The title "Star Trek"

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by dub, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm assuming Gene Roddenberry came up with the name "Star Trek" for the series. What was his inspiration for the name? It's very unique. Just curious what made him think of that as the title of the series.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm not sure why he thought of it, but a trek is a long, difficult or adventurous journey. It took on that meaning during the Boer migration into South Africa (it was originally a Dutch word meaning to draw or pull, as in to pull a wagon), and so I'd imagine it came to be associated with the mythology of the frontier, with grand pioneering quests and arduous adventures. Roddenberry gained a lot of his prior TV experience writing Westerns -- which were a ubiquitous part of TV culture at the time -- so the term "trek" and its frontier associations were probably somewhat prominent in his awareness. So I guess when he decided to do a show about pioneers journeying into the frontiers of space -- especially one that he pitched as "Wagon Train to the stars," in reference to a famous, successful Western series whose format he wanted to emulate -- Star Trek made sense to him as a title.
     
  3. The Borg Queen

    The Borg Queen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It sounds better than "Space Journey".
     
  4. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks Christopher! I hadn't thought about it from the western frontier perspective. I bet you're right. I was hoping maybe someone had asked Gene that question at some point and I just missed it. To me, putting myself in his shoes, the more obvious choice would have been to call it "Space Trek." I'm definitely not complaining or saying that he should have been literal, I'm just impressed with the uniqueness of the title and curious about how the title ultimately came to him. I'm guessing since there was already a show called "Lost in Space," they didn't want to use the word "Space" in the title. Anyway, just something I was wondering about tonight and hoped someone had an answer from an obscure interview with him somewhere.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Personally I wish that the titles of Star Trek and Galaxy Quest had been reversed. Galaxy Quest would work better as the title of the serious, classy space adventure drama, and Star Trek would work better as the title of the comedy spoof thereof.


    Well, it wasn't uncommon to use "star" or "the stars" as a figurative or poetic synonym for space. For instance, Alfred Bester's novel The Stars My Destination or the 1954 film Riders to the Stars. And science fiction had been using terms like "starship," "starfarer," "star lane," and, yes, even "starbase" and "starfleet" for decades before Star Trek came along. (http://www.jessesword.com/sf/list/?page=12) And Star Trek definitely rolls off the tongue more easily than Space Trek, and sounds classier to boot.
     
  6. The Borg Queen

    The Borg Queen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes. It is.

    Sorry, what was the point you were making again?

    :devil:
     
  7. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    How about Star Junket? That's got a certain jaunty up-the-nile vibe to it.
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When Star Trek is exported to different countries and translated for local languages, Star Trek sometimes becomes "Journey to the Stars."

    :)
     
  9. NTRPRZ

    NTRPRZ Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Or in German, "Raumschiff (spaceship) Enterprise."
     
  10. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So what was Enterprise, the series called?
     
  11. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Oddly enough, that's what I once preferred ENT to have been called. Rather than using the familiar terms Starfleet and starships, I personally would have used Space Service and spaceships to further distinguish the series from the Federation era. Silly, I know, but I thought it would have been different to go that route back then (similar, but not exactly the same)...
     
  12. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :eek:

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEuCTggvlgg[/yt]
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    In Japanese, TOS was called Uchuu Daisakusen. Uchuu means "space," which is pretty much what "Star" is used to mean here. Dai means large or great and sakusen means "operation/maneuver" -- so Daisakusen is probably the closest they could come to translating "trek," a large-scale movement or migration. So it's roughly a literal translation. Although it's also possible to translate sakusen as "mission," which would make the title The Great Space Mission. I think that works pretty well.

    However, the movies just had the title Star Trek transliterated phonetically into Japanese as スター・トレック(Sutaa Torekku).
     
  14. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

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    Don't know if anyone mentioned it, but when Lucille Ball was presented with the title STAR TREK as head of Desilu, she thought it was going to be a show following around celebrities... and she liked THAT idea for a show. She was ahead of her time, as now a good percentage of TV is 'entertainment/celebrity' news.
     
  15. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I read in an interview somewhere that one of the pilot directors told Gene he thought the series should be called "Star Track." I think he felt "Star Trek" was a little esoteric for the average audience. I can't say I think his idea was any good, but considering so many "normals" would call it that anyway, maybe he was onto something.

    :-) Yeah, she asked Herb Solow "whatever happened to that USO series?"
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's not quite right. According to Inside Star Trek p. 22, what Ball thought was that Star Trek was going to be a work of historical fiction about the USO performers who'd entertained American troops in the South Pacific during WWII. In her realm of experience, the only thing a "star trek" could be was an overseas journey made by movie stars, and to her that suggested the USO.
     
  17. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

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    I think the story is related slightly differently in the video Inside Star Trek, based on that book. I have posted the whole documentary on YouTube, as RM10475. I don't have access to YouTube here at work, but feel free to check it out.
     
  18. TOSalltheway

    TOSalltheway Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    In french it was shown as "Patrouille Du Cosmos" (excuse the spelling) translated as "Cosmos Patrol" avery different meaning from a Trek.
     
  19. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Of course, we can just assume that Galaxy Quest is the Trek universe's version of Star Trek...

    But that leads to a question...

    NX-01 was named Enterprise after the space shuttle, but in the Trek universe, how did the space shuttle get that name? After all, it was really named after Kirk's ship!
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Probably in-universe it was named after one of the many former oceangoing vessels called Enterprise, much as the space shuttle Challenger was named for the HMS Challenger.