trekker n : a traveler who makes a long arduous journey (as hiking through mountainous country)
- Rhymes: -ɛkə(r)
Usage notesSee Trekkie
Trekkie (or Trekker) is a term used to describe a fan of all or part of the Star Trek fictional universe.
OriginsIn the late 1960s, science fiction editor Art Saha applied the term "trekkies" when he saw a few fans of the first season of Star Trek wearing pointy ears at a science convention. He used the term in an interview with Pete Hamill that Hamill was conducting for TV Guide concerning the phenomenon of science fiction.
The Trekkie phenomena did not catch on with general public consciousness until years after the show was cancelled in 1969. The show began syndication in reruns during the early 1970s and the first fan convention devoted to Star Trek opoened in 1976 in New York.
Trekkie v. TrekkerSome Star Trek enthusiasts prefer the term "Trekkie", while some others self-identify as "Trekker". Self-identification as a "Trekkie" became even less popular after a famous national television parody in 1986 (see Parodies below); several self-described "Trekkers" were quoted as saying they "had a life" (contrasting themselves from "Trekkies").
In the 1991 TV show Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Special, Leonard Nimoy attempts to settle the issue by stating that the term 'Trekker' is the correct one.
In the documentary Trekkies, Kate Mulgrew stated that Trekkers are the ones "walking with us" while the Trekkies are the ones content to simply sit and watch Star Trek.
The issue is also shown in the film Trekkies 2, in which a Star Trek fan recounts a supposed incident during a Star Trek convention where Gene Roddenberry used the term "trekkies" to describe fans of the show, only to be corrected by a fan that stood up and yelled "Trekkers!" Gene Roddenberry, allegedly, responded with "No, it's trekkies. I should know, I invented the thing."
Other namesStar Trek fans who believe Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the best series of the franchise adopted the title of Niner following the episode "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", in which Captain Benjamin Sisko formed a baseball team "The Niners".
Trekkies often own memorabilia such as replica props or blueprints and (pseudo-)technical manuals from the shows.
There are many Star Trek fan clubs, among the largest currently being STARFLEET International and the International Federation of Trekkers.
Some Trekkies regularly attend Star Trek conventions (called "cons").
There is a persistent stereotype that amongst Trekkies there are many speakers of the constructed Klingon language. The reality is less clear-cut, as some of its most fluent speakers are more language aficionados than people obsessed with Star Trek. Most Trekkies have no more than a basic vocabulary of Klingon, perhaps consisting of a few common words heard innumerable times over the series, while not having much knowledge of Klingon's syntax or precise phonetics.
Trekkie in the newsDuring the 1996 Whitewater controversy, a bookbindery employee named Barbara Adams served as an alternate juror. During the trial Adams wore a Star Trek-inspired black and red Starfleet Command division uniform, including a badge, a phaser, and a tricorder.
Adams was dismissed from the trial for conducting a sidewalk interview with the television program American Journal. Although nothing was deemed as a trial enclosure violation, the rule was clearly stated: no juror was to communicate with the press in any manner.
Adams stated the judge at the trial was supportive of her. She said she believed in the principles expressed in Star Trek and found it an alternative to "mindless television" because it promotes tolerance, peace, and faith in mankind. At one point, he asked Jon Lovitz' Trekkie character, whom he assumed to be almost 30 years old, if he had ever kissed a girl, at which the character sadly hung his head.
Trekkies have been parodied in several films, notably Galaxy Quest, a science fiction comedy very obviously modeled on the Star Trek franchise. The main character Jason Nesmith, representing William Shatner, repeats Shatner's 1986 statement when an avid fan asks him about the operation of the fictional vessel.
One episode of Futurama called "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" was dedicated to parodying Trekkies. It included a history whereby the Church of Star Trek had grown so strong that it needed to be abolished from the Galaxy and the words "Star Trek" were even outlawed.
The 1998 film Free Enterprise chronicled the lives of two men who grew up worshipping Star Trek and emulating Captain Kirk. Most of the movie centers on William Shatner, playing a parody of himself, and how the characters wrestle with their relationships to Star Trek.
The Broadway musical Avenue Q partially parodies Trekkies through the inclusion of a character named, appropriately enough, Trekkie Monster. This character is not a Trekkie, however, and is addicted to internet pornography.
A Trekkie featured in one episode of the television show The West Wing, during which Josh Lyman confronts the temporary employee over her display of a Star Trek pin in the White House.
- Al Gore, forty-fifth Vice President of the United States, a prominent environmental activist, awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
- American conservative Alan Keyes (known best for his career runs for president) has stated his favorite television program is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He once said about Star Trek, "There's something basically clean and decent and all-American about the respect for human dignity that Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry showed."
- Abdullah II of Jordan is a Star Trek fan, and appeared in an episode of Star Trek Voyager.
- Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones in Doctor Who) watched Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and at least once attended a convention. http://www.after-darkness.com/showthread.php?t=5706
- Jason Alexander (George Costanza on Seinfeld) is a 'Trekkie'. He is knowledgable about The Original Series and played the part of Kurros in the Voyager episode Think Tank. Also, the actor appeared in the Brad Paisley 2007 music video "On-Line" with William Shartner where he is seen in Vulcan Ears wearing a "Beam Me Up" T-shirt.
- Isaac Asimov, a close personal friend of Gene Roddenberry. In 1979 Asimov and his wife attended a private party held at his alma mater, Columbia University, to celebrate the pre-release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
- Bill Bailey, comedian, named his child after the Deep Space Nine character Dax. "I may just have given him too much baggage," Bailey has joked. "I'll tell him he’s named after the German stock exchange."
- Tom Bergeron, host of Hollywood Squares and America's Funniest Home Videos, guest star on Enterprise.
- John Barrowman, Torchwood and Doctor Who star is a fan of Deep Space Nine. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21886303-5006022,00.html
- Whoopi Goldberg, specifically requested a role in Star Trek: The Next Generation because the character of Uhura inspired her early acting career. She played the recurring role of an alien named Guinan on the TV show and in the film Star Trek: Generations. She also had an uncredited appearance in Star Trek: Nemesis during the wedding scene towards the beginning of the movie.
- Family Guy executive producer, David A. Goodman, is a major Star Trek fan. He has written an episode of Futurama entirely devoted to Star Trek, and later four episodes of Enterprise.
- Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, claims to be a Star Trek fan himself by putting references in his two shows. He may not have been able to sit through an entire episode of The Original Series, but he has seen the first movie.
- Tom Hanks, a fan since childhood. He is purported to know the name of every Next Generation episode. He was considered for the role of Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact, but had to turn it down due to a scheduling conflict.
- Stephen Hawking, who played himself (as a computer reconstruction) on the Next Generation episode "Descent".
- Gabriel Köerner, a profilee in Trekkies who went on to guest star on The Drew Carey Show and as the "Star Trek Geek" on the game show Beat the Geeks, and is currently a visual effects animator who has worked on Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica reboot.
- Lewis "Scooter" Libby: Yale classmate Donald Hindle said Libby had the "decidedly nonpolitical talent" of remembering all 79 Star Trek episodes and "knew all the titles, too."
- George Lucas has cited Trek as a significant influence in driving him to science fiction. He finds assertions that Star Wars is superior to Star Trek or vice versa distasteful, and has been dismissive of segments of the franchises' fan bases who argue over which franchise's technology would "win" in a hypothetical war.
- Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and American Dad!, is an avid fan. He has embedded dozens of Star Trek references onto his shows, and twice guest starred on Enterprise. He says his favorite Star Trek series is The Next Generation.
- Eddie Murphy, who nearly starred in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. When his million-dollar contract with Paramount Pictures arrived to be signed by Murphy, he delayed signing it for nearly an hour because he was so engrossed with an episode of the original series.
- Brad Paisley, country singer. When a fan won a contest to spend the day with him in Las Vegas, one location Paisley took the fan was the Las Vegas Hilton's Star Trek: The Experience. As seen in a TV show documenting this contest, Brad proudly sat in the exhibit's captain's chair on the bridge of Enterprise-D. William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk, has appeared in several of Paisley's music videos, including 2007's "On-Line"; this song includes the line "I'm a Sci-Fi fanatic" and, in the video, Jason Alexander (playing the title character) is seen wearing Vulcan Ears and a "Beam Me Up" T-shirt while chatting on-line. Paisley also wrote and performed vocals for "Real", the closing song from Shatner's 2004 album Has Been.
- Bob Rajic, who had cosmetic surgery to look like William Shatner and was the subject of the film Auto Destruct: One Man's Obsession with William Shatner
- Frank Sinatra "never missed" The Next Generation.
- Oregon Congressional Representative David Wu delivered a heavily Trek-infused speech to the House of Representatives on January 10, 2007.
- Kelsey Grammer is a Star Trek fan. He guest starred on the Next Generation episode "Cause and Effect" and had Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner each guest star in two episodes of his show Frasier.
- David Peckinpah was a big trekkie and never missed The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
References and footnotes
trekker in German: Trekkie
trekker in Spanish: Trekkie
trekker in French: Trekkie
trekker in Italian: Trekkie
trekker in Dutch: Trekkie
trekker in Japanese: トレッキー
trekker in Norwegian: Trekkie
trekker in Norwegian Nynorsk: Trekkie
trekker in Portuguese: Trekkie
trekker in Russian: Треккеры
trekker in Swedish: Trekker