I have posted fifty-two of my favorite Roddenberry quotes taken from our conversations together, talks and presentations he made, and other sources.

I hope each post shows Trek fans more about the personal interests, philosophy and feelings of the man whose ideas and stories touched us all.


"It speaks to some basic human needs, that there is a tomorrow - it's not all going to be over in a big flash and a bomb, that the human race is improving, that we have things to be proud of as humans. No, ancient astronauts did not build the pyramids - human beings built them because they're clever and they work hard. And 'Star Trek' is about those things."

--from the "Star Trek" 25th Anniversary special, 1991

"I believe in humanity. We are an incredible species. We're still just a child creature, we're still being nasty to each other. And all children go through those phases. We're growing up, we're moving into adolescence now. When we grow up - man, we're going to be something!"

--Hollywood Blvd. "Star" ceremony acceptance speech, 9/4/85

"I had insisted on half women on board [the Enterprise]. The network came to me and said, 'You can't have half women. Our people say it will make it look like a ship with all sorts of mad sexual things going on -- half men and half women.' So we argued about it like a poker game and they finally said, 'Okay. We'll settle for one-third women.' I figured one-third women could take care of the males anyway."

--from personal conversations with Gene in 1990, at La Costa, Calif.

"I feel, as I wake up every morning, 'I hope today isn't the day they find me out.' I have no feeling of having it 'made.' My life, I believe, is a life of education and growth."

--from The Star Trek Interview Book, by Allan Asherman, Pocket Books, 1988

"If there's one thing that characterizes me, it's the fact that everything was a learning experience. My mind does not say, 'That's good. That's bad.' It doesn't structure everything into place. I have an open and inquisitive mind."

--from personal conversations with Gene in 1990, at La Costa, Calif.

"It isn't all over; everything has not been invented; the human adventure is just beginning."

--TV Showpeople, 1975 article by Susan Sackett

"This city -- Los Angeles -- this is a 21st Century city in the making. It's becoming a Third World city, and I think that's marvelous. The mixture of races and colors and religions here says that democracy does work... and it's a great thing -- you haven't seen anything yet... we can become anything, do anything we want to do in Los Angeles."

--Hollywood Blvd. "Star" ceremony acceptance speech, 9/4/85

"If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear."

--as quoted in an Aardvarque greeting card, Santa Barbara, Calif., 1971

"When they say on a show 'Created by' anyone, like 'Created by Gene Roddenberry,' that is not true. I laid out a pathway, and then the only thing I will take credit for is, I surrounded myself by very bright people who came up with all those wonderful things. And then you can appear very smart."

--Hollywood Blvd. "Star" party, 9/4/85

"That's been a question, one of the big questions in my life. 'What is a human?' What are the elements that make a human?' It's a search many elements do you get before you say, "Yes, it's human," where before you were saying it's not human."

--From personal conversations with Gene in 1990 at La Costa

"[CBS] finally told me, 'No, we have a science fiction we like.' And they said it was much more adult than what I was talking about. This was 'Lost In Space.' "

--on first pitching "Star Trek" to a network

"I was pleased that in those days when you couldn't even get blacks on television, that I not only had a black, but a black woman, and a black officer [on 'Star Trek']."

--from the "Star Trek" 25th Anniversary special, 1991

"Almost all of this comes out of my feeling that the human future is bright. We're just beginning. We have wonders ahead of us. I don't see how it can be any other way, with the way the future is going. We now have got a telescope up there. We're photographing the universe. We're inventing the next life form, which is the computer. We're in the midst of it. And it will happen."

--From personal conversations with Gene in 1990 at La Costa

"Bill [Shatner] was very upset when Leonard came on particularly strong at the beginning [of the series] because he said, 'Am I not the Captain? How come [the writers] don't appreciate that?' It was a very natural reaction. I said to Shatner, 'If we had an Eskimo as a second character, you could be sure the Eskimo would get the most delightful lines because of what he is.' I advised him not to worry about Spock because all that reflected on Shatner. particularly if Shatner continued to treat Spock properly in the show. I suggested they should show each other a lot of friendship in the show and it would eventually right itself. And, indeed, it did eventually right itself."

--From personal conversations with Gene in 1990 at La Costa

"This is a marvelous stew, the human condition. It used to be, the stew was made up of tasteless things back in the feudal days. Now, it's laid over with wonderful things in addition to the bad things. You can't study evolution, particularly the evolution of humanity, that you don't see that it's getting better and better."

--From personal conversations with Gene in 1990 at La Costa

"The question of consciousness has always intrigued me. It starts with the question, 'Are we our bodies or are we our consciousness? What are we made up of?' "

--From personal conversations with Gene in 1990 at La Costa

"Captain Kirk is Capt. Hornblower of the sailing ships. [He] was a great hero, and Hemingway said [Hornblower] is the most exciting adventure fiction in the human language."

---from the "Star Trek" 25th Anniversary special, 1991

"My favorite [episode] was 'City on the Edge of Forever' because I stole a little money from other episodes to do it."

---From "Late Night America" - 9/24/85

"Perhaps one of the primary features of 'Star Trek' that made it different from other shows was, it believed that humans are improving - they will vastly improve in the 23rd century."

---From Entertainment Tonight, 20th Anniversary - 1986

"The present blitz about drugs - I think it looks very much like how we treated insane people 100 years ago -- throw them in the cage - as if that's the whole answer. And it's not the whole answer."

--From a CNN interview on the 20th Anniversary - 9/8/86

"Mass communications is our language today between one another, and we can't say, 'Well, let's not talk about anything serious on television.' That is a criminal statement and a criminal intention. In my opinion, the audience is way ahead of our government leaders. I think the government leaders should catch up with our audience, and then we'd have 21st century dreams right now."

--"Good Morning America" interview with Joan Lunden, Friday 11/21/86

"The way Paramount interested me in ["Star Trek: The Next Generation"] is they said, 'It's impossible to do again,' at which point my ears perked up."

--E.T. for Thursday, 1/22/87

"Where would I go if I could visit anywhere in the world? I guess it would be Machu Picchu."

--in response to a question I posed in 1979; a year later I actually got to go Machu Picchu. Since there was no way Gene could get away, he urged me to experience it "for both of us."

"I have had so much trouble with emotion in my life I thought it just would be fun to write someone who didn't have that problem." (referring to Spock)

--From "Late Night America" - 9/24/85

"There is a tomorrow - we humans are going to make it - we're something. To any young-minded person, that's a very important statement." (On what "Star Trek" had to say that made it endure)

--From "Good Morning America" interview with Joan Lunden, Friday Nov. 21, 1986.

"You'd have to be a madman to sit down and say, ' Well, what do I do today? I think I'll create a phenomenon!' "

--From a CNN interview on the 20th Anniversary, 9/8/86.

"Hollywood is one of those rare places where a committee does create something."

--From "Late Night America" - 9/24/85

"I've never had a bad experience with a Trekkie."

--From "Late Night America" - 9/24/85

"We grow - we humans actually grow." (In reference to the fact that women didn't like a fellow woman as second-in-command in the original pilot).

--From "Late Night America" - 9/24/85

"I have nothing but admiration for this silly race of ours. Even with the Hitlers in it and so on. Sometimes it goes into ugliness, but, in all though, it is a beauty. It's like a rose, which also has thorns. We're something."

--From personal conversations with Gene in 1990 at La Costa

"I have always been reasonably leery of religion because there are so many edicts in religion, 'thou shalt not,' or 'thou shalt.' I wanted my world of the future to be clear of that."

--From personal conversations with Gene in 1990 at La Costa

"The worst thing that can happen is someone would say that Roddenberry couldn't do it a second time. It doesn't bother me as long as I did my damnedest to do it a second time."

--prior to the debut of "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

"You can't take this speck of dust in this midst of all this incredible panorama of birth and complexifying and say...this is the only place that [life] happens. It's like turning your back on the whole idea of growth and evolution."

--from a conversation at La Costa, 1990

"Totally unlike anything on 'Star Trek,' for the main reason that the galaxy doesn't have a casting office, where it's forced to use people with two arms and two legs.

--in response to the question, "What would alien life be like?"

"Although we were in a seemingly simplistic medium (television), this simplistic medium allowed us to really ask very deep questions. And we didn't always give deep answers, because it wasn't possible. That's why the audience, over the last 25 years has stayed with 'Star Trek'."

--comment on why "Star Trek" had lasted 25 years

"We're capable of great things. And I've no doubt that the creature that follows us will be capable of even more. Evolution didn't stop with us: 'Oh great and beautiful mankind! We've made it!' -- We haven't. [Evolution] can go on forever."

--from a conversation at La Costa, 1990

"Science fiction writers are not necessarily good movie writers. It may be that [Star Trek is] a television-type vehicle."

--From "Late Night America" - 9/24/85

"I had to recut an entire [TV] movie once because we showed a belly button."

--From "Late Night America" - 9/24/85

"All I've done in 'Star Trek' is have fun, daydream -- and Paramount has graciously given me an office to do that in, has paid me more money than I really feel I deserve -- and they earned more for themselves than I really feel they deserve!"

--Gene's light-hearted comment at the dedication of the Gene Roddenberry Building on the Paramount lot, June 6, 1991

" I'd like to be here when it [comes] back -- I'd like to see bright new talent do really exciting things."

--Entertainment Tonight, "Star Trek" 20th Anniversary interview

"I suppose it is even possible that I'll walk into a studio or network office someday and find that the company president there is someone who once wrote 'Star Trek' a fan letter. Hey, wouldn't that be nice!"

--Gene's intro to my book, "Letters to 'Star Trek' "

"I don't cast [actors] on the basis of votes and so on. I cast what I feel. If we casted as the result of votes, Leonard Nimoy would have been out almost immediately. He was hated by most of the advertisers and station managers and so on.. .But I kept Leonard because I really felt he belonged in the ensemble. I didn't do it because of the audience then or later."

--from a conversation at La Costa, 1990

"I'm not the same man I was when I created the original 'Star Trek.' I did the best I could with that, but almost 25 years have gone by. I had the experience of seeing many science fiction shows fail. It made me even more sure that we should do a quality show."

--from a conversation at La Costa, 1990

"We always figured there would be some families aboard [the Enterprise]. But now we figured we're leaning more heavily on the families. And the reason is these galaxy class ships go out for a longer time. From the way we designed our ship for the new [Next Generation] series, they were to be out longer. And if you want people to join Starfleet, you want to take families, to have a healthy family life. I think it's a better show now because we deal with that."

--from a conversation at La Costa, 1990

"I think now the things I will look to do are things that have more of the common good in mind. I don't have to have a highly successful show. I have to comment on things now that are important, although they may not be well-paying."

--from a conversation at La Costa, 1990

"I wouldn't want to do a third generation of 'Star Trek.' I'm 'Star Trek'ed out. It has satisfied many of my needs. It satisfied my needs for respecting myself... And it gives me a good feeling that it's a body of work in my life that is worth considering

--from a conversation at La Costa, 1990

"I would like to write and create other things. I would hate to have just 'Star Trek' on my tombstone."

--from a conversation with me in the late 1970s

"My other thought at this moment brings a pleased smile. It turns out that the Trekkies have been right all along -- and on nearly everything they have tried to tell us.

-- Introduction to "The Making of 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture'"

"I'm in a period of growth and expansion. I'm taking long, hard looks at the world and what's happening in it, analyzing and thinking. I'm trying to become acquainted with the universe -- with the part of it I occupy -- and trying to settle, for myself, what my relationship with it is."

--Starlog Magazine, 1985, commenting on his never-published book, Report from Earth

"Science fiction is a beautiful game, and a beautiful experience."

-- A&E "Biography," 1994

"If I'm dead, I'll stop thinking about those things [speculating on the future], but as long as I am alive, I intend to have fun with ideas as long as possible."

-- A&E "Biography," 1994

"We have within reach, now, the attainment of almost every dream of mankind."

--on receiving his honorary Doctorate at Emerson College, Boston in the early 1970s

"Let me dream."

-- Gene's words to me in a Jacksonville hotel room, as he began to write, on assignment for Paul McCartney