Long Live Star Trek Discovery!

Star Trek is a behemoth of a franchise. Running over 50 years, it has had five live-action series, one animated series, several films, comics, novelizations, and an extremely obsessive fandom I’ve counted myself a part of since childhood. I understand how Star Trek can seem labyrinthine, too dense for new fans to find their way in. But it’s very well worth it. This guide is a window into the Star Trek franchise, meant to introduce it those who have scant knowledge of its intricacies. At its best, Star Trek is a potently political, unabashedly philosophical, powerfully diverse, empathetic, and supremely well-crafted series that uses its hard science-fiction trappings to speak to our times. With Star Trek: Discovery bringing the franchise back to television after a 12-year absence, now is the best time to see why Star Trek has endured since The Original Series first aired in 1966.

There are a few major concepts to understand before venturing into the realm of Star Trek:

The Star Trek Timeline

 

The alternate reality was a new reality created when a temporal incursion caused by time travel of the Narada, a Romulan mining vessel from the year 2387, disrupted the time continuum. Accidentally traveling back to the year 2233, Nero, the Narada's captain, attacked the USS Kelvin. The attack resulted in the deaths of several crew members of the Kelvin, including George Kirk and Richard Robau, and the destruction of the Kelvin itself. Spock arrived to the alternate reality in 2258 and was captured by Nero, who used red matter to destroy Vulcan. However, Nero's attacks united the crew of the USS Enterprise, who foiled his attempt to destroy Earth.

"Nero's very presence has altered the flow of history, beginning with the attack on the USS Kelvin, culminating in the events of today, thereby creating an entire new chain of incidents that cannot be anticipated by either party."
"An alternate reality?"
"Precisely. Whatever our lives might have been, if the time continuum was disrupted, our destinies have changed."
*** Spock and Nyota Uhura, 2258 (Star Trek)***

The writers of Star Trek, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, were asked about the implications of the new alternate reality that was introduced in the film in an interview. They explained the new reality runs parallel to the prime reality as a new quantum reality, as the concept was explained by Data in the episode TNG: "Parallels".

Click image below for a larger view

 

The Current Timeline
01 The 20th Century (1900 - 1999)
02 The 21st Century (2000 - 2099)
03 The First Half of the 22nd Century (2100 - Early 2151)
04 Enterprise Season 1 (April 2151 - February 2152)
05 Enterprise Season 2 (February 2152 - June 2153)
06 Enterprise Season 3 (June 2153 - February 2154)
07 Enterprise Season 4 (February 2154 - May 2161)
08 The Remainder of the 22nd century (2162 - 2199)
09 The Early to Mid 23rd Century (includes "The Cage") (2200 - 2264)
10 Original Series Season 1 (2265 - 2267)
11 Original Series Season 2 (2267 - 2268)
12 Original Series Season 3 (2268 - 2269)
13 The Animated Star Trek Series (2269 - 2270)
14 The Classic Star Trek Movie Era: Star Trek I - VI (2270 - 2299)
15 The early to mid 24th Century (2300 - 2363)
16 The Next Generation Season 1 (2364)
17 The Next Generation Season 2 (2365)
18 The Next Generation Season 3 (2366)
19 The Next Generation Season 4 (2367)
20 The Next Generation Season 5 (2368)
21 The Next Generation Season 6 & Deep Space Nine Season 1 (2369)
22 The Next Generation Season 7 & Deep Space Nine Season 2 (2370)
23 Deep Space Nine Season 3 & Voyager Season 1 & Star Trek: Generations (2371)
24 Deep Space Nine Season 4 & Voyager Season 2 (2372)
25 Deep Space Nine Season 5 & Voyager Season 3 & Star Trek: First Contact (2373)
26 Deep Space Nine Season 6 & Voyager Season 4 (2374)
27 Deep Space Nine Season 7 & Voyager Season 5 & Star Trek: Insurrection (2375)
28 Voyager Season 6 (2376)
29 Voyager Season 7 & Star Trek: Nemesis and the rest of the 24th century.. (2377-2399)
30 The 25th Century and beyond (2400 to far future)