It was only appropriate that Bill Nye say a few words before the Governors Award presentation for Star Trek at the Creative Arts Emmys. After being introduced by Hayma Washington, Nye said of Star Trek: “It may have started off as an entertainment series but it changed the world — and I feel that it changed the world for the better.”

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The monolithic sci-fi franchise, as Nye put it, looked at how takes a look at the universe and beyond in “perfect and imperfect harmony.” He also says that it embraces all categories in tonight’s ceremony. Following a reel of footage featuring all Star Trek series, he brought out a massive crowd of members of the cast and crew from the six Star Trek TV series from the original series to Star Trek: Discovery.

Following an overwhelming wave of Star Trek nostalgia beamed down to the stage — including a Kelpien and a Klingon — Nye introduced Alex Kurtzman (EP, Discovery), Levar Burton (The Next Generation), Linda Park (Enterprise), Jeri Ryan (Voyager), Walter Koenig (the original Star Trek), and Terry Farrell (Deep Space Nine) while the new and old guard were there to accept the trophy: Discovery‘s Sonequa Martin-Green and the original Captain Kirk William Shatner.

Shatner says that after 52 years everyone who has been involved in Star Trek is grateful. The original Captain says that Star Trek is a phenomenon and “represents an idea that is greater than all its parts.”

“I accept this award for all of the artists who have worked to make this show a success,” he said.

Backstage, Koening, Burton, Ryan, Shatner, Martin-Green and Kurtzman talked about how the Star Trek franchise still resonates after all these decades.

“It resonates because we were talking about topical issues and socio-political content,” said Koening, who played the memorable Chekov. He said that it still resonates today.

Burton chimes in, “It’s all about good storytelling.”

“We still worry about living together and having a fruitful and joyful experience,” continues Koening. We are beset with problems that we had in the ’60s.”

As the newest member of the fleet, Martin-Green points out that she hopes Discovery gives justice to the franchise and furthers it. “It was very important to us anew, but be our own at the same time,” she adds.

Kurtzman adds that Star Trek “has been a beacon of hope for so many people for so long.”

“In dark times, we need that hope,” he said.