It’s fitting, in a year when the first Baby Boomers turn 70, that Star Trek celebrates its fiftieth anniversary.
The show began its weekly run in September 1966.
Star Trek’s anniversary is “golden” in more ways than one.
The show, which initially struggled and rebounded from cancellation in its early days, subsequently spawned 6 television series spinoffs, 13 movies, and billions in merchandise, novels, games, celebrity appearances, Trekkie conventions, and even languages (Klingon).
The series broke new ground on several fronts. It was heralded for its multi-ethnic cast, humane message of peace and tolerance, and credited with inspiring new technologies like cell phones, tablet computers and transporters (well, not quite yet).
The opening line, “to boldly go where no man has gone before,” was cribbed from a U.S. White House publication on space produced after the Russian Sputnik flight in 1957, according to Wikipedia.
Star Trek brings home some important investing lessons as well, underlining the importance of owning your intellectual property and investing for the long-term. In 1970, Paramount offered to sell all rights to Star Trek back to creator Gene Roddenberry, but he could not afford the $150,000 price. He missed out on a very lucrative deal. The Star Trek franchise is now estimated to have a value in excess of $4 billion.