This Year at Starbase Indy: Gods of Star Trek

This Year at Starbase Indy: Gods of Star Trek September 5, 2019

It is apparently official now: I’ll be presenting a session called “Gods on Star Trek” at Starbase Indy this year. Here’s the blurb, which relates directly to a book chapter that I wrote and which is forthcoming in a volume on Star Trek and Theology:

This presentation will explore the various godlike entities that appear throughout the Star Trek franchise, from Apollo and Trelane to Q, the Prophets, and the Red Angel. It will be suggested that it is not merely enough to be a highly evolved or more technologically advanced species to fall into the category of possibly being a “god.” One must also break (or simply not have a rule like) the Prime Directive.

As I’ve mentioned before, Capt. Christopher Pike as depicted on Star Trek: Discovery has become my favorite Starfleet captain. I have published on the gods of Star Trek before, focusing in that context on how it relates to what I called Gene Roddenberry’s “Humanist Theology.” Here I update it not only with more recent details from in-story elements on Discovery, but also with elements that came up during filming, since most of you will recall a director telling an actor that you simply cannot even say “God” on Star Trek.

If you’re in Indianapolis in late November, I hope you’ll be in the audience at Starbase Indy! If not, then you’ll just have to wait for the book.

A while back the Enterprising Individuals podcast recorded an episode with me. Give it a listen! We certainly do touch on some of the topics that will be the central focus of my presentation in November.

Still not enough? To help to tide you over as you wait for Starbase Indy and/or the book, here are a couple of earlier blog posts of mine on this topic:

Gods of Star Trek

Star Trek Discovery: New Eden

I also came across a way that Starbase Indy is intersecting with Indianapolis’ Spirit and Place festival this year, with a session on “The Evolution of Sci-Fi Fandom.” I will be involved in Spirit and Place this year, but not that particular event. Instead, I’ll be exploring one of my other major interests, namely music, in a panel about John Rutter’s Requiem.

Also of related interest:

‘Star Trek: Discovery’: The Vibrant Opening Credits That Give Space Its Own Renaissance

What to watch to prepare for Picard.

Matt Brake’s recent podcast interview is also related, since he is the series editor of the chapter that is behind my presentation at Starbase Indy this year.

Finally, here’s a call for papers that starts earlier than Star Trek, and includes it as it explores the impact and direct remaking of 1950s science fiction in the decades that followed:

https://relcfp.tumblr.com/post/187306116095/call-for-chapters-the-influence-of-1950s-science

And as a symbolic gesture that Starbase Indy is not partisan despite having a focus more on one franchise than its biggest competitor, let me include this here:

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  • John MacDonald

    One thing I’ve come to think because of Star Trek episodes such as those involving the Q is that if there are a God or gods, they are not of a fundamentally different kind from humans, but simply much more evolved – a difference of degree.