Arguably the most influential of all sci-fi franchises, Star Trek today celebrates its 50th birthday - with the first episode of trailblazing show having been broadcast on NBC in the US on this day back in 1966.
Having boldly gone where no other TV show had gone before, Star Trek has unsurprisingly earned quite a few records over the course of its galactic travels.
To celebrate the cosmic genius of Gene Roddenberry and his incredible vision, here below we list ten incredible Star Trek achievements that help illustrate why the show has lived long and continues to prosper.
Most successful sci-fi television adaptation
No surprise that 5 TV shows, and 12 plus movies were enough to earn the franchise this title. The show’s inter-galactic appeal for exploration of the unknown has caused it to be the most successful adaptation since its original airing in 1966. In 2013, when the Star Trek series was rebooted with the Star Trek Into Darkness, it grossed $467,381,584, making it a phenomenal “Enterprise”.
Largest space funeral
The story behind Star Trek started with screenwriter Gene Roddenbury who had his eyes on the stars rather than becoming one himself. Even though his fame eventually followed with the popularity of Star Trek, he is also a part of a larger record in which 23 other pioneers were buried in space. In small capsules, inscribed with names and personal messages, the ashes of cosmic contributors were released into the dark matter of the galaxy, where they will orbit for 1-10 years. Launched upon the Pegasus rocket in 1997, it’s a great record to commemorate the life of stellar enthusiasts.
Most widely spoken fictional language
The dialect of the pointy, large foreheaded Klingons take the title for this record. Although the fictional creatures represent some human features, their language is virtually indecipherable- except for intense Star Trek fans. Originally invented by linguist Mark Okrand, the language is now spoken at fan conventions, and is available on Google’s search engine. If you’re up to the test, you can get books like Hamlet and Gilgamesh in Klingon as well. yIDo'! (Good luck).
First Star Trek videogame
Back before Xbox and Play Station, Star Trek gained enough popularity to turn into gaming content. Two games actually hold this record, one designed for a computer, the other created as a handheld device. Mike Mayfield created a starship simulator for Sigma 7 Computer in 1972. The goal was for the user to take Captain Kirk’s place and head on a mission to defeat the Klingons. Still an enemy five years later when the handheld game arrived, Star Trek: Phaser Strike’s similar objective was to abolish Klingon ships using phaser blasts. At the time, it was one of the only ways to feel part of the interplanetary action, unlike the upcoming film, which offers the ultimate audience experience in 3D. Enjoy the thrill!
Largest Star Trek Maze
Lost in space? No, try lost in York, United Kingdom! For its 40th anniversary in 2007, farmer Tom Pearcy transformed his 18-acre corn field into a Star-Trek patterned maze. Anyone who dare to try the labyrinth could walk through gigantic versions of Mr. Spock’s head, the “Borg Cube”, and even the Starship Enterprise. Pearcy is quite the fan of the series, stating that he “wanted to do [his] bit to help mark the 40th anniversary,”. With passion, a tractor, and satellite technology for the designs, it’s safe to say he honored the Federation.
Longest-running space video-game franchise
For this record, Star Trek beats out Disney and even Star Wars for Longest-running space video game franchise. Beginning in 1971 and producing games up until this past January, the evolutionary streak of themed video games is up 45 years- and probably still counting! Fans can’t seem to get enough; the games started on small box-like computers and can now be played on “communicators”, or rather, smart phones and tablets. Who knows what other futuristic inventions we’ll see them on next.
Most expensive kidney stone
Many are fans of Captain Kirk, but how would you feel as an official owner of his kidney stones? In 2006, actor William Shatner who plays Kirk in the series, reportedly sold a stone he had passed in 2005 for $25,000. The stone went to online casino GoldenPalace.com, who already owns a collection of unusual objects, such as a sandwich which looks like the Virgin Mary. Keen on being the exemplary leader he plays in films, Shatner donated money from the sale to the Habitat for Humanity charity.
Largest tractor beam study
Who knew this invention from the film would be taken seriously by NASA! Used in the films as a means of pulling objects from one spot to another, tractor beams theoretically use laser light beams to manipulate matter. In 2011 NASA gave a $100,000 research grant to the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland to study three probable methods of transporting particles with light. In the future, the hopes is that tractor-beam technology will help with de-polluting the Earth’s surface, as well as extraterrestrial sampling. We’re ready for the future, “beam us up!”
Most downloaded trailer (24 hours)
Out of all movies, including previous Star Trek films, the trailer that got the most downloads in 24 hours was JJ Abram’s reboot of the franchise in 2009. People were so excited by the resurrection, they flocked to apple.com to download the preview a total of 1.8 million times. Amounting to more than five million downloads over five days, the HD clip became the site’s most popular download ever. That’s a lot of Romulans.
Largest gathering of people dressed as Star Trek characters
Surprisingly, this record was not achieved by actors onset of the many Star Trek films. The official largest gathering of Star Trek characters was actually from a gathering at the Star Trek Convention in London 2012, totaling to 1,063 people. Organized by Media 10 Ltd, the company beat the record by just 13 participants. Truthfully, this record may very well be accidentally broken by enthusiastic fans attending the opening premiere next week, but we’ll have to wait and see. For now, live long, and prosper!