At its best, Star Trek appears to function as pop-allegory/pop metaphor, taking current events and issues (ecology, war, racism) and objectifying them for us to contemplate in a sci-fi setting. The world it presents may make no scientific sense but it is well and truly sufficient to lay out human questions for us to think about. Removed from our immediate neighborhoods, it is refreshing and even intriguing to consider earth matters from the distance of a few light years.
Like the best science fiction, Star Trek does not show us other worlds so meaningfully as it shows us our own — for better of worse, in sickness and in health. In truth, Star Trek doesn’t really even pretend to show us other worlds — only humanity refracted in a vaguely hi-tech mirror.
Nicholas Meyer (writer/director of Star Trek II and VI), in The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood (2009)