Star Trek: The Final Episode

I’d like to think that I’m a 6-foot-tall decent-looking athlete (hey, Ultimate Frisbee is a sport) who is at least semiliterate. I’m single and … I’m a Trekkie. The two conditions aren’t related, I swear.
Whether you believe ‘Star Trek’ causes a condition known as celibacy, it is undeniable that the show has had an impact on society. From the renaming of the space shuttle prototype that now sits in the National Air and Space Museum to the generations of engineers it inspired, Gene Roddenberry’s legacy touches us all.
‘Star Trek’ to me has always represented a utopia, a vision of the future that I would like to see realized. With its ultrasocialist principles, the purpose of the worker is not simply to survive, but to better himself and all mankind. Is there a goal in life more noble than living for the greater good? Despite the $3 million plus raised by fans to pay for another season, the franchise will air its last two new episodes this Friday, May 13, ending 18 consecutive years on the air. The cancellation comes after years of declining ratings mostly due to the poor stewardship of the series by producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.
After giving up some of their creative control this year to Manny Coto, not to mention their time travel ideas that were often just plain awful and their seemingly endless appetite to have characters strip down and apply a ‘decontamination gel’ to each other (it looked suspiciously like KY Jelly), the series has seen some marked improvement over the past year.
This season saw the inception of Data (the android from ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’), the birth of a new Vulcan and the formation of the Federation. That’s a lot to miss if you like ‘Star Trek,’ but ratings don’t lie: Too many ‘Star Trek’ fans had already given up on the series.
So what’s a Trekkie to do? ‘Star Trek XI’ is rumored to be in the works and all the ‘Star Trek Enterprise’ sets have been saved, presumably for the future movie. There are always the original series reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel, ‘The Next Generation’ and ‘Deep Space Nine’ reruns on Spike TV, ‘Voyager’ reruns which will debut on Spike TV in late 2006 and, of course, there will be ‘Enterprise’ reruns on UPN for some time. If catching it on TV isn’t good enough, you can get the boxed DVD sets of these series at Costco … for $499.99 each.
If you need new ‘Trek,’ you can always check out the fan-made shows. There’s ‘Star Trek: Final Frontier,’ taking place in ‘The Next Generation’ universe.
The show is in its sixth season and is filmed entirely on a green screen. Another series, ‘Star Trek New Voyages,’ takes place on a recreated Constitution-class bridge and actually continues Kirk’s original five-year mission on the Starship Enterprise.
So where else can the sci-fi junkie get his fix now? There’s the new remake of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ on the Sci-Fi Channel which will resume its first season in July (think of it as the sci-fi version of the ‘West Wing’ with more at stake), there’s the tried and true ‘Stargate SG-1’ entering it’s ninth season in July on the Sci-Fi Channel, the more-than-capable ‘Stargate Atlantis’ spin-off entering its second season on the same channel, and hopefully the new UK hit ‘Dr. Who’ will cross the pond soon.
But before all that, there are those two final back-to-back shows starting at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 13. Despite the ‘Enterprise’ cast despising the last one (it turned into a ‘The Next Generation’ episode … literally) and the fact that Rick Berman played a large role in it, I will be there.
My friends and I will watch this episode to see the birth of the Federation and pay homage to this great franchise. The only problem? There won’t be any girls there.

James Huang is a third-year information and computer sciences major. He can be reached at huangjl@uci.edu.