Trump’s tweet unveiling the logo is another reminder that the sixth branch of the U.S. military will be an extra-terrestrial enterprise. What better model for that mission then Starfleet, the exploratory and quasi-military organization that Gene Roddenberry introduced in the landmark first episode of Star Trek in 1966?
The Commander-in-Chief was an impressionable 20-year-old when Roddenberry’s space-faring sci-fi classic premiered on NBC so it’s possible it left a real mark on him — as it certainly did with NASA types, inventors, and scientists of several generations. But the new Space Force logo stirred an instant backlash that suggests its imagery may cling-on to Trek motifs too much.
Trump’s tweeted: “After consultation with our Great Military Leaders, designers, and others, I am pleased to present the new logo for the United States Space Force, the Sixth Branch of our Magnificent Military!”
Twitter and social media as a whole are never a neutral zone so there was a quick response from Federation fans who saw familiar elements in the planned patch. Among the responses: Star Trek legend George Takei telling Trump to give the source material its due.
Star Trek is very much on active duty in pop culture these days with the premiere of Star Trek: Picard this week on CBS All-Access and the ongoing speculation about the next big-screen mission for brand after Quentin Tarantino’s attempt to mind-meld with the venerable property.
The vast Twitter response to the Space Force logo ventured beyond Federation space and, in winking references, drew on other pop culture universes.
In December, Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act which gave budget existence to the Space Force, the newest branch of the military (joining the Air Force, Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard).
At the signing, the 45th President of the United States said America will soon fill the nation’s glaring security vacuum in space. “Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. We’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough, and very shortly, we’ll be leading by a lot.”
The Space Force has its own Twitter account and, as of Friday, more than 206,000 followers. The account noted a recent sartorial milestone with an image of a Space Force uniform. There was no reference to the practical effectiveness of green camouflage in outer space.