Raised to #Resist: Inspired by Sci-Fi, a Generation Grows Up Learning to Fight For a Better World.
It didn’t necessarily start with Star Trek. I’m sure people will find earlier instances, but Star Trek always seems to be the go-to for ‘hope for a better future’ in TV. We all know Gene Roddenberry’s dream for peace and inclusivity. A crew with no bias -gender, race, ethnicity, even aliens were welcome. Nobody asked for Spock’s green card. No one dared to tell Uhura to go make a sandwich. McCoy never asked for insurance cards. We watched, and we learned that Humanity had the potential for great things once we learned to work together.
Then we were taught about Star Wars. The Empire and The Rebels in a galaxy far, far, away. How important it was to stand up and fight for Liberty and Freedom. That rule by force was governed by Fear, and was the path to the Darkside. We learned that being a Princess and a Fighter were NOT mutually exclusive.
Star Trek returned, with more stories of inclusion. The disabled were not dismissed, but enabled. Gender issues were explored, pushing the envelope at that time. We explored what it means to BE human watching Data. Women were an even stronger part of the command structure, eventually even taking over ‘the big chair’. We were warned to fight for our individuality, and that resistance was NOT futile.
Writers slowly became part of a ‘girl power’ movement, embracing strong female characters. Charmed(and Buffy) helped dispel negative stereotypes against Pagans and Wiccans. Dark Angel and Birds of Prey brought more independent females standing up on their own. However being a strong, independent female didn’t mean fighting alone. Even the Chosen One needed her Scooby Gang.
Batman and Superman had dominated the comics niche on the big screen, fighting for justice and freedom. Then X-men made the leap from the pages, fighting against bigotry, with mutants as a persecuted minority. The X-men fought not only for acceptance by humans, but against extremists from both the human AND mutant communities.
Back in space, we learned about the Unification War. The Alliance had beaten the Browncoats at the Battle of Serenity, maintaining their iron grip on both the Central and Border planets. While the Browncoats may have been on the losing side, some are still not sure it was the wrong one. We also learned more history on the beginnings of the Star Wars Empire and the resulting war, watching as Democracy died with thunderous applause.
Meanwhile, magic was all around us. The elves, humans, dwarves, and hobbits banded together in a fellowship to save Middle Earth. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named returned putting both the magical and muggle world in jeopardy. We learned how The Order of the Phoenix resisted at great cost, and how their children rose to create Dumbledore’s Army to continue the fight.
Then the world of comics began to dominate both the big screen and small, giving us more heroes to mold ourselves after. The Avengers assembled, the Arrowverse evolved, minor heroes became Legends, Agents bore the SHIELD, and a League for Justice began to gather. We watched it all and aspired to be heroes ourselves.
We grew up with all of these influences and many more(too many to list). Examples of what Humanity could be, both the good and the bad. We learned how important unity, inclusivity, and diversity were to the survival of our species. We learned the warning signs of fascism, bigotry, and true terrorism. We learned our lessons well, and now we live them every day. So raise your wand, your phaser or blaster, your lightsaber, or your shield. Know that you have been training for this all your life, training for #TheResistance. To make a better world for ourselves and our future, and you are not alone.