I love Star Trek. A lot. I’m an absolute Trekkie, but I’m of the Star Trek: the next generation generation. I used to watch the new episodes as they came out with my dad as a kid, and now I’m introducing my own child to Star Trek because I think it’s good for him. Like a vitamin, but more entertaining. But I’m not alone in this. As I’ve connected with other writers (specifically writing romance), there are a lot of Star Trek fans in our ranks! And I think there might be a reason for this…
I can’t speak for everyone, but here is why I, as an optimistic romance writer, love Star Trek, and specifically Star Trek: the next generation so much:
- The Star Trek universe is just a happy place. The Federation is not only the strongest, but also determined to be moral and fair. They don’t interfere with other cultures and defend the under dog. Plus, they always win, and there is very little worry that they won’t. It’s just a question of how–and what personal lessons they’ll learn about humanity along the way. (A lot like the couples in romance novels always ending up together, might I add.) It’s soothing.
- Every episode is character driven. Yes, they wrestle with bigger plot lines sometimes, but for the most part the show is driven by characters with their own quirks, insecurities, strengths and romantic interests. Like when Geordi fell in love with a computer simulated woman, or when Data wanted to be a father. There is also the relationship between the captain and the doctor (who really do belong together romantically, even though it never seems to happen). And there’s the counsellor and the first officer who had a relationship in the past, aren’t officially together, but are still tied with this undeniable bond.
- Worf. He’s a Klingon, therefore filled with almost lethal doses of testosterone and one-liners about “human females” being too fragile for a Klingon’s… um… amorous advances. He is forced to tame himself, to be gentler than is his natural inclination and to learn about himself both as a Klingon and as a member of the Federation. And I developed a wild crush on him!
There was also an alternate timeline scenario where uber-masculine Worf ends up married to uber-feminine Deanna Troi. And of all the relationships (both hinted at and explored) in the show, this was my favorite! Worf was a much more interesting match than Riker, in my humble opinion, but alas, the show writers didn’t agree with me.
- Bright lighting and a minimalist set. I know that sounds like a dumb reason to like it, but those details are part of the cheeriness of the show. Everything is well lit, clean and optimistic. The Enterprise is filled with light. Even in the darkness of space, it glows a soothing blue. The Enterprise is like a light left in the window to call you home. It’s familiar, safe and clean.
- Everyone is either likable or redeemable. And this is important! There are no bad guys that are so bad that there is no compassion for them. The Borg are the baddest of the bad guys, assimilating whole civilizations into their machine-humanoid hybrid cube collective. (Shudder!) But even the Borg are made up of individuals who were kidnapped, and you find yourself softening along with the characters, trying to find a solution that redeems those poor souls.
- There is no racism among humans. There might be some between literal different races–like the human race and the Ferengi race, for example. (And they have to struggle to grow and be better in those ways.) But every human being from earth is bonded in a mutual “human” experience. I like that.
Today, as I write this (a Saturday), I’m already planning some weekend Star Trek watching. It’s cozy and optimistic. I know the real world is seldom so cheery, but I do think that our stubborn dedication to putting some light into the world counts for something.
I do that with writing romance. 🙂