Creationist/Literalist all the way to the very liberal Unitarian folks. Gene seemed fascinated by the whole false god concept that would easily fool humans (and aliens) into abandoning their use of rational thought and science in favor of faith. It is a shame that Gene isn’t still here to discuss this subject. As we age our views change with our life experience. So who knows where he would be with his worldview if he could have lived longer.

    • Konservenknilch

      Kirk could be muslim. That’ll make some heads explode.

  • JusenkyoGuide

    Hey John and Ken, I would assume this appeared after you recorded this, but George Takei addressed this noting that the Hollywood article was slanted in a way that made for more conflict than what he really meant. Simon Pegg also has since gone on record saying that it’s mostly overblown. Any thoughts from you two about this now? Does it change anything?

    • Hadn’t heard either of their follow-up statements until after we recorded, but you essentially hit the highlights. Pegg stated that he and George are on very friendly terms even if they disagreed about this. It didn’t sour their relationship at all. We’re certainly glad to hear that.

  • Ethan Hawk

    You didn’t discuss about this youtube link

    CBS is blocking there production.

    Prelude to Axanar

    Can The Roddenberry help them.

    It is really good!!

    Watch it!

  • Ethan Hawk

  • Where to begin?
    Gatekeeping and 13 year old David
    I guess I’ll start by stating for the
    record that –
    1) I’m a Republican.
    2) I believe in God.
    I know-
    Shocking – right?

    But Star Trek isn’t just for left wing
    Democrats , socialist and “non- believer’s” – right?

    I believe it is my job to
    do the exact opposite of what “The Gate Keepers” ( man- it even
    sounds like a title of a Star Trek episode, does it?) would have me
    do. My job is to expose as many new people to Star Trek by any means
    necessary. ( I’ve given away so many old Star Trek VHS tapes over
    the years just to get someone to “watch this”. Yeah – gives
    away my age.) But- just felt part of my “mission” was to help
    spread the “word” about Trek since I fell in love with and so
    enjoyed and “believed” in the show ( TOS in the early 80’s ,
    followed by Next Gen when she aired.) It’s been a privilege, honor
    and a joy to expose people to it – including my youngest child ( 14
    @ the time) – whom like so many – had only seen the new –
    attention deficit generation aimed – JJ Trek films. The heated
    argument over how “real phasers” on board a star ship work and
    how the special effects should look like was a blast !
    ( You see what I did there?)

    As a matter of fact –
    I remember when I 1st started to produce
    “The History of TOS on Consumer Home Video” site and I contacted Kevin M. Grosky @ The Laserdisc Vault in order to purchase the TOS episodes that I was still missing from that collection, and he stated that when he brought them out and his son saw them – that he wanted to watch the series. He went on to add how he now enjoyed watching TOS on Laserdisc and discussing the series with his kid, who is now a new
    “fan.” ( As in – isn’t that fantastic ? !) I feel like I have
    helped to grow the fan base over the years, and isn’t that what we
    are supposed to do? Or is that what organized religion does?

    Speaking of – I just want to comment
    on 13-year old David’s interpretation of God in Star Trek. It seams
    to me that even though “we” can’t prove Kirk is a “Christian”,
    the episodes and Movies do tend to make “us” “believe” that
    he believes in God. “Canon” or NOT – in Star Trek V he seems
    to “believe” that God is in the human heart. ( BTW – also know
    that -& I can’t ever seem to “let this one go” – that there
    was certain psychiatrist named Helen Noel whom Kirk had previously
    met at a Christmas Party in one little episode. Additionally – In
    Star Trek _The Motion picture” ( which was originally titled “In
    thy Image” as a Phase II script ) an all-powerful an artificial intelligence
    is wondering the universe in search of it’s “God” creator.
    “Each of us, at some time in our life, turns to someone – a father, a
    brother, or God – and asks:
    Why am I here? What was I meant to be?

    V’ger hopes to touch it’s creator – to find answers.”
    “Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?”-Spock said.
    For Which McCoy replies,
    “Capture God…?
    V’ger’s liable to be in for one hell of a disappointment.”

    Now- personally I don’t belong
    to any religious group or faith ,
    However, like I said, I do, like
    89 percent of American’s, believe in God.
    That’s because I believe that we are
    spiritual beings having a human experience.

    Which brings me to this.
    “The Star”, by 2001 author Sir Arthur C. Clarke.
    A Hugo-award winning short story first published in Infinity
    Science Fiction in November 1955, that was later adapted for,
    of all things, a Christmas Episode of another famous TeleVision
    series that you also might have also heard of?

    It was called “The Twilight Zone”.
    In what could easily be a Star Trek episode, the
    crew of the Starship Magellan, discovers the remnants of an advanced
    civilization destroyed when its sun went supernova
    3120 years BC. The doomed blue human inhabitants hadn’t developed
    the warp-drive, and so they spent their final years building a vault
    ( in which they buried a complete record of their history, culture,
    achievements, and philosophy.) on the outermost planet in their solar
    system (whose Pluto-like orbit was distant enough to survive) in hopes that it may someday be found – and they would be remembered –
    so that their existence would not have been in vain. Evidence indicated that they had had “peace on their Earth” long before their extinction.

    On board, the ships doctor and a priest, Father Matthew Costigan , who is also an astrophysicist,debate about the existence of God in the wonders of the universe.

    To his dismay, Father Matthew realizes that it would have taken 3120
    years for the light from this explosion to reach Earth, and that This
    very star was the same star that shone down on Earth the day Jesus
    was born,aka – it’s “The Star of Bethlehem”. In despair after the revelation that a peaceful alien human civilization had perished in order to light “the Christmas star.” Father Matthew cries out to God in anger
    -wanting to know “Why?!”

    The Doctor attempts to comfort him by
    reading a poem he found among the archives of the advanced culture
    and then says that “whatever destiny was theirs, they had
    fulfilled it. Their time had come, and in their passing, they passed
    their light on to another world….. And perhaps, one day, whenever
    we’ve fulfilled whatever destiny we have, maybe we too will light
    the way for another world.”
    The closing Narration: The survey ship Magellan –
    bearing with it, the last legacy of a now long-dead people.
    A legacy to be kept, cherished and, in time,
    bequeathed to a world still unborn.
    From it’s current inhabitants…….”

  • mc900

    They’re not making Kirk or Spock gay they are pandering and marketing Sulu as gay based on the the real life actor who played him b/c the public knows that . That’s— weird and opportunistic. Especially when said real life person isn’t in favor of it. If it’s not a violation of the character it def is of the actual person.

  • CmdrR

    Thanks, guys! Next time… a little pre-promotion, please. I totally missed that you had this. That’s two days I went without podcast prattle that I didn’t have to! Oh well, tomorrow is ‘Ensign Ro,’ so that’s some compensation. Thank you for your views. I mostly agree, and don’t need to agree with the rest; I enjoy a conversation rather than the interweb’s typical public pissing matches. BTW, just checked out Shaun Cassidy’s ‘Ilia’s Theme.’ It seems less awful than Neil Diamond’s ‘Turn on Your Heartlight.’ Someone needs to write a love song about Batman and Superman punching each other in the face. Oh wait, someone did:

    • That was – interesting…
      (And nobody talks smack about Neil Diamond!) 😉

      • CmdrR

        E.T. was the first movie (I was 20) that made me feel I was being manipulated emotionally. I’m fine if everyone else loves it; I did not. The song played endlessly, so NO, not my fav.

  • Robert Karma

    You left the P out of the LGBTQI community! P being for Pan-Sexual which was portrayed by Kirk in all realities. ‘Cause Kirk was willing to get freaky with just about anything in the universe. His sexuality embraced IDIC in the literal sense.

  • Arvis Jaggamar

    – Anton…. T____T

    – Nimoy…. T____T

    – Well, I immediately subscribed to Engage. Going to see Beyond this weekend, so it’ll be nice to get a podcast about it before 2022. 😛
    However, I’m not at all expecting it to be anywhere near Mission Log in quality.

    – “You’re telling me something has changed and evolved and I should maybe give it a try, too?”
    Utter nonsense, Ken. New things are always bad without exception!!

    – I think your discussion of ‘Fan Elitism’ was interesting. Gatekeeping and Fan Elitism I think are both closely related to the same *echo*UNIVERSAL HUMAN FLAW*echo*, that being the tendency to focus on differences and divide each other among them. We make whole divisions, borders and governments based around this. “They look different and they speak different and they act different, so keep them out, because different is bad all of the time.”
    And on top of that, individual humans tend to interpret the things that make them different as the things that make them SUPERIOR.
    “Why is my country the greatest country? Because I was born there, so it must be.”
    “Why is my religion the right religion? Because I was born into it, so it must be.”
    “Why is what I like inhernetly better than what you like? Because I like it and I’m me and I definitely have logical and correct reasons for liking it and your not liking it is a challenge to that, so I’ll just not like your thing in retaliation, thankyouverymuch.”

    – Beyond that one line in “Who Mourns For Adonais?” there’s nothing particularly “Christian” about Kirk, which I think is why some people maybe have a problem with that line? Just feels kind of out-of-character.

    – I wish I was that eloquent at 11. Or even 13…

    – “When you’re you, everything looks like what everything looks like to you.”
    Well, Ken just summed up my Fan Elitism bit with that one sentence, I think.

    – Dang, after that voice mail I REALLY want to go watch “Spock’s Brain”. I’ve never seen it and that was quite an endorsement.

    – EDIT: And can someone let me in on this IDIC thing?? What’d I miss?

    • What about the IDIC? Symbol for “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination,” but, essentially, Gene wanted a trinket to be able to sell.

      • Arvis Jaggamar

        Ok, at least now I know what IDIC stands for. Thank you.

      • I was so bummed when I heard Gene wanted a trinket to sell and then snuck an ad for it into the show. I had one of the original Lincoln Enterprises IDICs once, about 40 years ago now or more, bought at a small con in El Paso Texas. But it’s long gone now.

  • Robert Karma

    What? Star Trek is not a religion? Blasphemy! Stone him… oh, wait, Phaser him! You do see how many aspects of Star Trek are like a religion. You had the original vision from the Great Bird but that vision has been disseminated through many people since TOS first appeared on NBC in 1966. 50 years later we argue and debate on what Star Trek really means despite the hundreds of episodes, a dozen plus movies, hundreds of books, archives of documents and interviews, etc. It makes it easier to understand how quickly the Jesus cult splintered off into several different groups with numerous interpretations on who Jesus really was and what his message was within a generation of his execution. Just think what Star Trek fandom will be like in 2000 years!!!

  • Robert Karma

    Those who want to impart Christian belief into Star Trek should give this a listen, “Susan Sackett – The Secular Humanism of Star Trek”

    “In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Susan Sackett recounts her history with Gene Roddenberry, and the influence he had on her, especially regarding the development of her secular humanist worldview. She talks about Roddenberry’s unshakable optimism about humanity’s future, and how that was expressed in his creative efforts. She discusses social justice and political messages written into the original 1960’s Star Trek series, such as racial and gender equality, and allegories about the United States’ involvement in Vietnam. She talks about explicitly secular humanist themes throughout Star Trek: The Next Generation, specifically in episodes like “Who Watches the Watchers”. She debates other topics addressed within the various Star Trek series, such as distribution of wealth, overpopulation, and the end of the nation-state, and whether or not there was a Marxist bias in the shows. And she reveals her favorite Star Trek episode, and why it is her favorite.”

    • Coupon: The Movie

      Here’s a video that pretty much sums that up. Perfectly illustrates the humanism philosophy of Trek:

      • This is a marvelous video – thanks for posting!

        • Coupon: The Movie

          Yeah, it’s truly moving and is great one to watch on Trek’s big birthday. Pretty much sums up what makes it so great.

  • Robert Karma

    Religion in Star Trek “TOS – subtly secular: TOS: “The Apple” Overall, we can observe that explicit anti-religious statements are comparably rare in Star Trek, even during most of the time when Roddenberry was still alive. Looking at The Original Series, we find that issues of faith (human as well as alien) are systematically kept out of the show, aside from for a couple of vague mentions and isolated statements. This may have to do with the era when the series was being produced. In the 1960s it may not have been opportune to create a decidedly atheist TV show, so Roddenberry may have been forced to drop (anti-)religious references to keep it at least secular. It is only remarkable that of all people in the series Edith Keeler, a church social worker of the 1930s, does not mention God on an occasion where it would have been very appropriate, while there are mentions of (the one) God in the 23rd century on other occasions, where they wouldn’t belong in Roddenberry’s view. Anyhow, one negative aspect of religion and one that was apparently essential to Roddenberry can be found more or less systematically encrypted in several TOS episodes. It is the classic and already stereotypical “false god” plot, where god-like entities are destroyed or are uncovered as what they really are. This happens in TOS: “Return of the Archons”, “A Taste of Armageddon”, “Catspaw”, “The Apple”, The Paradise Syndrome”, “Who Mourns for Adonais”, “And the Children Shall Lead”, “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky” and “Plato’s Stepchildren”, to name only the most obvious examples. Many of these stories closely resemble one another, and most of them fail to make a moral statement except for a sigh of relief that the “false god” has been overthrown and that his/her subjects have gained their freedom. Only “The Apple” bears some more definite statements that progress can only be made in a self-determined culture. This is exactly the spirit of Roddenberry’s testimony about lacking reason of religious people quoted above, and it becomes even more relevant as Vaal’s followers were indeed the most primitive humanoid civilization the crew encountered during all of TOS. So irrespective of religious references the “false god” especially of TOS may have been Roddenberry’s covert attempt to denounce religion as depriving people of their free will.” –

  • Dave Steph Taylor

    1- As a Christian I simply accept that Gene was not and did not write Religion as something that figured into his future.

    2- I too don’t get the “I’m a bigger fan than you” sentimentality. We all follow different paths in fandom.

    3- Super excited to see the new movie this weekend.

    4- It is sad to see those in their prime leave us. Anton was a great asset to the J.J. Trek.

  • Totally agree with you, Jon, about “shoehorning” in a new character who would just be known as the “gay” character; which I think Simon Pegg said somewhere?

    • Also, thank you for the conversation about gatekeeping and acknowledging how it is aimed at women.

    • Konservenknilch

      Agreed, having a new gay character would be the worst. You can do that on TV (e.g. Ro Laren could have been whatever), but in movies with their very tight crew and limited screentime, it would have been terrible. Having said that, I’m really curious about the cast of Discovery. That should be interesting.

      Also again, thanks for the discussion about gatekeeping, I have nothing to add to your comments. Star Trek should be inclusive, let’s not get into stupid nerdfights.

  • Konservenknilch

    One more thought about the whole Sulu thing:

    I’m obviously more than happy to finally have a LGBTQIXYZ character in Star Trek. As mentioned below (and on the podcast), a new character – Hey, I’m Ensign Puffpants, the gay one! – would have been terrible. However, Sulu strikes me as a bit of an unfortunate choice. Pegg and JJ have now said that it’s supposed to be a tribute to Takei – but exactly that is a problem. The character will now be gay because the original actor is famously gay. I’d rather they picked someone else, though I don’t quite know whom. Spock is too much of an outsider already (also, Quinto). Chekov would have been great, but of course tragedy struck. Bones would be a good fit – hard livin’, hard lovin’. Too many obvious puns though. Scotty maybe?

  • I have to say, that I found Star Trek Beyond underwhelming…sigh…not sure if this is where we can vent our frustrations/critiques, etc…oh well…just putting it out there….

    • You can say whatever you like on our pages, but we’ll probably have something down the road that will specifically be about STB.