Life Lessons We Can Learn From ‘Star Trek’

Graham Host
Star Trek TV
Star Trek TV

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.” For the endless ranks of proud Trekkies, these words are dear to all. The original Star Trek broke down race and gender barriers as the intrepid crew traversed the galaxy in search of mysterious and new horizons. Star Trek – and it’s continued franchise – gives us hope for a brighter future and endless possibilities. However – whilst we wait for Zefram Cochrane to crack the warp drive – there is plenty of lessons Star Trek can teach us for use in the modern day.

Fudge Deadlines

James Doohan Scotty
James Doohan as Scotty

Scotty, the miracle mechanic. For any number of years, the head engineer on the Enterprise worked his magic touch on the engines and patches on dozens – if not hundreds – of occasions. It wasn’t until the fifth film that the shocking truth came out – Scotty fudged the dates. Each time he gave a repair time, he would increase the time he ‘needed’. In The Next Generation episode Relics, Scotty is pulled out of a transporter limbo and introduced to Geordi La Forge. Despite the years of advancements in technology and far greater knowledge, there are still a few tricks that Scotty can teach his successor.

Never Judge By Appearance

Something that we should really take to heart in the current climate is not to judge people by how they appear. Not all Romulans are out to destroy you and not all humans are trustworthy. Friends could be hiding alien parasites and enemies could be trying to prevent interplanetary war. Also, children may be the future or they may be hiding reality-warping powers. Just something to bear in mind next time you are asked to babysit.

New Isn’t Always Better

Star Trek The Next Generation Soliton Wave
The Soliton Wave

Ships in the Star Trek universe mix matter and anti-matter at a precise ratio to produce enough energy to push the ship past the light barrier with a deflector shield stopping any harmful matter. However, practically all the attempts to improve on this technology go awry. TNG episode New Ground sees an energy wave get out of control and Voyager has man’s first attempt at trans-warp mutate two of the crew into lizard creatures.

Old Is No Good Either

Probably one of the less subtle episodes is Force of Nature. In this adventure, Picard and the crew encounter a pair of scientists from Hekaras II. Hekaras II is located in an area of space where sub-space (something needed for warp drives to work) is highly unstable. The scientists claim that the high amounts of warp traffic in the area is causing irreparable damage to their environment. Due to having no damage to the immediate surroundings, the Federation government is reluctant to consider the idea. The episode ends with irrevocable proof being presented to the Federation. However, they only limit travel to Warp 5 which is not enough to let the damage undo itself.

Star Trek The Next Generation Subspace Rift
A subspace rift

Slightly off-topic but something that needs saying – try carpooling or investing in a season ticket for bus/train. It’s easier on your wallet and the environment.

Have A Good Crew

If you missed this one, Picard is bald and space is the big black thing you see a lot. Possibly the third biggest plot device – after the Enterprise and the Warp Drive – is the close bonds within each show. You should surround yourself with people you can trust implicitly. Just like when:

Star Trek The Enemy Within Evil Kirk

The Enemy Within has Kirk split into an extremely aggressive version of himself and an irrevocably passive one. The crew notice the differences and quickly work to find a solution.

Star Trek Allegiance Captive Picard
Picard held captive

Another instance is in Allegiance where Picard is replaced with an identical replacement. Despite having a more compliant crew, the Enterprise-D is able to discover the ruse in time for the real captain to return.

Star Trek Voyager Renaissance Man Janeway Hostage
Janeway is held for ransom

Rounding off the bunch is the Voyager episode Renaissance Man. Captured by Hierarchy renegades, Janeway is held hostage as The Doctor -disguised as Janeway – is forced to carry out a variety of tasks with every movement being watched. The Doctor is able to leave clues in music that lead the crew to the captive pair and free them both.

Graham Host
Graham Host is a member of the Fan Contributor program. In his spare time, he enjoys the works of Terry Pratchett, DC Comics and a wide assortment of video games. Under no circumstances should he be fed after midnight. Contactable only via Twitter or trained carrier pigeon.
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