What is Star Trek?

Star Trek is a vast multimedia franchise. For someone who wants to start watching, it can be a daunting experience. You will encounter the purists who believe only Gene Roddenberry's involvement was "real Trek", or those who outright reject certain series based on aesthetics, or even some who accept every book, comic, fan fiction, and whisper to absolutely be bona fide Star Trek.

You will have your own journey from the cornfields of Broken Bow, Oklahoma to the farthest reaches of space and time. Remember: "The human adventure is just beginning."

Is Star Trek for me?

Star Trek has a different appeal than Star Wars, the only other American sci-fi franchise that is in Trek's league in terms of cultural awareness. With a name like Star Wars, you immediately know what you are getting into: gun fights, laser swords, politics, and a Christmas special. But if you pull a random Star Trek episode, there may not be a single phaser battle at all!

Like Star Wars, there is a deep, rich story that arches from beginning to end... more or less. Each series and movie adds to the tapestry of history in this galaxy not so far away. The franchise has grown with us since the 1960's with stories about humanity at their best and worst. We have loved, laughed, cried, mourned.

Star Trek truly is a human adventure.

How to make sense of Star Trek

With ten television / streaming series comprised of hundreds of episodes, thirteen movies, countless books, comics, games, and fan-made features, there is A LOT going on. It may help to understand the eras of Star Trek.

What may seem confusing at first is that the eras do not line up with the order the shows or movies were initially released. Somewhat how Star Wars started with the original trilogy in the middle of the epic story, Star Trek has told the story by going forward, and backwards, and even to the side, temporally speaking.

  • Early Era

    • Star Trek: Enterprise (2001)

    • Star Trek: Discovery (seasons 1 and 2) (2017)

    • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (in production, 2021)

    • Star Trek (The Original Series) (1966, remastered 2006)

    • Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973)

    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

    • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

    • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

    • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

    • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1988)

    • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

  • Golden Age Era

    • Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)

    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993)

    • Star Trek: Voyager (1995)

    • Star Trek: Generations (1994)

    • Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

    • Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

    • Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

    • Star Trek: Lower Decks (2020)

  • Recovery Era

    • Star Trek (2009) (Spock's flashback scene)

    • Star Trek: Picard (2020)

  • Future Era

    • Star Trek: Discovery (season 3) (2020)

  • Reboot - Early Era

    • Star Trek (2009)

    • Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

    • Star Trek Beyond (2016)

We maintain a machete order episode list and a major timelines chart that will guide you through the evolving story of Star Trek.

Welcome aboard!