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Old February 10 2013, 08:08 PM   #48
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Re: White House Petition to Restore/Preserve and Move the Enterprise M

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
I've neither made nor implied a comparison between Star Trek and Transformers or any other franchise. Rather, I've addressed the question of criteria by which either franchise, both, or any other should have their artifacts exhibited at the National Air and Space Museum. Whether artifacts of a franchise should be exhibited at the museum is best determined by evaluating the franchise against the mission of the museum, not by comparing franchises against each other.
I don't agree. When TOS occurred, the fact that it was simultaneous with the development of manned spaceflight, makes it important to the history of spaceflight in a way that no later franchise could possibly be. Maybe that's just an accident of history, but it's still part of history. You can't ignore that any more than you can ignore WWII when considering Casablanca's role in history. Casablanca is going to have a more legitimate place in a museum about WWII than, say, Raiders of the Lost Ark is, because the former actually came out during that part of history and was a piece of the overall story of that era. You just can't ignore the respective historical contexts of the different works when considering their relative historical importance.

The main issue I've addressed is: What is the mission of the museum? If—hypothetically—the mission of the museum includes reaching out to people who find that SF franchises besides Star Trek resonate better to them today, then in that case that's what the mission is.
And in this context, treating ST as just another franchise is overlooking its unique historical significance. Museums are not about pandering to what the audience expects or wants to see; they're about teaching the way things really were. ST's importance to the history of spaceflight is a function of when it came out and how it influenced people at the time. It's not about how people perceive it today. So it's not going to change just because the popularity of the franchise wanes.
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