The Literary Galaxy of Star Trek

An Analysis of References and Themes in the Television Series and Films


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About the Book

How is the android Data like Shakespeare’s character Hamlet? Is the vengeful Khan (original series episode “Space Seed” and the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) an echo of Captain Ahab in Moby Dick? The links between Star Trek and literature are vast: themes and characters that reflect those in classic literature; characters that quote literature in their dialog; and an enormous body of nonfiction books, novels, articles that have grown from the saga. Finally, like literature, Star Trek seeks to help in the human endeavor of understanding the world and its place in the universe. This book explores all of those connections. The Next Generation’s Captain Picard frequently quotes Shakespeare. Captain Janeway from Voyager reenacts literature in holodeck novels. Jake Sisko, son of Deep Space Nine’s Commander Benjamin Sisko, becomes an award-winning writer.
Beginning with Captain James T. Kirk’s first appearance in the original series, then continuing through four subsequent series and ten movies, this book draws parallels between Star Trek stories and literary classics such as Hamlet, Paradise Lost, Ulysses, Dracula, and the New Testament, and works by the likes of Booker T. Washington, Edgar Allan Poe and William Shakespeare. Appendices list the literary works discussed and the episodes and movies mentioned, each giving the chapters where references can be found.

About the Author(s)

James F. Broderick is a professor of English at New Jersey City University in Jersey City.

Bibliographic Details

James F. Broderick
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 239
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2571-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0523-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction      5

1. The Journey of the Hero      9

2. The Quest for Revenge      17

3. Leaving Childhood Behind      25

4. The Pain of Love      33

5. The Way of the West      41

6. Time Traveling      49

7. The Ravages of War      57

8. Return to the Sea      66

9. Failure to Communicate      74

10. Staying Sane in an Insane World      83

11. Mismatched Pairs      92

12. Reinventing the Self      100

13. Vampirism      109

14. Underneath, We’re All the Same      118

15. The Wonders (and Dangers) of Technology      127

16. Fantasy vs. Reality      135

17. Gods, True and False      145

18. The Rise of the Machine      153

19. That Old Gang of Mine      162

20. The Quest for Perfection      171

21. Growing Old      180

22. The Final Journey      188

23. Seize the Day      196

24. Socrates Goes to a Star Trek Convention      204

Appendix 1. Literary Works (and the Chapters Where They Are Discussed)      213

Appendix 2. Episodes and Films (and the Chapters Where They Are Discussed)      215

Chapter Notes      217

Bibliography      225

Index      229