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Demographics of a Trekkie

capt kirk

Photo credit: Connee

What if you had a character in your book who loved Star Trek? How would you make him authentic? He’s not the average Ford-driving, hamburger-eating, wife-two-point-two-children sort of guy. If you don’t give him the right accouterments, he won’t be believable.

I have a few hints for you. I am a Trekkie from the original series, and my adult son carries on the tradition. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Your character is part of a huge movement. Over thirty million fans watch “Star Trek” programming around theworld every week.
  • He is probably an enthusiastic member of one of the many Star Trek fan clubs. There are hundreds of thousands of fan-club registered “Star Trek” fans.
  • He probably looks forward to the next “Star Trek” convention. He may even travel distances to go to one. They’re held every weekend of every year, in at least three different cities, attracting a million fans.
  • He definitely has a library of Star Trek books. More than 63 million “Star Trek” books are in print and have been translated into more than 15 languages including Chinese, Norwegian, Hungarian, and Hebrew.
  • He probably grabs each new Star Trek book as it comes out. He’ll watch the publication schedule and be at B&N the day it arrives. Since July 1986, every new classic “Star Trek” novel published by Pocket Books has been a New York Times paperback best-seller, making it the best-selling series in publishing history.
  • It’s not just books he buys–merchandise, too. Hats, mugs, mouse pads. The average “Star Trek” fan spends $400 per year on “Star Trek” merchandise. “Star Trek: The Next Generation” has made over $500,000,000 in syndication and merchandising. “Star Trek” products have elicited over a billion dollars in retail sales in the last five years.
  • If you’re talking about an older character, he may be one of 400,000 who requested that the first U.S. Space Shuttle, the “Enterprise,” be given its name
  • He is aware of the most famous Star Trek fan, Jordan LaForge, for whom Geordi LaForge is named. Jordan LaForge. Jordan LaForge died from muscular dystrophy in 1975.
  • Here’s some trivia you probably know. If you look closely at the Enterprise during the fly-by in the opening credits, you can see someone walking past the windows. According to Mike Okuda in the “Star Trek: The Official Fan Club Magazine” (#60), this is Captain Picard.
  • Here’s another bit of trivia that says a lot about Star Trek fans: The shuttle Onizuka, which Data used in “Ensigns of Command”, was named in tribute to one of the Space Shuttle “Challenger” astronauts.
  • You know about Star Trek in society, for example, the original Wright plane was named…..BIRD OF PREY!
  • There are Star Trek fans in every walk of life. For example, Nichelle Nichols was going to quit Classic Trek half way through, but Dr. Martin Luther King talked her back into staying on the show.
  • Star Trek is not only forward thinking in science, but culture. The first inter-racial kiss on TV was on Star Trek between Kirk and Uhura.


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3 thoughts on “Demographics of a Trekkie

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