Why Star Trek? Kirk, Spock, Bones, Uhura & Sulu's Endless Appeal, Explained

William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in the STAR TREK episode, "A Piece of the Action." Original air date, January 12, 1968. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Whether you're a Trekkie, Trekker, or just along for the ride with the crew of the USS Enterprise, Gene Roddenberry's vision of a harmonious future has made an impact on you. Decades after its premiere in 1966, Star Trek continues to offer an optimistic look into the future even when it's overrun with Romulans, Tribbles, and Klingons.

Unlike so much of the science fiction of the 20th century, Star Trek is exceedingly idealistic and that's what keeps audiences coming back. With only three seasons and 79 episodes, TOS continues to provide a utopian vision of tomorrow, something that feels all the more important as the current era becomes more volatile.