With the new Star Trek movie coming out tomorrow, I thought I’d take a look at this particularly surprising Star Trek reference. What makes it so interesting? The date.
This is the strip from February 7th, 1972. That means that it was years after the original Star Trek series had been cancelled. In fact, this strip hit less than three weeks after the very first Star Trek convention was held (January 21-23, 1972, at the Statler Hilton in New York City) and brought a crowd that blew out everyone’s expectations. With the lead time on comic strips at the time, Schulz did this strip during the dead zone in public perception of Trek – after it was a series that had barely lasted three years, still showing in reruns but before folks realized that there was this underground that was addicted to those reruns, that would soon be building a huge fan culture around this series.
Of course, at the time one could expect better public knowledge of a “failed” series than most shows get today as successful ones, with the viewership for success being set so much lower. Still, Schulz picked well, and it should come as little surprise that Snoopy, the dog who once went to the moon, woudl be attuned to those boldly going where no dog had gone before.
This strip can be found in The Complete Peanuts: 1971-1972.