In Star Trek, the characters often reference art from their respective cultures. This could be as simple as a passing reference to a novel or something as complex as playing out scenes from a play on the holodeck. Data was a fan of Sherlock Holmes. Worf was known for being well-versed in all things related to Klingon culture. Multiple members of the Enterprise-D senior staff played parts in classic plays from Earth during their downtime. Star Trek is full of references to classical music, Shakespeare, and literature. However, one aspect of culture seen much less frequently is the modern-day literature, art, and music of the Federation.
Whether it be Worf’s Klingon opera or Data and Picard playing out a scene from Henry V, most of the culture from the Federation that we see is historical and not current. With art from Earth it makes sense for producers to reference well-known classics like Shakespeare. But even when dealing with alien art we always seem to see art from that world’s distant past. While a few episodes do give us glimpses into the bestselling holonovels and popular culture of the 24th century, it seems that most people are content to stick with the classics from centuries ago.
What do you think about the lack of modern culture in the Star Trek universe? Is it just a trick to limit production costs or a major missed opportunity for worldbuilding? Head to the forums to cast your vote and let us know what you think!