Star Trek: 10 Historic Moments In Star Trek That We’ve Already Lived Through
As time goes on, more and more classic science fiction finds itself telling us about a future that has already happened. While 2015 seemed like a long way away from 1989 when Back to the Future II was made, these days we can stream the movie on our phones and wonder when we'll get the flying cars, the self-drying jackets, and the abolishment of lawyers.
When Star Trek began to air in 1966, no one envisioned a world where the franchise would still be alive and well 54 years later, and so the original series mentioned specific events that would happen in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. With Star Trek: The Next Generation and the shows and movies that followed it, the series creators chose to embrace the alternate timeline of the Star Trek universe to our own, giving us a number of events that, were we living in a world that was destined to have Starfleet, we would have already gone through. Here are 10 historic moments in Star Trek that we’ve already lived through...
10 1864: Skagarans Abduct Humans
In the 19th Century, the Skagarans race began to colonize other planets. The work of building these planets into places that were habitable wasn't something the Skagarans wanted to do themselves, so they decided to go around and abduct people from other planets and turn them into slaves.
In 1864, a Skagaran ship came to Earth and abducted several thousand humans, horses, dogs and cattle from the Western Desert Region of the United States. Led by Cooper Smith, the humans rebelled against the Skagarans, and took the planet over. Sadly, the humans proved themselves no better than the Skagarans. Having taken control, Cooper Smith created a set of laws that made it illegal for any Skagaran to go to school, own land, or get married. The humans turned the Skagarans into second-class citizens.
9 1930: Death Of Sister Edith Keeler
While her name never shows up in the history books of our universe or the universe of Star Trek, Sister Edith Keeler's death changed the course of history forever. As explained by Mister Spock in the classic Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The City on the Edge of Forever," if Sister Keeler did not die, she would have led a peace movement that would have delayed the United States involvement in World War II, allowing Nazi Germany to be the first to create an atomic bomb, which they would use to conquer the world.
8 1937: Amelia Earhart Is Abducted By Aliens
On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan made their last communication to the world at around 5 pm, reporting that they were flying close to the Nukumanu Islands. Sometime shortly after that, they vanished and were never seen or heard from again. For 83 years, historians have come up with a number of possible scenarios of what could have happened to the famous pilot and her navigator.
According to Star Trek: Voyager Season 2, Episode 1, "The 37's", Earheart, Noonan and some three hundred other humans were abducted by the Briori and used as slave labor. Much like Cooper Smith and the Americans who were taken by the Skagarans, Earheart and the others, who became known as the "37's" rebelled against the Briori and took over the planet. Some fifteen generations later, the crew of the Voyager came to find the planet, which was inhabited by roughly 100,000 humans living in three cities.
7 1947: The Roswell Incident
The 1947 Roswell Incident is a well-known theory that an alien ship crashed just outside of Roswell, New Mexico, and was covered up by the US government. This event is one of the most famous UFO cases in the world, and to this day people argue over what really happened.
According to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 4, Episode 8, "Little Green Men" an alien ship did indeed crash in 1947, and the US government did cover it up. While the common belief is that the aliens of the Roswell Incident were the well-known "Greys", according to the Star Trek timeline, they were actually Ferengi.
6 1957: Vulcans Visit Earth
Over 100 years before Zefram Cochrane would become the first human to achieve warp speed and get the attention of a passing Vulcan ship, the famous alien race visited Earth to witness the launch of Sputnik, humanity's first man-made satellite. As explained in Star Trek: Enterprise Season 2, Episode 2, "Carbon Creek," while witnessing the launch of Sputnik, a mishap with the impulse manifold forced the Vulcan ship to crash-land in Pennsylvania.
Stranded on Earth, the surviving Vulcans integrate themselves into a nearby town while they wait to be picked up by another ship. One of the Vulcans, T'Mir, invented Velcro and the other, Mestral, chose to stay on Earth when the second Vulcan vessel came to pick them up.
5 1986: Transparent Aluminum Is Invented
In 2015, the Surmet Corporation revealed ALON, a transparent aluminum-based ceramic that is as resistant as rugged sapphire and lighter than traditional bulletproof glass. In the Star Trek universe, humanity has had this material ever since the San Francisco company Plexicorp was visited by Professor Scott from Edinburgh in 1986. Before he left Plexicorp, Professor Scott gave Dr. Nichols the formula for transparent aluminum.
Not long after, an aquarium in Sausalito, California, just four miles from San Francisco, released two captive whales back into the ocean, despite the protests of Dr. Gillian Taylor, who believed the whales would die in the wild. On the day the whales were released, Dr. Taylor vanished and was never seen again. You can see all this happen in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
4 1992-1996: The Eugenics Wars
While the 1990s are generally considered one of the most peaceful periods in modern history in our timeline, in the Star Trek timeline it is the exact opposite. From 1992 to 1996, the Earth of Star Trek was involved in a series of global conflicts known as the Eugenics War.
Stemming from an attempt to improve humanity through selective breeding and genetic engineering, the Eugenic Wars saw the genetically modified humans, called Augments, attempt to take over the world. Over the course of four years, over 30 million people were killed in battle and a quarter of the Earth was ruled over by Khan Noonien Singh.
3 1999: Voyager 6 Launches
As the name suggests, Voyager 6 was the sixth probe in NASA's Voyager series to be launched. Sometime after being launched in 1999, Voyager 6 was swallowed up by what was believed to be a black hole but was more likely to have been a wormhole. The Voyager 6 emerged on the other side of the galaxy, where it crashed on a planet populated by a race of living machines.
The living machines not only fixed the Voyager 6, they powered it up to a massive degree before sending it back into space. As the newly rebuilt Voyager 6 traveled across the galaxy on its way back to Earth, it achieved consciousness and began to see anything in its path as a threat to fulfilling its mission. For us, this is all covered in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
2 2009: First Manned Mission To Saturn
Here in the real world, we humans are having trouble figuring out how to get astronauts back to the moon, something we were able to do 51 years ago. In the Star Trek universe, where they had an entire world war in the 1990s, they weren't just going back-and-forth to the moon, by 2009 they sent their first manned mission to Saturn.
The Saturn mission was led by Colonel Shaun Geoffrey Christopher, although Captain Kirk and his crew almost messed it all up when they traveled to 1969 and almost killed Captain John Christopher before he had a chance to play his part in the birth of Colonel Christopher.
1 2012: Millennium Gate Completed
Built in Portage Creek, Indiana, the Millenium Gate was the first self-sustaining civic environment. Spanning just under two miles in length and a mile in height, the Millenium Gate was covered in solar panels and built to be a self-contained biosphere with its own ecosystem and a city that had over six hundred stores. Able to be seen from space, the Millennium Gate would serve as a model for the first colony on Mars.
The building of the Millenium Gate almost didn't happen when book shop owner Henry Janeway refused to sell his land to the company that was building the construct. Henry's descendant Kathryn Janeway would become the captain of the starship USS Voyager.