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Star Trek Super Fans Speak: Interview With Ray Lauderback

We are role models.

What defines a Super Fan?  It means different things to everyone.  However, there are defining commonalities.  These folks watch the sci-fi phenomenon avidly.  They quote episode dialogue like gospel. They buy the swag – action figures, t-shirts, video games to even imbibing real Romulan Ale.  They’re fondly known as Trekkies or Trekkers. And William Shatner even went on Saturday Night Live and told them to, ‘Get a life!’

Star Trek just a TV show?  Perhaps that’s what Gene Roddenberry’s Hollywood and pop culture legacy means to most of us, but to millions of devotees, living as a Super Fan definitely applies.

They will greet you with or say goodbye with this: Live Long and Prosper

I’m a super fan myself, which led me to even writing professionally for Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.  All the Trek culture introduced me to other passionate Trekkers.  This is second in my series of chats with sci-fi loving Super Fans.  Ray Lauderback feels that Star Trek characters – especially Kirk and his original crew – act as admirable role models for himself.

Why do you love Star Trek so much?  What does it mean to you?

To me, Star Trek represents the potential greatness of Humanity. The stories are true morality plays. For approximately sixty minutes, we are give hope that Mankind’s innate goodness will triumph, and we will fulfill our rightful destiny.

When did you first watch Trek – can you remember clearly?

For as long as I can remember, I watched Star Trek TOS and Star Trek: The Animated Series.

We Are Your Role Models

As a child my Dad’s profession kept him away from home for months at a time, and my Mom worked full time as well. After school, I would stay with my Grandparents, until my Mom came to pick me up.  One of my fondest memories is when my Grandfather surprised me with a model of the Enterprise that he secretly built for me as a present! Me and my friends would play Trek as well, like kids used to play Cowboys and Indians.

I can remember being so excited when TNG came out!  Finally, we got a NEW series!

What makes you a Superfan? Is there a unique criteria?

While I don’t think that there is a specific criteria defining a Super Fan, I can say what makes Star Trek unique to me is that the show presented me with role models. Please, try to name the characters on a television drama today that you would have children aspire to?!!

It’s may be a tall order, but can you list your favorite characters or episodes?

Captain Kirk is my favorite character, but all of the cast/characters from TOS are like family to me! Also, Mark Lenard’s portrayal of the Romulan Commander in “Balance of Terror” is my favorite protagonist.  As a matter of fact, “Balance of Terror” has been my favorite episode of Trek for as long as I can remember.

It borrows heavily from several World War II films, however even as a child I knew this story was about more that two spaceships locked in combat.

Do you enjoy the new Star Trek movies or the CBS All Access show, Star Trek: Discovery?  If you like it, why? If you don’t, why don’t you enjoy the show?

I really do not care for the Discovery series on CBS All Access.  It is not Star Trek. If you want a new Trek like series, watch “The Orville.” Or “Galaxy Quest” even! They ARE Star Trek!

I really enjoyed the first JJ Abrams’s “Star Trek” film; it may actually be the best of all of the Trek movies.  Not my favorite (I am too loyal to the crew’s from TOS and TNG!), but maybe the best.

The action was great, and the story didn’t require that you be a Trekkie or a Trekker to enjoy it. The long-distance communication between George and Winona Kirk in the beginning moments of the film still makes me cry! That scene made me say, “OK, this is Star Trek!” When I first saw it!

I am truly honored to be interviewed by Laugh Trek! Please, everyone reading this, follow Laugh Trek if you haven’t already! LLAP!