“Star Trek” has a mission: to seek and inspire millions, generations and generations after. The latest theatrical effort to do that, “Star Trek: Beyond,” hits theaters Friday.
Willie C. Cordy Jr., a freelance artist and chief executive officer of City Earth Publishing in Norfolk, plans to be there.
“Definitely gonna see it,” he said. “So many stories that can happen, very pumped up.” He will be going to see it with his son, and already is planning to wear his “Star Trek” T-shirt. Cordy and his son binge-watched the Star Trek TV series on DVDs, and Cordy said he can't wait for what's next.
Cordy has been inspired by the Trek universe and created his own characters inspired from the movies and TV shows, as well as other science fiction shows and culture.
“I have heroes who are gearing up to right wrongs that have been perpetrated even on bad guys.” he said.
Cordy has attended numerous comic conventions over the years to present his work. He said he enjoys seeing people expand their minds with geek culture, and enjoys guiding them along the way.
“If someone says Star Trek does not influence them, they’re lying to you,” Cordy said. “Never stop science. Always embrace the future.”
Sharon Hoggard grew up with the original TV series.
“I've always been a fan of sci-fi, always has been attracted to it,It’s a mix of age and culture in one sitting. We were showing that we needed knowledge.”
Hoggard said she enjoys the way the mythos has evolved over the years. The storylines now have more technological conflicts, but she said she still prefers the originals where there was a greater emphasis on the story than action.
Hoggard said she might watch the original movies, or at least the first one, before watching the new one.
As a teenager in the ’80s, Hoggard visited a comic convention and met Walter Koenig, who played the original Pavel Chekov in the “Star Trek” TV series. She said she thinks that younger generations will enjoy “Star Trek” because it will enrich their imaginations.
Similar to Hoggard, Sean Gaffney also grew up watching “Star Trek.”
“I always grew up on reruns, and remember staying up late Friday nights,” said the assistant professor of film and TV at Regent University.“Star Trek” had a vision of the future that inspired technology and society, he said.
In 1964, “Star Trek” introduced a wireless communicator — an outrageous idea at the time, Gaffney said. In 1996, Motorola created the flip phone, named StarTAC, that was very similar to the “Star Trek” communicator.
In 1968, “Star Trek” was the first TV show to air an interracial kiss. William Shatner, who played the captain of the Enterprise, recently was asked about the series in an interview with Empire.
“People were talking about it, that maybe we shouldn't do it,” Shatner told Empire. “And we’ll cut around it. It made the network very nervous. If I remember correctly, certain stations didn't even air that episode.”
As a child, Gaffney heard Leonard Nimoy, famous for playing Spock, speak at San Diego Comic-Con. Gaffney said he plans to see “Star Trek: Beyond,” but does not have plans for anything special. But the “Star Trek” universe continues to inspire, he said.
In the late '80s, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” introduced the PADD, a portable machine that was created out of necessity. The show had a small budget, so a flat device free of knobs and dials made sense. In 2010, Apple introduced the very similar iPad.
“They've shown the ability to adapt and go on,” Gaffney said. “The reboots aren't similar to them. They've always been able to broad it out. Nothing not to talk about.”