Real World article
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To Boldly Go: Marketing the Myth of Star Trek


Cultural manifestations of myth have come a long way since the storytelling of ancient Greece, now materializing on our TV and cinema screens and in advertisements. This book examines how contemporary media marketing has become the new myth-making and has reinforced the particular mythology of the gargantuan Star Trek franchise, across its current lifespan of more than 50 years. The author argues that the tools of promotional material and transmedia merchandising shape viewers' experiences of the hit television series, reinforcing its mythology that both recycles the narratives of classical heritage and looks forward to the future. In this way, it reminds consumers of the Star Trek story's ongoing centrality within popular culture, whether in the form of the original 1960's series, the later additions such as Voyager and Discovery or J.J. Abrams' "reboot" films. Chapters examine how oral and literary traditions have influenced the series structure and its commercial image, how the cosmological role of humanity and the Earth are explored in title sequences across various Star Trek media platforms, and the multi-faceted way in which Internet, video game and event spin-offs create rituals to consolidate the space opera's fan base. Fusing key theory from film, TV, media and folklore studies, as well as anthropology and other specialisms, To Boldly Go is an authoritative guide to the function of myth across the whole Star Trek enterprise.

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