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The Star Trek Franchise was birthed from risk, curiosity, and a desire to go where no man has gone before. When the first approved Star Trek Pilot aired on NBC, the US was in a much different place than it is now. Social norms and Cultural Taboos of 1960s America seem as foreign to us, as the
racy material on Star Trek did to many Americans at the time.
Although the themes, casting, and plot of Star Trek: the Original Series seem tame to us today, they were pushing the edge of what was acceptable to air on television back then. The original Star Trek Pilot was pulled due to network concerns that it was not action packed enough and was too intellectual (not to mention a heated romance scene with captain Kirk and a scantily clad green woman). Luckily NBC did not reject the series outright, and it went on to push expectations, imaginations, and progress.
Star Trek: the original series continued to push boundaries. Producers would knowingly include racy romance scenes to distract standards and practices from underlying social and political commentary. In addition to the series drawing parallels to Vietnam and US race relations, the tenth episode of the third season featured what was arguably the first interracial kiss on broadcast American television.
From its rocky and unexplored beginnings Star Trek blossomed into a worldwide franchise. Some figures place the value of the franchise near 4 billion dollars. During its shake infancy Paramount Pictures had so little confidence in the original series that it offered to sell the rights back to the creator, Gene Roddenberry, for what would equate to about a million dollars today. From those less than certain beginnings the franchise went on to earn nearly 400 million dollars with the first installment of the latest reboot of the franchise.
The latest instalment of the franchise: Star Trek Beyond is set to be released on July 22nd 2016, and is the third instalment in the current series. Its predecessor Star Trek Into Darkness slightly underperformed the first instalment in the series, However with a 150 million dollar budget and some of the best talent in Hollywood coupled with a fanaticism deeply rooted in American culture, this film is poised to set phasors to kill and crush the box office.
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