Star Trek has a long, rich history spanning movies and television shows. After all, it’s the original cinematic universe. But it can be very overwhelming, trying to start watching this 55 year franchise. So we’ve compiled a recap of all things Star Trek, leading up to the beginning of Picard Season 2.
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Written and Hosted by Ryan Arey (http://twitter.com/ryanarey)
Edited by Harriet Lengel-Enright
0:00 Star Trek, Explained
1:00 Ancient AI, Eugenics Wars, and World War 3
2:54 Zephram Cochrane, Vulcans, and Utopia
4:30 Star Trek: Enterprise and the Birth of the Federation
5:35 Discovery and the Klingon War
7:18 The Original Series, Kirk, Spock, and Khan
8:52 The Next Generation: Data, Q, and the Borg
11:36 Deep Space Nine
14:25 Voyager and Seven of Nine
15:30 Mars Attack and Romulan Supernova
17:31 Picard Recap
Star Trek Picard is about to debut it’s second season, after a couple years’ worth of COVID delays. So, maybe you forgot a lot of what happened in season 1.
Or maybe you’re a Star Trek novice, and you’re not sure where to begin in this nearly 60 year old cinematic universe. Or maybe you’re just like me, you love Star Trek, and you think it’ll be fun to relive the history and then nitpick in the comments with quotes from memory alpha.
Star Trek takes place in a Utopia 3 to 4 hundred years in the future, when humanity has finally sorted itself out and we’re exploring space. It’s a series about exploration, discovery, and believing in the best of humanity. This recap will try to cover the basics of all the main shows, while focusing on what you’ll need to know for Picard season 2.
So, eons ago, before humanity existed, a very powerful race of artificial intelligent beings moved 8 suns near one another, and left a message at the center. The message is intended for other artificial life forms, and basically said:
Hello, we are other super intelligent life forms from the distant past. If you ever want to, like, kill organic life forms or stuff, you should summon us. That would be cool.”
Let’s fast forward to the 1990s, when the timeline splits off from our own timeline. Genetic manipulation created a race of super-beings called the Augments, who rose up to conquer huge chunks of earth, kicking off the eugenics wars. Millions of people died, and humanity entered a new Dark age as one of these Augments, Khan Noonian Singh, conquered over a fourth of the planet. But humans fought back, overthrew Khan, and he fled earth with a bunch of his fellow supermen.
After this, wealth inequality choked the government, and the US forced people into slums called Sanctuary districts. In 2024 a riot broke out in San Francisco, dozens of people were killed, and this made people start focusing on actually improving the world instead of sweeping their poor people under the rug.
But, a couple years later that didn’t matter much, because world war 3 kicked off and lasted nearly 30 years, reducing huge chunks of the planet to radioactive waste.
Afterwards America was fractured into smaller firms, led by tyrants like colonel green. And then in the post atomic horror that followed, many societies were reduced to barbaric tribes that held witch trials
But then, from a small refugee camp came a rock n roll loving scientist named Zephram Cochran who invented warp travel, which allows you to travel faster than light.
IN the year 2063 his first flight caught the attention of some aliens who were passing by. They were called Vulcans, and they are a race that has expelled all emotion and operates slowly on logic. Except for like, once every seven years during the pon farr and then they fuck like people.
Thousands of years before the Vulcans had a civil war, where they split off from another group who became the secretive, emotional Romulan empire.
But back on earth, things are great. First contact with an alien race unites humanity, and people finally put aside weath, money, racism, and influencers to build a perfect society. Cochrane becomes a hero, and he gives a speech that’s a mission statement for space expiration.
Over the next 90 years, the Vulcans are very slow to share their technology with earth, until we get our shit together. Finally–in the year 2151–we created our first deep space ship, the Enterprise–with a Vulcan advisor on board. And there is a weird sexually tense massage gel scene in the first episode.
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