There are enough random holidays on printed calendars without adding a seemingly fictional one to the menu. But for fans of Star Trek, celebrating their beloved show on Sept. 8 each year is a no-brainer. The only thing is, if you aren't a longtime fan of Captain Kirk, Spock, and everyone else who had made their way across a Star Trek set at some point, you might struggle to find the significance of both the date and the celebration itself.
Over the years, there have been multiple incarnations of Star Trek on TV and in movies. The ongoing cult status of the series has enabled new and old fans to bond over characters who have come and gone. And, for those who aren't too keen on watching the original, albeit dated, series, the newer versions are a welcome alternative. But the original series is the key to Star Trek Day as a whole.
So, why is September 8 'Star Trek' Day?
Star Trek: The Original Series premiered on TV on Sept. 8, 1966 and, naturally, Sept. 8 now serves as Star Trek Day. To honor the original show and all of the ones that followed it in succession, CBS planned an afternoon event on Sept. 8, 2020 online with several cast members and writers from shows across the franchise. The panel and discussions are free and offer longtime fans a way to celebrate the day and their favorite shows within the story of Star Trek.
Not only that, but CBS All Access, which is home to Star Trek: Discovery, pledged to donate $1 for every tweet that contained the hashtag #StarTrekUnitedGives until 2:59 a.m. ET on Sept. 9, 2020 for multiple causes. In a statement from CBS, it was revealed that the donations were for "organizations who do the real-world work of championing equality, social justice and the pursuit of scientific advancements."
There are multiple versions of 'Star Trek' now.
The original Star Trek series might be the only one you need or want to know about, but the truth of the matter is, there are so many shows in the franchise now that it’s almost hard to keep up with them all. After Star Trek: The Original Series premiered in 1966, it was followed by Star Trek: The Animated Series, which aired for just one year.
Then came Star Trek: The Next Generation, starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, and LeVar Burton, which became iconic in its own right. Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise followed and then, in 2017, CBS All Access premiered Stark Trek: Discovery. There’s also Star Trek: Picard, which welcomed the return of Patrick Stewart in his famous role and gave viewers a look at his character’s life in retirement.
Who is still alive from the original 'Star Trek'?
Although the original Star Trek series premiered before some fans were even born, some of the memorable cast members are still alive in 2020. William Shatner, who famously played Captain Kirk, is still alive, as well as Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Nyota, and George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu.
And, judging by the way Star Trek seems to be a mainstay in pop culture of the past and present, there’s little chance of the franchise slowing down now. Live long and prosper.