A Rotten-berry for Star Trek: the Next Generation?

Gene Roddenberry is adored to this day by many Star Trek fans throughout the world.  However, Roddenberry was apparently not a boon to the Next Generation of his franchise…

according to a new book authored by none other than Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner.  His new documentary, William Shatner Presents: Chaos on the Bridge, claims that Roddenberry had many bad ideas and that between him and his lawyer, they almost unintentionally stopped Star Trek: the Next Generation from airing.

A New Documentary Shows How Gene Roddenberry Almost Killed Star Trek TNG

A short conclusion to the aforementioned article is that Roddenberry at the end of his life saw himself as a great humanist guru.  He thought that humans could evolve themselves into never having war with each other, and could do without religion, all while living in a great utopia of never wanting for everything.

A utopia is a pleasant dream, but Roddenberry was too full of himself to see the problems with his beliefs.  First, humans are naturally religious, and those that do not follow an established religion will find some belief system that becomes their religion, and since it is a religion that is made up on the fly, there is bounds to be some troubles ahead as that individual ties to relate to the rest of the world.  Second, in his dream world people are able to create any food and almost any item by the power of computers; creating something out of nothing would be the way to truly create a leftist utopia where capital is no longer a concern, but it is a pipe dream.  Third, ever since humans came to exist, there are humans who have forced other humans to do their bidding.  From cavemen hitting each other with clubs to slavery to forcing banks to give loans to people who should not be given loans, humans love to project their power on other humans.  This is not going away.  You can sing John Lennon’s Imagine all you want, and it is not happening.

In a way, Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas are/were in similar positions.  They were both the  brainchild for a great sci-fi franchise, but their personal beliefs and talents were not capable of sustaining them.  Both had fans who almost worshiped them, but then had to see how human their false-gods were.  When you read about all the behind the scenes action behind the original trilogy, you can see that how minor of a role Lucas had in making Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi good, and when Lucas had more power to get his own way, you have the disaster which is the Star Wars trilogy.  Roddenberry loved showing the belief in God was false, but the Star Trek movie which most embraced this, [amazon text=Star Trek: the Final Frontier&asin=B00DB97LY0] was the most poorly received Star Trek film of all time.

There’s little doubt that the current Star Trek movie franchise doesn’t focus on an ideal for the future, but instead on action.  This is not too surprising, as action is easier to convert to foreign box offices than idealism.  Considering that any idealism would not be the wisest in the world either, it is just as well that we get to see beloved characters and not oddball preaching.  For those who worry what Roddenberry would think, don’t worry…he won’t be rolling over in his grave.

After all, he was cremated,

Further Reading:

 

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