Last night, Saturday Night Live boldly went where many sketch comedy shows have gone before with their latest Star Trek skit. The parody was set up as a “spinoff” of Star Trek starring guest host Carey Mulligan and SNL regulars Mikey Day, Kate McKinnon, Ego Nwodim, Bowen Yang and Beck Bennett.
Watch the video of the hilarious skit below.
Classic Trek Meets Gen Z
The sketch started with a classic Trek setup. The crew of the starship was about to encounter a spatial anomaly that could destroy the ship and kill the entire crew. Of course, they were dealing with all sorts of technical problems while trying to evade the anomaly. The SNL cast members did an admirable job of spouting very Trek-like technobabble as the scene played out.
McKinnon, who appeared to be the ship’s first officer, and Bennett, the ship’s captain were playing it straight as if they were actually on a traditional Star Trek episode. The majority of the bridge crew was also acting like real Starfleet officers. However, two ensigns, played by Mulligan and Day, were notably different from the rest of the crew. In the midst of a life and death situation, these dramatic, overly sensitive ensigns only cared about themselves and their own feelings.
Throughout the skit, the ensigns clashed with the rest of the bridge crew. Every time they were criticized, they stormed off the bridge in a huff. The classic Trek crew members were baffled by their behavior. One explained that they were “just rich white kids” who couldn’t handle the fact that they weren’t the actual center of the universe.
As the classic Trek crew tried to deal with impending doom, the ensigns kept bursting onto the bridge demanding that their feelings be addressed. Eventually, the captain ordered that the ensigns be tossed out of the airlock. The skit ended with the ensigns careening through space.
The skit stands alone as a funny commentary on how Gen Z’ers would fit in on a classic Star Trek crew. However, the skit also mirrors the debate that’s been happening in the fandom over whether feelings belong in the Star Trek universe. Though the skit never explicitly stated which Star Trek show it was parodying, it could be a commentary on the emotionality in Star Trek: Discovery, which many fans despise.
SNL has Parodied Trek Several Times
This is far from the first time that Star Trek has been the subject of an SNL skit. Throughout the years, the weekly sketch comedy show has taken on Trek several times, especially when William Shatner guest hosts.
In the skit shown above, the crew of the Enterprise, led by Shatner as his iconic Captain Kirk and Kevin Nealon as Spock, are waiters and waitresses at an intergalactic restaurant. Instead of dealing with the life and death threats posed by space travel, the crew deals with the mundane threats posed by restaurant life.
In another skit starring the late John Belushi as Captain Kirk, the crew of the Enterprise faced the most dangerous threat they’ve ever encountered — an NBC executive who wanted to cancel Star Trek. The crew of the Enterprise hilariously attempted to terminate the executive, only to discover that they were surrounded by props.
However, the most famous SNL Star Trek skit is probably the “Get a Life” bit from the ’80s. The sketch portrayed Shatner as himself, at a Star Trek convention. Several Trek nerds, the most prominent played by Rick Moranis, flooded Shatner with questions during his Star Trek panel. An overwhelmed Shatner finally yelled, “Get a life!”
The skit has become iconic within the Trek fandom, and the famous line is oft-repeated.