Fifty years ago on September 8th, 1966, a new science-fiction show started airing on American television. Called simply Star Trek, it started as a humble weekly series which had already been through a difficult gestation period (1964-1966) and eventually lasted just three seasons – but went on to become a world-wide phenomenon, almost instantly recognisable in most countries and spawned a host of follow-on films and series, up to and including the re-imagining of the original under the guidance of J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin.
I’m an unbashed Star Trek fan. I wasn’t around when the Original Series first aired, but I did discover it in my teens, and was instantly attracted to the multi-cultural message aboard the Starship Enterprise and to Kirk’s buffness, Spock’s sexy-cool logic, and McCoy’s irascible nature and deeply human caring for others.
More than just science-fictiony drama (which at the time was pretty much summed up by The Monster Of The Week), Trek dared to challenged people to think. It offered commentary on events of the time – discrimination on the basis of race and / or colour, the dangers of military intervention, and so on. At the same time it offered a vision of the future where humanity really is a multi-cultural society driven by the ideals of tolerance, discovery and hope. Messages and ideals which are still very much relevant today as we see a world around us increasingly fragmented and divided.
Such is the show’s influence over the decades, that it is fitting to mark its anniversary – and for those of us who enjoy Trek and science fiction in-world – that the Second Life Sci-Fi Alliance is hosting a special Star Trek centric event for Relay for Life of Second Life. Trek For a Cure is taking place across three regions, each named for a famous planet from Trek lore: Vulcan, Qonos, and Risa, with the latter reflecting its role as a shore leave environment in The Next Generation by being the hub of Trek For a Cure’s entertainment.
Running through until Sunday, September 11th, the event is home to over 80 booths set up by residents to promote their Trek and sci-fi groups, content made in world and services, with the added bonus of visitors being able to support RFL of Second Life.
The event schedule can be found at the SL Sci-Fi Alliance website, and the main teleport hub can be found at the centre of Risa – most of the facilities are on the ground, but the ballroom and the starships battle area are up in the sky.
So – if you’re a Trek fan, a sci-fi fan or simply want to support RFL of SL, why not head over the Trek For a Cure and celebrate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary?
All regions rated moderate.