Portrait provided by Dr. West

Portrait provided by Dr.Lao

Dr. Stephen Lao, self-described scientist, made an internet announcement yesterday that has the potential to tear the venerated Star Trek series asunder.

Dr. Lao has spent the last few months conducting an independent investigation into numerous anomalies in the fabric of the Star Trek plotline. His only equipment being vegetable juice, Ritalin and cantaloupe slices, he claims the intensive study nearly killed his social life. However, after close scrutiny and meticulous message board discussion, he believes that together these anomalies indicate the existence of a plot hole so massive that it threatens to envelop the entirety of the Roddenberry canon.

Dr. Lao released his findings via a Facebook note posting which promptly shocked the sentient members of his Friends list. His first concern regarded the continuing lack of dilithium crystals throughout the series.

“Dilithium crystals are the most common spaceship fuels, and the most hotly contested mineral resource in the galaxy – in fact, most wars are started over dilithium conflicts. But why don’t they just use the replicator to create more dilithium? This would solve everybody’s problems! Yeesh!”

In addition to faulty dilithium economy, Lao also focused on the aspects of time travel scattered throughout the universe, and came to the conclusion that since time travel only requires a speed of warp 9.8 to obtain the essential “slingshot effect”, it is completely illogical that time travel would be so rarely used.

“While slightly risky, it is remarkably easy to achieve – Kirk’s Enterprise accomplished it no fewer than three times in canon,” said Dr. Lao. “Now, some may argue that the ethical prohibitions on time travel would prevent it from happening. But why wouldn’t the sneaky Romulans, or bellicose Klingon, or – god help us – the Borg, with their characteristic lack of scruples, simply risk a few ships to alter the past when faced with defeat? It’s unrealistic – almost absurdly so – to think that, of all people, the Klingons wouldn’t have attempted it at least once! I mean, are we supposed to believe that Klingons aren’t crazy sometimes?”

Together, Dr. Lao claims, these (and more) anomalies are all related: they are all symptoms of an even larger, as-yet undetected plot hole sitting at the heart of the Star Trek universe. “They seem so glaring, and yet nobody on any Enterprise (or Voyager) has ever even noticed them! Not Spock, not LeVar Burton, not even Wesley Crusher! Now, everyone with an older brother knows that Star Trek is real. But what if – and this is just speculation here – what if it was all a dream?”

“By my calculations, it is perfectly feasible for the entirety of all Star Trek series, movies, animated series, animated movies, and fanfic webisodes to be nothing more than an elaborate fantasy, concocted by none other than the formidable Khan in his cryogenic sleep before being awoken on Stardate 3141.9 in Space Seed – what a great episode. All unexplainable anomalies occur after his deep freeze begins, and with his powerful intellect, would it not be feasible to say that he dreamt it all, and some subconscious fantasy snuck in? I mean, sure, Kirk’s a good looking guy, but could he really have seduced all those women in real life? Another study of mine, conducted in tandem, says no.”

Dr. Lao, according to numerous posts on his Facebook wall, is indeed deserving of his Facebook status as a Renaissance Man. Holding a double doctorate in Futurism and Pastology, he continues to expand his acquaintance with the world by studying his own unemployment in the present. However, he put his personal thesis for his third doctorate (“Interpersonality, Altruism, and the ‘Put-Upon’ Other: A Psychosocial Account of the No-Free-Lunch Phenomenon”) on hold to examine what he believes has “turned out to be the biggest project of [his] super-cool life.”

In an interview conducted over Skype, Dr. Lao commented on the changes internet fame has brought him: “I feel invigorated, like Data after Q grants him emotions. I have all this strange, vital energy flowing through me, but nobody to share it with and no idea where people are. Did you know that grown men aren’t allowed on playgrounds during the school day? Where else am I supposed to be jubilant? Hey, what would you happen to be doing after this interview?”

“Want to go out for something? I think I know a place where you can get a bowl of cereal any time of day. They’ve mostly got healthy things, but if you ask really nicely and really repeat yourself, they usually get you Froot Loops and cool stuff like that. I’ve only got cantaloupe here, so we’d have to go out for something else. Uck, I’m so sick of cantaloupe. My mom tells me I should eat it, but sometimes I’m all like, ‘Stop calling me to tell me what to eat, mom! Cereal’s got, like, 8 essential nutrients! Why you gotta be so down on cereal all the time?’”

“She’s a pretty cool lady, actually. I hear about some dudes’ moms who’re, like, way worse. You know they say you look for girls like your mom, but man, I wouldn’t want to date my mom! She’s so old!”

Dr. Lao’s plans for the future include taking his findings to the upcoming regional Star Trek convention, finishing his third thesis, and doing the dishes.



  1. That may be, but I defy Dr. Lao to find a plot hole in The Planet of the Green Monkeys universe:

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