I've pretty much been a Star Trek fan all my life -- more absorbed in it than the average joe, but not enough to earn me a cameo in the movie Trekkies. Mostly, I've just always thought Star Trek was cool. That probably shows that I don't have my finger on the pulse of what's cool, but I like to think that it just took a while for the rest of the world to catch up with me. Thanks to J.J. Abrams' smash movie, Star Trek is officially cool.

In a way, it's all I wanted from the movie. There was a time when Star Trek: The Next Generation was one of the highest-rated shows on television, but a couple of watered-down Trek series and a handful of mediocre movies later and the franchise had been reduced to a late-night comedian's easiest nerd joke. Someone needed to step in and remind everyone how Gene Roddenberry's universe got so popular in the first place -- strong personalities, high adventure, engaging plots, and a hopeful vision of the future.

2009 has been a banner year for science-fiction. We've seen the return of original ideas on the big screen, in a massive way with releases like District 9 and Avatar. Battlestar Galactica, the best space-faring science-fiction television show since Trek, wrapped up its run with spiritual grace. Audience flocked to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and X-Men Origins: Wolverine despite poor reviews, hungry for the sights and sounds that only large-scale sci-fi can provide. The sci-fi event that outshines them all is the re-vitalization of Star Trek -- a dusty relic, all but lost to the nerdiest corners of fandom, got a new lease on life.

It's perfectly okay to Vulcan-salute your friends now without fear of repercussion. If they're hip, they'll even do it back. For this Trekkie, I'll remember 2009 as the year it became cool to like Star Trek again.
categories Features, Sci-Fi