Timeline of Star Trek
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This article discusses the fictional timeline of the Star Trek franchise. The franchise is primarily set in the future, ranging from the mid-22nd century (Star Trek: Enterprise) to the late 24th century (Star Trek: Picard) with the third season of Star Trek: Discovery jumping forward to the 32nd century. However the franchise has also outlined a fictional future history of Earth prior to this, and, primarily through time travel plots, explored both past and further-future settings.
The chronology is complicated by the presence of divergent timelines within the franchise's narrative, as well as internal contradictions and retcons. The original series generally avoided assigning real-world dates to its futuristic setting, instead using the stardate system. Series from Star Trek: The Next Generation onwards defined their temporal settings in conventional form.
Series, books, and film settings
This table shows each TV series and movie, its year of release or broadcast, the year it was set in according to the prevailing Okuda chronology (see below), and the stardate range for that year. The designation Enterprise-based series are the series that featured the various incarnations of the starship USS Enterprise. In universe timeline chronological order Star Trek Enterprise (ENT), Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS), Star Trek: The Animated Series (TAS), Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), and all 13 of the Star Trek feature films, including the three newest J. J. Abrams "reboot" films, or "Kelvin Timeline" based on the original series.
|Year||Stardates||Enterprise, The Original Series, The Next Generation, Picard, original timeline films, major events||Animated series||Novels and comics||Deep Space Nine||Voyager||Discovery||Reboot films (Kelvin timeline)||Video games|
|Before the birth of the Universe||"Death Wish" (1996)|
|3.5 billion years ago||The Next Generation "All Good Things..." (1994) [primordial Earth]|
|~2840 BCE||Star Trek "All Our Yesterdays" (1969) [primary plotline]|
|1893 CE||The Next Generation "Time's Arrow" (1992) [primary plotline]|
|1930||Star Trek "The City on the Edge of Forever" (1967) [primary plotline]|
|1944||Enterprise "Storm Front" (2004) [primary plotline]|
|1947||"Little Green Men" (1995) [primary plotline]|
|1957||Enterprise "Carbon Creek" (2002) [primary plotline]|
|1968||Star Trek "Assignment: Earth" (1968) [primary plotline]|
|1969||Star Trek "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" (1967) [primary plotline]|
|1986||The Voyage Home (1986) [primary plotline]|
|1992–1996||Eugenics Wars||Khan [secondary plotline]||"Future's End" (1996) [primary plotline]|
|2000||"11:59" (1999) [primary plotline]|
|2004||Enterprise "Carpenter Street" (2003) [primary plotline]|
|2024||"Past Tense" (1995) [primary plotline]|
|2032||"One Small Step" (1999) [primary plotline]|
|2049–2053||World War III|
|2063||First Contact (1996) [primary plotline]|
|2151–2152||Enterprise season 1 (2001–2002)|
|2152–2153||Enterprise season 2 (2002–2003)|
|2153–2154||Enterprise season 3 (2003–2004)|
|2154–2155||Enterprise season 41 (2004–2005)|
|2161||Enterprise "These Are the Voyages..." (2005) holodeck simulation of the events2
Founding of the United Federation of Planets
|2164||2164 (Reboot Stardate)||USS Franklin goes missing: Star Trek Beyond (2016)|
|2233||2233 (Reboot Stardate)||Star Trek (2009)3 [prologue]|
|2233–2258||2233–2258 (Reboot Stardates)||Nero comics|
|2245–2250||The Constitution-class USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) is launched under the command of Captain Robert April and begins its first 5-year mission.|
|2254||Star Trek "The Cage" (1964)|
|2256–2257||1207||Discovery season 1 (2017–2018)|
|2258–2259||2258–2259 (Reboot Stardate)||Discovery season 2 (2018–2019)||Star Trek (2009)|
|2259||2259 (Reboot Stardate)||Khan [primary plotline]|
|2259–2260||2259–2260 (Reboot Stardate)||Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)|
|2262||2262 (Reboot Stardate)||Star Trek Beyond (2016)|
|2265||1000–1499||Star Trek "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (1965)|
|2266–2267||1500–3299||Star Trek season 1 (1966–1967)|
|2267–2268||3300–4799||Star Trek season 2 (1967–1968)||"Trials and Tribble-ations" (1996) [primary plotline taking place within "The Trouble with Tribbles"]|
|2268–2269||4800–5999||Star Trek season 3 (1968–1969)|
|2269–2270||5221–5683||The Animated Series season 1 (1973–1974)||Killing Time|
|2270||6000–6146||The Animated Series season 2 (1974)|
|2273||7410–7599||The Motion Picture (1979)|
|2278||7818||USS Bozeman launched: "Cause and Effect" (1992)|
|2285||8100–8299||The Wrath of Khan (1982)
The Search for Spock (1984)
|2286||8300–8399||The Voyage Home (1986)|
|2287||8400–8499||The Final Frontier (1989)|
|2293||9500–9999||The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Generations (1994) [prologue]
|"Flashback" (1996) [flashback taking place within The Undiscovered Country]|
|2298–2364||The Lost Era novels|
|2354–2381||31000–58999||New Frontier novels|
|2364||41000–41999||The Next Generation season 1 (1987–1988)
The Next Generation "All Good Things..." (1994) [past timeline]
|2365||42000–42999||The Next Generation season 2 (1988–1989)|
|2366||43000–43999||The Next Generation season 3 (1989–1990)|
|2367||44000–44999||The Next Generation season 4 (1990–1991)||"Emissary" (1993) [flashback to the Battle of Wolf 359]|
|2368||45000–45999||The Next Generation season 5 (1991–1992)|
|2369||46000–46999||The Next Generation season 6 (1992–1993)||Deep Space Nine season 1 (1993)|
|2370||47000–47999||The Next Generation season 7 (1993–1994)
Enterprise "These Are the Voyages..."4 (2005) [main timeline]
|Q-Squared||Deep Space Nine season 2 (1993–1994)|
|2371||48000–48999||Generations (1994)||Deep Space Nine season 3 (1994–1995)||Voyager season 1 (1995)|
|2372||49000–49999||Deep Space Nine season 4 (1995–1996)||Voyager season 2 (1995–1996)|
|2373||50000–50999||First Contact (1996)||Deep Space Nine season 5 (1996–1997)||Voyager season 3 (1996–1997)|
|2374||51000–51999||Dominion War||Deep Space Nine season 6 (1997–1998)||Voyager season 4 (1997–1998)|
|Deep Space Nine season 7 (1998–1999)||Voyager season 5 (1998–1999)|
|2376||53000–53999||A Stitch in Time||Voyager season 6 (1999–2000)|
|2377–2378||54000–55599||Voyager season 7 (2000–2001)|
|2378–2379||55600–56399||A Time to... novels|
|2380||57000–57999||Lower Decks season 1 (2020)|
|2381||58000–58999||Lower Decks season 2 (2021)|
|2379–2386||56900–63999||Utopia Planitia Shipyards, Picard season 1 (2020)||Titan novels|
|2383||Prodigy season 1 (2021)|
|2385||Utopia Planitia Shipyards Destruction, Picard Season 1, Episode 2 (2020)|
|2387||64000–64999||Star Trek (2009) [flashback]||Countdown|
|2390||"Timeless" (1998) [future timeline]|
|2395||72000–72999||The Next Generation "All Good Things..." (1994) [future timeline]|
|2399||76000–76999||Picard season 1 (2020)|
|2404||"Endgame" (2001) [future timeline]|
|2409-2411||Star Trek Online (2010)|
|2450||"The Visitor" (1995) [future timeline]|
|2554||Enterprise "Azati Prime" (2004) [Battle of Procyon 5]|
|2875||"Relativity" (1999) [future timeline]|
|3052||Enterprise "Shockwave" (2002) [future timeline]|
|3069–3089||The Burn, followed by the collapse of most of the United Federation of Planets|
|3074||"Living Witness" (1998)|
|3186||"The Red Angel" (2019)|
|3188-89||Discovery season 3 (2020)|
Timeline in order of series air dates
Chronology and events
Note: Many of these dates are rounded-off approximations, as the dialog from which they are derived often includes qualifiers such as "over," "more than," or "less than."
Before Common Era
- The Big Bang
- c. 6 billion years ago
- c. 4 billion years ago
- A humanoid civilization seeds the oceans of many planets with genetic material, which would lead to the development of humanoids on many planets.
- c. 65 to 100 million years ago
- c. 1 million years ago
- c. 600,000 years ago
- c. 200,000 years ago
- The Iconian civilization is destroyed.
- c. 8,000 BCE
- c. 2700 BCE
- A group of extraterrestrial beings land on Earth and are eventually known as the Greek gods, as established in the episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?".
1st millennium of the Common Era
- c. 4th century CE
- The Vulcan Time of Awakening. In the midst of horrific wars on Vulcan, the philosopher Surak leads his people, teaching them to embrace logic and suppress all emotion.
- The Dominion may have been founded in the Gamma Quadrant by the shapeshifting race known as the Changelings (founders) around this time.
- c. 9th century
- c. 1505
- The Borg are known to exist in the Delta Quadrant, 900 years prior to Voyager landing on the planet as referenced by the Vaadwaur "Dragon's Teeth" (VOY).
- c. 1570
- 18th century
- c. 1864
- The Skagarans abduct humans for use as slaves in their colony world (as referred to in Enterprise Season 3: "North Star").
- c. 1871
- c. 1893
- "Time's Arrow" (TNG).
- "The City on the Edge of Forever" (TOS).
- "Storm Front" (ENT).
- A Vulcan scout ship visits Earth, according to a story told by T'Pol (presumably a true story as T'Pol examines a purse which was portrayed as used by her great-great-grandmother during the story; see episode entry) ("Carbon Creek" (ENT)).
- "Assignment: Earth" (TOS).
- "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" (TOS).
- 1986 –
- The Eugenics Wars end. (WWIII is retconned to be in the 2050s by TNG's Encounter at Farpoint and Star Trek First Contact; DS9's "Doctor Bashir, I Presume?" retcons the Eugenics Wars as being in the 22nd century.)
- "Future's End" (VOY).
- the SS Botany Bay is stolen by a group of about 80 or 90 augments ("Space Seed" (TOS)).
- The past events of "11:59" (VOY).
- The past events of "Carpenter Street" (ENT).
- The world's first self-sustaining civic environment, Millennium Gate, which became the model for the first habitat on Mars, completed in Portage Creek, Indiana ("11:59" (VOY)).
- Sleeper ships are made obsolete.
- The spaceship Charybdis makes an attempt to leave the solar system.
- World War III ends and Earth is left devastated, mostly because of nuclear warfare. Most of the major cities are left in ruins with few remaining governments and the death total reaching 600 million. Scientific advancement continues, however. (In TOS, WWIII took place in the 1990s, while DS9's "Doctor Bashir, I Presume?" had the Eugenics Wars in the 22nd century.)
- The past events of Star Trek: First Contact. Zefram Cochrane makes the first human warp flight with the Phoenix. This attracts the Vulcans and they make first contact with humans. (TOS "Metamorphosis" stated that Zefram Cochrane disappeared 150 years ago at the age of 87, which fits with the current timeline.)
- c. 2065
- The unmanned interstellar warp probe Friendship 1 is launched.
- The colony ship SS Conestoga is launched. It would found the Terra Nova colony.
- T'Pol is born.
- Earth colonizes Mars.
- Warp 2 Barrier broken by Commander Robinson in NX Alpha and Warp 2.5 achieved by Commander Archer in NX Beta.
- Warp 3 Broken by Commander Duvall in NX Delta.
- Keel laid for Enterprise (NX-01).
- The USS Defiant, a Constitution-class vessel from the Prime Universe in 2268, travels back in time and also emerges in the Mirror Universe following its interaction with an anomaly. The abandoned Defiant is found by the Tholians. The Terran Empire learns of the ship's existence and subsequently captures it for their own use.
- The Earth–Romulan War is fought between United Earth and its allies, and the Romulan Star Empire. The war ends with the Battle of Cheron, which results in Earth inflicting a humiliating defeat to the Romulans, to such a degree that the Empire still considers the battle an embarrassment over 200 years later. The Romulan Neutral Zone is established.
- 2160s to 2196
- The Daedalus class starship is active.
- 2233 (alternate timeline)
- Spock and the Romulan mining ship Narada, commanded by Nero, emerge from a black hole created by Spock's detonation of red matter in 2387 and arrive in the past. Nero's arrival and subsequent attack on the USS Kelvin creates the Kelvin Timeline.
- James T. Kirk is born aboard a shuttlecraft from the USS Kelvin.
- James T. Kirk's father, George Kirk, is killed.
- Nyota Uhura is born in the United States of Africa. This fits with the alternate timeline, unlike her alternate birth date of 2239, for the latter would suggest her only being nineteen in the film.
- 2241 (alternate timeline)
- Pavel Chekov born in Russia on Earth
- The USS Enterprise, a Constitution class vessel is launched under the command of Robert April, on a five-year mission of exploration. In the alternate timeline created by Nero's attack on the USS Kelvin, the Enterprise is still under construction in 2255 and is not launched on its maiden voyage until 2258.
- The events of Star Trek: Discovery season 1 take place, The Klingon Federation War.
- The events of Star Trek: Discovery season 2 take place. The USS Discovery & USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) engage in a pitched battle to neutralise the rogue AI Control. The battle is a success, however the Enterprise falsely reports that the Discovery was lost with all hands to conceal the fact that it travelled 930 years into the future in order to prevent Control from reasserting itself. The Enterprise subsequently undergoes repairs and departs for Edrin II 4 months later.
- 2258 (alternate timeline)
- The events of Star Trek take place. Nero destroys the planet Vulcan – killing billions, including Spock's mother – as well as 9 Federation starships. The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) is launched on its maiden voyage under Captain Christopher Pike. James T. Kirk becomes the ship's new captain shortly afterward. Henceforth, a different timeline is required.
- 2259 (alternate timeline)
- The events of Star Trek Into Darkness take place.
- 2260 (alternate timeline)
- The Enterprise is launched on a historic five-year mission.
- 2263 (alternate timeline)
- Boothby, groundskeeper and counselor at Starfleet Academy, is born.
- The events of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (TOS)
- The events of Star Trek: The Original Series take place.
- The events of Star Trek: The Animated Series take place.
- The events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
- The events of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. (Note that this film apparently takes place soon after the events of the fourth film, as evidenced by Scotty's complaints about repairing the ship after its shakedown cruise, which was depicted at the end of Star Trek IV. Star Trek V would then take place in early 2287, with the events of Star Trek IV spanning most of 2286, with several months passing after Kirk's return to the future to account for the preparation of the Enterprise-A and Gillian's training for its space assignment.)
- The events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) is decommissioned shortly afterwards.
- The opening events of Star Trek Generations. The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-B) is launched under the command of John Harriman. While responding to a distress call, the Enterprise is struck by a discharge from the Nexus which breaches the hull and James T. Kirk is presumed killed in the blast.
- Jean-Luc Picard becomes captain of the USS Stargazer.
- The Enterprise-C, under the command of Captain Rachel Garrett, is destroyed defending a Klingon settlement on Narendra III under attack from Romulans.
- Due to the Enterprise-C's sacrifice, a new era of more open communication begins between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, leading to a formalized alliance.
- Sela (half-romulan/half-human), daughter of Natasha Yar (alternate reality from "Yesterday's Enterprise"), is born.
- Magnus, Erin, and Annika Hansen are assimilated by the Borg while on a research mission in the Delta quadrant.
- The USS Stargazer is attacked by an unknown vessel (later discovered to be Ferengi in origin) in the Maxia Zeta system. Jean-Luc Picard wins the confrontation by devising a tactic which becomes known as the Picard Manoeuvre. However, due to damage suffered during the battle, the crew are forced to abandon ship. The Stargazer is later recovered in 2364.
- The events of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- The Borg assimilate Captain Jean-Luc Picard; the Battle of Wolf 359 is fought 7.7 light years from Earth in Sector 001. The battle results in the loss of 39 Starfleet vessels and over 11,000 lives. Benjamin Sisko aboard the USS Saratoga is a participant in the battle and is one of the few survivors alongside his son Jake Sisko. With the task force lost, the Borg continue to Earth. Picard is rescued and the Borg cube is destroyed via the actions of the crew of the Enterprise-D.
- The events of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- The USS Defiant (NX-74205), a mothballed prototype originally designed to fight the Borg, is commissioned into active service and is assigned to Benjamin Sisko to help protect DS9. Due to the Defiant being over-powered and over-gunned for its size, several flaws in the ship's design require attention before it reaches a fully operational status. The Defiant is officially classed as an escort vessel; however, unofficially it is considered a warship built purely for combat.
- The events of Star Trek Generations. The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)'s stardrive section is destroyed by a warp core breach; the saucer section containing the crew makes a forced landing on Veridian III. The ship is subsequently declared a total loss. James T. Kirk reappears from the temporal continuum in which he had been since his disappearance in 2293. Kirk is killed on Veridian III. (Kirk is resurrected a month later in a subsequent story written by William Shatner, called The Return.)
- The events of Star Trek: First Contact. The Battle of Sector 001 occurs with a Starfleet Task Force engaging in a running battle with a Borg cube en route to Earth. The USS Defiant (NX-74205) is severely damaged but not destroyed, with the crew evacuated to the Enterprise. The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E) follows a Borg sphere through a temporal rift and events shift at that point to 2063.
- Still unaware that the USS Voyager is stuck in the Delta Quadrant, Starfleet officially declares the ship lost with all hands.
- Tensions between the Alpha and Gamma quadrants erupt into open warfare, igniting the Dominion War fully.
- Using an abandoned sensor array network, the USS Voyager detects a Federation vessel, the USS Prometheus, on the edge of the Alpha Quadrant and transmits The Doctor to the ship. After freeing the ship from the Romulans with help from the Prometheus EMH, Voyager officially re-establishes contact with Starfleet.
- The USS Defiant (NX-74205) is destroyed. Several weeks later, DS9 receives a replacement Defiant Class vessel, the USS Sáo Paulo. Captain Sisko is granted special permission by Starfleet to rename the vessel to Defiant.
- After devastating losses on both sides, the Federation, alongside the Romulan and Klingon Empire, make a final push against the Dominion, resulting in the Battle of Cardassia. The Dominion subsequently surrenders to the Federation.
- The events of Star Trek: Insurrection. Dialogue in this film and in the DS9 finale "What You Leave Behind" place the chronology of this film as during that episode, after the final battle of the war but before the treaty signing ceremony. Most notable in the film is Worf's ability to leave the station to join the Enterprise, as well as a line about Federation diplomats being involved in Dominion negotiations, and the Federation's willingness to work with the Son'a, who are established as a Dominion ally during the war.
- The events of Star Trek: Lower Decks.
- The events of Star Trek: Prodigy.
- 2385, First Contact Day
- The Utopia Planitia Fleetyards on Mars are sabotaged and subsequently destroyed by rogue synthetics in a surprise attack. The battle results in the loss of 92,143 lives, the planet itself being considered destroyed, its stratosphere ignited, and the destruction of the rescue armada to evacuate Romulus. In the aftermath of the attack, the Federation, unable to determine how or why the synths went rogue, bans the creation of synthetic lifeforms.
- Lieutenant Icheb is captured and stripped for his Borg parts by Bjayzl, and subsequently euthanized by Seven of Nine.
- A star in the Romulan Empire goes Supernova. Ambassador Spock attempts to counter the resulting shockwave using Red Matter, but is unable to save the planet Romulus from destruction. Spock and the Romulan mining ship Narada, commanded by Nero, are dragged into a black hole created by the Red Matter detonation and arrive in the past. Nero's arrival in 2233 and subsequent attack on the USS Kelvin creates the Kelvin Timeline.
- c. 2540–2550
- The Starship Enterprise-J (presumably NCC 1701-J) is commissioned and takes part in the Battle of Procyon V against the Spherebuilders as shown in Enterprise episode "Azati Prime".
- Temporal Cold War (with agents from the 31st century); first established in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Enterprise and recurring until the series' fourth season premiere, it is a struggle between those who would alter history to suit their own ends and those who would preserve the integrity of the original timeline.
- With the distance between them having expanded over the centuries and making travel increasingly difficult, the last crossing between the Prime and Mirror Universes occurs at some point during this century.
- The Aeon-type timeship is in active service during this century ("Future's End"), as is the Wells-class timeship Relativity ("Relativity").
- Around the year 2958, supplies of Dilithium in the Milky Way started to dry up, marking the beginning of an energy crisis. The United Federation of Planets began development and trials of alternatives to warp drive, though none proved to be reliable.
- The Federation spends much of this century engaged in a temporal war with the objective of upholding the Temporal Accords to ensure the timeline remains unaltered.
- A cataclysmic galaxy-wide event referred to as "The Burn" occurs. Nearly all dilithium in the galaxy suddenly went inert, causing a massive loss of life and the destruction of every ship and facility with an active warp core. In the aftermath, the remaining dilithium became an ever more scarce resource. With few ships and warp travel severely impeded, no explanation for what happened and the uncertainty if it will happen again, the United Federation of Planets effectively collapses.
- The Federation and Starfleet Command leave Earth for a new headquarters location. Around the same time, the United Earth government withdraws Earth from the Federation, becoming fully self-sufficient and isolating the planet from the rest of the galaxy.
- Episodes with time traveler Daniels from Enterprise
- This is the year Gabrielle Burnham arrived in after using the Red Angel suit to escape a Klingon attack on her home. (Discovery S2 E10)
- The events of Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 begin. After fleeing the 23rd Century to prevent Control from reasserting itself, Michael Burnham arrives 930 years later via the wormhole generated by the Red Angel suit. Emerging from the anomaly, she accidentally collides with the ship of Cleveland Booker, causing both of them to crash land on the nearby planet of Hima.
- The USS Discovery arrives in the 32nd century in critical condition, crashing on an unknown backwater planet simply referred to as "The Colony" by its inhabitants. Discovery is subsequently repaired and reunites with Burnham.
- What remains of the Federation at this time are 38 confirmed member worlds, down from 350 at the height of its power prior to the Burn. What remains of Starfleet falls under the command of Fleet Admiral Charles Vance.
- The USS Voyager NCC-74656-J is in active service at this time.
- The USS Discovery undergoes a major refit to bring the ship up to 32nd century technology standards. It is subsequently recommissioned as NCC-1031-A.
- Star Trek: Short Treks episode "Calypso" takes place. By Star Trek's fictional chronology, this is the last episode of all the seven series.
History of the chronology (historiography)
Several efforts have been made to develop a chronology for the events depicted by the Star Trek television series and its spin-offs. This matter has been complicated by the continued additions to the Star Trek canon, the existence of time travel and multiple concurrent timelines, and the scarcity of Gregorian calendar dates given in the show (stardates instead being used).
Not many references set the original series in an exact time frame, and those that exist are largely contradictory. In the episode "Tomorrow Is Yesterday", a 1960s military officer says that he's going to lock Captain Kirk up "for two hundred years", to which Kirk replies, with wry amusement: "That ought to be just about right." Likewise, in the episode "Space Seed", it is said that the 1996 warlord Khan Noonian Singh is from "two centuries" ago. Both these references place the show in the 22nd century. However, in the episode "Miri", it is said that 1960 was around 300 years ago, pushing the show into the 23rd century. Finally, the episode "The Squire of Gothos" implied that the light cone of 19th century Earth has expanded to 900 light years of radius, which seems to set the show in the 28th century, since light would take nine centuries to traverse that distance.
According to notes in The Making of Star Trek, the show is set in the 23rd century, and the Enterprise was supposed to be around 40 years old. Roddenberry says in this book that the stardate system was invented to avoid pinning down the show precisely in time frame. Roddenberry's original pitch for the series dated it "'somewhere in the future. It could be 1995, or maybe even 2995".
The Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology and FASA, a publisher of the first licensed Star Trek role-playing game, chose to take the "Space Seed figure", adding a few years to make sure the events of the Original Series were in the 23rd century. This dating system is followed by other spin-off works in the 1980s, including Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise. This timeline system gives the following dates
- The sub-warp ship the UNSS Icarus makes first contact with Alpha Centauri in 2048, and there meets Zefrem Cochran [sic], who has invented warp drive.
- The first Earth warp ship, the Bonaventure makes its first voyage, to Tau Ceti, in 2059.
- The first contact with Vulcans is in 2063.
- The Federation is formed in 2087.
- The Earth–Romulan War occurs in the 2100s.
- First contact with the Klingon Empire in 2151.
- The first Constitution-class starship is launched in 2188.
- The USS Enterprise's five-year mission under Captain Kirk lasts from 2207 to 2212.
- The events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture occur in 2217.
- The events of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan occur around 2222 (dialogue in the film says it is set "fifteen years" after the Season One episode "Space Seed").
- The events of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home occur on September 21, 2222.
The Star Fleet Battles game was published in 1979, with a license only covering the original series. It has since diverged into an entirely separate fictional universe, new additions to which continue to be published. It does not tie into the Gregorian calendar, instead using a "Year 1" of the invention of Warp on earth. Its version of the original series backstory is:
- Y1 – Warp drive is developed on Earth.
- Y4 – Federation is formed by Earth, Vulcan, Andoria, Alpha Centauri.
- Y40-Y46 – Earth–Romulan War.
- Y71 – Starfleet is formed.
- Y126 – The Constitution-class is launched (an upgrade from the Republic-class).
- Y154–159 – The events of the Original Series.
TNG era and Okuda
Press materials for The Next Generation suggested it was set in the 24th century, seventy-eight years after the existing Star Trek, although the exact time frame had not yet been set in stone. The pilot had dialogue stating Data was part of the Starfleet "class of '78". The pilot episode, "Encounter at Farpoint", also has a cameo appearance by Leonard "Bones" McCoy, who is said to be 137.
In the last episode of the first season, the year is firmly established by Data as 2364. This marked the first time an explicit future calendar date had been attached to a Star Trek storyline, and allowed fans and writers to extrapolate further dates. For example, the established date implies McCoy was born around 2227, ruling out the Spaceflight Chronology-derived dating of the original series to the early 23rd century (though the dating had already been effectively overruled by Star Trek IV, which primarily takes place in 1986, where Kirk tells Gillian Taylor that he is from the late 23rd Century, though he does not give an exact date).
A Star Trek Chronology was published in 1993, written by production staff members Denise Okuda and Michael Okuda. A second edition was issued in 1996. Okuda originally drew up a timeline for internal use by writers, based on his own research and assumptions provided by Richard Arnold. The dates in the Chronology are consistent with the earlier Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual.
It gives the following dates:
- Zephram Cochrane invents warp drive around 2061 (so that the SS Valiant can be constructed and go missing two hundred years before "Where No Man Has Gone Before", dated to 2265; the first edition gives 2061; the second edition moves this to 2063 per Star Trek: First Contact).
- The Romulan War takes place in the 2150s (about a hundred years before "Balance of Terror").
- The Federation is formed in 2161, after the Romulan War, on the basis that "Balance of Terror" says that it was an Earth-Romulan war, not a Federation-Romulan War.
- The first Constitution-class starship is launched in 2244, followed by the Enterprise in 2245.
- Kirk's five-year mission lasts from 2264 to 2269, based on the assumption that the original series is set exactly 300 years after its original broadcast.
- Aired live-action Star Trek episodes are dated from 2266 to 2269. The chronology does not include the events of Star Trek: The Animated Series. This is in keeping also with Gene Roddenberry's concept (discussed in The Making of Star Trek by Roddenberry and Stephen Whitfield) that Star Trek's first season takes place after the mission has been under way for some time.
- An episode of Voyager, "Q2", aired after the Chronology was published, established that Kirk's five-year mission actually ended in 2270.
- The events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture take place in 2271 (Kirk has been Chief of Starfleet Operations for two and a half years, according to dialog from Kirk and Decker).
- The "Q2" dating for Kirk's five-year mission, moves the first film to c. 2273.
- Numerous sources, including the Chronology, postulate a second five-year mission under now-Admiral Kirk's command, begun soon after the events of the first movie; in part this is to take into account the unproduced revival series Star Trek: Phase II.
- The events of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock take place in 2285.
- The Wrath of Khan is a sequel to the episode "Space Seed", which Okuda dates to 2267. In Okuda's timeline there is a gap of eighteen years rather than the fifteen years established in dialog. The film was released in 1982, fifteen years after the episode's broadcast in 1967. The film begins on Kirk's birthday, which is semi-canonically established as March 22, the same as William Shatner's.
- The events of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home take place in 2286.
- This places Star Trek III in late 2285, as Kirk states in his log that the Enterprise crew has been on Vulcan for "three months" since bringing Spock home.
- The events of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier take place in 2287.
- The events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country take place in 2293, based on McCoy's statement that he had served on the Enterprise for 27 years, and his absence in "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
- The Kirk-era part of Star Trek Generations is set 78 years before 2371 (established by way of an on-screen caption), thus is set in 2293 and soon after Star Trek VI.
The gap between the 1986 film Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home (2286) and the 1987 first season of The Next Generation (2364) is 78 years by this timeline, matching early press materials.
A gap of 10 years passed between the broadcast of the last episode of Star Trek: The Original Series and the release of The Motion Picture. The film skirted around the fact the actors had aged, supposing that only two and a half years had passed since the events of the TV show. For Star Trek II, it was decided to acknowledge the reality of the aging actors, both by setting the film some 15 years after "Space Seed", and by having Kirk worry about getting old.
Within The Next Generation era, episodes and films are easier to date. Stardates correspond exactly with seasons, with the first two digits of the stardate representing the season number. Okuda assumes the start of a season is January 1 and the end of the season is December 31. The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager television series, as well as the movies, have roughly followed "real time", and are set around 377 years after their release.
Since the Chronology was published, it has been generally adhered-to by the producers of the show. The film Star Trek: First Contact and prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise both revisit the early era. In First Contact, Zephram Cochrane is confirmed as having invented warp drive on Earth, but the date is moved forward slightly to 2063, and it is revealed that Earth's official first contact with an alien species, the Vulcans, took place immediately afterwards as a result of this.
The dating of the final season of Star Trek: Voyager has presented controversy. The standard assumption about stardates, as well as the regular correspondence between seasons and in-universe years, would place the entire season in the year 2377; the season begins with stardate 54014.4 and ends with 54973.4. However, the episode "Homestead" features a celebration of the 315th anniversary of Zefram Cochrane's first contact with the Vulcans, which would set the episode on April 5, 2378. The fansite Memory Alpha thus places the final eight episodes of the season ("Human Error" through "Endgame") in 2378, with other sources following suit.
Enterprise is set in the 2150s, and ties into the Cochrane backstory. The show uses the Gregorian calendar instead of Stardates, making tracking the dating easier. Its pilot, "Broken Bow", depicts first contact with the Klingons occurring much earlier than the Okuda chronology anticipated (it suggested a date of 2218, based on a line in "Day of the Dove", noting that dialog in "First Contact" makes this problematic – though the actual line in the episode referred to hostilities between the two, and in Enterprise, Human-Klingon relations, while by no means friendly, clearly do not rise to the de facto state of war shown in TOS). It shows the opening of the Romulan war and the start of a coalition between Earth, Vulcan, Andor, and Tellar in the 2150s. The date of the founding year of the Federation, 2161, was revealed in the fifth-season TNG episode "The Outcast," based on an early draft of the Okuda timeline. The final episode of Enterprise, "These Are the Voyages...", is consistent with the establishment of 2161 as the founding year for the Federation.
No version of the Chronology or the Encyclopedia has been published since 1999. A 2006 book by Jeff Ayers contains a timeline which attempts to date all of the many Star Trek novels. This timeline has The Motion Picture in 2273, to account for the two-and-a-half-year gap between the end-date of 2270 established in "Q2" and the events of the movie. The official website, StarTrek.com, still gives the date of that movie as 2271.
Eugenics Wars and World War III
When the original series of Star Trek was produced, the 1990s were several decades away, and so various elements of the backstory to Star Trek are set in that era, particularly the Eugenics Wars. The references to the Eugenics Wars and to a nuclear war in the 21st century are somewhat contradictory.
The episode "Space Seed" establishes the Eugenics Wars, and has them lasting from 1992 to 1996. The Eugenics Wars are described as a global conflict in which the progeny of a human genetic engineering project, most notably Khan Noonien Singh, established themselves as supermen and attempted world domination. Spock calls them "the last of your so-called World Wars", and McCoy identifies this with the Eugenics Wars.
In the episode "Bread and Circuses", Spock gives a death toll for World War III of 37 million. The episode "The Savage Curtain" features a Colonel Phillip Green, who led a genocidal war in the 21st century. The TNG episode "Encounter at Farpoint" further establishes a "post-atomic horror" on Earth in 2079. However, the movie Star Trek: First Contact put the contact between Vulcans and humans at April 5, 2063.
The Star Trek Concordance identifies the "Bread and Circuses" figure as the death toll for a nuclear World War III, in the mid-21st century. Star Trek: First Contact firmly establishes World War III ended, after a nuclear exchange, in 2053, but with a body count of 600 million. The figure of Colonel Green is elaborated on in Star Trek: Enterprise. First Contact also deliberately describes the warring parties in World War III as "factions", not nations per se.
The Voyager episode "Future's End" saw the Voyager crew time-travel to Los Angeles in 1996, which, as the Encyclopedia notes, seems entirely unaffected by the Eugenics Wars, which ended that year. The episode acknowledges the issue only by featuring a model of Khan's DY-100-class ship on a 1996 desk. Khan's spaceship is another anomaly for the timeline, which has a variety of long-lost spaceships being launched between 1980 and 2100, with inconsistent levels of technology (caused by the increasing real lifetime and also decreased optimism about the pace of space exploration).
A reference in the Deep Space Nine episode "Doctor Bashir, I Presume?" suggests that the Eugenic Wars instead took place in the 22nd century. According to writer Ronald D. Moore, this was not an attempt at a retcon, but a mistake – when writing the episode, he recalled the already questionable "two centuries ago" line from "Space Seed" and forgot that DS9 takes place over 100 years later.
Season 4 of Star Trek: Enterprise involves a trilogy of episodes ("Borderland" "Cold Station 12", and "The Augments") related to scientist Doctor Arik Soong, ancestor of Doctor Noonien Soong, and his genetic augmentations of Humans. Numerous historical details of the devastating Eugenics Wars are discussed: the death of 35–37 million people; how Earth's governments could not decide on the fate of the 1,800 genetically enhanced embryos; and how Soong had infiltrated the complex and stolen and raised 19 embryos himself. Soong maintained that he himself and humanity in general had learned the lessons of the Eugenics Wars and should not continue to hide behind those events when there was progress to be made now that the technology had matured and was much more practicable. (The actions of his "children" convince him otherwise, and at the end of "The Augments" Soong declares his interest in cybernetics, beginning the work which would one day bring about Data.)
Greg Cox's two-book series The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh develops the idea of the Eugenics Wars in the context of real-life history by representing it as a secret history, and that the truth behind the various civil wars and conflicts in the 1990s was not generally known; Los Angeles, whose appearance in "Future's End" helped bring the war's existence into question, is portrayed as an EW "battlefront", the Rodney King riots being one such calamity.
In the episode "Metamorphosis", it is stated that Zefram Cochrane of Alpha Centauri, the discoverer of the space warp, disappeared 150 years ago, at the age of 87. Based on the 2207 to 2212 originally given this would have put Cochrane's disappearance between 2057 to 2062 and his birth between 1970 to 1975. However, Okuda's date of 2267 for that episode, puts Cochrane's disappearance in 2117 and birth in 2030. 1980s spin-off material such as the Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology posit that Cochrane was from Alpha Centauri originally, and that a sub-warp ship the UNSS Icarus arrived at Alpha Centauri in 2048 to find he had discovered the theory behind warp drive. The Icarus then relayed its findings back to Earth. The first prototype warp ship was launched in 2055.
The Star Trek Chronology does not hold with this theory, and asserts that Cochrane was an Earth native, who moved to Alpha Centauri later in life. (Even in "Metamorphosis", before Cochrane identifies himself to the landing party, Dr. McCoy had taken a tricorder scan and determined him to be human.) The first edition Chronology notes that Cochrane's invention of warp drive must have been at least 200 years before "Where No Man Has Gone Before", and suggests a date of 2061, noting that Cochrane would be 31 that year.
The film Star Trek: First Contact prominently features Cochrane's first successful warp flight. The film is set in 2063, two years after the Chronology suggestions, and therefore by the timeline Cochrane is 33. The actor who played Cochrane in that movie, James Cromwell, was 56 at the time of the film's release. The Encyclopedia notes the age issue, and claims that the Cromwell Cochrane had suffered from radiation poisoning, causing his aged appearance. Enterprise pins down Cochrane's disappearance to 2119, making Cochrane instead 31 at the time of First Contact.
- ^ Except for the series finale – "These Are the Voyages..."
- ^ The events of "These are the voyages..." are displayed as a holodeck simulation. Episode itself takes place in 2370 (stardate 47457.1)
- ^ The film begins in the main timeline only to set up the alternate timeline.
- ^ Stardate 47457.1, parallel with The Next Generation episode "Pegasus"
- Okuda, Mike; Okuda, Denise (1996). Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-53610-9.
- Death Wish (Star Trek: Voyager)
- The Guardian notes in the episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" that it has existed "since before your sun burned hot in space".
- This event is the key plot point of "The Chase".
- Established in the episode "Return to Tomorrow".
- Weyoun states that the Dominion is approximately 10,000 years old in the seventh season episode "The Dogs of War".
- The seventh-season TNG episode "Gambit" says this was around 2,000 years before.
- Weyoun says the Dominion is 2,000 years old in the fourth-season DS9 episode "To the Death". Possibly this was a time of change or reform for the Dominion, transforming it from a previous incarnation into the version seen in the series.
- The sixth-season TNG episode "Rightful Heir" said this event was 1,500 years ago)
- 800 years before the third-season DS9 episode "Explorers"
- The Chronology dates this by the culture seen in the episode which features the transplant, The Paradise Syndrome
- Gul Dukat says this happens five centuries before the third-season DS9 episode Defiant
- Dates are given in dialogue in "Space Seed"
- The Chronology speculates on the year, noting that Star Trek: The Motion Picture does not give an exact figure. However the movie itself does state that Voyager 6 "was launched more than three hundred years ago."
- The Chronology speculates on the year, noting the episode "The Changeling" does not give an exact figure. However, the episode does have Kirk ask "Wasn't there a probe called Nomad launched in the early 2000s?"
- The Chronology speculates on the year, noting the episode "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" does not give an exact year.
- According to the episode "Space Seed". The year is clearly specified by Lt McGivers, ship's historian.
- Established in the episode "One Small Step".
- The year is stated in "The Royale"
- The war ends 10 years before Star Trek: First Contact, set in 2063.
- The Chronology dates this exactly 200 years before the episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
- Established in the episode "Friendship One".
- Established the episode "Terra Nova"
- "Encounter at Farpoint" features a Q-induced flashback to this era.
- From a computer screen in "In a Mirror, Darkly"
- About 150 years before "Metamorphosis" (dated by Okuda as 2267), which is shown by Enterprise to be an approximation.
- "Star Trek: Enterprise: Episodes by Season". Archived from the original on November 11, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- The TNG episode Conundrum refers to this date, based on an early draft of the Chronology, which had proposed 2161. "These Are the Voyages..." depicts the founding ceremony and officially states the founding members.
- Although the season three Enterprise episode "Zero Hour" indicates the date as 2159
- Sarek gives his age as 102.437 in "Journey to Babel".
- In the episode "Power Play", Data gives the year 2196 as the retirement date of the Daedalus class starships, which had been active 200 years before the episode, in the 2160s.
- The episode "Relics" establishes that Scotty was born 147 years before 2369.
- Star Trek: Discovery S01E04
- McCoy is 137 years old in "Encounter at Farpoint", set in 2364.
- The Chronology dates this based on a line from an early draft script from "Journey to Babel"
- Mandel, Geoffrey (1980). USS Enterprise Officer's Manual. 201W 18th St. Apt 20A, New York, NY. 10011: Interstellar Associates. p. 25.CS1 maint: location (link)
- Kirk is said to be 34 in "The Deadly Years, which Okuda dates to 2267.
- Mandel, Geoffrey (1980). USS Enterprise Officer's Manual. 201W 18th St. Apt 20A, New York, NY. 10011: Interstellar Associates. p. 27.CS1 maint: location (link)
- Chekov is 22 in the episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?".
- In Star Trek Chekov states that he is 17 – Kirk is 25.
- Thirteen years before the events of "The Menagerie", according to dialogue.
- A biography shown in "Conundrum" establishes the birth-year and birth-place.
- This incident, the last contact between the Romulans and the Federation is said to be 53 years before "The Neutral Zone"
- Knobeloch, Payton. "'Star Trek' Monument Unveiling Rescheduled For October". News - Indiana Public Media. Retrieved 2020-05-22.
- The Chronology derives this figure from working backwards from the Khitomer massacre of 2346.
- Bashir celebrates his 30th birthday in "Distant Voices"
- Okuda, Michael; Sternbach, Rick (1991). Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-70427-3.
- This is said to occur twenty-two years before "Yesterday's Enterprise" (2366)
- The Chronology derives this figure by subtracting 20 years from 2366 ("Sins of the Father"). The Chronology notes an inconsistency, as the episode "Birthright", which it sets in 2369, gives a figure of 2344.
- "Biography: Anij". startrek.com.
- "Biography: Data". startrek.com.
- Year For Setting Of Star Trek Picard Show Established, Storyline Teased By EP
- "And now we present the complete Star Trek Canon in chronological order! ENJOY!!!". The Star Trek Chronology Project. 2009-09-19.
- Whitfield, Stephen E & Roddenberry, Gene (1968). The Making of Star Trek. Ballatine Books.
- Asherman, Allan (1987). The Star Trek Compendium. Titan Books. ISBN 0-907610-99-4.
- Goldstein, Stanley and Fred (1980). Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology. ISBN 0-671-79089-7.
- Johnson, Shane (1987). Mr Scott's Guide to the Enterprise. Titan Books. ISBN 1-85286-028-6.
- Nemeck, Larry (2003). Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-7434-5798-6.
- Okuda, Mike; Okuda, Denise (1993). Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-79611-9.
- Terry Lee Rioux (2005). From Sawdust to Stardust. Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0-7434-5762-0.
- Ayers, Jeff (2006). Voyages of the Imagination: The Star Trek Fiction Companion. Pocket Books. ISBN 1-4165-0349-8.
- Ayers, Jeff. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture: Synopsis". startrek.com.
- Okuda, Mike; Okuda, Denise; Mirek, Debbie (1999). The Star Trek Encyclopedia. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-53609-5.
- Ronald D. Moore (1997-03-03). "Answers". Archived from the original on 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
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