Star Trek: Neverending success and diehard fans

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The future is female

The latest Netflix series "Star Trek: Discovery" features Michelle Yeoh (left) as Captain Philippa Georgiou, and Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham (right). Star Trek has always been a pioneer in diversity, casting Asian and African American actors and actresses in leading roles. The first Star Trek female captain was Kathryn Janeway in "Star Trek: Voyager" (1995-2001).

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From the moon to the entire universe

The Starship Enterprise got off to a rather bumpy start in the US. This changed with the growing interest in the Apollo program and the successful lunar landing in 1969. Suddenly, people felt closer to space and science fiction was hip. With more and more TV channels featuring the series, Star Trek was first shown in Germany in 1972.

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The first Enterprise

The original version of the ship which flew through the endless expanses of space carried the label "U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701." The show's canon says it was built in the year 2245 and commanded by Captain Kirk from 2264 until 2269. Kirk eventually had to destroy it, to keep it from being used by enemies. Later models can separate the "saucer" section from the hull in an emergency.

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Beam me up, Scotty

When Scotty is in the transporter room and is moving the oversized sliders, the beamers give off a high-pitched squeal and the bodies of the crew split into molecules to be transported to alien planets. If all goes well, travelers eventually return to the ship in their original form, like above.

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Multicultural workplace

The original show managed to overcome all racial and gender boundaries in the 1960s America. Characters from Scotland, Russia and Japan work together on the bridge with Americans. Two women are also part of the team. One of them - Lt. Uhura played by African American actress Nichelle Nichols - serves as a Starfleet officer. She is the first black woman with such a strong role.

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Inspiration for NASA

In 1976, NASA engineers named the prototype of their space shuttle "Enterprise." Of course, on the day of the big press event, the entire crew was present - except one individual. Who could that be?

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Spock is a legend

Meet the iconic half-human, half-Vulcan Spock. He is the first officer aboard the Enterprise and Captain James T. Kirk's right-hand man. His favorite word is "fascinating." The Vulcan salute (pictured) is still a fun party trick - not everyone can do it. The actor Leonard Nimoy, who passed away in 2015, never managed to get away from his role as Mr. Spock.

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Back to the past

In 1984, "Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home" was hugely successful and the first real hit movie in the Star Trek series. The Enterprise arrives from the future back in the middle of the 1980s. The now somewhat dated crew makes fun of itself. Scotty tries to talk to a computer mouse, and Spock hides his ears with bandana and dresses up as a hippie on drugs.

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The Next Generation

In 1987, the Enterprise saga got a fresh start. The Next Generation takes is set a good 100 years later than the first one. The team of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (left) boasts alliens of its own, including the Klingon Worf and the ship psychologist Troi from the planet Betazed. The friendly android Data (right) became the show's breakout character.

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'nuqneH - qapla': Exchanging pleasantries in Klingon

"Klingon" was invented in 1984 by linguist Marc Okrand. It is a speakable and writable language that was created for warlike Klingons from the planet Kronos and, accordingly, sounds harsh. Nevertheless, Shakespeare plays have been translated into Klingon, and DW once even created a version of our website in Worf's mother tongue. Some Trekkies still make the effort of learning it.

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Humor transcends universes

Star Trek has inspired countless parodies in the US but also in Germany. German actor and filmmaker Michael "Bully" Herbig spoofed the show in his movie "(T)Raumschiff Surprise" ("Dreamship/Starship Surprise") where he portrayed Mr. Spuck (which translates as Mr. Spit). The movie revolves around a crew of a space cab and features references to the "Star Wars" universe as well.

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No end in sight

In July 2016, the feature film "Star Trek - Beyond" was released in cinemas. Kirk, Spock & Co. are now played by young actors and the blockbuster boasts cutting-edge special effects. The Enterprise preparing for new mission into uncharted territory: the fourth and fifth installments of the reboot films are already in pre-production.

The cult science fiction series was launched in the US on September 8, 1966, but it took years for it to become a worldwide success. Its popularity has continued to this day - through space and time.