Star Trek

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Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock and William Shatner as James T. Kirk in Star Trek

Star Trek (German about: "Star Travel", "stars treck ", "travel through space") is a long-lived American science fiction - Franchise that the film production company Paramount Pictures or its parent company ViacomCBS belongs. It is based on the television series Spaceship Enterprise , invented by Gene Roddenberry , which premiered under the title Star Trek in the United States from 1966 to 1969. In addition to the pilot film Der Käfig, the canonical part of the franchise includes at least seven real- life television series with more than 700 episodes and 13 movies (as of January 2020). The more than 1000 comics licensed by Paramount and also belonging to the franchise and the novels and short stories published in more than 700 volumes are mostly not part of the canon.

Spaceship Enterprise, The Enterprise and the first six films released from 1979 to 1991 are set in the 23rd century. A new start for Star Trek on television was the series Spaceship Enterprise - The Next Century , which first aired in 1987 and is the most successful in terms of viewership and set in the 24th century. Based on their success, the spin-off series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Spaceship Voyager and, starting in 1994 with Star Trek: Gathering of Generations , four other movies emerged. In 2001, the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise , set in the 22nd century, was ended in 2005 due to poor audience ratings. The commercial failure of the tenth movie Star Trek: Nemesis 2002 was one of the reasons why no further films were made until 2009.

The eleventh movie Star Trek , released in 2009, represented a reboot for the franchise . It marked the beginning of three other movies that were set again in the 23rd century, but mostly in a newly created timeline (Kelvin timeline). In 2017, the television series Star Trek: Discovery began , set back in the original timeline in the 23rd century. Star Trek: Picard , set in the 24th century, began in 2020 . Further Star Trek television series are in production or preparation.

The focus of the action is primarily on command officers, but also other crew members , on a spaceship or a space station, often called the Enterprise . It tells of their encounters with strange worlds, previously unknown forms of life, new civilizations and astrophysical phenomena as well as family matters. Most of them belong to the "Federation of the United Planets", an alliance of peoples in the Milky Way founded in the 22nd century and ruled from Earth . In addition to humans, there are a large number of other species , including the humanoid Klingons , Romulans and Cardassians, and the partly artificial Borg . In the stories told, Star Trek addresses social, political, philosophical and ethical problems.

The television series and films appeared in numerous countries and languages, including German. The most important of the more than 100 awards for the series and films include 33 Emmy Awards, an Oscar and several Hugo Awards . In the 1990s , the wave of enthusiasm for Star Trek that was largely triggered by The Next Century reached a climax. Star Trek - Fans , some " Trekkies called" or "Trekker" took reinforced on Star Trek - Conventions part and organized into several thousand supporters' clubs . As part of the franchise, numerous fan fiction stories and merchandising products such as games and model kits, but also Star Trek wikis such as Memory Alpha were created . Star Trek became the most lucrative source of income for Paramount Pictures, with revenues from television series, feature films, and merchandising sales estimated at over $ 1 billion in 1993.

Overview of TV series and movies

TV Shows

German television title (English original title) 3 Series form Abbreviation US first publ. Years of
Starship Enterprise ( Star Trek ) Real film TOS 1966-1969 2265-2269 079 1 (3) -
The Enterprise ( Star Trek ) Animation TAS 1973-1974 2269-2270 022 (2) -
Starship Enterprise - The Next Century
( Star Trek: The Next Generation )
Real film TNG 1987-1994 2364-2370 178 (7) Maurice Hurley (season 2) , Michael Piller (season 3–7) ,
Jeri Taylor (season 7)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Real film DS9 1993-1999 2369-2375 176 (7) Michael Piller (seasons 1–2) , Ira Steven Behr (seasons 3–7)
Star Trek: Spaceship Voyager ( Star Trek: Voyager ) Real film VOY 1995-2001 2371-2377 172 (7) Michael Piller (season 1) , Jeri Taylor (season 1-4) ,
Brannon Braga (season 5-6) , Kenneth Biller (season 7)
Star Trek: Enterprise 2 Real film ENT 2001-2005 2151-2155 098 (4) Brannon Braga (season 1-4) , Manny Coto (season 4)
Star Trek: Discovery Real film DSC since 2017 2256– 029+ (2) Gretchen J. Berg , Aaron Harberts
Star Trek: Short Treks Real film, animation, short film ST since 2018 010+ (2) -
Star Trek: Picard Real film PIC since 2020 2399– 010+ (1) Michael Chabon
Star Trek: Lower Decks Animation , comedy since 2020 2380– 003+ (1) Mike McMahan
Star Trek: Prodigy Animation, children's series probably from 2021 000+ Kevin Hageman , Dan Hageman

1 The pilot film Der Käfig, produced in 1964/1965 and first broadcast in 1988, is not one of the three seasons of Raumschiff Enterprise .
2 After the second season, the series Enterprise was renamed Star Trek: Enterprise .
3 The English original title is given in brackets if it differs from the German television title, and otherwise corresponds to the German television title.


No. German title Original English title Film year Years of
Director script
1 Star Trek: The Movie Star Trek: The Motion Picture 1979 2273 Robert Wise Harold Livingston
2 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 1982 2285 Nicholas Meyer Jack B. Sowards
3 Star Trek III: In Search of Mr. Spock Star Trek III: The Search for Spock 1984 2285 Leonard Nimoy Harve Bennett
4th Star Trek IV: Back to the Present Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home 1986 2286, 1986 Harve Bennett , S. Meerson , P. Krikes , N. Meyer
5 Star Trek V: On the Edge of the Universe Star Trek V: The Final Frontier 1989 2287 William Shatner David Loughery
6th Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Land Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country 1991 2293 Nicholas Meyer Nicholas Meyer , Denny Martin Flinn
7th Star Trek: Generations Meet Star Trek: Generations 1994 2371, 2293 David Carson Ronald D. Moore , Brannon Braga
8th Star Trek: First Contact Star Trek: First Contact 1996 2373, 2063 Jonathan Frakes
9 Star Trek: The Uprising Star Trek: Insurrection 1998 2375 Michael Piller
10 Star Trek: Nemesis Star Trek: Nemesis 2002 2379 Stuart Baird John Logan
11 Star Trek Star Trek 2009 2233-2258, 2387 JJ Abrams Alex Kurtzman , Roberto Orci
12 Star Trek Into Darkness Star Trek Into Darkness 2013 2259-2260 Alex Kurtzman , R. Orci, D. Lindelof
13 Star Trek Beyond Star Trek Beyond 2016 2263 Justin Lin Simon Pegg , D. Jung , R. Orci, JD Payne , P. McKay

Content and plot

See also: Races and Groups in the Star Trek Universe , Timelines from Star Trek , Spaceships and Space Stations in the Star Trek Universe , Star Trek Technology

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was a passionate advocate of egalitarian politics and often used the series to convey his vision of a future society based on these principles.


Star Trek describes a utopian future in which humanity has made enormous social and technical advances. The stories of ship crews and fellow travelers on spaceships and stations of the scientific and military star fleet are told . Humanity has overcome most of today's problems, such as social inequality , racism , intolerance , poverty and war . Even capitalism and money function no longer exist. Humanity has grown into a global unit and colonizes other planets beyond the earth . She follows the principle of peaceful coexistence with other forms of life. The intelligent living beings in the Star Trek universe differ in terms of their ethics and form of society .

Cosmic and astrophysical objects featured in Star Trek include singularities , spaces that are absolutely empty , wormholes, and nebulae of dark matter . Real and currently known objects are also part of the Star Trek universe; Andromeda and M33 as well as Rigel and Wolf 359 are mentioned again and again .

21st and 22nd centuries

In the year 2053, after 27 years, the Third World War ends on earth , as a result of which numerous large cities were destroyed, several hundred million people died and several state governments disappeared. Ten years later, the human Zefram Cochrane succeeds in launching his spaceship Phoenix into space. His ship is the first to feature the warp drive he invented , which enables it to fly faster than light . Cochrane's first warp flight leads to the fact that some Vulcans become aware of humanity and that people have conscious contact with extraterrestrials for the first time (→ The first contact ). In the culture of the Vulcans, strictly logical thinking that is free of emotions is of central importance, and their life expectancy is significantly higher than that of humans.

In the course of the following decades, humans were able to further develop warp propulsion for even higher flight speeds. In the mid- 22nd century, humans cooperated with the Vulcans in terms of space exploration. People use Starfleet , which consists of spaceships, crews and other organizational elements , as a means for exploring space, but also for defense . Their headquarters are in San Francisco . By mutual agreement, they send the newly built spacecraft Enterprise NX-01 into space for this purpose in 2151 . The command of the ship, which can reach a maximum of warp 5 and which is a prototype with about 80 crew members, is given to the human Captain Jonathan Archer . On their often aimless voyage, the crew of the ship comes into contact with numerous, previously unknown intelligent species and, in the process, sometimes enters settled planets (→ Enterprise ). In 2153, the Xindi species attacked Earth, killing at least seven million people. The Enterprise can put an end to the destructive goings-on of the Xindi (→ Enterprise: Season 3 ). The Enterprise NX-01's mission ends in 2161.

Milky Way divided into quadrants

With the common goals of peaceful coexistence, including in trade, research and science, people, Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites founded the United Federation of Planets in 2161 , into which other cultures such as the Betazoids were later incorporated. Politically, it acts according to the principle of multilateralism . Its headquarters are in Paris .

The “Supreme Directive” is the main political principle of the Federation. It contains a binding principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other civilizations, especially as long as they have not yet developed warp technology. Such “pre-warp civilizations” enjoy the special protection of their cultural and intellectual development from influences from more highly developed civilizations. The supreme directive includes a principle prohibition of all measures that could be capable of changing the natural development of a pre-warp civilization, even if this were done with the best of intentions or unnoticed. Only camouflaged anthropological observation expeditions with the aim of researching non-space-faring civilizations are permitted, taking into account non-interference.

"United Star Ship" or "United Space Ship" (USS) are all spaceships that are in action on behalf of Starfleet. The names of the spaceships are usually geographical names, such as names of states, cities, rivers and other places, names of important people from the history of the earth, but also common names of ships of the US Navy such as z. B. Enterprise or Constitution or ships of other navies such. B. Yamato or Akagi .

Both the Federation and other cultures living in the Milky Way map their galaxy into the four quadrants Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. The solar system is located on the border between the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.

23rd century

In 2256 the Klingon T'Kuvma tried to reunite the rival Klingon houses to prevent a complete collapse of the Klingon Empire. To do this, he instigates war with the Federation. The USS Discovery with the disgraced officer Michael Burnham and under the command of the unusual Captain Gabriel Lorca plays an important role in the solution of the war. Finally Michael Burnham and the crew of the Discovery manage to end the war in 2257. Since the USS Enterprise is badly damaged, Captain Christopher Pike takes command of the Discovery to solve the origin of seven mysterious signals. It is found that the signals show a way to prevent the artificial intelligence "Control" from destroying all life in the universe. In the end, the universe can be saved by Discovery escaping into the distant future via an artificially created wormhole with data that is important for Control and cannot be deleted; Captain Pike paves the way for her with the repaired USS Enterprise. Control can be destroyed on the way there. When the Discovery arrived in the future, Captain Pike set off on further missions with the Enterprise in 2258. (→ Star Trek: Discovery ).

Seven years later, in the year 2265, the Federation dispatches the spaceship USS Enterprise NCC-1701 on another five-year mission to explore space (→ Spaceship Enterprise , Die Enterprise ). Captain James T. Kirk is in command of the ship, which is home to more than 400 crew members, and its science and first officer is the half-human, half-Vulcan Commander Spock . During the mission, the crew also discovers the genetically engineered superhuman Khan , who is partly responsible for the "Eugenic Wars" at the end of the 20th century. As Khan and his crew turn out to be a threat to the Enterprise, Kirk suggests letting them live on Ceti Alpha V, an inhospitable but habitable planet. (→ Spaceship Enterprise: The Sleeping Tiger ). Three years after the end of the five-year mission, in 2273, the Federation deployed the Enterprise again to avert the threat posed by a gigantic cloud drifting through space. The Enterprise crew can successfully carry out the job under the command of Kirk, who has now been promoted to Admiral (→ The Film ).

Twelve years later, in 2285, Khan, who escaped from his exile, wants to take revenge on Kirk, because the planet Ceti Alpha V, on which Kirk had abandoned him and his crew, had meanwhile become uninhabitable due to the explosion of the neighboring planet Ceti Alpha VI. To this end, he seized the "Genesis technology", secretly developed by Federation scientists, that enables terraforming . Shortly before Khan detonates it together with himself and his spaceship to kill Kirk, the selfless Spock saves the Enterprise by repairing the ship's drive, but exposing himself to a deadly dose of radioactivity (→ The Wrath of Khan ). It soon turns out that shortly before his death Spock had his ghost in Dr. McCoy , the ship's doctor, has transferred and Spock can be brought back to life when his spirit is united with his dead body. Because Starfleet Command has forbidden Kirk to retrieve Spock's body, which was left on a planet, he and his crew steal the Enterprise from the space dock. During the mission, the crew found Spock's body, but when defending themselves against enemy attacking Klingons , they inevitably destroyed the Enterprise. In doing so, however, she can seize a Klingon spaceship (→ In search of Mr. Spock ). Three months after Vulcans reunited Spock's body with his soul, the crew, including Spock, set off on the Klingon ship by means of a time jump to 1986. They succeed in bringing two humpback whales into the year 2286, when this species was already there is extinct. The ultimate goal of the mission is to let the humpback whales communicate with an alien space probe that has appeared on earth and is initially threatening (→ Back to the present ). As a punishment for refusing the order given to him, Kirk is subsequently demoted to captain . As a result, he was given permanent command of the newly built spaceship and successor model, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A .

Kirk and his crew were on this spaceship in 2287 to end an apparent hostage situation. This turns out to be a trap for Sybok, a Vulcan who was cast out by his people because he was extremely emotional, and with whom he seized the Enterprise. With this he flies to the planet "Sha-Ka-Ree" in the center of the galaxy, where he suspects God , but after Kirk's doubts he has to recognize that he was wrong about it (→ At the edge of the universe ). Four years later, Kirk and McCoy become temporarily victims of a conspiracy initiated by the Klingon Chang to sabotage his people's peace talks with the Federation. An investigation can due to age just before leaving service located Enterprise crew Chang verbrecherischem bustle but An End (→ The Undiscovered Country ).

Another two years later, in 2293, Kirk takes part as a guest on the maiden flight of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B spacecraft , which threatens to be destroyed in a sudden energy band . When Kirk manages to use technical modifications to the ship to help the Enterprise to escape from the energy band, the part of the ship's whereabouts is destroyed by the band and Kirk is killed, apparently all. In fact, however, he ends up in the “nexus”, a timeless place full of bliss (→ meeting of generations ).

24th century

The USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C spacecraft was first used in the first half of the 24th century . In 2344, despite being inferior, it helps defend a Klingon outpost against attacking Romulans ( → The next century: The old Enterprise ). As a result of this support, a peace treaty is negotiated between the Klingon Empire and the Federation.

In 2364, 71 years after the maiden flight of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B, the Federation put the new star fleet spaceship USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D into service as its flagship . The much larger ship, commanded by the human Captain Jean-Luc Picard and now accommodating more than 1000 individuals, also fulfills its task of discovering strange worlds, unknown forms of life and new civilizations (→ The next century ). The Borg - human-machine hybrids, whose self-image is to assimilate other cultures into their collective and thus to develop further , also belong to such, previously unknown forms of life . With the intention of assimilating people as well, a Borg ship threatened the earth at the end of 2366. Although numerous Federation spaceships fall victim to the Borg on their way to Earth and Picard is temporarily assimilated, the Enterprise can ultimately defeat the Borg ship (→ The next century: In the hands of the Borg and target earth ).

As part of their mission, the crew of the Enterprise NCC-1701-D sometimes also take on a mediating and supporting role in conflicts between other cultures. These cultures also include the Klingons and Bajorans . Since the latter suffered from the violent suppression of their people by the Cardassians for about decades, they accept the help of the Federation. This can also be seen in the fact that Starfleet members operate the former Cardassian space station Deep Space Nine together with Bajorans from 2369 to ensure political stability . To do this, Picard gives Starfleet Officer Benjamin Sisko command of the station. It is located in the alpha quadrant, in the immediate vicinity of the opening of a stable wormhole that enables time-saving passage into a distant area of ​​the gamma quadrant. The station crew is sometimes involved in political and religious power struggles between Bajorans, Cardassians and Federation apostates. After their first contact with the Dominion , which is based in the Gamma Quadrant and led by the shape-changing founders , the peoples of the Alpha Quadrant are exposed to the danger of attack. That is why Sisko was given permanent command of the war spaceship USS Defiant (→ Deep Space Nine ) for defense purposes in 2371 .

In the same year, the scientist Dr. Soran accepts the destruction of planets and their inhabitants in order to get to the Nexus, which is why Picard and the crew of the Enterprise try to stop him. This leads to the destruction of the propulsion section of the ship and an emergency landing of its saucer section, which the crew then has to give up. Forced into the Nexus, Picard moves Kirk, who is found there, to help him prevent Soran from implementing his plan. Together they can defeat Soran, but Kirk dies in the process (→ Meeting of Generations ).

Also in 2371, the new Federation spaceship USS Voyager began its mission in the Alpha Quadrant, but shortly after setting off it was moved to an area of ​​the Delta Quadrant 70,000 light-years away and thus forced to make an unintentionally long journey home. On their flight towards Earth, the Voyager crew is repeatedly confronted with unknown, sometimes threatening species, to which the Hirogen and the species 8472 belong (→ Spaceship Voyager ). The latter prove to be overpowering even against the Borg from the Delta Quadrant. In 2373, when the Voyager crew first met the Borg during their flight home, the Federation faced the Borg again in the Alpha Quadrant. The newly commissioned USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E, taken over by Picard and his team, follows a Borg ship on its journey through time into the year of the first contact between humans and Vulcans. With the support of Zefram Cochrane, the crew manages to keep the Borg from preventing the first contact and thus the conquest of space by humanity (→ The first contact ).

Meanwhile, the conflict between the Federation and the Dominion, which the Cardassians have now also joined, has escalated to the point that an interstellar war breaks out in late 2373. In the course of this, Starfleet also suffered significant losses , which led Sisko to decide to move the Romulan star empire to join the war on the Federation side. At the end of 2375, after several hundred million deaths on both sides and the realization that a secretly operating section of the Federation was responsible for an intended genocide against the founders, the war ends (→ Deep Space Nine: Seasons 6 and 7 ).

Also in 2375, Picard and his team fought against some so far incurably ill Son'a , who use the rejuvenating effect of the rings on a planet and want to forcibly relocate its inhabitants (→ The Uprising ). Two years later, after more than six years of flight, the Voyager finally manages to return to Earth (→ Spaceship Voyager ). Another two years later, in 2379, Picard and his crew and the Enterprise NCC-1701-E face Shinzon , a clone of Picard who wants to destroy all life on earth with a super weapon (→ nemesis ).

In the 2380s it is revealed that a supernova is imminent that will destroy Romulus and the surrounding planetary systems. Despite violent protests from some of its member worlds, the federation decides on a large-scale aid program and builds a fleet of spaceships, with the help of which 900 million Romulans are to be relocated. Jean-Luc Picard, promoted to admiral, takes command of this fleet. However, on April 5, 2385, a turning point comes when runaway androids attack Mars . Large parts of the planet's infrastructure are destroyed, as is the orbiting rescue fleet. As a consequence, all artificial life forms are banned in the Federation. All further efforts to evacuate Romulans will also be stopped. Picard quits his service with Starfleet in protest (→ Picard ).

In 2387, Spock, now still alive and ambassador to the Federation, made one last attempt to stop the Romulan supernova by creating a black hole . But he cannot prevent the destruction of Romulus. Driven by revenge for the death of his family, the Romulan Nero attacks Spock's ship with his spaceship, whereby the power of the black hole throws them into the past. Because Nero is continuing his revenge in his new residence, the year 2233, he first attacks the Federation spaceship USS Kelvin, whose destruction creates an alternative course of the subsequent history. This resulting parallel universe is called the "Kelvin timeline". (→ Star Trek ).

In 2399, Jean-Luc Picard lived in seclusion on his vineyard in France. There he meets the mysterious Dahj, who turns out to be an android made of flesh and blood and the daughter of Lieutenant Commander Data, who was killed in 2379 . After Dahj is killed by assassins, Picard learns that she still has a sister named Soji. With the intention of saving her, Picard and a small crew set out on the La Sirena spaceship in search of her. After Soji's rescue, they go to their home planet, which is home to a colony of androids. Now it becomes apparent that the attack on Mars was planned by the Romulan secret organization Zhat Vash. The Zhat Vash wants to destroy all artificial life because its members have found records of an ancient civilization that were destroyed by artificial life forms and they now believe that this would repeat itself (→ Picard ).

Events in the Kelvin timeline from 2233

The alternative history, beginning in 2233, has been officially known as the Kelvin timeline since 2016. Previously, unofficial names were used for it, including "Abramsverse" and "NuTrek".

In the year 2233 it is the person George Kirk who, during Nero's attack, forced the spaceship Kelvin on a collision course with Nero's spaceship in order to put it out of action. With his kamikaze flight he also saves his heavily pregnant wife, who a little later gives birth to their son James T. Kirk ( Star Trek ).

In 2258, the now 25-year-old Kirk was appointed captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701. As such, with the support of his crew and Spock's other future self, he fights against the still vengeful Nero. After destroying the volcanic homeworld, he intends to destroy the earth as well. Due to the efforts of the Enterprise crew, however, Nero fails and dies ( Star Trek ). In the following year, 2259, Kirk and his crew fought - with an ultimately successful result - against Khan, whom the Commander in Chief of Starfleet had politically instrumentalized ( Star Trek Into Darkness ). Also because of this success, Kirk and his team get the order for their first multi-year mission to explore space, which they begin in 2260. Three years after the start of the five-year mission, 2263, the Enterprise crew successfully fights a vengeful former captain of a Federation starship's plan to attack Earth and the Federation with a bio- weapon. The Enterprise is destroyed; the successor ship USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A is built ( Star Trek Beyond ).

main characters

The table names the main characters of the television series and assigns them to the functional areas that they essentially hold within the spaceship or space station crew of the television series and, if applicable, the associated films. Exceptions such as temporary function changes are not taken into account. The background colors also make it clear whether it is a human (green), an extraterrestrial (red), an artificial (gray) or a half human and half non-human (orange) form of life.

Overview of main characters in Star Trek
Functional area The cage Spaceship

The Enterprise ,
Films 1 - 6 , 11 -
The next

films 7 through 10
Deep Space Nine Spaceship
Enterprise Discovery
commander Christopher Pike James T. Kirk Jean-Luc Picard Benjamin Sisko Kathryn Janeway Jonathan Archer Gabriel Lorca ,
Christopher Pike
First Officer Number one Spock William T. Riker Kira Nerys Chakotay T'Pol Saru
Science officer Spock Data Jadzia Dax Paul Stamets
Operations officer Harry Kim Joann Owosekun *
Navigation, control José Tyler
Hikaru Sulu *,
Pavel Chekov *,
Arex *
Geordi LaForge ,
Wesley Crusher ,
Ro Laren *
Tom Paris Travis Mayweather Keyla Detmer *
Nyota Uhura *,
M'Ress *
Hoshi Sato Attorney Bryce *
Tasha Yar ,
Odo Tuvok Malcolm Reed
Ellen Landry *,
Ash Tyler,
Nhan *
Tactics, strategy Pavel Chekov * Worf Gene Rhys *
Chief engineer Montgomery Scott * Geordi La Forge Miles O'Brien B'Elanna Torres Trip Tucker
Medicine. officer Dr. Phillip Boyce Dr. Leonard McCoy Dr. Beverly Crusher ,
Dr. Katherine Pulaski
Dr. Julian Bashir Med.-hol.
Emergency program
Dr. phlox Dr. Hugh Culber
Dr. Tracy Pollard *
Medicine. assistant Christine Chapel * Alyssa Ogawa * Kes Elizabeth Cutler *
Consultant Deanna Troi Ezri Dax Neelix
Restaurant, kitchen Guinan * Quark
Other Janice Rand * Jake Sisko Seven of Nine Michael Burnham
Sylvia Tilly

* recurring minor character

History of origin

Original TV series and way to the cinema

Gene Roddenberry had the idea for a science fiction series in the early 1960s . It was to let the series play in a "positive future" - a remark that should be understood in the context of the Cold War , the previous Cuban Missile Crisis and a nuclear war that was realistically to be feared at the time. In 1964, Gene Roddenberry got the opportunity to make a pilot film . NBC television station rejected the film The Cage for various reasons. Those in charge at Paramount considered the character distribution to be too brave and radical: A woman as first officer and - with a view to Spock - an " alien who looks like Satan " are not acceptable to the American television audience. However, NBC gave Roddenberry the option to produce another pilot, provided that appropriate changes were made. It wasn't until the late 1980s that The Cage was broadcast in its actual form.

The composition of the ensemble was subsequently changed, but the Spock, still played by Leonard Nimoy , was retained . With this reorientation and redistribution of roles, the pioneering idea of ​​a woman in a management position was lost for the time being. The new pilot, Tip of the Iceberg , was accepted by television and the first season of Starship Enterprise was filmed. However, this episode was broadcast as the third episode. The first episode to air was the last of its kind .

The portrayal of women and minorities in the old series was progressive and daring for its time. There was an important female crew member, played by Nichelle Nichols . She was one of the first black women to play a bigger role on American television. Just two decades after World War II ended , Star Trek had a Japanese officer , Hikaru Sulu ( George Takei ). In the second season even the Russian navigator Pavel Chekov ( Walter Koenig ) was added. Spaceship Enterprise also showed the first kiss on television between a white man and a black woman in the United States , however, a head obscures the kiss at the last moment - which was common in film and television kisses at the time. Many (southern) US states banned this episode from being broadcast at the time.

The television series was finally discontinued in 1969 due to a lack of audience ratings and despite protests from fans. The original plan was to discontinue the series after the second season (1967/68). The progressive character of the series was also retained in subsequent productions. Spaceship Enterprise only gained popularity through numerous repetitions in the 1970s, which allowed the further development of the franchise.

The moon landing in 1969 sparked a great deal of enthusiasm for space and space travel in the USA. The almost daily repetition of the series in the local television stations, its unusual way of criticizing the social conditions of the time (racial discrimination, Vietnam War, etc.) packed in future topics , and precisely this enthusiasm for space ensured that Star Trek's popularity rose sharply in the 1970s . Not least because of this, NBC planned a second series with the working title Star Trek: Phase Two . However, work was suspended with the start of Star Wars . The animated series The Enterprise , which was produced in 22 episodes between 1973 and 1974, continued the concept that had started the series in the 1960s. Many actors, such as William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, acted as voice actors . The cartoon series won an Emmy in 1975 .

Paramount Pictures later decided in favor of a feature film that premiered on December 6, 1979 with the title Star Trek: The Movie . It wasn't particularly well received by the critics. Due to budget overruns in the film, Roddenberry only had an advisory role from the second film, while Harve Bennett took over the direction. The films Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek III: In Search of Mr. Spock (1984) and Star Trek IV: Back to the Present (1986) followed. The fifth feature film, Star Trek V: On the Edge of the Universe, was released in 1989, but it made far less money at the box office than its predecessor. Nevertheless, the sixth film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Land follows in 1991, which alludes very openly to the ending Cold War .

After the production of the first feature film, Roddenberry called the animated series a mistake and determined that it should no longer be considered in future Star Trek productions. After that, the series was considered uncanonical and therefore no longer part of the Star Trek universe. Since it was released on DVD, the series has been part of the official canon again, as officially announced by CBS and, among others.

From 1987: new start on television and offshoot series

After the financially successful Star Trek movies from the 1980s (see below), Paramount decided to produce the new television series Spaceship Enterprise - The Next Century , which premiered in 1987 in the US. The action now takes place around 100 years after that of Spaceship Enterprise , in the 24th century. The new spacecraft, the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-D, is bigger, stronger and more modern. The budget of around 2 million US dollars per episode, which was unusually high for television series at the time, enabled significantly better props and special effects. With contemporary trick effects from the Oscar-winning effects studio Industrial Light & Magic , new standards have been set for television series.

The Federation has an abundance economy without money, which is made possible by a technology with which energy can be converted into food, complex constructions and all kinds of matter ( replicator technology ). Labor, buying and selling are not necessary as there is no scarcity that could limit the fulfillment of all material needs and desires. However, certain resources are still scarce, including those needed to fly above the light. Interstellar trade in these goods is not uncommon. Greed and envy are greatly reduced in this society. The characters in Starship Enterprise - The Next Century often explain that the purpose of the Federation and its work is general and personal welfare. Many episodes deal with philosophical topics, for example the episode Who Owns Data? , in which the personal rights of an android are negotiated. The series often tries to get a pacifist and tolerant message across.

The great success that Paramount Pictures had with this series resulted in the production of seven seasons with a total of 178 episodes by 1994. An eighth season was not shot to pave the way for the series crew on the big screen. In 1994, the seventh Star Trek film Star Trek: Meetings of the Generations in the cinemas: Captain Picard from Starship Enterprise - The next century meets Captain Kirk from Starship Enterprise . The film was heavily criticized, but still met financial expectations. In 1996, the eighth movie, Star Trek: First Contact , hit theaters. With this Star Trek film, the most successful to date, the team around Captain Picard had also established itself in the cinema. The ninth movie Star Trek: The Uprising followed in 1998, and the tenth in 2002, Star Trek: Nemesis . This fourth film about the team of Jean-Luc Picard was a financial failure in the cinema and only covered the costs with its DVD release.

Even before the production of Starship Enterprise - The Next Century was discontinued, another offshoot was started with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1993 . The plot initially takes place parallel to that of Starship Enterprise - The Next Century . In contrast to the previous two series, the action does not take place on a spaceship , but on a space station . The station lies on the edge of the Federation's influence and gains strategic importance when the discovery of a wormhole in the immediate vicinity opens the door to the unexplored Gamma Quadrant of the Milky Way . In the third season , the warship USS Defiant stationed on Deep Space Nine was introduced as a location, which will become more and more important as the game progresses. Characteristic for the series are also a large number of recurring secondary characters, the intensive theming of politics, war and religion, the deviation from the Star Trek-typical ideals of a peaceful, war-free future and the series format, which is increasingly characterized by story arcs that span episodes and seasons over the course of the series.

Roddenberry died in 1991 before the project was completed. He was succeeded by Rick Berman . With Deep Space Nine , the character of Star Trek also changed from being overly optimistic: a damaged world is presented. However, the ethical and moral discourse and a progressive character remained: the commanding officer is an African-American. As in the 1960s, a scene in 1995 caused a scandal. The episode showing a kiss between two women was therefore not shown in some US states. Deep Space Nine ended in June 1999 after seven seasons and 176 episodes.

With the end of Starship Enterprise - The Next Century , the developers began producing a fifth Star Trek series: Star Trek: Raumschiff Voyager . In it, after almost 30 years of Star Trek, a woman takes on the leading role in a Star Trek series for the first time with Captain Kathryn Janeway ( Kate Mulgrew ). The series takes place in the same time frame as Deep Space Nine , but in the Delta Quadrant. The spaceship Voyager is struck at a point in the Milky Way far from Earth . It would take the spaceship 75 years to get home. Finding a faster way is the common thread of the series. For this purpose, previously hostile groups work side by side. Voyager started in January 1995 and ended in 2001, after seven seasons with 172 episodes.

From 2001 the sixth series Star Trek: Enterprise was produced, again under the supervision of Rick Bermans. It is set as a prequel around a hundred years before the plot of Starship Enterprise and thus before the founding of the United Federation of Planets . The first three seasons brought steadily falling ratings and persistently bad reviews, which is why the series was again given a general overhaul for the fourth season. The changes made did not lead to an increase in ratings, whereupon the series was canceled in February 2005 after four seasons. Paramount also fired Rick Berman due to unsuccessfulness.

Since 2009

The eleventh movie Star Trek was released in 2009 and represents a new beginning for the Star Trek franchise. The plot shows events before the start of Spaceship Enterprise and thus the prehistory of its main characters, but in an alternative timeline. This made it possible to develop new series and films in a direction that also allows deviations from the previous canon. Director JJ Abrams has cast numerous well-known roles with new, young actors. The eleventh Star Trek film, Star Trek , became a commercial success and received positive reviews. In 2013, Star Trek Into Darkness, the twelfth Star Trek film, was released; it also takes place in the timeline that was created in part eleventh. This also applies to the 13th film, Star Trek Beyond , which was released in 2016.

As of August 13, 2009, all Star Trek cinema films worldwide grossed more than 1.4 billion US dollars and were nominated for an Oscar 14 times . Only the film from 2009 was able to win an Oscar in the “ Make-Up ” category.

A new Star Trek television series has been developed since 2015 . It's called Star Trek: Discovery , and its launch took place in September 2017. It was initially available exclusively on CBS All Access, the CBS streaming service . The series is a prequel to Starship Enterprise , but takes place in the main timeline; H. not in the timeline established in the movies released since 2009. Since 2018, Star Trek: Short Treks has been publishing short stories that illuminate individual characters from the universe.

In August 2018, work began on the series Star Trek: Picard . This takes place twenty years after the film Star Trek: Nemesis and the character Jean-Luc Picard from Spaceship Enterprise - The Next Century has a central role here again. The broadcast began in January 2020.

At least four other series are currently in development. In October 2018 it was announced that a new animated television series called Star Trek: Lower Decks was being planned. It is said to be a pure comedy series being developed by Mike McMahan , who was previously a screenwriter for Rick and Morty . The broadcast is scheduled to begin in 2020. Another animated series aimed at younger audiences is being developed by Kevin and Dan Hageman for Nickelodeon . This series is to be called Star Trek: Prodigy and is expected to air from 2021. In January 2019, CBS announced that a live action series was planned that would center on the secret organization Section 31 . Michelle Yeoh , who was previously seen in Star Trek: Discovery , is set to play the lead role here. After Alex Kurtzman had hinted at other real-life series in January 2020, CBS confirmed in May 2020 that one of them should be entitled Star Trek: Strange New Worlds . The series is to take up the characters Captain Pike ( Anson Mount ), Number One ( Rebecca Romijn ) and Lieutenant Spock ( Ethan Peck ) from Star Trek: Discovery and show their adventures on board the USS Enterprise . A broadcast date is not yet known.

122 directors have been used in the television series and films so far. With 62 episodes, David Livingston is the most frequently used director in the television series.

German synchronization

The German dubbing versions for films 4, 5 and 6 were produced by Cine Adaption , for all other films by Berliner Synchron . The original synchronization for Spaceship Enterprise was done by Beta Film . Arena Synchron synchronized the other real film television series for television broadcasts, with the exception of the first season of Enterprise, which Bavaria Synchron was responsible for editing .


"Star Trek" is a total product worth billions. Since the 1960s, rights holders have not only made a profit from broadcasting television series, renting out films and selling video cassettes and DVDs.

In addition to countless repetitions of all series, the productions including the animated series have been marketed on DVD since 2002, starting with Raumschiff Enterprise - The Next Century . From 2001 onwards, various DVDs of the films were also released as “ Special Editions ”. In this Star Trek I, supplemented by scenes II and VI. Overall, these editions are particularly characterized by their uniform design and digitally revised sound and image quality. In November 2004, Star Trek: Meetings of the Generations was released . Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: The Uprising went on sale through June 2005. Star Trek: Nemesis followed in early November 2005. On the occasion of Star Trek's 40th birthday on September 8, 2006, a “Star Trek 40th Anniversary Movie Collection” with all “Special Editions” was released.

In 2007, Raumschiff Enterprise was digitally restored (Star Trek Remastered) on behalf of the broadcaster CBS and, above all, the special effects sequences were modernized with the participation of Star Trek experts Denise and Michael Okuda and Gene Roddenberry's son Eugene. In addition, the theme song was replayed and the entire series was transferred to HDTV format.

On December 18, 2007, CBS, which holds the television rights to Star Trek, fired the editors of the official website for lack of new episodes. Shortly thereafter, Paramount Pictures launched its own website to market Star Trek XI. 15 July 2010 CBS introduced the re-launch version of online, on the now all episodes of the series, and some as a HD version as video stream can be seen but (due to a review of the IP address within the USA).

The first Star Trek television series was marketed as Raumschiff Enterprise on German television . The movies, on the other hand, were always sold as "Star Trek". Deep Space Nine was the first series that ran under the original series title in Germany.

Criticism, interpretation and analysis

Journalistic voices

The original Star Trek series Starship Enterprise was criticized for its main characters as one-dimensional. The film critic Georg Seeßlen, for example, said in the epd Film 1999 that the characters sometimes have to "seem downright ridiculous". The follow-up series The Next Century received from critics from the third season praise for an improvement in the narrative style and for more complexity than in the first two seasons or in Starship Enterprise . Deep Space Nine was initially criticized by fans for being too philosophical and intellectual, but in later reviews it was praised for cross-episode storylines.

It was judged that Star Trek worked better as a television series than in a movie format. In Wired magazine (2017), the journalist Adam Rogers attributed this to the persistence and willingness to experiment of the screenwriters: Since they have ventured into other genres apart from science fiction, they would have "satirized or satirized themselves without major consequences for the overall narrative Let characters fall in love for an episode ”. If, on the other hand, Star Trek were "squeezed into the corset of a Hollywood flick", it would "inevitably turn into a conventional adventure story with a reveal in the third act and a finale full of CGI and explosions."

At least about the first nine Star Trek movies it can be said that those with even numbers were judged more positively than those with odd numbers. Both reviews and leaderboards show that The Wrath of Khan and First Contact were found to be the most worth seeing, while On the Edge of the Universe was often cited as the weakest screen adaptation. Star Trek films, for example Der Aufstand , have been criticized several times for being on par with an average television episode.

The reviews of the films that were part of the Reboot series and were released in 2009 were divided. Some critics, such as Michael O'Sullivan of the Washington Post , praised the films as a successful revival of Star Trek and the decision to restart in a separate timeline. Others, however, gave the films a damning testimony; DLR culture editor Hans-Ulrich Pönack rated Into Darkness as “banal, emotionally irrelevant”.

For Brian J. Robb, longtime editor of Star Trek magazine, it was clear in his book A Brief Guide to Star Trek (2012) that "great storytelling" was the secret of Star Trek's success . However, Robb speculated, the franchise failed to transform itself over time in order to escape “ossification and irrelevance”.

The more recent Star Trek productions - meaning at least Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery and the Reboot films - are often criticized that they do not offer enough new and rely too much on the familiar. Robb, for example, complained about the stagnation of the innovation of Star Trek overall at Voyager and Enterprise . In this context, the author Andreas Rauscher spoke in epd Film 2017 about the past 15 years of Star Trek critically of a “mode of replay”, among other things because Discovery once again addresses the Klingons.

In the US magazine The New Yorker , the journalist Joshua Rothman criticized the Star Trek universe in 2017 as "the most boring and old-fashioned of all science fiction universes" because, even after 51 years, it evokes the creation of the Starship Enterprise - the alien races, for example continued to reflect the enemies of the United States in World War II. Nonetheless, with the reboot of 2009, JJ Abrams managed to give the franchise a shiny new look and to recapture the “sexy” atmosphere of the original series.

The German journalist Dietmar Dath rated Star Trek in Rolling Stone (2017) in comparison with Star Wars as the work with the more unrealistic future perspective. According to Dath, Roddenberry erroneously assumed “that everything would have to get better and better in the future - and that meant within his left-liberal American horizon: more and more legal ('Supreme Directive'), more civilized ('Federation') and more sensible.” Every century I have overcome “at least one prejudice, one superstition, one stupid cultural heritage” - “It would be nice!” said Dath.

The television critic Sonia Saraiya found Star Trek 2015 in the Internet magazine for an “admirable love letter to future generations”. However, Star Trek tends towards "fan-friendliness, moralizing speeches and deeply terrible special effects". Saraiya therefore considers Star Trek to be the opposite of series like Game of Thrones and the "epitome of kitsch"

Television screenwriter David Gerrold , who got into an argument with Roddenberry about the direction of the series during the production of Starship Enterprise - The Next Century , later disparaged Star Trek as the " McDonald’s of science fiction" and as " fast food storytelling" “:“ Every problem is like every other. They'll all be resolved in an hour. Nobody is harmed and nobody has to worry. You give an hour of your time and don't really have to get involved. It's all artificial. "

The series The Next Century is assigned a role model for the Star Trek productions. In the US magazine The Atlantic , for example (2017), the author David Sims said that The Next Generation would remain “the gold standard for the franchise”.

Viewpoints of scientists and book authors

In an essay for the book Zukunft im Film (2000), the German philosopher Ingrid Weber said that Star Trek lives primarily from the diversity of the topics it deals with.

In a 1997 essay, the German sociologist Kai-Uwe Hellmann understood the human “ability and willingness to tirelessly learn” - and the associated openness, contact and “disturbances in the sense of experiencing the foreign” - as the utopian of Star Trek . Star Trek avoids "those grave construction errors of many utopias, which make them problematic and unrealizable at the same time, namely to be able to survive only as closed systems, to treat people repressively and to insist on immutability."

According to the German media scientist Knut Hickethier in an essay for the book Unendliche Weiten… (1997), Star Trek works because it “portrays the future so completely present, so consistently conservative and conventional”; Threats would be "quickly domesticated or eliminated". Star Trek is basically "a petty bourgeois variant of the great narratives of science fiction." Klaus Sachs-Hombach , also a media scientist, supported his claim that Star Trek was kitsch , among other things , in a contribution for Zukunft im Film the argument that it contained trivial, consistent narrative patterns such as “departure, deadly threat and happy ending”. In terms of content, it would show traits of a utopian community, but the kitschy manner of presentation would turn the so-called message into the opposite.

The astrophysicist Stephen Hawking acknowledged that science fiction like Star Trek was not only for entertainment, but also served the serious purpose of expanding the human imagination. The physicist David Allen Batchelor of the Goddard Space Flight Center praised Star Trek in an article on the NASA website (2016/17) as "beautifully intelligently written and scientifically more accurate than other science fiction television series." Star Trek is "almost the only one Series that show scientists and engineers as positive role models ”.

In 2009, the science magazine New Scientist concluded that Star Trek was seldom at its best when it tried to be inspirational. On the other hand, "some of its crudest and most moralizing episodes" were those in which it tried to address such "serious problems" as environmental protection , technocracy and inheritance .

When asked about the conquest of distant worlds, the Polish science fiction writer Stanisław Lem sharply criticized Star Trek in an interview with Rainer Schmitz in 1999 : “It is teeming with such nonsense that it can take your breath away. You don't have to be a physicist to realize this. The universe is so big that every stupid thing finds a place in it. "

The US civil rights activist Martin Luther King once said about Star Trek that it had changed the face of television: For the first time, people from different countries and with different skin colors were shown on US television as it should be, namely as equals.

The US political scientist George A. Gonzalez said in his book The Politics of Star Trek (2015) that the “analytical brilliance” of Star Trek lies in the ability of its creators to effectively and credibly combine the competing worldviews of Marxism and those of Samuel P. To convey Huntington 's disease. In particular, Star Trek shows both the hope and optimism of Marxism and the demoralization and pessimism from Huntington's clash of civilizations .

Gonzalez went on to conclude that from an analytical point of view, the franchise could be useful and insightful in helping viewers understand the current real world political problems, including rising nationalism and a threat to democracy : by species like the Klingons, the Bajorans, the Dominion, the Kazon, the Cardassians, the Romulans, the Xindi as well as Nazis and Section 31 show the Star Trek franchise how politics around the world are becoming more and more regressive and dangerous.

The original series in particular was seen as male. The New York Times author Camille Bacon-Smith, for example, said in 1986 about the protagonists of Spaceship Enterprise : “ Leatherstockings and Chingachgook explore the wilderness of space.” The British authors Michèle and Duncan Barrett interpreted the series in 2001 as “boyish unabashed ”, the follow-up series Spaceship Enterprise - The next century, on the other hand, as“ highly spiritual ”, as it is shaped by belief in science, technology, rationalism and democracy and thus characteristic of so-called modern societies. Deep Space Nine and Voyager, on the other hand, differ significantly from this, for example because of “radically destabilized personalities”, and could therefore be interpreted as postmodern .

In 1997, the German political scientist Richard Saage was certain that the next century would “undoubtedly” inherit the trend towards a positive vision of the future, as expressed in Arkadi and Boris Strugatzki's episodic novel Return (1962): “Normative aspects of social coexistence push the action pattern into the background. "

In comparison with the utopian works of Edward Bellamy and William Morris , the German political scientist Herfried Münkler highlighted the future ideas of the Star Trek series in 1997 as remarkable that they assume "a simultaneity of technological progress and moral advancement of humanity" and this coevolution not accidental, but imperative, moral progress is a condition for dealing with technological progress. In this respect, Star Trek tells the counter- story of the “' Promethean gradient'” coined by Günther Anders .

In his book The Utopia of Rules (2015), the US ethnologist David Graeber described Star Trek as the “quintessence of American mythology” and asked whether the United Federation of Planets - which is characterized, among other things, by highly intellectual idealism and strict military discipline - was not really just an American vision of a kinder, gentler Soviet Union that eventually 'worked'. The social classes have been overcome, as have the differences between race and gender. In the United Federation, however, there is no indication of the political constitution, of democracy or of elections - but there is also nobody who notices or who criticizes it. Libertarians and conservatives therefore condemned the series as left-wing propaganda. To counter the criticism, the Borg were introduced as a hostile communist civilization.

In the US magazine The New Yorker (2017), Manu Saadia, author of the book Trekonomics , said that Star Trek can often be viewed as patronizing, if not purposefully deceptive. For example, while the explorers' intentions would be represented as pure and unencumbered by ethnocentrism , their science would always stand above the indigenous alien superstitions .

Star Trek parodies and parodies


The six Star Trek series have been nominated for a total of 155 Primetime Emmy Awards and have received 33 awards. So far six films have been nominated for a total of 15 Oscars, only the eleventh film received an Oscar. Considered across all television series and films, there have so far been 484 nominations and 120 awards for positive prizes as well as - for films 5 and 7 - seven nominations and three awards for negative prizes.

Nominations and awards per television series
Television series N. P.
Star Trek 28 5
The Enterprise 2 1
The next century 85 32
Deep Space Nine 60 12
Spaceship Voyager 78 20th
Enterprise 29 11
total 282 81
Nominations and awards per film (selection)
Film no. Movie title N. P.
1 The film 16 1
2 The Wrath of Khan 10 2
3 Looking for Mr. Spock 7th 0
4th Back to the present 20th 3
5 At the edge of the universe 6th 3
6th The undiscovered land 8th 1
7th Generations meet 5 1
8th The first contact 17th 4th
9 The riot 7th 2
10 Nemesis 5 1
11 Star Trek 56 14th
12 Into darkness 28 2
13 Beyond 18th 1
total 203 35
  • 2017 admission into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame

Adaptations and merchandising

In addition to the release of the television series and movies, Paramount provided extensive marketing for Star Trek through merchandising . Numerous, licensed companies sell a variety of products with the Star Trek brand . In June 2017, over 160 current licensees were listed on the official Star Trek website . H. Companies that offer Star Trek products for sale. Regarding the variety of products, US magazine noted :

“Paramount has squeezed everything out of the franchise, licensing 'Star Trek' to anyone with two nickels to rub together. The studio has allowed 'Trek's' name to be put on everything from coffee to Beanie Babies to denim shirts to baby clothes […]. ”

“Paramount squeezed everything out of the franchise and licensed Star Trek to anyone with two nickels left. The studio has allowed 'Trek's' name to appear on coffee, beanies , cotton shirts and baby clothes. "

- Robert Wilonsky : (1999)

Video games

After the mostly unspectacular and unspectacular Star Trek games had appeared in the 1980s, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, the first really elaborately produced game for the PC, came onto the market in 1992 . The actors of the original series were hired for the voice output. The success proved Interplay right, and so there were regularly new games in the following years, which, with a similar structure, usually either followed one of the films directly or worked with the crews of one of the current series. In 1996, Star Trek Klingon (Simon & Schuster Interactive) appeared for the first time, a game that was not played from the perspective of Starfleet, in 1998 a second with Star Trek: Klingon Honor Guard .

In 1998, the Star Trek rights exploiter Viacom signed a contract with the game developer Activision , which resulted in a series of more or less successful games by 2005, including the two series Star Trek: Starfleet Command 1-3 and Star Trek: Armada 1-2 . The most successful games, however, were the two first-person shooters Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force (2000) and Star Trek: Elite Force 2 (2003). For the first time, they were not only popular with Star Trek fans. Star Trek: Bridge Commander, a kind of real-time flight simulation in which the player sits in the captain's armchair and gives orders to the bridge officers , took a path that was very unusual in terms of the game concept .

In 2003, Viacom and Activision began a longstanding legal battle that was resolved in 2005. The loss of popularity of the television series also affected the sales of the games.

In late January 2006, Bethesda Softworks signed a license agreement for two Star Trek games. Star Trek: Legacy (for Xbox 360 and PC) was then released in December 2006. Also in late 2006, the PSP and Nintendo DS game Star Trek: Tactical Assault by Quicksilver Software was released. The second game under license from Bethesda Softworks is called Star Trek: Conquest . It was developed for the PlayStation 2 and Wii platforms. The game was released on the North American market in November 2007.

In May 2009, “Star Trek: DAC” appeared in the wake of the eleventh film and is offered for download via Xbox Live . The space shooter was available for PC and PlayStation 3 owners from November 2009.

In February 2010, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Star Trek Online was released for the PC. The publisher is Cryptic Studios . Unlike other MMORPGs, all players play on the same server here .

At the end of April 2013, just before the start of the twelfth Star Trek film Star Trek Into Darkness, the licensed game Star Trek: The Video Game was released.

At E3 2016, Ubisoft announced a new Star Trek video game that was specially developed for virtual reality and is called "Star Trek: Bridge Crew". The player takes on the role of a member of the Federation, takes command of either the captain, engineer, tactics or helmsman of the USS Aegis (NX-1787), and goes on a mission of discovery together with three other players. The Enterprise (NCC-1701) can also be used as an option. After several delays, the publication will take place on May 30, 2017. It can be played with the virtual reality glasses HTC Vive , PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift .

Novels, short stories and comics

As early as 1967, retellings of various television episodes appeared in novel form. From 1980 onwards, numerous new stories were added, which are published in the USA by Pocket Verlag. There are now over 700 Star Trek novels and anthologies. Most of these volumes have been translated into German. Marketing in Germany was first carried out by Pabel-Moewig-Verlag in the novel booklet series “Terra Astra”, in which collections of short stories from the original series were created at irregular intervals, which the American science fiction author James Blish adapted from the scripts. Goldmann published the series Raumschiff Enterprise with 28 individual volumes and Raumschiff Enterprise - The New Adventures with a further ten volumes. These almost exclusively contain retelling of the classic television series and the Star Trek cartoon series.

Heyne has published the series “Star Trek Classic”, “Next Generation”, “Deep Space Nine”, “Voyager” and Enterprise. These series included "Star Trek: Starfleet Cadets", " Star Trek: The New Frontier " and various short series such as "Star Trek - The Beginnings" with three volumes, "Star Trek - Badlands" with two volumes and "Star Trek - Section 31 “with four volumes. Heyne has also published several non-fiction and specialist books. After Heyne had discontinued Star Trek merchandising in 2007, the Cross Cult publisher started new series in February 2008, such as “Star Trek: Vanguard”, which is set in the time of the classic television series, and “ Star Trek: Titan “, Which tells the adventures of William T. Riker and the crew of the ship of the same name following the tenth film.

The right holders limit the freedom of design of these works. Crossover scenarios and excessive portrayals of violence and sexual acts are handled particularly restrictively . For a long time, characters withdrawn from the television series were not allowed to be used, or only in exceptional cases.

The authors of the comics and novels include Diane Carey , Keith RA DeCandido , Diane Duane , David Gerrold , Jean Lorrah , Una McCormack , Peter David , Michael Jan Friedman , John Vornholt, and Dan Abnett .

Other literary adaptations

In the 1970s, DelRey / Ballantine published a number of non-fiction books on "Spaceship Enterprise". A standard work for a long time was the "Star Trek Companion", which describes the genesis of the first television series. All episodes are presented and supplemented with background information. The most extensive book on "Raumschiff Enterprise" is "The Making of Star Trek". A lot of secondary literature was published in magazines, especially in the American "Starlog", whose success is strongly linked to "Star Trek".

Other works describe the fictional world of the Star Trek universe. “Technical manuals” are particularly popular. Important source books are the "Star Trek Chronology" and the "Star Trek Encyclopedia". The Klingon dictionary is a special feature of this category , because it describes the Klingon language from the perspective of the fictional world, but this fictional language is an officially recognized and functioning language, which means that the book is not pure fiction.

In the German-speaking world, Heel Verlag specialized in the publication of non-fiction books. Some of the American works appeared there from the mid-1990s. The Starlog Publishing House began at that time to publish their old interviews and articles as German editions. The “Star Trek Universum” is a purely German-language treatise on the overall phenomenon of “Star Trek”, and with around 2000 pages, it is possibly the most extensive. It has not been updated since 1998.

The magazines that deal with Star Trek include the English-language Star Trek Magazine, its German-language counterpart Star Trek Magazin, the Starlog , the Space View as well as numerous regular and special editions of the magazines Moviestar , TeleVision and TV Highlights . The content of the series and films, supplemented by invented elements, was also processed in the publication The Official Star Trek Facts and Information , which - for the purpose of building an extensive encyclopedia - published information about the Star Trek franchise in a total of 304 issues , including episodes, films, characters and technologies.

Other merchandising items

Among the merchandising -Artikeln also includes action figures , plush toys , model kits of space ships and their equipment, enterprise phones and other noise-producing devices, trading card games , board games and other toys; Autograph cards , stickers, posters , wall calendars; Utensils such as bags , phasers , tricorders , badges of rank , communicators , badges , pendants , key rings , mouse pads ; Garments, including Starfleet uniforms of various ranks, headgear, T-shirts and jackets; Drinking bottles, cups and other eating utensils ; also masks of various species and cardboard displays .


Paramount sold parts of the archive at auction at Christie's in New York in 2005 . From purchases there and subsequent direct purchases, Martin Netter from Lower Saxony acquired the world's largest collection of science fiction and Star Trek objects with 150,000 exhibits. It is available under the name Filmwelt Collection in Bakede , Bad Münder .


Fan base and Star Trek boom

Many expressions from the television series have found their way to the general public in the USA (for example "Beam me up, Scotty" and " Redshirt "). In the USA, the influence of Star Trek is rated as particularly high. Books have been written about the influence that Star Trek has or had on (sometimes also on non-sci-fi) aspects of real life. Outside the United States, the phenomenon is mainly perceived in Western Europe.

"Star Trek" was possibly the first television series whose following was united in fan clubs. This high level of organization of the fan community was made possible by the fact that the first “ Trekkies ” (or “Trekkers”) were recruited from the long-standing science fiction fan clubs. The Star Trek fans from the very beginning could therefore fall back on existing structures. This made it possible to organize a large-scale mail campaign that initially prevented the first television series in the USA from being canceled prematurely. The “Star Trek” fan base developed in the following years largely independently of the science fiction “ fandom ”, ie the organized science fiction fans who perceived “Star Trek” as not real science fiction.

In line with Roddenberry's conception, the series reflected social conditions rather than fictitious technologies. In this way, the television series addressed a group of people who differed significantly from the science fiction fans of the time. In particular, women were now interested in Spaceship Enterprise . The Star Trek fan base took over all the customs of science fiction fans by publishing fanzines from 1967 , and from 1972 also organized a convention that was so successful that it had to be divided into different events from 1974; The main interests of the "Trekkies", however, still differ greatly from those of traditional science fiction fans. In particular, the Star Trek fan base began to establish a new form of fan fiction as a subculture that was later carried over to other science fiction and fantasy productions as the Star Trek fan clubs founded worldwide in the following years later often the germ cells of other fan communities in this area also formed. Fans posted self-written short stories on fan fiction websites such as .

With the start of broadcasting of the series Starship Enterprise - The Next Century , the excitement for Star Trek increased . In Germany, the fandom grew steadily until the mid-1990s and was particularly fueled by the takeover of the television broadcast of The Next Century by the self-proclaimed Star Trek channel Sat.1 in 1993. The years 1990 to 1997 are therefore described in literature as a boom phase of enthusiasm for Star Trek . Fans attended Trek dinners - this is Star Trek - round tables - and conventions in part, organized themselves into clubs and associations and gave fanzines out (the largest was CETS) . The largest German convention, FedCon , was attended by over 5,000 guests , some of whom were disguised and masked as Star Trek figures; Leading actors from the series also took part in the events. Subsequently, a number of fans were increasingly saturated, among other things by numerous reruns on television, but also by the increased competition from other science fiction series, and lost interest in Star Trek . With the growing spread of the Internet, however, an online fan culture emerged, shaped for example by newsletters , forums and homepages .

Some Trekkies even celebrate their weddings according to the Klingon rite, whereby they also speak the Klingon language . Star Trek is also experienced worldwide as a live role-playing game. Fans slip into one of the original roles or create new scenarios.

The sculpture of a spaceship from "Star Trek" in Vulcan , Alberta
The NASA Shuttle Enterprise and the Star Trek Crew 1976, u. a. with DeForest Kelley (McCoy), George Takei (Sulu), James Doohan (Scotty), Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), Leonard Nimoy (Spock), Gene Roddenberry and Walter Koenig (Chekov).

Around 400,000 letters from the fan base were sent to NASA , asking them to name a space shuttle “Enterprise”. This was actually realized in 1976 after the completion of the first space shuttle (the NASA orbiter Enterprise never flew into space , but was only used for test flights within the atmosphere).

The first commercially viable spaceplane built for Virgin Galactic was called the VSS Enterprise . The name pays homage to the USS Enterprise from the "Star Trek" universe. The "VSS" stands for "Virgin Space Ship". On October 31, 2014, the spacecraft crashed during a test flight and was destroyed. The copilot was killed and the pilot was able to save himself with the ejection seat.

Research and science

Star Trek contains a complex fictional technology, for which explanatory attempts are always included. Inventions such as the warp drive or beaming should appear more transparent and logically closed in themselves. Quotes from Star Trek are occasionally used in popular publications. In his 1995 book The Physics of Star Trek (title of the German edition: Die Physik von Star Trek ), the physicist Lawrence Krauss explained various physical phenomena based on their representation and theming in the Star Trek television series. This includes the production and storage of antimatter , the holodecks and holograms, quantum mechanical measurements , solitons , quasars and neutrinos .

German scientists who deal with this topic are Hubert Zitt from the University of Kaiserslautern and Metin Tolan from the Technical University of Dortmund . Following the focus of Gene Roddenberry, one of the most important German legal philosophers , Robert Alexy , gave a lecture on “Human Rights for Data” and thus explored Star Trek from a social science and legal philosophy perspective.

See also


German speaking

English speaking

  • Michèle and Duncan Barrett: Star Trek. The Human Frontier . Polity Press, Cambridge 2001, ISBN 0-7456-2491-X
  • Daniel Leonard Bernardi: Star Trek and History - Race-ing Toward a White Future . Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick 1998, 2nd printing 1999, ISBN 0-8135-2466-0
  • Lincoln Geraghty: Living with Star Trek: American culture and the Star Trek universe. Tauris, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84511-421-3 (English).
  • Lincoln Geraghty (Ed.): The Influence of Star Trek on Television, Film and Culture ( Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy Series , No. 4), McFarland, Jefferson, NC 2007, ISBN 978-0-7864-3034-5
  • Chris Gregory: Star Trek: Parallel Narratives , St. Martin's Press, New York 2000, ISBN 0-333-74489-6
  • Edward Gross, Mark A. Altman: The Fifty-Year Mission. Volume One: The First 25 Years , Melia Publishing, Thomas Dunne Books 2016, ISBN 978-1-250-06584-1
  • Taylor Harrison et al. (Ed.): Enterprise Zones - Critical Positions on Star Trek . Westview Press, Boulder 1996, ISBN 0-8133-2899-3
  • Katja Kanzler: Infinite diversity in infinite combinations. The multicultural evolution of star trek. Verlag Winter, Heidelberg 2004, ISBN 3-8253-1557-6 .
  • Lawrence Krauss : The Physics of Star Trek . Basic Books, New York City 2007, ISBN 978-0-465-00204-7
  • Roberta E. Pearson, Máire M. Davies: Star Trek and American Television , University of California Press , Berkeley, Los Angeles, London 2014, ISBN 978-0-520-27622-2
  • Stefan Rabitsch, Martin Gabriel, Wilfried Elmenreich, John NA Brown (eds.): “Set Phasers to Teach! Star Trek in Research and Teaching ". Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland 2018, ISBN 978-3-319-73775-1
  • Nancy R. Reagan (Ed.): Star Trek and History . John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken 2013, ISBN 978-1-118-16763-2
  • Brian J. Robb: A Brief Guide to Star Trek. The Essential History of the classic TV Series and the movies , Constable & Robinson, London 2012, ISBN 978-1-84901-514-1
  • Manu Saadia: Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek , Inkshares, San Francisco 2016, ISBN 978-1-941758-75-5
  • Robert Wilonsky: The trouble with “Trek” , in:, October 29, 1999

Web links

Commons : Star Trek  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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  36. Robb 2012, p. X: "ossification and irrelevance"
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  39. Dietmar Dath : 40 years of “Star Wars”: 10 reasons why we love “Star Wars” , in: Rolling Stone from May 25, 2017, accessed on May 27, 2017
  40. Original quote from S. Saraiya: “a beautiful love letter to future generations”
  41. Original quote from S. Saraiya: “fan-service, moralizing speeches and deeply terrible special effects”
  42. Original quote from S. Saraiya: “the epitome of camp”
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  47. Kai-Uwe Hellmann : "You have to learn to expect the unexpected." Star Trek as a utopia of the incarnation? In: Hellmann and Klein (eds.) 1997, pp. 91–111, here: p. 102
  48. Knut Hickethier : The utopia of the series. Myths and world views in the Star Trek universe , in: Hellmann and Klein 1997, pp. 120-138, here: p. 138
  49. Klaus Sachs-Hombach : Duty, Inclination or Kitsch? - Star Trek as an alienated representation of basic moral problems , in: Heinecke and Hörnlein 2000, pp. 155–171, here: pp. 168, 170
  50. ^ Foreword by Stephen Hawking , in: Lawrence Krauss : Die Physik von Star Trek , Heyne Verlag , 5th edition, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-453-10981-3
  51. David Allen Batchelor: The Science of Star Trek , NASA website July 20, 2016, last updated August 7, 2017, accessed May 25, 2019, original citations: “pretty intelligently written and more faithful to science than any other science fiction series ever shown on television. "," almost the only show that depicts scientists and engineers positively, as role models. "
  52. Sumit Paul-Choudhury: Star Trek: New technology beams up old franchise , in: New Scientist No. 2706 of May 2, 2009, accessed on May 12, 2018, original quotations in the same order: “some of its clunkiest and most preachy episodes "," Heavyweight issues "
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  56. George A. Gonzalez: The Politics of Star Trek: Justice, War, and the Future , Palgrave Macmillan, New York 2015, ISBN 978-1-137-54940-2 , p. 192
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  61. Justin Ream, Alexander Lee: Material Agency. The Limits of Techostructure in the 24th Century , in: Peter W. Lee (Ed.): Exploring Picard's Galaxy. Essays on Star Trek: The Next Generation , McFarland, Jefferson 2018, ISBN 978-1-4766-6661-7 , pp. 74–90, original quote from David Graeber : “Star Trek, that quintessence of American mythology”
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  63. Manu Saadia: For alt-right trolls, “Star Trek: Discovery” is an unsafe space , in: The New Yorker of May 26, 2017
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  75. ↑ Text of the lecture as PDF file (96 kB)