Those who have not visited the town of Riverside, Iowa, may not know that there is a statue dedicated to someone who has not been born yet. But, on March 22, 2228, one James Tiberius Kirk will be born, and he will undoubtedly do great things. As he reminded us all in “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” he’s actually from Iowa, and he just works in Outer Space.
To plot a course to Riverside is a treat for “Star Trek” fans, as there is a small museum, a granite sign commemorating Kirk’s future birth, and a bronze statue of the guy. Fans will certainly enjoy their time at the “Voyage Home Museum,” which is free to visit.
Writer Chad Porto reported that the statue of Kirk is entirely accurate. “Having worked many years in private security, handling meet and greets and such, I’ve stood next to [William] Shatner, and he is by no means a tall man.”
The Janeway Statue
Meanwhile, fans can visit another “shrine” to a Trek captain in Bloomington, Indiana. This bust, unveiled only last year, memorializes another place where a famous starship captain will be born. The Janeway Collective raised funds to make an equally impressive landmark for Captain Kate, who will be born in Bloomington in the year 2336.
That makes two statues for Trek captains, and a third might be on the way. Thanks to a group of New Orleans-based Trek enthusiasts, there is a push to get a statue created and placed in the Big Easy. This one would feature a captain who may never return to Earth because he’s too busy with the “Wormhole Aliens.”
As portrayed by actor Avery Brooks, Captain Benjamin Sisko has a vast following among Trek fans. He was the star of “Deep Space Nine,” which many consider the finest in the Trek library; these folks in Louisiana believe that their captain ought to get a spot somewhere in their city.
They’ve put together a petition on Change.org to gather names to make this happen. According to Randolph Allen, the President of the International Federation of Trekkers fan group, this monument would be created in much the same spirit as the Kirk and Janeway attractions are.
“While he is popularly known as ‘The Emissary to the Prophets’ and hero of the Dominion War,” Allen explains on the petition page, “he is the first person of color Starship Captain (and lead) of a Star Trek franchise, a single father, a musician, culinary aficionado, civil rights activist, explorer and engineer.”
“He personifies the best qualities of a New Orleanian and eloquently proves no matter the goals, or the dreams one person can make their dreams possible,” Allen said.
As of this publication, the petition has 3,301 signatures, which is about 1,700 fewer than they need to earn the attention of the “local news.” The movement also has a Facebook page dedicated to making the Sisko memorial happen.
The Sisko Men in New Orleans
While the support for the Sisko Monument appears to be robust, there are a few concerns by some Trek fans, namely that New Orleans does not need another statue.
“I loves me some Avery Brooks, but they don’t really need to build statues of fictional characters to boost tourism; I’d wager they’d rather spend the money to build statues of real people,” said one fan on a Reddit thread on the subject.
On Trek BBS, other fans voiced their full support for a Sisko Monument. “I think a statue of Sisko would be just as important in Louisiana, especially in these times,” said a British Trek fan.
Writer Robert Lloyd told StarTrek.com that the Siskos’ presence in New Orleans meant a lot to the fans, as it showed that many of the city’s current problems were solved. This includes the flooding and destruction caused by hurricanes.
“Real-world developments since those episodes aired give New Orleans’ appearance in ‘Deep Space Nine’ a haunting resonance that is no less optimistic than the other appealing developments of the ‘Star Trek’ future,” Lloyd wrote.