"Access to the narrative subroutines" Star Trek berättar [Star Trek tells a story]

Anna Williams


The paper presents a narratological and thematic analysis of the popular, televised science fiction series Star Trek, with focus on Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001) and to some extent Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94). Introducing the holodeck technology in 1987, the series opened a wide spectrum om narrative possibilities. Star Trek has since produced a postmodern and metafictional narrative, drawing on hypertext and several other narrative multi-form techniques. In the article, the relationship between classical storytelling and holofiction is traced an the intricate structures of the many-layered texts are examined, as are their impact on the philosophical discussions on human existence, the relationship between "genuine" humanity and artificial existence, as well as the encounter with the unknown. Narrative and theme are thoroughly interwoven in Star Trek, creating an intriguing entity of form and content. At the same time as Star Trek pursues innovative techniques to bring forth a postmodern narrative, it clings to a conservative ideology that celebrates traditional form, underscores the omnipotence of man, and advocates assimilation to the middle-class, bourgeois values of the American main culture rather than respect for multiculturalism and diversity.


Star Trek; narratology; holodeck; holofiction; story; literary studies

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