Why Star Trek Is Still Relevant After 52 Years, According To William Shatner

Captain Kirk William Shatner Star Trek CBS

William Shatner took the stage on behalf of Star Trek over the weekend and accepted a very special award on behalf of the Television Academy. The franchise received the Governors Award at the Creative Arts Emmys which recognized its continuing relevance and success 52 years after things first kicked off. For those wondering how its managed to stay in the hearts and minds of television viewers for so long, Shatner offered why he thought it was still relevant during the acceptance speech:

Fifty-two years, what a gift to live in this story and this historic moment. Star Trek represents an ideal. One that is greater than the sum of its parts ... It shows us what we can be tomorrow. Keep hope. There is possibility in the chaos. We will rise together.

The man who effectively jump-started Star Trek's long-running success couldn't have said it any better in explaining that the series continues to stay relevant because it represents an ideal that humanity continues to strive for. William Shatner wasn't referring to the whole being in space and fighting aliens bit, but rather the recurring theme of hope and possibility that resonates throughout the series. Shatner also mentioned the show's emphasis on camaraderie, which often results in pulling through even the most complicated of situations.

Granted, the Star Trek franchise has had its fair share of violent conflict throughout all its incarnations (especially Star Trek: Discovery), but it's all a smaller part of the Federation's mission to maintain peace and unity between all races across the universe. Who wouldn't want to one day live in a society where a good chunk of major disputes are resolved through diplomacy and limited casualties? William Shatner's words to the audience at the Creative Arts Emmys (via THR) seem largely rooted in that, and the fact that the franchise has consistently shown we as humans can one day be better than we all are now.

The Television Academy's award comes at a time where it feels like Star Trek's ride is far from ending, as CBS is gearing up for another season of Star Trek: Discovery, a short-form series, and a new show featuring Patrick Stewart's Jean Luc Picard. The award also comes at a time where things are looking far more uncertain in the franchise's film universe, as William Shatner's Captain Kirk successor Chris Pine may not be involved in the upcoming film. Things aren't all bad on the movie side, however, as Quentin Tarantino is set to do an apparently bonkers feature for the franchise at some point in the future. Regardless of how all that shakes out, there's no denying that Star Trek will boldly go into the future for the time being.

Star Trek fans can binge most of the franchise's offerings on Netflix and CBS All Access. Keep in the loop with upcoming television via CinemaBlend's fall premiere guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.