Back in the late 1990s not many people had heard of future president Barack Obama. It was probably as many people as were watching season three of Star Trek: Voyager, which had suffered an eye-opening decline in ratings.
Yet, low and behold, it is possible that these two otherwise unrelated entities would have a significant effect on American politics that would ultimately alter the fabric of time and space (OK, maybe that last part is an exaggeration).
There is a wild but very convincing theory that the low viewing figures for Voyager helped Obama get elected as president in 2008 - and it's all thanks to the actor Jeri Ryan, who joined the show in season four.
Ryan would be cast as Seven of Nine, a former Borg drone that joined the Federation as a foil to Captain Janeway.
Unfortunately for Ryan, the demands of shooting a major television show such as Voyager put a strain on her marriage to husband Jack Ryan, who - in March 2004 - won the Republican primary to face Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate election.
The couple got divorced in 1999 but the details of which weren't made public until 2004, when Ryan had already secured the Republican candidacy.
Now, this is where things get interesting and, at this point, we'd like to point you in the direction of Reddit and the r/AskReddit thread, where a question about domino effects has pulled up a fascinating story about Obama's links to Star Trek.
In the thread, Reddit user 'IAmNotScottBakula' wrote this which has collectively blown the internet's mind.
Star Trek: Voyager was not as well received as previous Star Trek series. In 1997, producers decided to add a new character in an attempt to boost ratings. Actress Jeri Ryan was brought in to play Seven of Nine.
Jeri's frequent separations from her husband, Jack Ryan, due to her acting schedule contributed to their decision to divorce in 1999.
In 2004, Jack Ryan became the Republican nominee for an open Senate seat in Illinois. During the campaign, the proceedings from Ryan's divorce became public, and contained details of his sex life that did not make him look good.
The scandal forced Ryan to drop out of the Senate race in July, leaving the GOP time to only find token opposition to Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
Obama's landslide victory in the Senate race helped launch him onto the national stage, allowing him to pull off an upset victory in the 2008 Democratic primary and win the presidential election.
TL;DR- The lackluster writing of Star Trek: Voyager helped pave the way for the Obama presidency.
So, there you go then. If Ryan wouldn't have been cast in Voyager,then it stands a chance that her husband would have become a senator and the rest of the planet would have never heard of Barack Obama, who may or may not have contributed to the rise of Donald Trump.
Or...Obama would've probably won the 2004 Senate race (polls did put him ahead of Ryan by some margin) by sheer charisma, intelligence and charm alone and didn't need the failings of popular sci-fi series to boost his chances of becoming one of the most beloved politicians in recent memory.
This quite startling theory has made its way on to Twitter, where people are just as astounded.
OK this on Reddit has blown my tiny mind. https://t.co/zJjcJxruEk— Lee Binding (@Lee Binding) 1561457855
@LeeBinding Holy shit!— Pip (@Pip) 1561458158
@LeeBinding At least Voyager was good for something in the end.— JonH (@JonH) 1561459044
@LeeBinding On a side note, Jery Ryan was the best part of that show after she joined. She played a super interesti… https://t.co/c5OneSpPcB— ｡ﾟ･\m\(＞Д＜＃)/m/･ﾟ｡🏳️🌈 (@｡ﾟ･\m\(＞Д＜＃)/m/･ﾟ｡🏳️🌈) 1561463913
@LeeBinding @runarbm But it gets worse: The election of Obama made Trump start with his birther nonsense which made… https://t.co/x1H1j8nxtk— Per A (@Per A) 1561464192
We should point out that Barack Obama is a massive Trekkie and would probably love this story.
During his time in the Oval Office he flashed the Vulcan salute several times and even met Nichelle Nichols, the actor who played Lieutenant Uhura in the 1960s Star Trek series and subsequent movies.
In 2016 he also gave an interview to Wired on why Star Trek was actually a story about 'our common humanity'.
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