Star Trek - Parallel Universes and Alternate Development Essay

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Parallel Universes and Alternate Development Gene Roddenberry, the visionary that created Star Trek did not intend for the show to be a pulp series without morals or depth. He intended each and every episode to offer insight to our own societal issues and human experience. The themes of his episodes range from race issues, to environmental awareness, to the morality of expanding technology. The most interesting theme I have found within the Star Trek universe is that of parallel Universes and alternate development of societies similar to our own. These themes are the most interesting because they offer a view of what could have been, or even what could be in our own society, allowing us a level of introspection we could not have imagined on our own. Critically acclaimed as the best Star Trek episode ever, The City on the Edge of Forever (1967) demonstrates the dangers of a theory called “The Butterfly Affect.” The Butterfly Affect arose from a notion prompted by Henri Poincare dating back to 1890, which is defined by wisegeek.com as a “theory to describe how small changes to a seemingly unrelated thing or condition (also known as an initial condition) can affect large, complex systems.” This takes place when Kirk must follow his head rather than his heart and keep himself from saving a girl he loves in order to preserve the history of the Earth as it was. This theory is interesting because although the girl Kirk loved was not significant to the time (great depression United States), Spock develops a device that informs him of an extremely dismal future for planet Earth would result from her death, showing Kirk just how far saving her could affect the future. Furthering one’s curiosity for parallel universes, the episode “Mirror, Mirror” (1967), Roddenberry takes viewers into an alternate universe in which the federation is a dangerous and deceitful

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