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Star Trek is one of the most important proprieties in the entirety of the science fiction genre. As such, Star Trek managed to shape the idea of the genre throughout its time. The franchise grew immensely from the time it was first released in the sixties, due to its popularity. Because of this Star Trek is on the watching list for every person willing to get into science fiction. With the number of properties, the franchise includes today the only logical question to ask yourself before starting your star Trek marathon is whether all of them are worth watching.
Overall the franchise has a few properties that do not quite reach the bare that was set by the rest of the franchise, but it is still a franchise worth your time.
If you would like to know how the separated properties rank up in the franchise make sure to read this article all the way to the end.
Is The Original series worth watching?
The Original Series was released in 1966. It follows the crew aboard the Enterprise and their five year-long mission to unexplored parts of the Universe.
As the first series in the franchise, it focuses more on the science fiction elements of the story. Most of the plot points get resolved through the run time of an episode and there are no plot points stretching throughout the series.
Everyone looking to get into Star Trek should watch the original series because it will provide a great foundation for what follows and introduce you to the characters that are a big part of the overall story.
Besides that, the Original Series is an important part of mainstream media today and anyone who enjoys watching science fiction should be entertained while watching the series.
One thing that is worth keeping in mind is the fact that the series was released in the late sixties of the last century, hence the quality of it, even the remastered version may bother you a bit. However, it is nothing extreme, it is simply something that comes with the age.
Is The Animated series worth watching?
The Animated Series got released in 1973 and was imagined as the continuation of The Original Series. The creators managed to get most of the original actors to voice their animated counterparts.
The switch to animated storytelling allowed the creators to make the series more interesting. Animation techniques allowed the creators to create more intricate landscapes and even more interesting aliens the crew encounters.
This made the series more polished since it was not limited to the use of practical events and filming technics. However, it is also limited by its time. The creators used as few frames as possible, giving the series a choppy appearance which makes its quality worse than it should be.
Although it is well written and the stories serve as a good continuation to The Original Series and as such are a fun watch, but since many do not consider it canon if you are on a time crunch skipping it will not take away from the rest of the franchise.
Is The Next Generation worth watching?
The Next Generation series was released in 1987 and it serves as a return to the live-action interpretation. It follows a new crew stationed on Enterprise-D. Unlike The Original Series, some of the crew members are to be aliens.
The series follows up on the plot points regarding Klingons as well as introducing different species like Borg and the Cardassians. It retained some of the structure from The Original Series but it also contains a few plot points that are explored throughout the entire series such as the one revolving around the holographic environment simulator, Holodeck.
The Next Generation is a must-watch since many fans consider it to be the best out of all series. It builds upon the Original series but introduces many new elements, making it extremely entertaining.
The stories are well written and given the talented cast the delivery is one of the best in the entire franchise. The stories introduce political and moral issues which make for a more interesting watch.
Even the special effects are pulled off in a believable way despite the time it was produced. The series is definitely worth watching and should not be skipped.
Is Deep Space Nine worth watching?
The Deep Space Nine was released in 1993 and is set up as a direct continuation of The Next Generation series. It takes place on a space station rather than a space ship.
The main theme is not space exploration, instead, the series deals with a new crew that is stationed near Bajor. The occupied planet became one of the strategically more important places in the Universe because of the discovery of a uniquely stable wormhole.
As such, the series abandoned the small plot points and mostly focuses on the conflict relating to the planet throughout the entire series.
The series is much more serious than its predecessors. It explores the morally ambiguous nature of the series’ characters much more in-depth. This makes the series much more engaging since the writing had to be elevated to enable the series to explore these questions.
Although the first seasons are a bit slow because we get introduced to new characters, later seasons take full advantage of the fact that the viewers are introduced to the characters.
The series is another must-watch. Another thing to keep in mind is that the episode descriptions don’t do them justice and often portray them as boring because they do not include important information about the plot.
Is Voyager worth watching?
Star Trek: Voyager was release in 1995 as a story taking place at the same time as the events of Deep Space Nine. The story follows USS Voyager and its crew after they found themselves in the distant Delta Quadrant.
After realizing it will take them 75 years to return to Earth from this far space Quadrant. At the center of the story are Voyager’s crew members who have to learn to function together throughout their return journey while simultaneously working on figuring out ways to shorten their trip.
Despite this intriguing premise that would put character relationships in the focus, many fans consider it to be the worst series of the franchise.
Despite this ruling, many fans will point out that for every bad episode the series has a really good one. One of the main problems is that many crew members are not explored in detail leaving them on the level of forgotten appearances. It’s often said that the premise would work better if there were fewer characters explored more in-depth.
Many of the leading characters are not explored enough or are too bland in general. This is somehow balanced out with the ever-present idea of resources running out.
Despite the criticism, the series is by no means a skip it series. Despite its problems, the series manages to pull the viewer in and carry the storyline further. However, you do not necessarily need to watch all of the episodes to understand the premise, so feel free to skip the more boring episodes.
Is Enterprise worth watching?
Star Trek: Enterprise was released in 2001 as a prequel to The Original Series. The story takes place years before the Federation was even established and it follows Earth’s first spaceship which is able to achieve warp 5 speed.
With the point to explore the beginnings of the Federation, Enterprise was set to be an amazing addition to the franchise. However, the series came out pretty average. It is often compared to the Voyager series, but it is often pointed out that unlike Voyager’s balance between good and bad episodes Enterprise doesn’t really have any that stand out.
It is a solid series but it doesn’t match up with the rest of the franchise. The characters seemed unlikable compared to the rest of the beloved ones from the franchise.
However, the acting is quite good and there is a lot of action incorporated into the series. Many fans also liked the idea of further exploration of the Vulcan culture. It also seemed to start getting better right before it was canceled.
Taking all of this into consideration you do not need to watch it since it won’t take away from your experience with the rest of the franchise. However, if you are interested in this theme and you can get over the opening song, you can watch it as prequels before anything else and in that way get a franchise that gets better from that point on.
Is Discovery worth watching?
Star Trek: Discovery is a current series released in 2017 with the last season released recently, in October of 2020. It is often described as a series not afraid to take risks but it ultimately doesn’t go as planned.
The series takes place sometime before The Original Series and follows the story of USS Discovery’s crew. Discovery is an interesting starship with a spore drive tasked with temporary assignments during Enterprise’s refit.
There are mixed opinions about the series. It is completely different from what the rest of the Star Trek universe is. For that reason, especially longtime fans did not like it. It is a bit darker and lacks Star Trek’s signature sense of optimism and themes of unity.
If you go into it aware of the fact that you will not get a typical Star Trek story you may enjoy it. The first season establishes itself as a strong addition to the story and as it progresses the series shows it has the potential to grow.
As long as you are ready for different experiences lacking the typical Star Trek feel, by all means, go ahead, but if you are a long term fan and want something nostalgic you may consider skipping out on this one.
Are Short Treks worth watching?
Star Trek: Short Treks were released in 2018 and were meant to further explore characters from The Discovery series as well as some popular characters like Spock.
Each episode is about ten minutes long but the creators manage to pack a lot into each of them. Although you need background information provided by the other series to understand certain references you can still watch them because they do a great job of setting up the foundation for upcoming episodes.
It provides a break from the long Star Trek story arks we came to know and love. Shorter, but packed episodes provide a change of pace that any fan would appreciate.
Besides the packed episodes, that are supposed to help establish upcoming plot points there are also a few lighthearted episodes that are quite entertaining to watch.
One of the most praised episodes from the series is named “Calypso” which provides a short romantic story that is set up as a science fiction cliché but ends up being the perfect embodiment of the franchise by conveying the idea of people taking care of each other.
The series should be a pretty interesting watch. There is a great balance between the plot packed episodes and their short run time. It will definitely enrich your overall franchise experience. Another advantage of shorter episodes is that you can go through them pretty quickly which is great if you are busy and looking for something that won’t take up too much of your time.
Is Pickard worth watching?
Pickard is a new addition to the franchise being added in 2020. The center of the series is one of the most beloved characters of the entire franchise, Jean-Luc Picard. The fans were especially excited about the new series once they learned that Sir Patrick Stewart would reprise his character in this series.
The return of Sir Patrick Stewart was probably enough to convince any fan to claim Pickard as great no matter the way the show actually turns out.
The series definitely follows the more down to earth approach the franchise seems to prefer since the release of Discovery. It may seem like fan service and that because of that the show will rely solely on nostalgia, however, the series is the complete opposite.
While the show cares for all the beloved characters it manages to keep you interested by introducing new storylines that are at the center of the series and a beloved character as the protagonist is just an added bonus.
It contains a fair bit of action that is way more polished than in the rest of the series.
It’s still pretty early to determine what is going to happen with the series when it progresses, but for now, it looks promising.
Is Lower Decks series worth watching?
Lower Decks is the newest addition to the franchise. It is quite different from the rest of the franchise since it explores lower-ranking officers on U.S.S. Cerritos, rather than the higher commanders.
As such it is interesting on its own since we did not have a look at this part of the franchise, but if you do not feel interested in this part of the Star Trek universe feel free to skip it since it doesn’t tie into the bigger picture yet. However, the series is still young so it may be a good idea to give it a chance.
Are The Original Series movies worth watching?
The original movies include the first six Star Trek movies: Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The movies were released between 1979 and 1991.
They were created due to the demand for Star Trek content after The Original Series was canceled. The original continuation was supposed to be Phase II, but after the massive success of The Star Wars movies, the studio and the original creator of the Star Trek properties, Gene Roddenberry, managed to come to an agreement regarding a feature film adaptation.
Although Star Trek: The Motion Picture laid the foundation for all following movies it is not without its flaws. The biggest problem is that the movie couldn’t create the identity we learned to associate with The Star Trek franchise.
It was important for the movie to stand out among other works in the science fiction genre, but unfortunately, the approach chose for the movie did not play along with the established strengths from The Original Series, but rather focused on views and almost still images, leading fans to dub it The Motionless picture.
The second installment, The Wrath of Khan, showed major improvement. Not only is it a good Star Trek movie it is a good movie both in the terms of the plot and general filmmaking technics, which is why many fans consider it to be the best movie in the franchise.
The plot deals with the mistakes Kirk made while he was younger, leaving an entire planet behind without checking up on it. Khan makes for an excellent villain in this story, forcing Kirk to face his mistakes.
The movie ends with Kirk finally accepting he is in a no-win situation and on top of that the movie delivers an emotional slap in the face with Kirk losing his best friend Spock and his touching final line to Kirk.
The remainder of the original series follows in the success of the second movie. All of them are ranked at the top of the list for fans.
The third movie, The Search for Spock, follows the emotional whit which the last movie ended by following the crew in their mission to undo Spock’s sacrifice. It was a risky choice but Leonard Nimoy managed to make it work by portraying the crew as a family that works beyond just their Starfleet duties.
The Voyage Home follows the same idea of portraying the crew as a family but steps away from the darker and more emotional tones the previous movies had. It is one of the most memorable movies all thanks to its simple premise of the crew going back in time to save whales.
The Final Frontier was a bit of a letdown compared to the movies that came before it given that it tries to mimic an almost comedic tone from The Voyage Home but misses the mark. Paired up with an underwhelming villain it is understandable why it is not a fan favorite.
The franchise did recover with the last movie, The Undiscovered Country. This is the first movie that echoes the familiar Star Trek feel by drawing a parallel with the end of the Cold War and the coming peace between The Federation and The Klingon Empire and all the challenges that come with having peace between people that were enemies not long ago.
Overall the original movies are a great watch and should not be skipped under any circumstances despite its two underperforming movies.
Are The Next Generation movies worth watching?
The next generation movies include Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek: Nemesis. The movies were released between 1994 and 2002 and it serves as the continuation of The Next Generation series.
The core idea of Star Trek Generations is actually very intriguing. It plays with the idea of sacrifices the life in Starfleet requires. It was imagined as a passing of the torch movie which is theoretically a good idea, but in realization, it becomes the movie’s downfall. The original cast already had a sendoff with a great movie and it was underwhelming to see only a fraction of the original cast on the screen.
The First Contact is a good movie on its own and arguably the best movie of the Next Generation movies. It is not what you would expect from a Star Trek movie but the action-horror setup ends up working really well.
Insurrection is set up to explore a reoccurring question throughout the series, what happens when The Federation is wrong? Despite this set up the movie does not deal with this making it quite boring and forgettable.
Nemesis is the final movie of this series and like the rest of the movies in this series, it deals with an interesting question: who would Picard be if he did not have the life path portrayed throughout the series.
However, the movie does not adequately set up the villain which results in a movie without a dramatic pull. In addition to this, the emotional moment, Data’s death, is rendered completely redundant since there are no stakes in it once you realize he has a backup at Enterprise.
Despite all of the movies having their flaws they are actually not that bad, they just don’t reach the same levels the movies that came before them. With that in mind, you should absolutely watch the movies, especially if you liked The Next Generation series.
Are the Kelvin timeline movies worth watching?
The Kelvin timeline movies were imagined as the addition to the existing series, but it turned into a sort of a reboot. It consists of three movies Star Trek, Star Trek Into the Darkness, and Star Trek Beyond, released between 2009 and 2016.
The first movie, directed by J.J. Abrams served as a great revival of the franchise. The story does have certain problems, but the movie was well-received because of the fun combination of iconic elements from the series thus far and a new world that easily sucks you into it.
It’s a lighthearted and quick-paced movie filled with action and an interesting new perspective on the franchise, so much so that it makes you disregard all of its flaws.
With four years between the first and the second movie, fans were convinced it would be better and fix all the problems that came with the first movie. Another thing that made it more interesting is that it was supposed to take some of the elements of the beloved movie, The Wrath of Khan.
As a movie on its own, Into the Darkness is a fun action-filled movie with an interesting plot. However, it is meant to portray the Star Trek series, but the movie completely disregards the science fiction element that makes the Star Trek franchise what it is.
The storytelling is also not the best because it tries to follow up on an arguably better movie by stealing from it rather than building upon it. On the bright side, the movie is highly stylized, the visuals are stunning and filmmaking techniques and the sets fit the franchise perfectly.
Star Trek Beyond is probably the best movie in this series. It provides a sense of Star Trek that we didn’t really see since The Undiscovered Country.
It is a fun watch, especially for long time fans since it leans more to the classical Star Trek franchise. Despite this, the movie manages to bring a new perspective into this classical adventure of the Enterprise’s crew by separating them into parings we have not seen before, like Spock and Bones, which creates an interesting dynamic.
Overall, the series is not bad and the movies will definitely be fun to watch as long as you are aware that it is not a typical Star Trek experience.