DEADLINE: How much do you hope to raise with this campaign? What do you hope to accomplish?
ROD RODDENBERRY: The campaign is about inspiring hope and creating an opportunity for people to participate in building a better future. We want to acknowledge and in a way thank the fans for their role in keeping Star Trek and my dad’s legacy relevant. And we want to remind ourselves that we can make a difference, that together we can ensure that the values that fuel Star Trek—diversity, inclusion, and progress— are worthy and achievable. My dad would have loved the idea of combining philanthropy and fan participation into real-world impact. We’ll have more updates on our impact as the campaign progresses.
DEADLINE: Many looks into the future predict a dystopian world. Why is that, and did your father consciously try to avoid that pessimistic outlook?
RR: My dad was a naturally optimistic person. He loved humanity deeply. Star Trek was his medium for showing the world what he believed humanity could become. Star Trek is unique in this way—not much other SciFi is rooted in optimism. We live in a world with real challenges, and Star Trek envisioned how we can overcome some of them. It just wasn’t in my dad’s nature to channel dystopia.
DEADLINE: Your father wasn’t particularly high on formal religions. Yet Star Trek’s themes seem to embody many of the teachings of the world’s great religions. Explain the dichotomy.
RR: Star Trek’s themes are universal. Inclusion, working together, hope, and wonder are values that transcend national borders, time, and personal beliefs. It was important to my dad that people from all walks of life could see themselves in Star Trek. I think the thematic similarities between Star Trek and religion is a testament to how the show is fundamentally value-based.
DEADLINE: Did your father personally believe in alien visitors to this planet?
RR: I can’t say for sure, but I do know that my dad believed in a world where just about anything is possible. He was always dreaming big.
DEADLINE: What was your personal favorite space show among non-Star Trek projects?
RR: I actually didn’t watch much sci fi growing up. The one movie that stands out to me in recent years is Interstellar. There’s a sense of hope and optimism in it. And it speaks to the ways in which science and knowledge can solve our human-made problems. It alludes to the need, at times, for individual sacrifice for the collective good that feels very Star Trek to me.