Let’s journey through the Star Trek timeline in full chronological order. Ever since it began almost 60 years ago, Gene Roddenberry’s vision of humanity’s future shown in Star Trek has been igniting imaginations.
Now a sprawling franchise, Star Trek focuses on the human desire for exploration seen through the lens of Starfleet’s travels through the depths of space. But with 13 Star Trek movies and 60 years worth of Star Trek series, the expansive franchise has gotten pretty complex, with multiple and alternate timelines all being involved too, and a jumble of prequels and sequels and timelines. So, to clear things up, we’ve broken down every single movie and season of TV to create a clear image of the timeline in chronological order.
The complete Star Trek timeline so far
The current main Star Trek timeline begins in the year 2151, with the first season of Enterprise, and concludes over a millennium later in 3190 with the upcoming Star Trek Discovery season 5.
After Enterprise kicked things off in 2151, the TOS-era begins in 2259, with the TOS prequel Strange New Worlds. It ends nearly 40 years later in 2293 with the final TOS movie, The Undiscovered Country.
Nearly 100 years later, the adventures of the USS Enterprise-D begin with Captain Picard in 2369. Over the next decade, the Dominion War begins and ends, and the USS Voyager is stranded in the Delta Quadrant and makes it back to Earth in 2378. This era of the Star Trek timeline concludes in 2379 with the final TNG movie, Nemesis.
Lower Decks and Prodigy round out the late 24th century, with the former being set around 2381 and the latter 2383. Then Star Trek Picard brings it into the 25th century, with the events of season 3 and the Borg attack on Frontier Day occurring in 2401, and the Captain Seven on Nine’s Enterprise-G beginning its service history a year later in 2402.
Finally, we have the latter seasons of Star Trek Discovery which have been set in the far-flung future of 3188 onwards after the huge time jump at the end of season 2.
A full list of the Star Trek timeline in chronological order:
- Star Trek: Enterprise seasons 1-4 (Year set in: 2151-2161)
- Star Trek (2009) (Kelvin timeline – Years set in: 2233-2259)
- Star Trek: Discovery seasons 1-2 (Year set in: 2252)
- Star Trek: Strange New Worlds seasons 1-2 (Years set in: 2259-2260)
- Star Trek: Into Darkness (Kelvin timeline – Years set in: 2259-2260)
- Star Trek: Beyond (Kelvin timeline – Year set in: 2263)
- Star Trek: The Original Series seasons 1-3 (Year set in: 2265-2269)
- Star Trek: The Animated Series seasons 1-2 (Year set in: 2269-2270)
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Year set in: 2270s)
- Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan (Year set in: 2285)
- Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock (Year set in 2285)
- Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home (Year set in 2286)
- Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier (Year set in: 2287)
- Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country (Year set in: 2293)
- Star Trek: The Next Generation seasons 1-5 (Year set in: 2364-2369)
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine seasons 1-2 (Year set in: 2369-2371)
- Star Trek: The Next Generation seasons 6-7 (Year set in: 2369-2370)
- Star Trek: Generations (Year set in 2371)
- Star Trek: Deep Space 9 seasons 3-4 (Year set in 2372-2373)
- Star Trek: Voyager seasons 1-2 (Year set in: 2371-2372)
- Star Trek: First Contact (Year set in: 2373)
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine seasons 5-6 (Year set in 2373-2374)
- Star Trek: Voyager seasons 3-4 (Year set in: 2373-2375)
- Star Trek: Insurrection (Year set in: 2375)
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 7 (Year set in: 2375)
- Star Trek: Voyager seasons 5-7 (Year set in: 2376-2378)
- Star Trek: Nemesis (Year set in: 2379)
- Star Trek: Lower Decks seasons 1-3 (Years set in: 2380-2381)
- Star Trek: Prodigy season 1 (Years set in: 2383-2383)
- Star Trek (2009) (Partly in the Prime timeline – Year set in 2387)
- Star Trek: Picard seasons 1-3 (Years set in: 2399-2402)
- Star Trek: Discovery seasons 3-5 ( Years set in: 3188-3190)
Every Star Trek series and season in the timeline in chronological order
Star Trek: Enterprise (Seasons 1-4)
The mainline Star Trek timeline begins with Star Trek: Enterprise. The four seasons of the show are set in the 22nd century, the earliest point in the Star Trek timeline and a hundred years before The Original Series.
Enterprise deals with the earliest days of humanity’s journey out into the stars, with the crew of the first starship to bear the name Enterprise, led by Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula). The show covered everything from the first contact with the Klingons to the foundation of The Federation and Starfleet, the Federation’s space force.
Star Trek: 2009, Into Darkness, Beyond (The Kelvin timeline)
The Kelvin timeline is an alternate timeline created by Spock which runs parallel to the events seen in the prime Star Trek timeline. Here, we have the three Chris Pine Star Trek movies in which we’re treated to different versions of Kirk and co. with their adventures playing out in a reshuffled order of events.
Chronologically speaking, the Kelvin timeline fits in approximately alongside TOS as it follows Kirk’s first adventures with the Enterprise, but as it begins with his childhood it technically precedes Discovery. It’s all pretty self contained, so if you just want to stick to the Prime timeline you can skip these for now.
Star Trek: Discovery (Seasons 1-2)
Set ten years before the original series, this prequel show follows the adventures of the USS Discovery and her crew as they use their unique spore drive to zip around the Alpha Quadrant (our section of the galaxy). The first season deals with war breaking out between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingons.
Meanwhile, in the second season, the crew (now joined by Captain Pike and a younger Spock) investigates strange signals and a mysterious figure known as the Red Angel. Ultimately the ship and crew are thrown forward in time (don’t worry, you’ll see them again) and presumed dead, while the event itself is covered up by Section 31.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Seasons 1-2)
Following on the adventures of Captain Pike, Spock, and Number One in the aftermath of Discovery season 2, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is another prequel to The Original Series, as it builds up to the events depicted in The Cage.
Strange New Worlds has taken Star Trek in a slightly new direction, and it has much more in common with, for example, The Next Generation, than is does with Discovery. This is because the sci-fi series is taking an episodic approach to storytelling, with each episode largely focussing on one member of the crew while adventures abound. Fun!
Season 2 of Strange New Worlds has continued on in this vein, bringing in Paul Wesley’s Kirk with a recurring role. It’s all leading up to Pike’s accident, and whereupon the command of the Enterprise will be handed over to Captain Kirk on a full-time basis for his five-year mission.
Star Trek: The Original Series (Seasons 1-3)
The original series, the definitive article, if you will, and probably the most recognisable of the Trek series. Set in the 2260s, the show follows the crew of the USS Enterprise on a five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations, and boldly go where no man has gone before.
This is the show that defined what Star Trek is in the public consciousness as a progressive force, introducing the world to Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr . Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy (DeForest Kelley), as well as several iconic Star Trek villains, including the Klingons (although they didn’t have the bumpy foreheads), Romulans, and a genetically altered super soldier called Khan (he’ll become important later).
Star Trek: The Animated Series (Seasons 1-2)
Following the cancellation of the original series, Star Trek was resurrected as an animated show, with most of the cast returning to voice their respective characters. While the series was popular in its day, there are some questions about its canonicity.
Officially, the series isn’t canon. However, the events as seen in the show are increasingly being brought into series like Strange New Worlds, slowly making it canon by proxy.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
A direct continuation of the original series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, picks up after the events of Kirk’s five-year mission, in the 2270s. Now an admiral, Kirk and the gang assume command of the recently refitted Starship USS Enterprise to investigate and stop a mighty alien known as V’Ger, which is threatening to destroy the Earth.
A somewhat cynical attempt to cash in on the popularity of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars, The Motion Picture received mixed reviews from critics who didn’t enjoy the movie’s slow pace and lack of drama.
Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
Finally, we get to the good stuff. One of the best science fiction movies ever, The Wrath of Khan is Moby Dick in space, and it’s brilliant. Set in 2285, an older Admiral Kirk gets the Enterprise crew back together once again to stop the ruthless tyrant Khan (told you he’d come back) from getting his hands on the Genesis device, a machine capable of both terrible destruction and creating new life.
Wrath of Khan is perhaps best remembered for being ‘the one where Spock dies’, but it also introduces several other important plot beats, including the Genesis Device, and Kirk’s previously unknown son David,
Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock
Picking up right where The Wrath of Khan ends, the film deals with the fall out of Khan’s attack and the death of Spock. When Kirk learns that Spock’s Katra (his soul basically) is held in the mind of Bones, he and the crew steal the Enterprise and head off to return Spock’s body to the planet Vulcan so they can bring him back to life.
Things are complicated, though, by Kruge (Christopher Lloyd), a Klingon who wants to get his hands on the Genesis device to use as a weapon. The Search for Spock is famous for three things, destroying the original Enterprise, bringing back Spock, and killing off Kirk’s son David, which gives Kirk a serious dislike of the Klingons which will get him in trouble three movies from now.
Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home
Following the events of The Search for Spock, The Voyage Home sees the crew of the Enterprise return to Earth to face their punishment for stealing (and destroying) the Enterprise. Before they can get back home, though, a colossal alien probe arrives in Earth’s atmosphere and starts wreaking havoc.
Realizing that the probe is trying to communicate with the now-extinct humpback whales, the crew travels back in time to the ‘80s to try and find some whales in order to bring them forward in time to save Earth from the probe.
Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier
Probably the worst of the original film series, The Final Frontier sees the crew of the USS Enterprise as they confront Spock’s evil half brother Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill). The villainous Vulcan wants to travel to the mythical planet Sha Ka Ree which lies behind the Great Barrier, a seemingly impenetrable energy field near the galaxy’s centre.
Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country
The Undiscovered Country has the Enterprise crew working to figure out who’s trying to sabotage a potential peace treaty with The Federation’s longtime enemy, the Klingon Empire. Along the way, Kirk (who hates Klingons after the events of The Search for Spock) is framed for killing the Klingon chancellor and must escape a frozen penal colony.
Notable for being the final film to feature the entire original crew, the film ends with Kirk musing about a new generation crew continuing their legacy in an apparent reference to…
Star Trek: The Next Generation (Seasons 1-5)
The Next Generation, the best Star Trek series, focuses on the crew of the Enterprise-D. Led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his senior staff William Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Data (Brent Spiner), Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), and Worf (Michael Dorn), the show was far more of an ensemble than the original series but all the better for it.
During the first five seasons, the crew of this new Enterprise would encounter new species like the Bajorans, Cardassians, Ferengi, and more. It also introduced two of Star Trek’s best-known villains, the mischievous trickster Q, who became a series staple and the terrifying Borg, a race of cybernetic zombies obsessed with assimilating other societies and cultures into their own who took an unhealthy interest in the technical might of The Federation.
The Next Generation is the quintessential Star Trek series, and is the franchise at its finest hour. Everyone has their personal preferences, but if you look for Star Trek in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Captain Picard, in his ready room with an Earl Grey, aboard the Enterprise-D.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Seasons 1-2)
The first series not set on a starship, Deep Space Nine took place on a space station, the titular Deep Space Nine. Drawing upon the conflict between the Bajorans and the Cardassians introduced in The Next Generation, the series opens with the Bajorans inviting The Federation to run the station in the hopes they’ll protect them from the ruthless Cardassians who previously enslaved their people.
Led by Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), the station’s crew discovers a stable wormhole close to Bajor that offers a way between the Alpha Quadrant and the unexplored Gamma Quadrant. The first two seasons dealt with the tensions between the Bajorans, Cardassians and Federation, while also teasing a greater threat lurking in the Gamma Quadrant known as The Dominion.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (Seasons 6-7)
The last two seasons of TNG run parallel with season 1 and 2 of Deep Space Nine. The writers used this in season seven to further explore the tensions between the Cardassians and Federation when the Bajoran Ensign Ro joins a group of resistance fighters known as the Maquis, a terrorist group who opposed the Cardassian Union and were first introduced in DS9’s second season.
The conclusion of The Next Generation, All Good Things… is a perfect finale balancing a look back through the past with an eye on the future. If the Star Trek franchise had ended there, no one could have had any complaints.
Star Trek: Generations
The adventures of the crew of the Enterprise-D didn’t end with All Good Things… though, and the series led directly into a slew of films. This started with Generations, which saw the crossover Star Trek fans were waiting for, and the original crew meet the next generation gang.
Opening in the year 2293, way before the events of TNG, the film begins with the death of Captain Kirk, except not really he actually transported to the Nexus, an interdimensional realm that exists outside of normal space-time where all your dreams come true.
Fast forward to the 24th Century, and Picard is trying to deal with the villainous Tolian Soran (Malcolm McDowell), who plans on destroying a planetary system to get into The Nexus. Shockingly he succeeds, and Picard is trapped in the Nexus with Soran, forcing him to team up with Kirk to save the day.
Some people, apparently, love Generations because they get to see these two Starfleet goliaths working together. But, in truth, Generations is up there with the worst Star Trek movies. In a dreadfully dull film, the movie’s biggest claim to fame is Kirk’s anti-climactic death (he falls off a bridge and then Picard buries him under some rocks) as well as the destruction of the beloved, iconic Enterprise-D.
Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (Seasons 3-4)
Continuing the plot beats introduced in seasons one and two, DS9’s third season introduces the USS Defiant, Starfleet’s first warship, designed to fight the growing threat of the Borg. The Marquis become more of a threat, with more and more Starfleet officers leaving to join their cause.
Meanwhile, The Dominion makes themselves known to The Federation, a tyrannical race of shapeshifters that seek to impose order across the galaxy by subjugating species they see as lesser. It’s here we learn they’ve already infiltrated all the major governments in the Alpha Quadrant. The series ends with war breaking out between the Klingon Empire and The Federation once again thanks to their machinations.
Star Trek: Voyager (Seasons 1-2)
Star Trek: Voyager was a bit of a different show – the series opened with the USS Voyager and her crew being transported to the Delta Quadrant (a remote, unexplored region of the galaxy) while chasing a Marquis ship.
Trapped and with no other options, the crew of Voyager led by Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and their Marquis enemies are forced to unite to survive and begin the long journey home (77 years at maximum warp). Along the way, they encounter new threats like the Kazon and Vidiians while a few familiar faces, like Q, make an appearance.
Star Trek: First Contact
The best Next Generation movie, First Contact picks up soon after the events of Generations with Picard and the crew in a brand-new ship, the Enterprise-E. Their new ship is put to the test almost immediately, though when the Borg launch an attack on Earth. While Starfleet manages to repel the attack, the Borg go back in time and assimilate Earth before they can ever achieve warp speed, effectively wiping out The Federation before it even began.
Thankfully the Enterprise-E manages to go back in time as well and put right what once went wrong. First Contact has the dubious honour of introducing the Borg Queen, who’d go on to become a recurring villain in Star Trek: Voyager.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Seasons 5-6)
Season five of DS9 picks up where the fourth left off with the Klingon’s declaring war on The Federation. Thankfully Sisko and the crew manage to expose the shapeshifter who started the whole thing and broker peace over the course of the season, but it’s all for nought.
The Cardassians join the Dominion and give the tyrannical despots a foothold in our part of the galaxy. The Dominion then wipe out the Marquis, and the cold war spills out into open conflict. The Dominion War has begun…
Star Trek: Voyager (Seasons 3-4)
Voyager’s third and fourth seasons are notable for revealing that the Delta Quadrant is actually the home of the Borg, and from this point on, they become something of a recurring foe for the Voyager crew. Although season three and four do briefly see the two enemies team up to fight off an even worse threat, the multidimensional beings known as Species 8472.
Inevitably though, the Borg betray our heroes, and in the scuffle, Voyager ends up with a new crewmember 7 of 9, a former Borg drone. We also get the interesting if slightly pointless Year of Hell during season four.
Star Trek: Insurrection
Set during the Dominion War, the Enterprise-E is being kept away from the front lines to perform diplomatic duties. This changes when the crew become aware of a plot to steal a planet with rejuvenating properties from its peaceful inhabitants, the Ba’ku. The gang go rogue and manage to save the Ba’ku while also dispatching the evil admiral and his alien allies.
Star Trek Deep Space Nine season 7
The final season of Deep Space Nine sees all the Alpha Quadrant powers, The Federation, Klingons, and Romulans, unite to finally win the war against The Dominion. All involved suffer catastrophic losses, and it’s only thanks to the Cardassian rebellion against their masters that the day is saved.
Star Trek: Voyager (Seasons 5-7)
The Voyager crew continues their long journey home, meeting various antagonistic alien species along the way. Finally, in season seven, the crew make it back to Earth thanks to an alternate version of Captain Janeway, and they cripple the Borg at the same time.
Star Trek: Nemesis
The last Next Generation movie, Nemesis, sees a clone of Picard, named Shinzon (Tom Hardy), overthrow the Romulan Empire and declare war on The Federation. A box office bomb, the film’s only noteworthy contributions to Trek lore is the death of Data, who sacrifices himself to save Picard, and Riker and Troi finally tying the knot before leaving the Enterprise-E to command the USS Titan.
Star Trek: Lower Decks (Seasons 1 – 3)
An animated comedy set on the least important starship in Starfleet, the U.S.S. Cerritos in the year 2380. While most Trek series center around a captain and their senior staff as they go on daring adventures, Lower Decks flips the usual formula on its head and instead focuses on low-ranking officers doing the grunt work.
While the nature of the show is incredibly funny (the ship’s unimportant in the grand scheme of things), it has little bearing on the series continuity, aside from frequent cameos. Still, it’s often very entertaining and the animated series is a worthy (if, very different) addition to the Star Trek timeline.
Star Trek: Prodigy (season 1)
Everyone wanted to see the return of Captain Janeway and explore where her life was taken after her ship’s return to Earth. Well, Prodigy gives us half of that, as a holographic Janeway tutors a group of young rascals who commandeer the abandoned USS Protostar.
Prodigy utilizes its position in the timeline by focusing a lot on Starfleet’s development of new technology, unimaginable even a few decades prior. Star Trek Prodigy season 2 will pick up the mantle.
Star Trek (2009)
J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot mostly takes place in an alternate timeline called the Kelvin Universe. That said, it does actually let us know what happened to the galaxy after the events of Nemesis.
Apparently, the Romulan sun went supernova, and the best efforts of The Federation and Starfleet weren’t enough to save them, resulting in the destruction of their homeworld. This is what causes Nero, the film’s main bad guy, to go back in time in the first place and alter the timeline.
Star Trek: Picard (Seasons 1 – 3)
Set 20 years after the events of Nemesis, Picard’s first season deals with both the fallout from the destruction of Romulus and The Federation’s ban on building androids.
From there, there are mysteries around every corner which are only exacerbated when Q returns in Star Trek Picard season 2 to send Picard and his new-found crew back in time to 21st century Earth.
Star Trek Picard season 3 brought things to a close by reuniting the TNG crew and making the jump to the 25th century, promising more adventures still to come with a potential Star Trek Legacy series.
Star Trek: Discovery (Seasons 3 – 5)
The crew of USS Discovery arrive in the far-flung future (32nd Century) and find a galaxy in ruins with The Federation on its knees. The cause of this chaos? An event known as The Burn, during which most of the galaxy’s dilithium exploded, destroying almost every starship in use and making warp travel nearly impossible.
With The Federation reduced to just a handful of planets, the crew of The Discovery use their unique warp drive, the spore drive, to spread hope, rebuild The federation, and work out what caused The Burn.
Discovery season 4 continued the adventures on the frontier of the Star Trek timeline, and Star Trek Discovery season 5 release date promises to bring it all to a conclusion.
That’s it on the Star Trek timeline so far. For more on Star Trek, check out our guide to the Star Trek 4 release date, and see our rankings of the best Star Trek captains and best Star Trek characters. Or, read our Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 review as well as our interview with Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn.
You can also find our choices for the best science fiction movies of all time, and the best sci-fi series too before seeing what’s new on Paramount Plus this month. Alternatively, keep up to date with what’s going on by taking a look at our guide to every new movie coming out in 2023 and all the best streaming services to watch them on.