As the obsessives among us surely already know, this year is the 46th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series. To mark the occasion, Google has created a special Doodle — going live right now on Google’s homepage.
Yesterday, EW talked with Ryan Germick, who headed up this particular Google Doodle, about Star Trek’s pop-culture significance. “We often talk at Google about how awesome it would be to talk to a computer and get exactly what you want and have that kind of engagement, where the computer just knows all [like in Star Trek], and that’s what we’re moving toward,” Germick said. “Other than that, it just seemed like a perfect fit. There are so many Star Trek fans, myself included, it seemed like such a fun thing to celebrate.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you watch Star Trek growing up?
RYAN GERMICK: I did, yes. I’m early 30s and I grew up watching the original series with my dad, and I kind of realized, the guys on the Enterprise were like family friends to me. I’d watched so many episodes of the show that Spock and the others have a space in my mind like my uncles and my aunts. [I also liked the idea] that technology could be a hope for the future. It was a part of my childhood and it’s awesome to try and bring that to life on the homepage.
I love the GOOGLE word with the iconic hairstyles. Why did you decide to do that?
We went through lot of different iterations. What we’re looking to do is show them. And it seemed like a way to double-down sort of silly, campy nature of what we’re doing with the doodle to put in Kirk’s block of hair, Spock’s ears. It’s a testament to the power of the show, and how iconic it is, that you can just put a couple details on anything, even a letter ‘G’ and know it’s a Vulcan. That was really fun to play with and informs the whole direction of [the silly style].
What’s the process like to make an interactive design like this?
It’s actually more like a story — you can click around and discover things. Find some really unique, tiny nuggets from the show that meet the details of the program we all love. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. We had drawings and ideas for the past couple of years. We started putting it together in earnest three or four months back.
What do you think Star Trek’s legacy has been?
For me, it was a vision for the future. I think it was also that it was multicultural, pro-science, and full of curiosity and passion. I think like a lot of good science-fiction, it sort of says a lot about its present era. We can really appreciate what Star Trek did in its time. As an adult, you can appreciate how progressive it was. You learned to be compassionate towards all kinds of people — even alien creatures. Also, the style is just incredible: retro-futuristic. There’s so much to love. As a person that loves technology, there is so much to be inspired by. Being able to get the answers right away — that was from a crazy, far-flung era where computers were the size of refrigerators. And now, I’m so happy to work in the industry I’m in. So some of the realities from the vision of Star Trek are coming true. To be part of a company that makes it happen is really exciting.