Just another weekday as the captain of the starship Enterprise for Captain Martin Luther King Jr.
I heard an interview between Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) and Neil Degrasse Tyson, in which she explains that Martin Luther King Jr. was a big Star Trek fan and that he was resposible for keeping her on the show. You can catch both parts of the interview on Neil Degrasse Tyson’s podcast StarTalk Radio: Part 1 , Part 2 .
I really like Martin Luther King Jr. and when I found out that he was a fan of Star Trek, it blew my mind. For me, he is this larger than life historical figure and the knowledge he liked Star Trek for the same reasons that I do made him more of a real person in my eyes. Although I’m not altogether surprised that he too was a fan of a hopeful and diverse future, still it is an interesting felling sharing an interest with one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.
My mind went from him as a Star Trek fan to him doing Captain Kirk cosplay to how amazing would he have been as an Enterprise captain. He would have defiantly given Captain Picard a run for his money. I wanted to show a more mundane moment as captain, maybe this day just happens to be a day the Klingons don’t attack. Despite being a quite day on the ship’s bridge I would like to think he spends his down time to ponder about social problems that effect the future of Starfleet.
Through the interview I learned that indirectly MLK helped diversify NASA. If he hadn’t convinced Nichelle Nichols to stay on the show, she may never had enough of a fan base in NASA to spear head an initiative to get people besides white men to apply for NASA. I love how science fiction fandom can bring people together and can positively affect the real world.