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"Star Trek: The Motion Picture"
photo: Paramount Pictures. A crowd shot from "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" made up entirely of fans.

Now with its third rebooted film under its belt and another series, “Star Trek Discovery,” on the way, the “Star Trek” franchise is a powerhouse of American media history. But it would never have made it that far if it weren’t for fans like Joan Winston, Devra Langsam, Stuart Hellinger, John and Bjo Trimble, and countless other average, everyday people who happened to share a fascination with Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future.

"We never quite understood the scope of the people who were interested," Devra said at their Star Trek Mission panel. "All of us were working or we were in college, we were not people who had a job that was the Trek Con, we were people who had a job and then did the Trek con."

"None of us did this to make money," she added. "I think over the years I made about 12 cents an hour."

“The sense of community was one of the best things about fandom of that time," Hellinger told Revelist. "A lot of people stayed in touch, even if it was small groups. The ‘Star Trek’ convention brought a lot of people together in a very, very different way.” 

Now, we have the internet with which to communicate with distant fandom friends — but the passion, love, and optimism that early "Star Trek" fans shared with one another still exists today. All you have to do is seek it out. 

(Promo image via V Threepio on Flickr)