While many casual fans would love to get more invested in Star Trek, it's hard to figure out where to start. That said, just because something is messy doesn't mean it's not also amazing, and the franchise is worth your effort. Here's your guide through the Star Trek timeline.
Most of Star Trek on both the big and small screen takes place in a version of the future that stretches to the 23rd century and beyond. That doesn't mean that's always where the story stays, though. Throughout its long history as a sci-fi franchise, Star Trek has used time travel to tell stories many times, and as a result there are numerous examples of humanity's past popping up as part of its future.
The crew from The Original Series went back in time on several occasions, including a journey to the 1960s, another to the 1930s, and yet another to 1986 so they could bring a couple of whales to the future. The Next Generation crew also had its run-ins with time travel, whether journeying to the 1890s or all the way back to the beginning of life on Earth as we know it. Then there was that time a group of Ferengi accidentally landed in New Mexico in 1947 and became part of the secret history of UFOs in America. Voyager spent a few minutes hanging out at the big bang. Those are just a few of the many times Trek history has flirted with the distant past, and there are probably more backwards journeys to come.
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Looking back | 0:14
The Eugenics Wars | 1:14
World War III | 2:17
First Contact | 3:06
Birth of the Enterprise | 4:00
Star Trek: Discovery | 5:13
The Original Series | 6:34
The Next Generation | 7:32
Deep Space Nine | 8:51
Voyaging in the universe | 9:59
The Kelvin Timeline | 10:29
Picard Returns | 11:49