Star Trek: Trekking Onward

As a new generation takes command, the Star Trek phenomenon seems unstoppable

FOR STAR TREK FANS, THE MEMORY STILL HURTS. IT WAS A Saturday Night Live sketch eight years ago, and William Shatner -- the indomitable Captain James Tiberius Kirk from the original TV series -- was playing himself making a guest appearance at a Star Trek convention. After fielding a few dumb questions from the nerdy, trivia-obsessed fans, he suddenly exploded: "I'd just like to say Get a life, will you, people?! I mean, for crying out loud, it was just a TV show!"

No matter that Shatner, in the sketch, quickly recanted, telling the crestfallen Trekkies that his outburst was, of...