Down the Ballot

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trek Mystery: Crewman Obama?

The first Trek Mystery offered today comes from Star Trek the Animated series. In the episode the Time Trap, the crew of the Enterprise and a Klingon battleship commanded by Kor are stuck in a Saragossa sea of space. They must combine forces to escape or spend the rest of their lives stuck with each other. A plan to escape is formulated by Mr. Spock and the Klingons mostly go along with it because they're not as smart as Spock.

Simply escaping is not enough for this animated Star Trek classic; the Klingons must find a way to destroy the Enterprise as they escape the time trap. They do this by planting a pill in a computer. Don't even ask. In the process of this two Klingons are caught in a restricted area and brought to the bridge by Crewman Bell. He's one of the many redshirts on the Enterprise. What's the mystery here you ask? Crewman Bell looks suspiciously similar to American President Barack Obama. Take a look for yourself.
Crewman Bell or Crewman Obama?

Crewman Bell talking with Kirk

I am sure this will be made an issue in the coming 2012 presidential campaign. Stuff like this always comes up. Very little ever passes the media without them pouncing on it. So is this President Obama or just an uncanny resemblance? Remember, this episode originally aired in 1973. Could the artists have known?

Politics and Trek go way back. President Reagan visited the set of Star Trek the Next Generation, but Obama is the first openly declared Trekkie President. Trekmovie caught some of his speech on the campaign trail in Wyoming in 2008 and quoted him saying, "I grew up on Star Trek. I believe in the final frontier". It would only seem fitting that our first Trekkie President have had a role in Star Trek the Animated Series. I'll leave it you to figure out the temporal inconsistencies of him being born in 1961 and yet appearing old enough in 1973 to be on the Starship Enterprise in 2269.

At the very core of Trek Gene Roddenberry had a vision of a future that I think appeals to all of us and especially Barack Obama. In his recent State of the Union address President Obama talked about 'winning the future', and that future will be decided by our actions today.

For a full break down of the TAS episode The Time Trap visit Memory Alpha, the fan supported Star Trek wikipeida on all things Trek related.

The official Star Trek web page by CBS also has information but in this Trekker's opinion not as in depth as Memory Alpha. They call Crewman Bell, Crewman Gabler. Which is actually right I have no idea. I tend to favor Memory Alpha.
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