5 Horrifying Implications of the 'Star Trek' Universe

Star Trek presents us with a glittering, hopeful future full of worldwide peace and cooperation, scientific achievement, and universal discovery. It's a utopian society wherein all races (black, white, human, or alien) and genders (male, female, or alien-with-boobs) are considered equal. However, there are some horrible implications behind all the awesome technology and progressive ideology that are never addressed, probably because they make everyone in Star Trek look like incompetent goofs, closeted racists, or burgeoning sociopaths.

#5. Kirk Is Destined to Accidentally Start a Horrific War

In the 2009 reboot, cadet James T. Kirk gets thrown headlong into a desperate situation that sees him promoted to first officer and then to captain of the Enterprise within the space of 12 hours. And why not? His bold heroics and plucky determination save the ship, its crew, and indeed the entire planet Earth from getting blasted into scattered bloody chunks of smoldering space murder by a scowling trench coat alien with tribal tattoos and the face of Eric Bana.

So, at the end, Kirk attends a spirited awards ceremony that in no way resembles the ending of Star Wars, and Starfleet awards him with permanent command of the Enterprise.

"I thought we were switching to the green uniforms next week."

The Horror:

Think about how easy it is to unwittingly insult someone from another country if you don't know every little thing about their culture (innocent hand gestures that are friendly in one country will start a fistfight in another). Now imagine the potential for disaster when talking to someone from another species. See, that's why, in the Star Trek universe, it takes so much education and training to become captain of a starship -- in the original TV series, Kirk was the youngest captain in Starfleet history ... after a mere 14 years of training.

And at least eight years of stress eating.

The "You're a pretty good pilot, here's the keys to the ship!" plot point works fine in something like Star Wars, when Luke is pushed to the front of the Rebellion simply because they desperately need anyone with a pilot's license to help blow up a giant laser moon. But the Starship Enterprise is on a long-term diplomatic peacekeeping mission around the galaxy on behalf of the space United Nations. Its job is to contact new civilizations (as it says at the beginning of every episode) and spread the Federation's message of peace and togetherness. Humanity's entire relationship to these new races will be defined by this first impression. We've seen starship captains broker peace treaties and make decisions that affected the entire future of an alien civilization.

The rebooted Jim Kirk, meanwhile, is a drunken asshole who punched his way onto a Starfleet recruiting shuttle -- at the time of his whirlwind promotion, he'd only been in the academy for three years. Giving him the job is like sending Jason Statham to negotiate peace talks in the Green Zone. Putting that cowboy at the helm of Earth's humanitarian flagship is probably going to trigger more space wars than have ever been documented in the history of science fiction, even if the movie portrays the job as being mostly running down hallways and dangling off cliffs.

"Hmm. These tense peace negotiations could use a Kirking."

#4. Starfleet Doesn't Outfit Its Vessels With Basic Safety Features

The Enterprise is the pinnacle of human technological achievement -- it scoots through space at the speed of scientific victory to bridge gaps between galaxies that were previously impossible to even dream about crossing. Bearing that in mind, how often do you see the bridge explode in a burst of sparkler dust after the Enterprise gets hit by an enemy photon torpedo?

The Horror:

Bridge duty is only slightly safer than toaster bathing.

The answer is every goddamned time. Every time anything bad happens to the outside of the ship, the interior pisses out electric fire like an overloaded wall socket. It even frequently kills people, to the point that we're not sure which is more dangerous -- being a nonrecurring character on an away team, or being a nonrecurring bridge officer within range of an explodable duty station.

"Sweet space Jesus!"

Considering how advanced starship technology is supposed to be, there's no reason this deadly festival of lights should ever happen. Contemporary vehicles have all kinds of barriers between the users and the actual machinery -- circuit breakers, computer chips, even pulley systems built into the design specifically to keep people from getting detonated by console explosions. Starfleet apparently doesn't care enough about the staff of its ships to take obvious precautions that were perfected almost three centuries prior.

You could say that this is all because they're getting hit with energy weapons, and they overload the ship's systems and cause circuits to explode (or something), but damn it, this is a universe in which those weapons are common -- you're getting hit with that shit every week. It's time to invest in a system that lets you take minor damage to the hull without delivering the blast directly into the face of the first officer.


#3. The Holodeck Creates (and Then Destroys) Hundreds of Sentient Beings

Forget about the starship -- the holodeck is the one Star Trek invention everyone wishes they owned. It's a special room aboard the Enterprise that can create fully tangible holographic versions of any experience its user requests, providing a place where every member of the crew can cosplay in quiet seclusion, free from the sneering japes of judgmental shipmates.

"Computer, initiate Femme Fatale Blowjob Delta."

And of course, to complete the fantasy, the computer makes sophisticated artificial people for you to interact with. For example, in the episode "11001001," Riker has the holodeck conjure a woman for him, because it's Thursday, and Thursday is boner night. Riker goes through several different potential virtual companions that he dismisses for their subpar whorishness until finally deciding on "Minuet" as the holographic projection sexy enough to listen to him play jazz trombone for three hours. He has a drink with her and develops real feelings for the fake girl.

"For you see, my erection is real."

But hell, if you can't use the holodeck for that, what good is it?

The Horror:

These artificial people are sentient beings.

When Picard is playing 1920s detective dress-up during one of his holodeck jaunts, the computer-generated people he interacts with begin to realize that they aren't real. One of them asks Picard:

"When you're gone, will this world still exist? Will my wife and kids still be waiting for me at home?"

"Will the whole world still dress like shitty cosplayers?"

That's right! He had an entire memory of a real life, and a family, and a sense of self-preservation programmed into him. He was a real person, and he didn't want to die. And nobody cared. In another episode, a holodeck character concocted a plan to escape into the real world, rather than be trapped in that virtual hell where he can be switched off at the whim of whoever's playing with it that week. Now think about how Riker went rifling through a bunch of different girls before settling on the one he found hottest -- each woman presumably had a lifetime's worth of memories programmed into her, only to be destroyed after five miserable seconds of existence because Riker didn't think she was worthy of feeling his beard against her bare breasts. We're pretty sure that makes him a serial killer.

So, the holodeck is full of sentient beings that are created to satisfy a user's whim. And when the user is finished playing make-believe, those sentient beings are cast into oblivion without a second thought. The Federation is portrayed as a progressive utopia, but the holodeck seems like it could rank among the most horrifying moral lapses in the history of time.

Slavery is 100 percent cool as long as you kill them and immediately destroy the body.

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