On January 20th, Joe Biden took the oath of office to become the 46th president of the United States after an election campaign that included Star Trek-themed fundraisers. The inauguration was a day-long celebration featuring celebrity appearances and performances. It also included a Star Trek Easter egg that even longtime fans may have missed. Globally renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed during the Celebrating America special on Wednesday evening. Ma pre-empted his "Amazing Grace" performance by speaking to the audience and then playing the opening notes to Alexander Courage's original Star Trek theme song. That may seem like a somewhat random move, but it makes more sense in conjunction with Ma's remarks about looking toward a brighter future during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We have been tested these last 10 months, as individuals, families, and communities," Ma said. "But in the midst of devastation and loss, there were moments when a flickering light pointed us toward a brighter future. You brought us comfort; you sustained us. And so that light grew and became a bright beam in the universe. This is for all of you who found new ways for us to smile together."
View this post on Instagram
The nod did not escape Roddenberry Entertainment, the company named for Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. The company's social media accounts shared the clip of Ma's performance with the message, "Sound On! On this day in history.... Amazing Star Trek Grace by Yo-Yo Ma."
Those opening notes are arguably the most iconic musical elements of the entire Star Trek franchise. Courage's original theme holds such power that Jeff Russo sampled it in the opening to Star Trek: Discovery and the streaming series has used Courage's theme on occasion.
Ma's performance isn't the first time Star Trek and "Amazing Grace" have come together. Fans may remember Scotty playing "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes during Spock's funeral in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Star Trek fans may also have noticed Discovery star Anthony Rapp was one of a bevy of Broadway stars who performed the songs "Seasons of Love" from Rent and "Let the Sunshine In" from Hair. Rapp was part of Rent's original Broadway cast, playing Mark Cohen.
What do you think of Yo-Yo Ma's Star Trek easter egg? Let us know in the comments.
More Star Trek:
- Patrick Stewart Gets COVID Vaccine, Thanks Healthcare Workers
- Kate Mulgrew Narrates Captain Janeway's Autobiography
- Michael Dorn Still Pitching Captain Worf Series
- Star Trek Collectibles Company Exo-6 Launches With Hyper-Realistic First Contact Data
Photo by Greg Nash - Pool/Getty Images