"Star Trek" turns 50 today, which means it's time to grade the progress we've made against the franchise's vision of the future.

Ask anyone — from a casual fan to the guy who spent $500,000 turning his basement into the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise NX-01 —  to describe "Trek," and you'll likely hear the word "optimistic." Unlike the widely admired TV dramas of today, which love their morally compromised heroes, no-win situations, and characters suffering for doing the right thing, "Star Trek" is full of good people trying their best, often while being chased by giant cats.

GIF from "Star Trek"/Paramount.

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John Cho's recent announcement that Sulu will be gay in "Star Trek: Beyond" predictably set the Internet on fire.

Photo from "Star Trek: Beyond"/Paramount Pictures.

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