A common trope in Star Trek is time travel. Securely in the realm of science fiction, this process is achieved several times through the series and movies. Whether it is an anti-time anomaly, the interference of powerful aliens, or an unexpected accident, time travel features prominently in the storylines we’ve come to love.
Why is time travel such a popular subject?
Each of us wishes we could jump to a new time, “putting things right that once went wrong and hoping each time that the next leap will be…” (wait, wrong show). The truth is that the past (and the future) fascinate us. So often we are taught that the past is immutable, and the future is untouchable except abstractly by our present actions.
But what if we could directly effect the past or future? What if our decisions could ripple out to change the present instead of the other way around?
One of the most popular episodes of TOS was “City on Edge of Forever” which found Kirk and Spock chasing McCoy through an alien time vortex to 1930s Earth. The captain is forced to choose between preserving the timeline and letting a woman he has fallen in love with die.
It is these kinds of heavyweight moral decisions that make for great storytelling and time travel is one way to increase the stakes. But time travel adds another layer of complexity because it is a way that we could make the familiar – like Earth – more alien. Imagine being able to visit the Middle Ages, the time of Caesar, or the 60s. Time travel could also allow us to see events that are only mentioned in passing within the Star Trek universe but that could be explored and expanded upon to make the “history” more real.
The possibilities are endless.
So, this week, we want to know…
When and where would you like your ship to go for a time-bending mission?