Society and Star Trek
Roddenberry was an ardent proponent of egalitarian politics, and frequently used the shows to showcase his vision of a future society based on those principles. A prominent female crew member, Nyota Uhura, was played by Nichelle Nichols, one of the first African-American women to hold a major acting role on American television. Only two decades after the second World War, Star Trek featured an ethnic Japanese officer, Hikaru Sulu (George Takei). In the second season, a Russian character, Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig) was added.
The Vulcan first officer Mr. Spock was at first rejected by network officials who feared that his vaguely satanic appearance might prove too disquieting. However, Spock went on to become one of the most popular characters on the show, arguably due to his role as the peaceful, logical, calm foil to Dr. McCoy's impassioned, old-fashioned, fiery personality.
Modern viewers might find the old series' portrayals of minorities and women backward, but the program was progressive and daring for its time. One of Star Trek's claims to fame is that it featured the first televised kiss between a white character and a black character in the United States. In an episode that used mind control as a ruse to break this taboo, Captain Kirk and Uhura were forced to share the first interracial kiss on American television (episode 67, "Plato's Stepchildren"). However, while they were shown embracing, they did not actually kiss - Kirk's head turns to block the view of the kiss at the last moment. Scenes clearly showing the kiss were filmed, but it was considered too risque to show it.
added much more information on the Star Trek universe. The Federation has an economy of abundance without money, enabled by advanced replicator technology. Labor, purchase, and sale are not necessary, as there is no scarcity to limit the satisfaction of one's material needs and wants. However, certain resources, such as those necessary to power warp and replicator technology, and interplanetary commerce is not uncommon. Greed and jealousy are thus greatly reduced. Characters often explain that the purpose of the people of the Federation is personal and universal beneficence.
Many of the alien species encountered in the series are strikingly similar to humans, both in physical form and in relationships. Mixed race offspring are also possible. In the TNG episode "The Chase", it is explained that many primordial worlds of the Federation were "seeded" by an ancient race of spacefarers, so that their dying race would live on in various forms around the galaxy.
Alien species and political powers in Star Trek often have iconic properties. In some cases these have been directly envisioned by writers, and in others perceived such by fandom. Some examples: