There have been so many Star Trek spinoffs, why not another? President Donald Trump and the Pentagon might feel that way since the impeached 45th President of the United States took to Twitter to reveal the logo for the Space Force branch of the U.S. military… and it looks mighty familiar.
Taking time off live hate-tweeting his impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate—only the third in American history—Trump tried to draw fleeting attention to a design that looks similar to the Federation Starfleet Command logo. Appearing almost exactly like the same patch you might see on the arm of a young Captain Kirk or Jean-Luc Picard, the new design might be argued to be an emblem for the ingenuity and vision of the president who willed it into existence.
“After consultation with our Great Military Leaders, designers and others, I am pleased to present the new logo for the United States Space Force, the Sixth Branch of our Magnificent Military!” Trump tweeted.
It took only minutes before CNBC’s Steve Kovach tweeted the Space Force logo side by side with the Star Trek alternative.
Admittedly, the design is also clearly inspired by the U.S. Air Force Space Command logo–which borrowed from Star Trek when it was created in 1982. However, the new Space Force design seemingly bends the Air Force logo even further into a Star Trek shape.
Trump first revealed his intention of creating a sixth branch of the military in July 2018 when he directed the Pentagon to create the Space Force.
“We must have American dominance in space,” the president said at the time. “We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force. Separate but equal. It is going to be something so important.”
Glossing over the fact that Trump evoked the Supreme Court language used to protect Jim Crow segregation laws in the 1896 decision Plessy v. Ferguson, the president’s desire to maintain an orbit safe from hostile satellites or missiles might on the surface seem crucial to national defense in the 21st century. But the shamelessly naked way Trump’s designers have copied Star Trek suggests something else altogether.
By releasing this during the midst of his impeachment trial, the desperation around the publicity created by the Space Force is as transparent as the influence of Gene Roddenberry’s sci-fi show. It would be fair to even wonder why Trump did not evoke the Rebel Alliance logo from the even more popular Star Wars franchise, save it is easy to imagine that the rebels were not the force Trump could most relate to in those movies.
Be that as it may, the internet has already begun snarking about the Space Force logo, with Star Trek actor George Takei tweeting, “Ahem. We are expecting some royalties from this…”
The most bizarre part? It is not entirely clear whether Takei is joking… or if he shouldn’t be.
As of press time, the president still remains impeached.