Great Bird of the Galaxy (glossary term)

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Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, is often referred to by fans as "The Great Bird of the Galaxy," sometimes shortened to "Great Bird."

In the episode, "The Man Trap," Yeoman Janice Rand brought Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu some food, and Sulu said "May the Great Bird of the Galaxy bless your planet!"

According to "Star Trek Encyclopedia" 2nd ed., p. 178), the nickname was given to Roddenberry by associate producer Robert Justman and was used in the original series as an inside joke.

The ultimate origin of the nickname could be "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag" by Robert A. Heinlein, in which a group of evil creatures (Sons of the Bird) believe that the universe was created by the Bird. Star Trek: The Original Series contains other borrowings from Heinlein; the tribbles in "The Trouble with Tribbles" are based on the flat cats in The Rolling Stones.

In a letter to Interstat #88 (1985), Harve Bennett used the phrase, "Great Bird" in a letter to fans:
To all my INTERSTAT friends: 1. Shatner is set. 2. Nimoy is set. 3. The Great Bird returns. 4. We are beginning the final work on story. 5. We plan to use all the STAR TREK regulars. 6. I'll be there too. And that's the news that is. All previous rumors and hysteria are to be disregarded. And thanks to all our friends who had the patience to let events take their course. See you at STAR TREK IV.