Star Trek franchise
This article is an overview of all the Star Trek productions. For the original television series, see Star Trek: The Original Series
The Star Trek franchise began with Star Trek, a television series produced by Gene Roddenberry (1966–69), and includes four other TV series and several movies. These television series and movies are set in a science fantasy future when mankind is exploring the galaxy in spaceships and encountering other sentient inhabitants of the galaxy.
Star Trek has a large following among fans (known as "Trekkies"), with books, magazines, websites, and conventions. Tri-dimensional chess was one of many thought-provoking innovations introduced by Star Trek.
- 1 The series
- 2 The Movies
- 3 Extraterrestrial life
- 4 Religion in Star Trek
- 5 Political themes
- 6 Relationship views
- 7 Pedophilia and hard-core Star Trek fans
- 8 Institutions
- 9 Technology
- 10 The Prime Directive
- 11 Star Trek in culture
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
|Series name|| Original
| Number of|
|Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS)||1966-1969||80|
|Star Trek: The Animated Series (TAS)||1973-1974||22|
|Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG)||1987-1994||178|
|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)||1993-1999||176|
|Star Trek: Voyager (VOY)||1995-2001||172|
|Star Trek: Enterprise (ENT)||2001-2005||98|
|Star Trek: Discovery (DSC)||2017-present||53|
|Star Trek: Short Treks (ST)||2018-present||10|
|Star Trek: Picard (PIC)||2020-present||20+|
|Star Trek: Lower Decks (LD)||2020-present||30|
|Star Trek: Prodigy (PRO)||2021-present||10|
|Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (SNW)||2021-present||10|
Eight live-action series have been made or announced, plus three animated series. Additionally there are three Star Trek companion series which include: After Trek, Star Trek: Short Treks, and The Ready Room.
The Original Series
For a more detailed treatment, see Star Trek: The Original Series.
The original series has the mostly-human crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise exploring the galaxy and performing various missions for Starfleet, the authority which controls the ship. These missions may be diplomatic or defensive, particularly in connection with the hostile races, the Klingons and the Romulans. Joined by Mr. Spock (half-Vulcan- and half-Human) and Dr. McCoy, Capt. James T. Kirk leads the crew of the USS Enterprise on an intergalactic search for new worlds and new civilizations.
- William Shatner as Captain Kirk
- Leonard Nimoy as Spock
- DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy
- James Doohan as Scotty
- George Takei as Sulu
- Walter Koenig as Chekov
- Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
Notable episodes from Star Trek: TOS
|Episode name|| Original
|Mudd's Women (TOS)||October 13, 1966||1|
|The Enemy Within (TOS)||October 6, 1966||1|
|Charlie X (TOS)||September 15, 1966||1|
|Amok Time (TOS)||September 15,1967||2|
|The Trouble With Tribbles (TOS)||December 29, 1967||2|
|The Tholian Web (TOS)||November 15, 1968||3|
|The Enterprise Incident (TOS)||September 27, 1968||3|
The Next Generation
The Next Generation followed the theme of the original series, but set about 100 years later with a new crew and a new ship, also named the U.S.S. Enterprise, specifically the U.S.S. Enterprise-D. By this time, the Klingons were at peace with the Federation, and the crew included a Klingon security officer Worf, as well as various other non-human races. Also on the crew was Data, an android.
The Ferengi were introduced, and were initially meant to be villains. However, as the series went on, they became a more comical foe. The Cardassians, who would go on to play a major role in Deep Space Nine, became villains in the later years of the series. A major foe introduced with this series was the Borg, a "collective" of drones, beings from various races who were "assimilated" into the collective. When encountering another spaceship, the Borg would often introduce themselves with the statement ""We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile!". The "resistance is futile" phrase has since entered popular culture.
The omnipotent character "Q", with his fascination of Captain Picard and putting humanity on trial had an everlasting impact on the series. Q’s appearance in the 1994 series finale titled “All Good Things…” acted as the perfect bookend to the series, which began with “Encounter at Farpoint” in 1987.
- Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard
- Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker
- LeVar Burton as Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge
- Michael Dorn as Lieuteanant Worf
- Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
- Brent Spiner as Lieuteant Commander Data
- Wil Wheaton as Ensign Wesley Crusher (Seasons 1-4)
- Denise Crosby as Lieuteant Tasha Yar (Season 1)
Deep Space Nine
Deep Space Nine was the fourth Star Trek series and entered production in 1992. It was broadcast in first-run syndication from January 1993 until June 1999. Unlike each of the other series, Deep Space Nine was set on a space station near the planet Bajor, about a year before Next Generation finished its run. The station, originally built by the Cardassians, was administered by Starfleet and with a mixed Starfleet and Bajoran workforce.
The space station protected the only known stable wormhole through which ships could pass to another part of the galaxy. The commanding officer at the rank of commander, rather than captain, for a significant portion of its early run is Benjamin Sisko, who was eventually promoted to captain in the 3rd season episode titled "The Adversary". Other Federation officers assigned were Science Officer Jadzia Dax, Chief Medical officer Julian Bashir. Miles O'Brien, and later Worf, were two characters imported from TNG. Worf – a major character from TNG – played a large role on DS9. One of the characters on the space station was a "shape-shifter" named Odo, a being that could assume any form as the chief of station security in the Bajoran Militia. The first officer was a non-starfleet officer in the Bajoran Militia named Kira Several Next Generation characters also had recurring roles on the show, such as Keiko O'Brien and the Klingon Gowron.
The starship USS Defiant was introduced in season 3, but the station remained the primary setting of the series.
- Avery Brooks as Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Nicole de Boer as Ensign/Lieutenant jg Ezri Dax (1998-1999)
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander Worf (1995-1999)
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant/Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax (1993-1998)
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Nana Visitor as Major/Colonel Kira
Voyager was the name of a Starfleet ship that became trapped in another part of the galaxy, the Delta Quadrant (with Earth being in the Alpha Quadrant), and the series revolved around the crew's attempts to return home, encountering many new races along the way. The series was set around the same time as Deep Space 9.
The Intrepid-class Federation starship USS Voyager was a ship built to return to Starfleet's founding principle of scientific exploration. Led by Captain Kathryn Janeway. On the ship's first mission while departing the space station Deep Space 9, which required it to find and capture a Maquis vessel that disappeared into the treacherous Badlands, the crew of Voyager, as well as that of the Maquis ship it was pursuing, were swept clear across the galaxy and deep into the Delta Quadrant. This was the doing of a powerful alien being known as the Caretaker. The seventy thousand light year transit cost the lives of over a dozen crew members including lieutenant commander Cavit, who was Kathryn Janeway's first officer on the newly-commissioned USS Voyager. After his death, Cavit was later replaced as first officer by Chakotay, who was granted the provisional rank of Commander, as a Maquis leader, even though he left Starfleet years earlier, having been stranded with his Maquis crew alongside Voyager in an uncharted part of the galaxy.
The part of the galaxy Voyager was trapped in was on the far side of the galaxy from which the Borg originated, and they needed to enter the Borg area to return home. For this reason, the Borg is an enemy they encounter numerous times. Voyager features the Borg more than either The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine had. Additionally, one of the characters who joins the series part way through is "Seven of Nine" (born Annika Hansen), a former Borg drone, originally human, who is largely transformed back into a human, although retaining some of the Borg implants and struggling to adapt to human society, having been assimilated into the Borg at a young age. Voyager also featured a female captain, Kathryn Janeway.
- Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Biggs-Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
- Jennifer Lien as Kes (Seasons 1-3)
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Lieutenant Commander Tuvok
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine (Seasons 4-7)
- Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim
Enterprise is set roughly a century prior to The Original Series, at a time when the United Federation of Planets has not yet been formed, and when humans are first starting to travel well beyond Earth, and develop much of the technology that would be common-place in series set later. The mostly-human crew Under the command of United Earth Starfleet is led by Captain Archer, "Trip" Tucker, Reed, Mayweather, and communications officer Hoshi Sato, who travel in a ship also named Enterprise. The other main crew members, not in Starfleet and not human are a Vulcan science officer named T'Pol and a Denobulan doctor named Phlox. The ship formally known as Enterprise NX-01 served a more diplomatic role in the service of United Earth, easing relations between the Vulcans, the Andorians, and the Tellarites, thereby also paving the way toward a Coalition of Planets, an alliance that would lead to the founding of the United Federation of Planets.
The 57th episode of the series in the 3rd season, titled “Exile”, directed by former Star Trek: Voyager series regular Roxann Dawson, First aired October 15, 2003. This was the first episode and remaining point in a Star Trek series to air in high definition format. Enterprise accomplished a number of technical firsts for a Star Trek series. The series was also the first to be produced in widescreen format.
As opposed to other series, Enterprise had a more rag-tag, blue collar feel to it. The best example of this can be seen in its theme song, Where My Heart Will Take Me, by Russell Watson.
- Scott Bakula as Capt. Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Dr. Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as Sub-Cmdr. T'Pol
- Dominic Keating as Lt. Malcolm Reed
- Anthony Montgomery as Ensign Travis Mayweather
- Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi Sato
- Connor Trinneer as Cmdr. Charles 'Trip' Tucker III
Discovery is set a decade before The Original Series. It follows a war between the Klingons and the Federation. The crew of the USS Discovery investigate seven mysterious red signals spread across 30,000 lightyears. Michael Burnham herself set all seven red signals. The Red Angel suit was the centerpiece of the Section 31 Daedalus Project and is capable of a giant electromagnetic pulse. Time crystals used to fuel the suit proved hard to procure, but a young Section 31 operative named Leland learns that one such crystal was being sold on the black market near an Orion outpost and managed to steal it. The time crystal was brought to Doctari Alpha, where a scheduled nearby supernova would provide the energy for a test. With the suit on the verge of being tested, the Klingons attacked the outpost after tracking the crystal. The Burnhams, along with young Michael Burnham in 2236 stationed on the outpost by Leland, were believed killed in the attack, which was later described as a Klingon terror raid. Michael Burnham was then raised on Vulcan by Sarek and Amanda Grayson along with foster brothers Spock and Sybok and was the first Human to ever attend the Vulcan Learning Center.
The story of Discovery follows female 23rd century Human Starfleet officer Michael Burnham, Jr. As a commander, she served as the first officer aboard the USS Shenzhou in 2256 who is then stripped of rank and sentenced to life imprisonment for mutiny, but she gained a second chance when she was assigned to the USS Discovery as a specialist. In collaboration with Tilly and Paul Stamets, Burnham discovered the tardigrade's connection to the mycelial network, which enabled the full utilization of a spore drive in order to stop the Klingon attack on Corvan II.
Control, Section 31's threat assessment system relying on artificial intelligence would ultimately betray Starfleet and massacre the crew of Section 31 Headquarters later possessing Leland who tries to kill Burnham and her team. Control was finally dismantled and neutralized, and the USS Discovery traveled 930 years into the future to prevent it from reasserting itself.
- Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
- Doug Jones as Saru
- Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets
- Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly
- Emily Coutts as Lt. Keyla Detmer
- Oyin Oladejo as Lt. Joann Owosekun
- Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler / Voq
- Patrick Kwok-Choon as Lt. Gen Rhys
- Ronnie Rowe as Lt. R.A. Bryce
- Sara Mitich as Airiam (Season 1) / Lt. Nilsson (Season 2)
- Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber
- Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou / Philippa Georgiou (mirror universe)
Picard is set in the year 2399, 20 years after the events of Star Trek Nemesis. Jean-Luc Picard, who had been promoted to Admiral in the years since Nemesis, is now retired and running his family's vineyard in France. However, when a young woman named Dahj Asha comes to ask for his help, he returns to Starfleet to ask for help, but doesn't get their suppport.
Picard finds reason to believe Dahj is connected to former android Data and feels compelled to help her, but while visiting Starfleet headquarters for support, she is killed by a mysterious force outside the facility.
On an abandoned Borg cube known as the Artifact, Soji Asha (an apparent twin sister of Dahj) works for a Borg Reclamation Project, which is an independent organization operating at this Romulan run Reclamation Site. It was overseen by an executive director, which in 2399 was Hugh, himself a former Borg drone, rescued by Picards Enterprise years ago in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Without Starfleet's support, Picard is left to recruit a crew of his own: Human cyberneticist Dr. Agnes Jurati, who worked at the Daystrom Institute was recruited out of Starfleet by Bruce Maddox to aid him in his android research. Jurati subsequently appeared at Château Picard in the midst of an attack by Romulan assassins and joins Picard for his mission. Estranged former colleague Raffi Musiker, who once served in Starfleet under Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, helped formulate a new plan to evacuate Romulans from the Romulan supernova after the 2385 Attack on Mars destroyed the Romulan rescue armada pilot. Musiker described her life after Starfleet as "one long slide into humiliation and rage". By 2399, she lived alone in a small house at Vasquez Rocks California where Picard comes to recruit her for his misson. Cristóbal Rios, former Starfleet commander and first officer of the USS ibn Majid, is recruited by Picard after Picard learns that Rios had become acquainted with Raffi Musiker who says she knows this pilot with his own starship called the La Sirena. Rios, serving with his fully utilized Emergency Hologram basic installation, each of which was programmed in his own image agrees to Picard's terms to aid him in his search for Bruce Maddox.
The young Qowat Milat-trained martial artist Elnor, and a rescued Fenris Ranger Seven of Nine also join Picard and his team, aboard the civilian freighter La Sirena to track Bruce Maddox to Freecloud, believed to be key to finding and protecting Soji. Their fight to protect Soji takes them to the Artifact, Nepenthe, and Coppelius, where Picard and his crew come head to head with the mysterious forces threatening Soji and other forces threatening the galaxy.
- Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard
- Alison Pill as Dr. Agnes Jurati
- Isa Briones as Soji Asha/ Dahj Asha / Sutra
- Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker
- Santiago Cabrera as Cristóbal Rios
- Harry Treadaway as Narek
- Evan Evagora as Elnor
- Peyton List as Lieutenant Narissa Rizzo
- Tamlyn Tomita as Commodore Oh
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
Lower Decks is the second series to be entirely animated, after Star Trek: The Animated Series, with episodes running half an hour. The show takes place aboard the California-class USS Cerritos on the "lower decks". The show's time period is described as the The Next Generation era, more specifically 2380, after Star Trek Nemesis. The series follows the support crew of Ensigns Mariner, Boimler, Rutherford, and Tendi on the lower decks and their contributions, often comically, to help the the command crew of the second contact ship USS Cerritos.
The support crew serving on one of Starfleet's least important ships, the U.S.S. Cerritos, have to keep up with their duties, even when distracted by their endeavors to rarely go where no one has gone before. Yet often while the ship is being rocked by a multitude of sci-fi anomalies. Ensign Boimler, who is supposed to be on shore leave, is discovered by Ensign Mariner in a storage closet pretending to do a captains log when she tries to pry the PADD out of his hands to listen to it as an example of their friendship and uncharismatic moments as they grow as officers in Starfleet.
Ensigns Mariner, Boimler, Rutherford and Tendi must keep up with their duties and their social lives. Often appearing with the bridge crew, Mariner and Boimler are relief conn and operations station officers on the bridge with Rutherford, an engineer, dating a female trill named Ensign Barnes who mans the operations station on the bridge. D'Vana Tendi is the one of the first prime universe Orion race starfleet junior officers. She's a medic on the roster under chief medical officer Dr. T'Ana. Tendi, who eventually moves on from her medical duties to senior science officer training is very positive and upbeat.
The ship's bridge crew is secondary in focus for the first time in a Star Trek series and includes the mother of Beckett Mariner Captain Carol Freeman, first officer Commander Jack Ransom, a fiery bajoran security chief Lieutenant Shaxs, a Caitian race cat-like chief medical officer Doctor T'Ana and chief engineer Lieutenant Commander Andy Billups.
- Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner
- Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler
- Noël Wells as Ensign D'Vana Tendi
- Eugene Cordero as Ensign Samanthan "Sam" Rutherford
- Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman
- Jerry O'Connell as Commander Jack Ransom
- Fred Tatasciore as Lieutenant Shaxs
- Gillian Vigman as Dr. T'Ana
- Paul Scheer as Lieutenant Commander Andy Billups
Prodigy is the third series to be entirely animated, after Star Trek: The Animated Series, and Star Trek: Lower Decks, with episodes running half an hour. Star Trek: Prodigy entered production in 2021. Star Trek: Prodigy premiered on October 28, 2021, with the first episode titled "Lost & Found" first on Paramount+, then broadcast on Nickelodeon. Set in the Delta Quadrant of our galaxy, with a goal to make their way towards the Alpha Quadrant a motley crew of young aliens find an abandoned Starfleet ship, the U.S.S. Protostar; taking control of the ship, they must learn to work together. Over the course of their adventures together, the crew of young aliens including a Tellarite Jankom Pog, will each be introduced to Starfleet and the ideals it represents. Captain Janeway is the voice and avatar for the Prodigy series U.S.S. Protostar starship’s Emergency Training Hologram, to offer advice and monitor the ships lower level functions teaching the six alien kids about the ship they commandeer, knowledge about Starfleet, and the ethos of the United Federation of Planets.
Like Janeway from Star Trek:Voyager, Chakotay returns as Captain of his own vessel in Prodigy. Star Trek Voyager guest star Jason Alexander is apart of the main cast of Prodigy voicing Doctor Noum.
- Rylee Alazraqui as Rok-Tahk
- Jason Alexander as Doctor Noum
- Dee Bradley Baker as Murf
- Robert Beltran as Captain Chakotay
- Daveed Diggs as Commander Tysess
- Brett Gray as Dal
- Angus Imrie as Zero
- Jameela Jamil as Ensign Asencia
- Jason Mantzoukas as Jankom Pog
- Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway
- John Noble as Diviner
- Ella Purnell as Gwyn
- Jimmi Simpson as Drednok
Strange New Worlds
Strange New Worlds will follow Captain Pike, Science Officer Spock, and Number One in the decade before Captain Kirk boarded the USS Enterprise, as they explore new worlds around the galaxy. With episodes running one hour, SNW will air on Paramount Plus streaming service.
- Anson Mount as Christopher Pike
- Ethan Peck as Spock
- Rebecca Romijn as Una, also known as Number One
- Jess Bush as Nurse Christine Chapel
- Celia Rose Gooding as Nyota Uhura
- Babs Olusanmokun as Dr. M'Benga
- Christina Chong as La'an Noonien-Singh
- Bruce Horak as Hemmer
- Melissa Navia as Erica Ortegas
Twelve Star Trek movies have been produced. Star Trek I-VI follow the original cast after the events of the original series. Star Trek: Generations to Star Trek: Nemesis follow the cast of The Next Generation (although Generations featured William Shatner, James Doohan and Walter Koenig). A common trend for the first ten films is the even numbered films tend to be better received critically than the odd numbered films. However, Star Trek Nemesis, the tenth film, was not well-received. Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Star Trek Beyond act as reboots and prequels to the original series. The films are referred to as "The Kelvin Timeline." They are also more action-oriented, and are said by many to be similar to Star Wars in that sense. They also act as sequels, as an older version of Spock appears in both films, coming from the year 2387, eight years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis.
|Movie Name||Date of Release||MPAA Rating|
|Star Trek: The Motion Picture||December 7, 1979||PG|
|Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan||June 4, 1982||PG|
|Star Trek III: The Search for Spock||June 1, 1984||PG|
|Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home||November 26, 1986||PG|
|Star Trek V: The Final Frontier||June 9, 1989||PG|
|Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country||December 6, 1991||PG|
|Star Trek: Generations||November 18, 1994||PG|
|Star Trek: First Contact||November 22, 1996||PG-13|
|Star Trek: Insurrection||December 11, 1998||PG|
|Star Trek: Nemesis||December 13, 2002||PG-13|
|Star Trek||May 8, 2009||PG-13|
|Star Trek Into Darkness||May 16, 2013||PG-13|
|Star Trek Beyond||July 22, 2016||PG-13|
For a more detailed treatment, see Extraterrestrial life in Star Trek.
The drama of the shows typically arises from the crew's contact with various forms of extraterrestrial life, mostly, but not always, humanoid (e.g. the "Crystalline Entity"). In various ways, the premise of the ancient astronaut theory is used to assert the seeding of life throughout the galaxy as brought up in The Next Generation, although not to the overt extent of a later, unrelated, TV series, Stargate SG-1.
Religion in Star Trek
As a humanist, Gene Roddenberry infused Star Trek with humanism's dream of a world (or galaxy in this case) where humanity (and many other intelligent beings) were constantly improving the life quality of all beings both through improving technology and improving societal conditions. People worked together for the common good, rather than for money, and without any class or other distinctions. This is a small part of what is expected in the Christian view of heaven, except that humanism believes that mankind can achieve this through its own efforts, rather than with the help of God. In reality, however, God is needed for humanity to reach its full potential.
Roddenberry rarely had the shows overtly reject religion, although some episodes would make reference to it as a part of culture. For instance in an episode with a man who could not die, it was noted that in one of his personas in Earth history he had been Lazarus (who Jesus raised from the dead). In another episode, a virtual clone of Earth where the Roman Empire never fell was now chasing down followers of "the son" (which the crew mistook to be "sun") and their message of peace and love instead of violence and oppression.
Roddenberry's initial concept of Star Trek included a man with pointed ears, angles eyebrows, a tail, and red skin to be the captain's (Kirk's) second in command. This was an intentional imitation of the cultural depiction of Satan. However, others advised him to tone this down lest the Christian population be offended, and he did so. The result was Spock and all other Vulcans.
Later series, under the control of other producers particularly after Roddenberry died, also brought religious concepts into the show, but seldom with the same direct references to Christianity, but rather to more generic religious thought.
The Next Generation
An episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation has one major example of anti-religion bias. The third-season episode entitled "Who Watches the Watchers," implies that an alien culture discarding religious beliefs is a positive development. In the episode "Tapestry", Captain Picard dies and goes to the "afterlife" where he meets his erstwhile adversary "Q", who implies that he is God. Picard refuses to believe this, and makes a comment that "The Universe is not so badly run." However the majority of episodes remain silent on religion. In another episode where the ship is trapped and an alien will perform experiments that will kill up to half the crew, Picard discusses with "Data" (actually the alien in disguise) what happens after one dies and says some believe in a god who keeps them in their present form forever and others believe that this is all there is. When questioned further, he says that he finds the universe is too orderly to believe that this is all there is and thinks that we will go on existing in a reality that we cannot currently comprehend.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine included religion more than any other series. An overarching theme of the series was the relation of the main character, Captain Benjamin Sisko, to the Bajoran religion in his role as the emissary to the Bajoran prophets. The prophets were beings who lived in a stable wormhole (a unique phenomenon in the Star Trek universe referred to by the Bajorans as the Celestial Temple) that perceived all of time as a single event with no concept of past, present, or future. Despite their immense dissimilarity to other races in the galaxy, the Prophets took unusual interest in Bajor, sending "orbs" which were used as tools of prophecy by the Bajoran clergy, and in Sisko who it is revealed exists solely to fulfill a predetermined historical path in an Armageddon-like showdown as the avatar of the prophets against the Pah Wraiths (aliens like the Prophets who were expelled from the Celestial Temple).
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine also had the Dominion, in which the Founders (shape-shifting aliens sometimes called Changelings) are treated as living gods by the races under their control.
In Star Trek: Voyager, the first officer (Commander Chakotay) repeatedly speaks of and engages in seeking guidance from his "spirit guide." He also introduces others to his pagan belief, including Captain Janeway. He is also able to speak with the dead, such as his father. In the series, this is shown as an interesting but harmless ability, although Christians recognize it to be a representation of demonic activity. As well as being interspersed with other themes in a variety of episodes, almost an entire episode was also dedicated to this religion.
The Klingon religion in various series suggests that the first Klingons realized they had no need for their gods, and killed them, although they still hold to an afterlife where the honorable dead join with the deified Kahless and the dishonorable dead are forced to spend eternity on the Barge of the Dead with the demon-like figure Fecklarr.
The Ferengi (mainly in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) had a religion of sorts based on the concept of The Great River (as shown in "Faith, Treachery and The Great River"), which was similar to "The invisible hand" a phrase coined by Adam Smith. Ferengi also hold that if they achieve enough profit during their lives, they will meet the Blessed Exchequer who will grant them access to the Divine Treasury, whereas an unsuccessful Ferengi may find himself left in the Vault of Eternal Destitution.
Producer Gene Roddenberry emphasized his "utopian vision" of humanity's future. Following this vision, humanity is considered to have achieved perfection in Star Trek. This includes overcoming greed, hate, jealousy, as well as ethnic and national rivalries. In the original series, this vision is illustrated by the use a Russian man and a black woman as regular minor characters (Chekov and Uhura). The Federation's charter, in fact, was a word-for-word copy of the United Nations charter, and by extension, the constitution for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Negative characteristics are generally found only in alien races. In a typical episode, one alien race is trying to enslave another, and the Enterprise intervenes to restore balance. The principle of equality is thus applied universally, with the Declaration of Independence sometimes mentioned explicitly. In these episodes, the Federation stands in for the United States, while the villain species stands in for Communists or Nazis. In other episodes, an alien species is used to comment on imperfections in contemporary America. One episode depicts a species divided into two races by skin color. For one race, the left side is white, and right side is black. For the other race, these colors are reversed.
In the original series, the military nature of Starfleet combined with the need for adventure and dramatic conflict were sufficient to limit the influence of Roddenberry's left-wing views. These episodes were recorded prior to the feminist era, so gender relations are according to nature and tradition. The early seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation suffered severely from the Roddenberry vision. For example, the character Q was used to parody God. Roddenberry's skeptical view of religion was detailed in several dialogs between Q and Picard. As Roddenberry's health declined, Rick Berman's influence grew. He was promoted to executive producer during the third season of TNG. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a Berman creation, broke with the Roddenberry vision in several ways. It included various flawed human characters, and we learned that Starfleet has a secret agency called Section 31 that was responsible for various atrocities.
As the citizens of the Federation have access to goods in unlimited supply, it does not have a conventional economy. However, various characters are depicted as running small businesses such as vineyards or restaurants, presumably just for the fun of it. On the issue of money, the show is inconsistent. Some episodes claim that the Federation has abolished money, others depict Federation citizens bartering for latinum, the Ferengi currency. The Ferengi are traders and businessmen and have an unfettered free market economy. Although it is never made clear what kind of economy the Federation itself has, the Ferengi and other races are depicted as envious of it.
In addition to his views on religion and politics, Roddenberry had controversial views on relationships. A kiss between Kirk (William Shatner) and Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) was aired in 1968. This is generally considered the first interracial kiss on American television, although Sammy Davis Jr. did give Nancy Sinatra a peck on the check almost a year earlier. Picard and Lily had an interracial kiss in Star Trek: First Contact (1996), although this was only a brief goodbye kiss.
Roddenberry was also supportive of same-sex relationships, and wanted to integrate homosexual characters into his second series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, reasoning that by the 24th century "no one would care." According to his personal assistant, Ernie Over, "He had an agenda (see homosexual agenda), which was to get gay people onto 'Star Trek.'" However, this proposal was met with resistance by Paramount Television, who reasoned that because the show would eventually be syndicated, it would be accessible to young children for whom such material would be extremely inappropriate. There are some hints of Roddenberry's in early episodes of TNG, such as the notorious background extras wearing skirts.
An early episode of TNG, "Blood and Fire," was intended to be an allegory for AIDS and was to feature homosexual characters. It was never produced, but went on to be used in the fan-produced Star Trek: Phase II. Roddenberry repeatedly promised to broach the issue in later seasons but never did before his death. Notably, Whoopi Goldberg attempted to use politically correct, gender-neutral language when explaining sexuality but was rebuffed. She said, "This show is beyond that. It should be 'When two people are in love.'" And so it was decided on set that one of the tables in the background should have two men holding hands — or two women, or whatever. But someone ran to a phone and made a call to the Paramount production office and that was nixed. [Producer] David Livingston came down and made sure that didn't happen."
Despite the absence of major homosexual characters, several story lines have indirectly depicted homosexual and other relationships in a positive, or at the very least ambiguous light. For example, in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Commander William Riker (presumed heterosexual from a previous relationship with Deanna Troi) falls in love with an individual from an androgynous race. In DS9, Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax (a Trill, a being comprising a humanoid host of a member of another, asexual, species) briefly resumes a relationship with a wife from a previous lifetime (a male host of the same symbiont), and they are shown kissing on screen.
According to Ira Steven Behr, DS9's showrunner, "I know they got a lot of negative feedback, which only goes to prove a point I always believed in, which is that science fiction fans and Star Trek fans are much more conservative than people want to believe, and this whole Gene Roddenberry liberal Humanistic vision is truly not shared by a significant portion of them." As of 2013 with the release of Star Trek Into Darkness no openly gay characters have been featured and the liberal media consider this "a glaring double standard." However, prior to 2016's Star Trek Beyond, it was revealed that Sulu will be gay. George Takei said that while he was glad that a gay character will be featured in the film, he felt the move interfered with Roddenberry's original vision.
Pedophilia and hard-core Star Trek fans
Ellen Ladowsky wrote in Huffington Post:
|“|| The LA Times recently ran a story about the Child Exploitation Section of the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit, which contained a mind-boggling statistic: of the more than 100 offenders the unit has arrested over the last four years, "all but one" has been "a hard-core Trekkie." Blogger Ernest Miller thought this claim was improbable. "I could go to a science fiction convention," he explained "and be less likely to find that 99+ percent of the attendees were hard-core Trekkies." While there may be quibbling about the exact numbers, the Toronto detectives claim that the connection is undeniable.
In fact, Star Trek paraphernalia has so routinely been found at the homes of the pedophiles they've arrested that it has become a gruesome joke in the squad room. (On the wall, there is a Star Trek poster with the detectives' faces replacing those of the crew members). This does not mean that watching Star Trek makes you a pedophile. It does mean that if you're a pedophile, odds are you've watched a lot of Star Trek.
The United Federation of Planets is the multi-world government based on Earth, and under which auspices Starfleet operates.
Starfleet is the exploratory and defensive organisation which operates the various starships.
The Academy is where Starfleet officers and crew are trained.
The universe of Star Trek has an array of advanced technology, some of which has foreshadowed real developments. This technology includes computer speech recognition, atom-level fabrication, massive energy production, and faster-than-light travel.
All Starfleet members from the time of The Next Generation on wear broach-size devices on their uniforms which allow instant two-way communication between crew-members or between the crew-member and the ship's computer.
The transporters, being developed at the time of Enterprise, disassemble and reassemble inanimate and animate things, including people, allowing them to be transported over moderate distances. For example, transporters are frequently used to send people from a spaceship in orbit to the surface of a planet and return.
Replicators, introduced in The Next Generation use similar technology to fabricate inanimate objects from a molecular or atomic level. This includes spare parts for the ships. Specialized food replicators can fabricate a wide variety of food, which is suitable for everyday use, but can on occasions not be quite as good as the real thing.
Holodecks and holosuites (the latter on Deep Space Nine) are rooms containing holoprojectors that project holographic images with solidity, allowing people to interact with the images. A computer controls the images, which includes holographic people who appear just like real people. The Voyager series introduced an "emergency medical hologram", a holographic doctor which could be activated in the case of an emergency. In this case, the ship's real doctor was killed, and the holographic doctor was a regular character, with enhanced abilities including being able to activate and deactivate himself. He also managed to acquire a portable holographic projector that he could wear, allowing him to leave the confines of the ship's sick bay and its fixed holographic projectors.
Phasers are the classic "ray gun", emitting a beam that, depending on the setting, was capable of stunning or killing the person on the receiving end.
Tricorders were hand-held devices combining the functions of a computer, communicator, and laboratory for sensing and testing objects. Specialized medical tricorders were also used by medical officers.
Warp drives allow spaceships to travel vast distances by creating a sub-space "bubble" around the ship, allowing faster-than-light travel, a necessity when travelling around the galaxy as part of a day's work.
The Prime Directive
Starfleet had The Prime Directive, first introduced in Star Trek: The Original Series, which said that its personnel should not interfere with the natural progression of a species. The directive sometimes clashed with morality or common sense and on many occasions was ignored by Starfleet officers. There was also a Temporal Prime Directive, introduced in Star Trek: Voyager, which said that when going into the past (by various means) they should not try to alter the course of history. When someone from Starfleet (or elsewhere) violated the directive, officers were justified in working to stop them as long as they did not violate the directive themselves. The plot point of the Prime Directive was largely created as a response to the Vietnam War by Gene L. Coon, with the intended message being to denounce American involvement in the war.
Star Trek in culture
Various concepts from Star Trek have entered popular culture, including the following:
- The Vulcan greeting, Live long and prosper.
- The Borg warning that resistance is futile.
- The Klingon language has been developed as a complete artificial language.
- The first space shuttle, Enterprise, was named for the ship in the original series.
- Episode Where Silence has Lease on Memory-Alpha.
- Episode Script
- Walker, J., Same As It Ever Was?: Star Trek After Gene Roddenberry, This Was Television
- Articles of Federation on Conservative News and Views
- "The Omega Glory", March 1, 1968. Watch Kirk read the Declaration of Independence here. It's with feeling; He is obviously an American.
- Cantor, Paul A., Gilligan Unbound: Pop Culture in the Age of Globalization, p. 46.
- “Let This Be Your Last Battlefield”, Jan. 10, 1969.
- Yglesias, Matthew, “The Star Trek Economy: (Mostly) Post-Scarcity (Mostly) Socialism", Slate. Nov. 18, 2013.
- See e.g. this video.
- “Plato’s Stepchildren,” Nov. 22, 1968.
- Movin' with Nancy, Dec. 11, 1967.
- Miss Cellania, "TV's First Interracial Kiss”, Neatorama, April 10, 2013.
- Here is an image.
- The Outcast, originally aired Mar. 16, 1992.
- Rejoined, originally aired Oct. 30, 1995.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, issue 5 (credit to Memory Alpha for finding the quote)
- Pedophilia and Star Trek fans
- Star Trek: a tarnished jubilee (Intro) on Conservative News and Views
- Communism: the Star Trek economy on Conservative News and Views
- Articles of Federation on Conservative News and Views
- Philosophy and theology in Star Trek on Conservative News and Views
- Star Trek science controversies on Conservative News and Views
- Future in, and of, Star Trek on Conservative News and Views
The author of these articles has republished them to Conservapedia in essay form, as follows: