On Saturday, Trekkie fans of the space adventure franchise “Star Trek” gathered in Beijing for the first official event of its type in mainland China. Although interest in the science-fiction genre has surged with the recent success of multiple local films.
Paramount’s multimedia sensation has a niche audience in China. Every year on September 8, “Star Trek Day” commemorates the 1966 debut of the original US series, which has a devoted global fandom.
The Associated Press met with numerous admirers who gathered at the event in a central Beijing mall, several of whom wore the brand’s interstellar travel uniforms or the pointed ears of its fictitious Vulcan species.
“I think it has a kind of space utopia feeling,” Ma Yuanyuan, 36, a translator and longtime fan, said.
She believes Star Trek’s greatest attraction is the nostalgia it generates for the early days of space exploration.
“It expresses the best imagination of mankind at that time about the future,” she explained. “It wasn’t about work or making money for people of that generation; it was about self-realization and achieving goals.”
China has produced several major movies with scientific and extraterrestrial themes, including The Wandering Earth, a 2019 film based on a book by award-winning novelist Liu Cixin.
With many significant film and television adaptations, Liu’s work, especially the enormously popular novel The Three Body Problem, has catapulted Chinese interest in science fiction to new heights.
The Star Trek on the rise in China
Visitors were led through a tiny tunnel where they could pose for photos with cardboard cutouts of Star Trek characters and inspect collectible action figures in glass boxes.
Inside the main event hall, fans competed for prizes in themed trivia questions and watched trailers for a new series that will be webcast by official Chinese partner Youku, a subsidiary of the financial services and media conglomerate Alibaba.
According to Zhou Yi, 42, Star Trek has gained appeal, particularly among female fans, and the social milieu is highly rational. You are free to discuss anything.
What China’s following lacks in size, it makes up for in dedication – some spectators journeyed from as far away as Wuhan in the centre of the country and Chongqing in the southwest.
A popular section featured pre-recorded recordings of Chinese fans discussing their favourite aspects of Star Trek. One spoke fluent Klingon, a fictional world’s invented language.
Luna Liang stated that she initially became aware of the property due to numerous references to it in the popular US television show The Big Bang Theory.
“I fell in love with it from then on,” she explained. Liang had previously attended Chinese fan conventions, but Star Trek held a unique significance for him. “That’s why I’m especially excited to see what level an official fan day can achieve.”
The Original Star Trek Lasted on 3 Seasons
“Star Trek” is a well-known science fiction franchise that comprises television shows, films, books, and other forms of media. Gene Roddenberry invented it, and it has become one of the most renowned and important series in science fiction history.
The original Star Trek series debuted on television in 1966, following the adventures of the Starship USS Enterprise and its crew as they explored new worlds and encountered numerous alien cultures.
Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), First Officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Chief Medical Officer Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelley) led a varied crew in the original series. The original show lasted three seasons.
The original series’ success spawned multiple spin-off programmes, including “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.”
The series has generated a slew of feature films, both with the original cast and with characters from the spin-off shows. The films have taken on a wide variety of adventures and subjects.
Starfleet is the organisation in charge of space exploration, scientific research, and defence in the “Star Trek” universe. Starfleet officers work on starships such as the USS Enterprise and adhere to a code of ethics known as the Prime Directive, which forbids interfering with the advancement of less sophisticated civilizations.
The franchise is well-known for its wide range of alien species, which includes Vulcans (Spock’s species), Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi, and many others. Each species has its own distinct personality and culture.
The series presented a number of futuristic technologies, such as warp drive for faster-than-light travel, transporters for rapid matter-to-energy transport, and replicators for generating food and items from raw energy.
It had a significant influence on popular culture and science fiction. It has affected real-world technology advancements and inspired generations of admirers. Its positive image of the future has struck a chord with many people.