Star Trek Day 2022: A Celebration of Family and Belonging

On Wednesday, September 8, 2022, the Star Trek fandom community and many of the stars and creators of that universe marked the 56th anniversary of The Original Series’ premiere with a teaser-filled celebration at Los Angeles’ Skirball Cultural Center, and The Nerds of Color were there on the star-crowded purple carpet and in the fan-filled theater to witness a gathering that was, underneath it all, about the power of found family and the magic of finding a place in which to belong.

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Babs Olusanmokun on Playing Dr. M’Benga on ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds takes us back to the original Star Trek era where Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) led the Enterprise and her crew on daring missions to explore the vastness of Space and make new discoveries and advancements on behalf of the Federation. The crew of the Enterprise is has a vast range of experience and skill they bring to their mission, and one Dr. M’Benga, played brilliantly by Babs Olusanmokun, gets his own featured episode this week.

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Director/Producer Olatunde Osunsanmi on What’s Next for ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Finally, the mystery of Species Ten-C has been resolved. In a stunning finale, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and her crew of the USS Discovery figured it out with galaxy-spanning ramifications. In this race to the finish with her lover Clevand Booker (“Book”) (David Ajala), who had gone renegade this season in his own pursuit of justice, Star Trek: Discovery delivered yet another stunning finale, with limitless pathways to pursue in Season 5. After this finale, I’m incredibly excited for the next journey of Discovery.

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Hiro Kanagawa on Joining ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Hiro Kanagawa has been on our tv screens for decades, appearing in such favorite shows as Smallville, iZombie, Legends of Tomorrow, Inuyasha, The X-Files, Altered Carbon, and much more. Now, joins the critically acclaimed Star Trek: Discovery as the inquisitive Dr. Hirai, one of the Federation’s leading specialists in astrolinguistics, xenophonology, and theoretical semiotics in the 32nd Century. As the Federation prepares to engage with the extra-galactic Species 10-C, Dr. Hirai is pivotal to establishing first contact.

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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Director and Executive Producer Olatunde Osunsanmi Discusses Season 4

Star Trek: Discovery has returned to our streaming screens for another spectacular season as the Discovery crew and the Federation of the future must deal with a galaxy-threatening anomaly. It’s unlike anything the Discovery crew has faced before, and resultingly Captain Burnham and her crew and loved ones are pushed to the brink in so many ways. What goes into making such a spectacular adventure that we watch every week?

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Dawnn Lewis, aka Captain Carol Freeman, on the Return of ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’

Dawnn Lewis does it all. Acting, voice acting, musicals, and more. And she can add Starfleet Captain to the list with her role as Captain Carol Freeman of the USS Cerritos. She’s a no nonsense captain who unfortunately has a lot of nonsense to deal with from her crew, including her own daughter Beckett, who may cause the most trouble of the bunch. Ahead of the Season 2 Premiere this Thursday, August 12, we at The Nerds of Color were able to speak with Lewis on how she approaches the role of Captain Freeman, her voice-acting career, what we can expect for her and Beckett’s mother-daughter dynamic, and the prospect of returning to Broadway for the musical Tina.

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Hard NOC Life: The Lin-Mando Takeover of Disney+

On Hard NOC Life, Dominic and Keith welcome Lauren Lola — who took a moment out of her busy CAAMFest schedule — to talk about Hamilton and Mandalorian season 2 coming to Disney+.

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All Good Things…

As soon as I was exposed to it, I was a rabid fan of Star Trek. We share a birthday, September 8, and a value system that holds art and science as equals. Trek was more to me than a fandom. It was a vision of our shared future world that was achievable. Maybe not warp drive and phasers, but philosophically and materially achievable. While I loved the Original Series, it was The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine that seemed to realize R. Buckminster Fuller’s (one of my favorite thinkers) dream of universal equity.

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Hard NOC Life: Once Upon a Racist Hollywood

Before news broke about Shannon Lee’s issues with the way Quentin Tarantino depicts her father in his latest film, Dominic and Keith recorded this episode in which they reexamine the auteur’s less than ideal treatment of race in his films.

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AOC is NOC AF! (Updated)

UPDATED OCTOBER 13, 2019 for Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s birthday. See #12-14 below!

For those visiting our blog for the first time, ‘round these parts “N.O.C.” stands for Nerds Of Color (or Non-Official-Cover if you’ve just rewatched the first Mission: Impossible film).

It’s a term of inclusivity that we wear with pride. And because part of our nerdy duties include ingesting a lot of TV, movies, and Twitter, we feel obligated to note that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is, by her choice of pop-culture references on Twitter and other forums, also a Nerd Of Color. (We’ll update this listicle periodically as Rep. AOC continues to use Twitter to do spectacularly nerdy things.)

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Decolonizing My Fandom

Dr. Who. Star Trek. The Twilight Zone. The Night Stalker. Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Battlestar Galactica (the original series) E. E. “Doc” Smith. JRR Tolkien. David Eddings. Margaret Weiss & Tracy Hickman. Joseph Campbell. The Avengers (tv show and comic), Spider-Man, The Uncanny X-Men, DC’s Trinity and on and on and on. What do all of these pieces of geek-pop have in common? They were all generated from the minds of (mostly) white men.

Not that there is anything inherently wrong with this, but it begs the question: Do I actually like this stuff, or is it all part of some kind of indoctrination into the dominant culture? Continue reading “Decolonizing My Fandom”

Michelle Yeoh is the Starship Captain We’ve Been Waiting For

by Phil Yu | Originally posted at Angry Asian Man

Hell yes. Fellow Trekkies, rejoice. The first-look trailer for the new CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery has dropped, and the latest foray into the final frontier looks pretty damn awesome, not least because of one badass looking starship captain in the form of one Michelle Yeoh. MICHELLE FRICKIN YEOH.

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8 Times President Obama Proved He Was Our NOC-in-Chief

For the last eight years, my president was Black. More than that, he was a Black Nerd, a Nerd of Color, the Head Nerd in Charge. After today, we aren’t going to see the likes of someone sit in the Oval Office as intelligent or intellectually curious as Barack Obama. His record in office speaks for itself. Because of President Obama’s leadership, 20 million more Americans have health insurance, marriage equality is the law of the land, and nerds of color were finally represented in the White House.

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Our Roddenberry Moment

The day after the election, I received a message from a frenemy I’ve known since junior high. He has kept close tabs on me and my career, always presenting himself as “devil’s advocate” or “the rational voice of the other side of the argument.” Basically, he’s a book smart troll I didn’t block because of the insidious effects of nostalgia. His message was one line:

“What good is all that science fiction stuff, now that we’ve won?”

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What I’ve Learned: Star Trek at 50 (Me at 44)

It is no secret that I love Star Trek. My daughter asked me why. I told her the following: I love it for its aspirational nature, its optimistic outlook for humankind, it’s marrying of science and art, and its borderline Shakespearean drama. I also love it for its horrible effects, its over-emoting, and the sheer high-corniness of most of the story lines. To me, Trek is the epitome of important television1. It entertained me. It made me think. It spurred me to action. Trek and Raiders of the Lost Ark are directly responsible for my pursuing undergraduate and graduate education. I learned things from Star Trek. Our conversation got me thinking about what I have learned from Trek.

So in the spirit and honor of Cal Fussman’sWhat I’ve Learned” column in Esquire magazine, Star Trek’s 50th and my 44th, I want to share “What I’ve Learned: Star Trek Edition.”

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What Star Trek Meant for My Grandfather

Star Trek has meant a lot to me as a fan of pop culture, science-fiction, and television. It also has meant everything to me as a human being.

My grandfather, who was a WWII veteran, likely served in a segregated unit in the war. He returned home to a nation still refusing to deal with Jim Crow and other societal injustice.

When I was a very young, I recall him watching various genre programs like Wild Wild West, Gunsmoke, Rat Patrol, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and countless other series. However, he especially loved Star Trek.

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Star Trek: The Shackling of Creative Fandom

Today CBS/Paramount delivered the most passive aggressive set of guidelines for Star Trek fan films. The first page was this boilerplate thank you to the fans for ticking by the franchise for so many years. They even acknowledged the hard work and creativity of fan filmmakers. Then when you clicked the link to what was and wasn’t allowable for fan films, it was like, “Here are your creative shackles.”

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The Wesley Crusher Appreciation Post

So recently Wil Wheaton won the internet (yet again) when he threw down the gauntlet for all writers (such as yours truly) when he stated that writers deserve to be paid with actual cash.

Truth be told, Wheaton was perhaps my first major crush, with a legendary character known as Wesley Crusher.

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