Star Trek is a multi-generational franchise and cultural touchstone that has become a streaming juggernaut. Long ago, you could stream classic shows and movies on Netflix or Prime Video, but it’s more complicated now. You must subscribe to Paramount+ to watch most Star Trek shows and movies.
Since Star Trek has been going on for a long time and spans various timelines, viewers might need clarification about where to start watching.
Here’s the watch order guide for you.
You can watch the Star Trek Shows and movies in two ways, depending on your preferences:
- Release Order
- Chronological Order
1. Star Trek Shows and Movies in Release Order
This standard watch order is recommended for anyone new to Star Trek. By watching in release order, you see William Shatner as James T. Kirk in The Original Series before transitioning to Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard on The Next Generation.
Since the original films were released after their associated TV shows were concluded, it’s easy to slip them into the watch order.
1.1. The Original Series
- Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1969)
- Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973-1974)
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
- Star Trek III: The Search of Spock (1984)
- Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
- Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
1.2. The Next Generation
- Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994)
- Star Trek: Generations (1994)
- Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
- Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
- Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999)
- Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001)
- Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005)
1.3. Reboot Films (Kelvin Timeline)
- Star Trek (2009)
- Star Trek into Darkness (2013)
- Star Trek Beyond (2016)
1.4. Star Trek Universe
- Star Trek: Discovery (2017-Present)
- Short Treks (2018-2020)
- Star Trek: Picard (2020-Present)
- Star Trek: Lower Decks (2020-Present)
- Star Trek: Prodigy (2021-Present)
- Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (2022-Present)
2. Chronological Order
For a seasoned veteran who wants to view things differently, chronological order is the way to go. Watching things this way would have you start with Enterprise, then the first two seasons of Discovery.
The new show Strange New Worlds would likely pick up here. You can watch the reboot films or skip them and head straight for The Original Series.
2.1. Star Trek Origins
- Star Trek: Enterprise (2151-2156)
- The Cage
- Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 & 2 (2256-2258)
- Short Treks (2256-2258)
- Star Treks (2256-2258)
- Star Trek (2258) – Optional
- Star Trek Into Darkness (2259) – Optional
- Star Trek Beyond (2263) – Optional
2.2. The 23rd Century
- Star Trek: The Original Series (2265-2269)
- Star Trek: The Animated Series (2269-2270)
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture (2273)
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (2285)
- Star Trek III: The Search of Spock (2285)
- Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (2286)
- StarTrek V: The Final Frontier (2287)
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Century (2293)
2.3. The 24th Century
- Star Trek: The New Generation (2364-2370)
- Star Trek: Generations (2371)
- Star Trek: First Contact (2373)
- Star Trek: Insuurection (2375)
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (2369-2375)
- Star Trek: Voyager (2371-2378)
- Star Trek: Nemesis (2379)
- Star Trek: Lower Decks (2380)
- Star Trek: Prodigy (2383)
- Star Trek: Picard (2399)
- Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 (3188)
Note: Gene Roddenberry’s original pre-Kirk Star Trek Pilot, ‘The Cage’, is counted as an installment of the Original Series. You will usually find it listed as a bonus episode as part of Season One when you are watching it on streaming services.
3. Which Watch Order is preferable?
Choosing the best watch order is a matter of personal preference. The Release order is the commonly followed watch order, especially for the starters. While for true fans looking for a rewatch and wanting to enhance their watching experience, the chronological order is the way.
Star Trek has been massively popular across different age groups. No matter in which order you watch, you are in for a thrilling and exciting adventure.
4. About Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction media franchise originating from the 1960s television series Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry. That series, now often known as “The Original Series“, debuted on September 8, 1966, and aired for three seasons on NBC.
In creating Star Trek, Roddenberry was inspired by C. S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower series of novels, Jonathan Swift‘s 1726 novel Gulliver’s Travels, the 1956 film Forbidden Planet, and television westerns such as Wagon Train.
The Star Trek canon includes the Original Series, nine spin-off television series, and a film franchise; further adaptations also exist in several media.