There used to be an old saying about the Internet: "I signed up to complain about Star Trek, but I stayed for the free pornography." Well, the show has since been cancelled, but with a new movie coming just next year that's supposed to be appealing to Trekkies AND normal people alike, it's time to begin living up to your obligations as an Internet person. Read this Star Trek refresher, then go look at some porn.
In the 23rd century, the Federation is run by Earth and has no money, conflicts, TV, games, alcohol, wild parties, or fun of any kind. Aboard ships, people do nothing but read books, do more work, and sleep in their spare time, and on land, nothing constructive happens. Relationships and marriages all end tragically, rape gangs are abundant, nobody ever takes showers, and our generation is looked back on with contempt. This was Gene Roddenberry's perfect utopia.
|"There is just one place to go on the whole ship. Nobody knows who built it this way or why but if I find you pooping in a normal room I swear I will put you in jail so fast."|
In the show, a space navy called Starfleet flies around the galaxy in big, unwieldy dweebnaughts that are never fast, powerful, or well-protected enough. The ship's power source, the warp core, is more fragile than a Domino Rally, and there's one single place to shit in the whole thing.
Crews consisting of hundreds or thousands of people go around searching for knowledge and things without even being paid, and people typically die every week. Sometimes, the captain or one of their best guys will figure out some way for everyone to not die, but usually another ship or 40 have already blown up from the same thing by then, so one more ship doesn't really matter. Due to the apparently high ship disaster rate in the future, it probably doesn't make a difference back on Earth whether a certain ship survives through week or not, but the overly dramatic music that permeates all of spacetime will often tempt you to believe otherwise.
The galaxy is home to several thousand intelligent species, all of which appear to have the same level of technology as Earth-- give or take a century or so-- despite the galaxy being over 13 billion years old. There are usually just a few races that come back over and over, though. Most races are pretty well confined to their homeworld, probably from all the nerd goings-on that they don't want to show their faces in. Most races probably saw dumb shit like the giant space jellyfish and decided to go back home just out of principle.
Klingons are pretty much just really angry guys with long hair and messed up bone structures who own a lot of knives. They grunt a lot and their language sounds like they are trying to talk with a mouthful of hot pizza. If you're in college, you probably know guys like this or are one yourself.
The Cardassians all have slicked-back black hair and are way into leather and torture. Before they got leather, they wore hard brown plastic armor made from old dashboards. Vulcans are stoic, logical pacifists with an interest in science. They only get to have sex every 7 years or so, and while they wait, they play a game with little magnetic sticks that, when a Vulcan guy touches it, turns automatically into a perfect soccer ball shape but still manages to look even less fun than Daikatana 8 years later.
The Borg are the pale guys with an interest in computers, hot babe wallpapers, and turning everyone into someone just like them. Each time they attacked Earth they sent just a single ship, and it was a close call when fighting them both times. Perhaps one day they will remember to send 2 ships, or even 3. Aside from simply being a ragtag collection of fairly dumb dudes, they have a freaky slimy robotic woman leader that usually tries to bang every guy that comes around, and despite being way technologically advanced, their drone guys aren't capable of much more than a grandfatherly lumber toward the enemy. When they assimilate people into their society, they usually chop off their old hands and solder on some Dremel tools or a rudimentary robotic finger that wiggles back and forth, either of which is guaranteed to be much less useful than their natural hand, lending further to the scariness of the Borg.
The best way to understand how the future actually works, though, would be to know the guys Captain Kirk outsmarted. Once you read the list over, you pretty much "get" everything there is to get about Star Trek. None of this is made up. This is actually what the show is about, and it is actually what makes nerds excited.
|In the episode or movie...||Captain Kirk outsmarted...|
|The Corbomite Maneuver||A baby|
|Charlie X||A teenager with Asperger's Syndrome|
|The Squire of Gothos||A gay guy|
|Space Seed||Ricardo Montalban|
|Who Mourns for Adonais?||Apollo, the Greek god of the sun|
|The Doomsday Machine||A giant metal spacepoop|
|The Changeling||A computer|
|The Apple||Another computer|
|The Ultimate Computer||The ultimate computer|
|The Savage Curtain||Abraham Lincoln|
|Star Trek: The Motion Picture||A Voyager space probe|
|Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan||Ricardo Montalban (again)|
|Star Trek III: The Search for Spock||Christopher Lloyd and his angry friends|
|Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home||1986|
|Star Trek V: The Final Frontier||God|
|Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country||Invisible angry guys|
|Star Trek Generations||Some unremarkable white guy|
There you have it. That's everything you need to know in order to watch the show again. Print this page for your records, or click "back" to try to forget the fact that you just read an Internet article about Star Trek.
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
It's just a little confusing, is all.
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