Even the Vulcans are smiling: Say hello to 'Star Trek's' first female director.

For months, the biggest news surrounding "Star Trek" was whether Quentin Tarantino would write and direct the next installment. Instead, "Star Trek" is getting its first female director. And it's about time.

Though details are still emerging, it appears that Clarkson, a veteran director of episodes of acclaimed shows like "Jessica Jones" and "Orange Is the New Black," will direct the fourth installment in the J.J. Abrams-led film reboot of the long-standing science fiction series.

Abrams is also reportedly co-producing the film with a woman, bringing back Hollywood veteran Lindsey Weber, who co-produced the last Trek film in 2016.


GIF from "Star Trek."

"Star Trek" has a long history of inclusion.

50 years ago, the original "Star Trek" made history with the first interracial kiss on TV. Gene Roddenberry's future was one where humanity had moved beyond divisions of race and gender. It's easy to forget now, but one of the show's main heroes was of Russian origin, during the height of the Cold War. And George Takei's "Sulu" is considered one of the first positive on-screen portrayals of an Asian-American.

GIF from "Star Trek."

That theme has been continued throughout Trek's various iterations. When "Star Trek: The Next Generation" premiered, the series' famous prologue "Where no man has gone before" was replaced with the gender neutral "Where no one has gone before."

GIF from "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

The newest show in the series canon "Star Trek: Discovery," has pushed inclusion even further, featuring a black woman as the series lead, a more racially and culturally diverse cast, prominent LGBTQ characters, and more diverse talent behind the scenes as well.

"Star Trek has always been pictorial of diversity and inclusion and universality," star Sonequa Martin-Green said before Discovery's premiere.

GIF from "Star Trek: Discovery."

Greater inclusion in Hollywood is the right thing to do and it leads to better entertainment for all of us.

The question foremost on most fans' minds is whether the movie or TV show they're watching is going to be any good. All the inclusion and diversity in the world won't amount to much if no one pays attention.

That's why it's all the more encouraging to see films like "Black Panther," "Wonder Woman," and "Get Out" find groundbreaking success both commercially and critically.

GIF from "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

People want to see more diverse stories told from a broader range of people and places. It also just happens to be the right thing to do. And that should give Star Trek fans, and people who care about greater inclusion in Hollywood, a lot to be excited about.

Photo: Canva

We're nearly a year into the pandemic, and what a year it has been. We've gone through the struggles of shutdowns, the trauma of mass death, the seemingly fleeting "We're all in this together" phase, the mind-boggling denial and deluge of misinformation, the constantly frustrating uncertainty, and the ongoing question of when we're going to get to resume some sense of normalcy.

It's been a lot. It's been emotionally and mentally exhausting. And at this point, many of us have hit a wall of pandemic fatigue that's hard to describe. We're just done with all of it, but we know we still have to keep going.

Poet Donna Ashworth has put this "done" feeling into words that are resonating with so many of us. While it seems like we should want to talk to people we love more than ever right now, we've sort of lost the will to socialize pandemically. We're tired of Zoom calls. Getting together masked and socially distanced is doable—we've been doing it—but it sucks. In the wintry north (and recently south) the weather is too crappy to get together outside. So many of us have just gone quiet.

If that sounds like you, you're not alone. As Ashworth wrote:

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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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It's incredible to imagine that Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. "The Red Vineyard" sold in Brussels a few months before his death for just 400 Francs.

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via Walt Disney Television / Flickr and jilhervas / Flickr

There comes a moment in everyone's social media life when they get stressed because they've been followed by an authority figure. When your boss, mother, or priest starts following you, social media immediately becomes a lot less fun.

When that happens, it's time to stop posting photos of yourself partying it up with an adult beverage. You gotta hold back on some of your saltier takes, and you have to start minding your language. Also, you have to be very careful about the posts you're tagged in.

Model, TV personality, and author Chrissy Teigen has been suffering through a mega-dose of this form of social media stress since January 20 when President Joe Biden followed her on Twitter. His follow came after Teigen made the request.

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