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Futurama Combined Two Classic Star Trek Plots For One Of Bender's Best Episodes

Futurama Combined Two Classic Star Trek Plots For One Of Bender's Best Episodes

When Bender meets the entity, he speculates on its origins (and why it communicates in binary). He suggests it is “the remains of a computerized space probe that collided with God,” which the Entity agrees is “probable.” Keeler told Cracked that this origin is “an intentional allusion” to two different “Star Trek” entities. 

One is Nomad, from “The Original Series” episode “The Changeling,” the result of an Earth space probe fusing with an alien probe called the Tan Ru. The combined Nomad seeks to eliminate “imperfection” from the universe. Second is to V’Ger, the antagonist of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” — V’Ger was originally the NASA probe Voyager 6, launched from Earth in the 20th century. Having achieved immense power and sentience on its interstellar voyage, it is making its way back to Earth to share its knowledge with its creators. “Futurama” would parody V’Ger again in the 2010 episode “In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela” with V-GINY, an all-powerful probe that censors obscene planets (such as the Nude Beach Planet, Poopiter, the Planet Whose Name Can’t Be Mentioned in Polite Company).

Keeler explained why he chose this route for the “Futurama” entity’s origin: “We felt that in the ‘Futurama’ universe — where, for example, the second coming has already occurred — we needed at least some kind of mechanistic explanation for the galactic entity Bender meets.” For context, that reference to the second coming stems from the 1999 episode “When Aliens Attack” (also written by Keeler), when Professor Farnsworth offhandedly notes the second coming of Jesus transpired in the year 2443.

The “Star Trek” allusions in “Godfellas” are more than skin deep. Meeting godlike entities is just another day at the office for Starfleet crews, while the philosophical conclusion of “Godfellas” is a humanistic statement that could fit right into the ethos of “Star Trek.”

“Futurama” is streaming on Hulu.

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