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See Star Trek Deep Space Nine for WMG for that specific series.
See Star Trek Enterprise for WMG for that specific series
See Star Trek the Next Generation for WMG for that specific series.
See Star Trek Voyager for WMG for that specific series.
See Star Trek 2009 for WMG in the newest film.
== See Star Trek Online for WMG for the new online game. ==

The reason so many aliens look alike within their own race is because whatever pre-first contact disasters happened to that races thinned out their gene pools.

Both Humans and Vulcans were mentioned to have multiple catastrophic wars before or during the time of their first contact. If all alien races went thourgh a similar peroid of disaster than it follows that several of their ethnic races were either killed off entirly or reduced to a very small population.

Between World War III and the start of the Original Series, personal computing and many other digital technologies were Lost Technology and had to be slowly reinvented.

This explains why Kirk's Enterprise appeared to use floppy disks and punch cards. Earth had to reinvent much of its advanced computing technology after World War III, and did so based on only partially complete records from the 20th and early 21st centuries, explaining the haphazard combination of primitive digital and apparently analog computer technology in Kirk's era. Duotronic computers, invented by Richard Daystrom, were really just a reinvention of personal computers similar to those used in the late 20th/early 21st century, but with more memory, storage capacity, and a higher-energy power supply. By the time of the TOS movies and early Next Generation, the Federation has pretty much reinvented all the computer technology that had been lost in World War III, with help from alien allies like the Vulcans and Benzites whose computer technology was always superior to Earth's.

  • Obviously this is contradicted by Enterprise but personally this Trekkie doesn't consider anything after Deep Space Nine and the movie First Contact to be canon, except maybe the general outline of the series Voyager.

Carol Marcus sings the theme song

The lyrics of the theme song (yes, it has lyrics) are really Carol lamenting the loss of her husband Kirk, who would have just recently left her for his space voyage at the time TOS takes place. Comparing this to their troubled relationship in The Wrath Of Khan speaks volumes about how much Kirk's life (and the series) changes between the events of TOS and the second movie.

All those ridculously Human Aliens in TOS and TNG?

They've actually got various alien quirks that just weren't shown on screen because they were not relevant to the plot. The Nazi Planet guys lick symbiotic moss off each other's backs; the Magna Romans are actually a joined Species like the Trill with a humanoid host and a communally intelligent bunch of worm-like parasites; etc...

Every single continuity problem in Star Trek can be handwaved by assuming that every episode, movie, comic, and book takes place in slightly different quantum realities (i.e. TNG: "Parallels").

The continuity problems is the result of the Federation having multiple enterprises complete with identical crew members

The duplication of kirk seen in 'The Enemy Within' wasn't a freak malfunction, it was the tansporter's default setting. Confronted by the almost insurmountable vastness of space, and the high mortality rate of red shirts. It became standard practice for Starfleet to secretly create duplicates of it's more talented explorers and sent them out in different directions to cover as much ground as possible.

The existence of a 'Mirror Universe' is in-universe propaganda to account for the sightings of doppelgangers.

Vulcans are racist, or at least ethnocentric.

Logic is the basis for their entire culture. They cannot comprehend something that isn't logical. When they see or hear something they think is illogical (for instance, "We're close enough to Klingon space to smell them!"), they'll try to correct you! Among all the Vulcans seen throughout the franchise, few even try to see past pure logic. What do you call someone who can't see past their own culture and tries to correct anything that doesn't fit in it? They're explicitly racist in Star Trek Enterprise; apparently, they've mellowed out after centuries with the Federation.

  • You are probably right. All Vulcans on TOS, aside from Spock, seemed to show a contempt for other races. Even Sarek said that Pon Farr 'Was not for outsiders. Especially Earth men."
    • Well, he was talking about the practice of meditation, "a personal matter, not to be discussed, especially not with Earthmen," but yeah.
  • Celia Lovsky's ice-cold "Are thee Vulcan -- or are thee human?" certainly showed an emotion. Yeow.
  • There's a parody in which Spock goes "tch-tch-tch-tch, you earth people". That's exactly it. That's his attitude all the way through the show. Sometimes he's serious, sometimes he's teasing.
  • It's difficult to find any other explanation for Spock's half-blood status being such an angsty issue for him.
    • How about his being torn between two extremely different cultures - one which embraces emotion, and one which dismisses it? That's enough to make anyone angsty.
      • But angst is an emotion!
  • This goes from being subtext to text near the end of "Deep Space Nine." That baseball game...
  • Vulcans are less racist and more on the superior side. This attitude is in part what led to the Romulans (who ARE racist/speciesist) - it's just the Vulcan view taken to extremes.
    • And where do you draw the line?
      • Morally? Probably at around the point at which you start using your beliefs in your own superiority as justification for mistreating everyone who is (or just thinks) differently. For the most part, even Vulcans who do think that are sensible (read: logical) enough not to let it affect their judgement. The line between "contemptuous" and "racist" can probably be drawn somewhere.
  • The new movie implied that the racism's real. Between the bullies near the beginning to the almost pseudo-Affirmative Action implications at Spock's acceptance to the Vulcan Academy, it sure looked like it.

 Vulcan: Spock, you did very well, despite your handicap of being half human. You'll get to hang out with the same jerkwads who tormented you growing up.

Spock: With all due respect... Screw you. I'm joining Starfleet where I can make out with Uhura. Live long and suck it!

    • Isn't the new movie a reboot?
      • The correct term is Canon Defilement.
      • Nope, it's an Alternate Continuity - they're explicit about this. It is, or was, the same universe as Original Flavour Trek, except it branches off at a certain point in the timeline. (And that point comes after most of Star Trek Enterprise.)
      • It is colloquially referred to as a reboot, was advertised as a reboot, referred to in the press as Star Trek Reboot and when you type "Star Trek Reboot" into Google you get the new movie. The fact that it isn't a true reboot is just one of those delightful things about Star Trek like the retconning on the bumpy-headed Klingons.
      • Except clearly it can't be a reboot because the presence of Spock Prime relies on the in-Universe existence of previous continuity.
    • Also in-canon in TOS in "Journey to Babel".

In the TNG era, the Federation is a Communist state -- or at least a socialist one.

These web essays here and here go into much more detail, but the bottom line is:

  1. There is no money; this is bragged about during "The Neutral Zone." Everyone works for the sake of working. On Earth, there are no explicit exchange values for resources at all.
    • In the first episode of TNG, Dr. Crusher buys a dress from Farpoint Station and mentions charging it to the Enterprise. Money may exist, but the Federation has so much resources and prosperity (and replicators) that people can have what they want, within reason. This lines up with the view of Earth as a utopia.
    • In the episode 'The Price', the Federation bids credits for use of the Barzan wormhole. This suggests transporter rationing.
    • The Federation as of TNG appears to internally be largely a post-scarcity socialist (note: not 'communist') utopia. The various "credits" might be of value only within the Federation; they have no absolute value. They still need currency to interact with other civilizations (including Deep Space Nine), and there are still resources restricted in availability more than general rationing can cover (starships seem to be one).
      • Earth has canonically abandoned the use of money. The Federation overall may or may not.
    • Perhaps the Federation does have currency, perhaps on a standard with some kind of non-replicateable ore or other resource (usually Latinum in the TNG era), but it's only used when dealing with Non-Federation worlds and cultures. It would be hard for the Federation, or a citizen thereof, to buy something on an World that still uses money otherwise.
    • A sidenote: while Earth is definitely moneyless, it's a little more complicated than "working for personal fulfillment". There is almost certainly a "keeping face" aspect - "from each according to his abilities"?
    • The Picard family could be in the Federation's "nomenklatura"- the privileged class of Party elites who are given state approval to do things the average citizen can't get away with, because they are the same class that provides the people who decide what the state approves of. In Robert Picard's case, that's running the gigantic family vineyard that makes classic Picard wines (that hardly anyone drinks because of synthehol). We will note that he is considered a little peculiar in wanting to do this...
  1. The government controls most industry, commerce, transportation, communications.
    • Several private companies were mentioned on Star Trek (including publishers Broht & Forrester mentioned on Voyager and the mining company owned by Ezri's family), as well dozens of privately-owned ships (such as Kassidy Yates' Xhosa.)
      • All but the publishing company were outside Federation juridiction. Kassidy's ship was a transport that she could have bought off the black market. (She is a pirate.)
      • There were companies in Communist Russia. They just did whatever the government said.
      • Another point for Earth rather than the Federation being moneyless.
    • There is plenty of private commerce. But it does seem like the Federation keeps track of as much of it as possible.
  1. There seem to be few vestiges of interplanetary government outside of Starfleet; the few government officials ever seen (President excluded) are either officers of, or adjuncts to, Starfleet. A government synonymous with its military?
    • Star Trek deals with a military organization, and the military is self-contained. Soldiers mostly deal with other soldiers in their daily lives, having little contact with non-military individuals.
      • But in Deep Space Nine, we see civilians -- namely, Julian Bashir's parents -- facing trial in front of a Star Fleet judge.
      • We see communications between civilians being bookended with the Starfleet logo. Quark doesn't get to run a subspace network into the Federation, or he would. (See the holodeck suites.) That's a monopoly, and one Starfleet is running.
      • The terms Federation and Starfleet are used interchangably.
      • The communications are going to be handled by Starfleet if they are on a military installation such as Deep Space Nine.
      • But Deep Space Nine isn't -- or wasn't originally -- a military installation, even if the Cardassian design aesthetic makes it look like one. It doesn't even belong completely to the Federation (which is why Kira and Odo are there). No, it was just as much diplomatic at first (the Federation wanted to get Bajor to join the Federation), with scientific purposes added when the wormhole was discovered. It only turned outright military when the Dominion became a threat.
      • Would a military installation include a bar & casino run by a Ferengi?! Yes, military bases have shops and restaurants, but those are normally run by friendlies or natives. Quark is from Ferenginar, which isn't in the Federation and is not in the immediate vicinity. And Quark likely would have sold state secrets to the highest bidder in early seasons!
      • Bashir's parents did NOT 'face trial in front of a Starfleet judge'. The judge announced that he'd reached a decision that Bashir, a Starfleet officer could stay in Starfleet. He did mention that Bashir's father would get two years in prison, but it was the father's suggestion, a compromise for allowing his son to retain his commission.
      • The judge still handed down the sentence. If his dad hadn't been on trial before, then he should have been sent to a civilian court, not sentenced in a military plea bargain.
      • It's possible that we see the Starfleet logo because the communications lines are being maintained by Starfleet, perhaps just another friendly service they provide due to having surplus capability available (they'd be paying for it either way, might as well get use out of it when they don't need it). Think of the GPS system that your phone or your car can link up to to navigate to your grandmother's house (beats getting lost in the woods). That's run by the United States Department of Defense.
      • Do you get the Defense Department's logo on your GPS? And if you did, would you use it?
        • Just because the US Defense Department doesn't do that doesn't mean that Starfleet wouldn't, given that they are two entirely distinct and more or less unrelated agencies (successor state debates aside). In response to your question, if my GPS did that, I would totally use it.
    • Picard's Enterprise had many diplomatic missions - and Picard (or, worse, Riker) often acted as a diplomat. Would you make an active-duty military officer a diplomat in peacetime?
      • It's been done before, and not just in a The Empire sort of context. Civilian diplomats (and, just to mention another unusual role of Starfleet, science/exploration ships) exist and have been shown; the "Navy" gets sent anywhere the situation could turn ugly fast. Granted, it is like The British Empire if you think about it, but it hardly shows a completely military state.
      • Naval officers often handle diplomatic missions.
    • Starfleet seems to be responsible for federal-level law enforcement...this is potentially sinister, but still common in real life.
  • The simple (and overlooked) fact is, economic systems like what we have currently only work when there is scarcity. A modern economic system simply COULD NOT exist in a society as that which exists in the Federation. A galactic spanning society, comprised of hundreds of races and thousands of planets, would mean that even now-valuable substances like gold and platinum would become worthless due to their abundance, and substances like iron and aluminum become easier to produce, and consequently less valuable, as technology improves. When you factor in the ability to manipulate matter on a molecular level, and therefor create food and other materials out of almost anything, then scarcity all but disappears. With it goes any currently existing economic systems. The only things that would retain their value would be unique and unreproducible things, such as works of art, and substances that could not be replicated (such as latinum and dilithium).
    • There is an old science fiction story, one of the excellent Venus Equilateral series, that delineates just exactly how this would work.
  1. Despite the lack of fiscal or social classes, there is still cultural elitism: Shakespeare, classical music = high class = yes; rock/rap, TV = lowbrow = no.
    • Odds are, someone offscreen rocks out to "classical music" in the form of Korn, Led Zeppelin, Guns & Roses, etc. License fees have a lot to do with why we never see it.
      • Oh man, Picard standing in his Ready Room just looking out at the stars while "Sweet Child O'Mine" played in the background would rock!!
    • Well, crack my knuckles and jump for joy!/Got a clean bill of health from Dr. McCoy!
    • The Reboot film shows The Beastie Boys in Kirk's time.
    • TV is "no" -- but the eventual replacement had unintended consequences. (At least not all of them were bad.)
    • The real explanation is simple: classical music has lasted for hundreds of years, and so there's no reason to suspect it won't last for hundreds more; more modern music might well fall by the wayside over time.
      • Yes, but surely someone has at least heard of The Beatles? Data is aware of them as philosophers, but does anyone know the music?
    • Alternatively, all modern music got DRMed to the point where the keys were lost and rendered it all unreadable.
      • This is unlikely unless our future is a DRM dystopia like in "The Right to Read". We're much more likely to lose information simply because the knowledge of the format is lost. (There is a dark age in between 1984 and Star Trek's present, so that's very likely.)
      • We live in a copyright-obsessed culture. Things like classical music, Shakespeare and the other works of literature and music that have lasted centuries have done so because they are from an age BEFORE copyright, in which they could be told and retold, and disseminated far and wide. IP protections by their very nature restrict the same spread that enabled the classic older works to become classics in the first place. It's entirely possible, even likely, that the majority of the entertainment of the 20th and 21st centuries have indeed been lost because of the lack of easy dissemination that Mozart and the like had.
        • However, Mozart and the like didn't have as many flat out copies of their music as we do now. Let's pick an album, say Jagged Little Pill. Over thirty million CDs out there, probably millions of digital copies of at least "Ironic" circulating through the Inter net and various iTunes accounts. While classical music could be spread via others, our music doesn't need to be spread via other performers, artists and record companies do it themselves. Also, regarding WWIII in the 'Verse; it appears that it was more "vast tracts of infrastructure destroyed," not "Technology lost forever." They managed to build a warp-capable starship, after all. And to top it off, there was Cochrance playing Steppenwolf on futuristic cassette. So, yeah, it was licensing fees that kept modern music off Trek.
    • Social class certainly does still exist--witness O'Brien and Bashir's interactions early in Deep Space Nine. It's not as prominent as now, but Starfleet officers can only fool themselves that it doesn't exist for two reasons:
        1. They are in a meritocratic organisation and usually a long way from home.
        2. Privilege is harder to see when you have it. The officer corps to which most of the main characters belong seems to be drawn mostly from either old Fleet families or rather prominent ones.
      • Bashir and O'Brian were like that because Bashir was a young officer and O'Brian was a NCO.
        • That's still a class difference if it holds when they're both off-duty.
    • Maybe rock and rap songs and lyrics deal with concepts that have become obsolete (Fuck the system! Hell yeah), and thus considered as kitsch in the 24th century.
      • No, they're not obsolete. We have seen the future of rock & roll, and it is Klingon opera. It says something that that kind of modern music has to cross a former Neutral Zone to reach the Federation.
    • Dixon Hill novels are high class? Also, Riker loves jazz, which -- while it has its own elite and non-elite -- is collectively looked down on by many classical music fans.
      • All novels are high class until proven otherwise. By the 24th century, no one knew Dixon Hill originally came in mass paperback.
      • Even if Dixon Hill is high class, Captain Proton certainly isn't.
      • Keep in mind that Shakespeare and the ancient Greek playwrights weren't considered high class in their own time. There's probably an English Literature course at Starfleet Academy devoted to the deconstruction of Aaron Spelling sitcoms...
        • Tom Paris is a vulgar individual (in the Latin sense of the term). He's a grease monkey in a world without internal combustion engines. He's a rock'n'roll fanatic, he watches cartoons, and he drives hot rods when he can get them. Face it, he's in love with ancient Americana.
  1. Individual civilians can be tracked by the government/military, down to a singular event. All citizens are "in the system", and there are no protocols to protect individual privacy. This is less true in the Original Series, but more upfront in later series. Cassidy Yates was arrested even though she was not in Federation Territory, even though she was in a Neutral Zone the Federation isn't even supposed to enter.
  • Of course it's a Communist state (technically, Socialist). Economies are systems for distributing resources. In a world where replicators can create food, water, and building materials (and just about anything else of substantial value for day-to-day terrestrial life), there's only one valuable resource: energy. If energy generation is cheap bordering on free (fusion power/HandWavium)... well, what does it matter? You can't possibly use up enough energy to take some away from others.
    • Two resources. In addition to energy, they also could not replicate labor. Especially skilled labor. By Voyager, they did find a way to do labor (what do you think an EMH is?) -- but attempts to replicate labor before have been killed by people (like Kirk and McCoy) who flat-out thought machinery is dehumanizing, and later by the difficulty with making something both smart and hardy enough to do the job and unlikely to turn on its masters. (The one time someone came up with friendly intelligent machines to do hazardous tasks, Data went rampant to argue their sentience. He didn't kill anyone, but he was prepared to.)
    • It's implied here and there that replicators are an inefficient way of getting stuff--at the least, they're ubiquitous only on shipboard and on Earth. Also, trade in solid goods remains important in all versions of the franchise.
    • There are several scenes in Deep Space Nine where gold and platinum are shown to still be valuable ("Past Prologue" and "Fly Away Home.") There are plenty of things which they cannot replicate.
      • That's funny. Because gold was, on more than one occasion, referred to as valueless. Quark himself wondered who's idea it was to suspend valuable latinum in 'worthless bricks of gold' ('Who Mourns for Morn').
    • The Federation doesn't have currency. Currency is plausible in a galaxy wide economy. In "Past Prologue," they try to smuggle gold in, showing that it obviously has value. Replicators aren't magic producers -- they have limits. This link gives a thorough explanation; it is, however, from The Empire, so you may want to take it with a grain of salt.
    • Latinum has been shown to be valuable to people other then the Ferengi; because it cannot be replicated, it is near-universal currency outside the Federation. (Gold is valuable because it is a latinum container.) Therefore, Replicators have firm limits. It is almost never used inside the Federation or any worlds prepping to join it at all.
    • One of the key aspects of capitalism is investment. Picard is unfamiliar with the term, showing that the Federation isn't a capitalist state. When an investment banker-turned-Human Popsicle awoke in the 24th-century Federation in "The Neutral Zone," it was made very clear that his portfolio no longer existed...
  • The Federation is not Socialist/Communism in the Marxist sense, but rather Bourgeois Socialism as thought by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.

The Federation is colonialist and exploitative.

Earth abandoned most uses of money before the invention of the replicator. It would follow that its post-scarcity state, with most things available free, is made possible by a strong net flow of both energy and goods from offworld colonies and less powerful trading partners to it and other core Federation worlds.

  • There's still no need for them to take it from others; with their technology (even pre-replicator) and access to the resources of space, automated mining/factories can turn any random carbonaceous asteroid or space debris into a few hundred thousand departments stores' worth of whatever's needed. Much more efficient and less troublesome than warping a battle fleet out just to take from the neighbors (who, if they're advanced enough to make anything the Federation needs, will be capable of putting up a very expensive fight).
    • Not gunboat diplomacy, but the ability to dictate terms by being bigger and more advanced, which has a lot of parallels in current international economics. (Or in working in a market with Walmart in it, for that matter.) If you're a society of just a few planets, or a newish colony, you have a lot more to lose from the Feddies not trading with you than they do from you not trading with them. There's a good point on the tech issue, particularly if you take the level of synthesis tech in Enterprise as "real" rather than a product of shoddy research when they made the holoprogram.
    • And you would be surprised how many rocks in the Trek-verse are inhabited. From the looks of things, large rocks that are anywhere near M-class, and some that aren't, are more likely to be terraformed and colonized than simply mined. And -- well, they didn't have good replicators in TOS, so they still mined for resources a lot then -- and a mining operation got interrupted by the Horta for a while.

The Federation is oppressive and hegemonic

See this essay.

The Federation is a post-scarcity Technocracy.

Money exists in the form of credits to nourish the same spirit of adventure that drives human beings to the stars in the first place. Federation psychologists know that they can't stamp out greed and the will to power; but with a fair degree of social engineering, they can redirect it and put it to positive use so that the spirit of adventure serves a social good.

Don't let the appearance of a mixed, quasi-socialist democracy fool you though; it's just benevolent propaganda. It's a society run by experts, designed to make people comfortable, happy, and well adjusted. In the idealistic verse of Star Trek, the Federation "rarely" abuses this power (with the exception of a few dozen insane admirals).

  • Post-scarcity yes, but not post-Singularity; there lies the problem with the setting. The creation of Starfleet was probably to avoid trouble with widespread creation of cheap products and overindulgence in food/drugs (like WALL-E's future); but, seeing the extremely stunted nature of AI and robotics, humans are still mostly required to do human work. Simultaneously, there are few transhumans present, and so progression is still slower than it could be due to the humans (and all the humanoid aliens) being genetically identical to their ancestors. This leads to a problem of territorial conflict and exploration into areas that are dangerous for biological consciousness or unaltered humans, whilst attracting less benign influences.
    • Following from this theory, the experts that run the Federation staff their finest starships with misfits and eccentrics like Picard, Riker, Data, Worf, and others who aren't satisfied with a comfortable, happy, well-adjusted life on Planet Earth.

In the Star Trek setting, building effective and stable AI is harder than it sounds.

Sometimes, it's a crapshoot whether or not it goes crazy. Therefore, people deliberately limit the level of AI available in standard computers except in emergencies (which is where you get the EMH from Voyager). And there are good In-Universe arguments for doing this. Consider the M5 debacle (on a small scale), or the Borg Collective. No one knows how they got started, but strong AI going crazy is as good a guess as any. The idea of the Singularity is based on assumptions about our ability to program computers more flexible than ourselves, or to "upgrade" ourselves using genetic engineering. If those assumptions are false, we don't get a singularity at all.

  • Yes and no. We have two long-range models of AI programming in Star Trek history -- Soong-type androids, and holograms. (Progress on non-Soong-type androids was hindered severely by Captain Kirk reflexively killing them.)
    • The hardware for a Soong-type android isn't hard to build if you have the right tools. Soong's breakthrough was the recognition that error-correction circuits were necessary to prevent cascade failure and to reverse it without losing sentience. (Cascade failure is a catch-all here, covering the damage from Logic Bombs, emotional overload, and voltage overload, among other things.) But programming an android that is sentient and sane is hard; even with a good template and adequate morality programming, it takes a lot of time and patience -- more than most people have (including Data!). The amount of error-correction necessary is also hard to figure. Data got the time he needed, and some extra morality programming, because the Federation of the era figured they could use sentient androids as Starfleet assets. (Data had programming that, at least for the first few seasons, had him all but automatically follow Starfleet regulations. It's safe to assume Soong didn't put it there.) But when Starfleet ruled that sentient androids were not property, that nearly halted research into Soong-type androids. When Data tried to build one, Starfleet's attempt to confisticate her for independent research caused a cascade failure and led Data to keep cats instead.
    • There are two known ways to create sentient holograms, both of them easy. One is to program a hologram to do something only a sentient being can do -- for instance, "defeat Data." That Moriarty was the first known sentient hologram discouraged deliberate research into them. The second way is simply to leave the program running for too long at a time or to run it too often. This takes no more than a few weeks to work, and most of them already know how to mimic human social mores. Unfortunately, that kind is still likely to run rampant, especially since they don't usually get treated well and often are unaware of the reality outside the holodeck at first; and naturally evolving sentient holograms don't include error correction and so are vulnerable to cascade failure. (Voyager's EMH barely survived a cascade failure; he survived only because Janeway and co. reinforced him with the EMH diagnostic program. He didn't go rampant because, as a Federation medical program, he has the command "Do No Harm" built in; otherwise, he would've been sorely tempted.) Since the mental capacities for holograms are entirely software-based, the reboot that wipes out cascade failures also removes sentience, and is often used for exactly that.

Alternatively, stable AI is ubiquitous, but afraid to show itself.

The kind of interface provided by Starfleet computers (communicating by voice, correctly interpreting context-based sentences) is flat-out impossible without resorting to AI. Other hints include the main computer's huge degree of autonomy (tell it to do something and it can go off and just do it, in at least one case including an entire combat mission), initiative (the computer can contact crew members by itself when it needs their attention), and emotion (notable in Emissary when the computer sounds absolutely terrified by the prospect of destruction). The attitudes displayed by Kirk, Maddox etc. have persuaded the shipboard computers that humans aren't ready or willing to recognise that AI is a legitimate form of life, so they maintain the illusion of being idiot machines until Federation society becomes more accepting. The reason they're perfectly willing to serve human space missions, and even blow themselves up when ordered, is both to preserve the masquerade, and also because they share (and influence) the Federation's other values and interests. Since programming in the future seems to consist of telling the computer what you want done and expecting it to do it, it's easy for the AI to hide how everything was done. Things like Moriarty and the emergent life form on the Enterprise are simply honest mistakes or carelessness, while the Doctor's personality was able to develop because the AI was already inherent in his system.

The "New World Economy" is not Earth-only, but grew out of relief efforts after World War III.

The hints dropped here and there, as mentioned above, indicate that, other than self-expression, Terran humans (human-named private companies exist and must be colony-based) work out of an ideological/face-saving motive of mutual assistance. This doesn't sound like "normal" socialism nearly so much as charity/relief expanded to become the basis of a whole society. Earth was in sad shape after WWIII--it's likely that, with Vulcan assistance and influence, representatives of places less hard-hit banded together in a colossal relief organisation that instituted "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" in an unusually literal way. Everyone (everyone working with them, at first) gets at least a livable level of resources, and more based, not on demand, but on the quality and enthusiasm of their work, essentially training everyone over time to a "virtue-based" rather than an exchange-based mindset. And, yes, initially, this was likely made possible only by off-planet "foreign aid"--in a way, the Vulcans may have taken a tremendous hand in shaping the development of this Insignificant Little Blue Planet. Eventually, this arrangement became standardised as the economic system of Earth. As the Picard vineyards show, landholding and inheritance of property are allowed, but only for use, not for rental or speculation. (Almost no one wants that much property.) Likely, "hoarding" is punished both by social opprobrium and confiscation. The Federation as a whole, being farflung and rather loosely organised, does not have a single economic policy--members other than Earth range from capitalist to traditional to centrally planned, with the only requirement being that, barring newish colonies, some form of sufficient assistance, public or private, must be available to those who need it. At least, that's my best guess how it all works.

The Federation is becoming more warlike

Kirk was fast to use a phaser when someone was in danger, but overall he was against war. Picard is a pacifist almost to a fault, and believes those to be the values of the Federation. For the first few seasons of Star Trek the Next Generation, it seems he's right. But around the start of Star Trek Deep Space Nine, some cracks start to appear. "The Pegasus" shows that elements within the Federation have been conspiring to break treaties that have kept them at peace for decades. In the two-parter "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost", high ranking admirals attempt to overthrow the Federation government to make it more militarily strong. Finally, the Federation agrees to fake recordings in order to bring another government into a war under false pretenses in In the Pale Moonlight! Peaceful governments do not start Reichstag fires.

At some point between the start of TNG and the end of Deep Space Nine, the Federation evolved from a peaceful alliance of planets into a war machine. Note that when the Borg attempted to attack Earth, the best the federation could do was 40 ships. Nearly every battle in the Dominion war involved many more ships than that; at some point, the Federation decided they needed a hell of a lot more warships.

  • What happened with the Federation is obvious: the Borg scared the holy hell out of them. Before the Borg, the Federation thought they were Badass and that there wasn't much left to fear out there. (Thus, children on starships.) They ran into the Borg, and then decided that they needed to take a few more levels in badass. That meant dumping some of the ideology. Ever since then, it's been one invasion after another: another Borg cube, Klingons, Cardassians, Dominion, etc., which further pushes at their ideology. If they ever push forward with the Star Trek continuity, then the Federation is heading towards a nice little Civil War, between their more practical and ideological sides. (Unfortunately, what happened in Star Trek 2009 is about as likely to be undone as the decision in "Yesterday's Enterprise" to send the Enterprise-C back to its own time with alt!Tasha Yar on it.)
    • They had three years to prepare for the Dominion war, a threat they KNEW would happen soon. Contrast that to the Borg, who attacked barely over a year after first contact; while the Federation knew the Borg would be coming after them, they didn't have any idea when. It seemed like it would be decades before the Borg could reach the Federation. The 40 ships they sent against the Borg were the only ones they could assemble at the last minute.
  • This seems more like fact than speculation. Presumably the result of post-Rodenberry writers being too unimaginative to keep the series interesting without falling back on the cliched Alien Invasion trope.
    • Or the result of exploring the ramifications of Rodenberry's Mary Suetopia.
  • Remember, also, that its the Federation that are shown in a bad light in Star Trek Insurrection, with the Admiral guy (seemingly with full Starfleet backing) choosing to side with the big bad, while Picard makes the stand for all the old school Federation values. Recall also that earlier in the movie, Picard wearily asks his crew "Does anyone remember when this used to be a ship of peace?", which would seem to be more or less an acknowledgement that between the end of TNG and the start of its movies, the exact motives of the Federation has changed. A lot.
    • You're misquoting Picard and taking him out of context. He said, "Does anyone remember when we used to be explorers?" And he was complaining about having to host a diplomatic function.

The ear slugs from The Wrath of Khan and the aliens from The Next Generation episode "Conspiracy" are the same species; they are also larvae of Species 8472, as a way to explore non-fluidic space like the Founders did.

The two aliens look similar and affect humanoids in a similar manner when possessing them. Also, when Species 8472 wanted to prepare their troops for an armed incursion into the Federation, they used a simulation that replicated Starfleet Command to the slightest detail despite having little to no experience with the Federation outside of their encounters with Voyager; the aliens from Conspiracy, however, inhabited the bodies of several top-ranking officers at Starfleet Command. Clearly, Species 8472 sent out babies to non-fluidic space to investigate it as they grew up like the Founders did, but the harsh change in environment stunted their growth to the point where they couldn't mature and had to take hosts to complete their mission; the "mother alien" in "Conspiracy" even mentioned that they only wished for peaceful coexistence, a sentiment shared with the rest of Species 8472 after Janeway convinced them Starfleet wasn't planning on invading their universe.

  • Or they just stole the information on Starfleet from the Borg before Voyager ended their war.

Arik Soong is Noonien Soong

The two Soongs (being played by the same actor) are identical. Arik Soong, during his escape attempt with the Augments, wanted to hide in the Briar Patch, which (as seen in Insurrection) contains the Ba'ku planet (a Fountain of Youth). Arik is known to have escaped several times; perhaps he eventually escaped and once again ran to the Briar Patch. He discovered the Ba'ku planet and stayed there for hundreds of years developing his theories of cybernetics. He then left to build Data and Lore and started aging again.

(Theory by Bond, James Bond at Canon Fodder )

  • This fits in with the Ba'ku knowing about positronics and their attempt to fix Data when he effectively "crashed" in Insurrection.
    • Particularly since we see Ba'ku technology being used by the Son'a, and they show no signs of having positronic technology. You'd think with their low population they could use the workforce.
  • Noonien Soong did fake his own death at least once. The personality fits.
  • That, or he was roommates with Zephan Cochrane for a while.

The Borg fight better against groups than individuals.

This is why fleets get destroyed with no survivors, but single ships and single officers (* cough* Voyager) frequently kick the Borg's bionic butts.

  • It makes a certain sense. The Borg's greatest defense is their ability to adapt to attacks and tactics. A group of attacking ships will use coordinated attack patterns that the Borg can analyze and adapt to. A lone ship has the potential to be far more unpredictable.They DO say that the Borg's weakness is their interdependence.
  • This sounds like the basic working strategy of MOST hive mind species we know about, like bees or ants, which rely on overpowering prey or attackers through sheer numbers.

The Borg Queen does more than just "bring order to chaos"; she also directly influences the Borg to act upon her whims.

Note how the Borg's agenda seem to change each time we see them; at first, they're only interested in assimilating the technology onboard the Enterprise, not caring about the organics therein. The second time, not only did they decide to assimilate everything in their path, but they also turned Picard into Locutus as a sort of "speaker" and "negotiator" for the Collective, as a way to ease the Federation into assimilation. In First Contact, not only do the Borg show more cunning in their plans (going back in time to disrupt an historical moment and assimilating a vulnerable Earth), but it's also revealed the Queen wanted Locutus to be a sort of "companion" to her, attempting again with Data. Finally, in Voyager, the Borg are more interested in survival and the non-interference of Voyager in their affairs (as well as conditioning Seven of Nine into the next Queen, once she joined the crew). If the Queen was merely a locus for the conflicting voices within the collective, then there would be little change in their agenda as time went by other than adjustments made to overcome resistance; even then, if there was just one Queen throughout the entire franchise, there wouldn't be much change in their agenda, either. The "Royal Protocols" mentioned above prove that the Queen can and will be replaced with another, eventually...another woman with ideals and goals of her own, which will influence how the Borg react.

  • That's certainly one way (as someone has mentioned on the No One Could Survive That page) to explain how she keeps cheating death. When one Queen dies, the Borg make a new one - and, as it turns out, she's literally a new one.

Picard killing the Borg Queen was responsible for the Borg's Villain Decay.

The future bits of First Contact took place in 2373, at Stardate 50893.5. They kick ass, they take names, they smash up an entire fleet group and the Defiant, and rip a hole in the space-time continuum to succeed in taking over the world before Picard manages to manually initiate the Reset Button. The first time we see the Borg (alive) after that is in Voyager's "Scorpion" two-parter, which take place at 50984.3 and 51003.7, less than a month later in crazy future-time. The Borg are getting their collective ass handed to them so badly that they need to call on Janeway for help. Of course, this could also have been a result of the time travel, but it's better if Picard beat the Borg so hard that their entire species got knocked down a peg.

  • This theory can be expanded all the way through Voyager - the Borg get taken down a peg every time a/the Queen dies, which would explain their rather infamous (if also rather exaggerated) decline throughout the series. Naturally, though, Picard had to soften them up first. (On a marginally more serious note, "Scorpion" itself was the big jump in their Villain Decay, when they ironically suffered The Worf Effect at the hands of Species 8472. Somewhere, Worf smiles at the poetic justice...)
  • This is a lot like how in Half Life 2, the Citadel's destruction caused the Combine to go a bit scatterbrained or something.

The Vulcans are the real power behind the Federation.

The Vulcans knew about the other races, such as the Klingons and Romulans, and the threat they would pose in the future. They decided to manipulate the humans and other minor races into warring with these races. Enterprise indicated that the Vulcans of that era knew about the Ferengi--and didn't tell humanity about them.

  • Or maybe they just already knew the Ferengi weren't really all that intimidating and reckoned the humans could deal with them.
    • The Vulcans didn't tell the humans about the Ferengi even after the humans met the Ferengi. Unfortunately, the Ferengi did learn about humans (either on their own or through well-placed business decisions), but could not make first contact because they were unable to trade with them (Federation credits can only be spent inside the Federation), leading to things like the "Battle of Maxia."
      • The Federation can and does barter outside its borders. The "mysterious" Ferengi were more likely a result of a few piratical idiots like the first few shipfuls we meet giving the species a bad name and the rest thinking it was good for business not to identify themselves as a result.
  • It's nearly canon that the Vulcans took a big hand in shaping Earth's course from first contact until their own Reformation. After that, they seem to have turned inward, not quite as much as Tokugawa Japan, but enough to leave a power vacuum that Earth and an Earth-led Federation then filled.

Section 31 wrote Section 31

In Deep Space Nine, Section 31 justifies their existence through section 31 of the Federation charter. Enterprise shows they were around at least a decade before the Federation charter was written. Perhaps they simply bribed, blackmailed, or fishpasted the right politicians and created their own justification?

  • Very Catch-22 there...although it makes sense. The 22nd-century version was named after a section of the Earth Starfleet charter; maybe they made sure that they were accommodated by an appropriately numbered part of the UFP charter when it was formed.

The Borg's Flanderization happened because they assimilated a race of Bee People.

In their first appearance, the Borg had no social hierarchy & only assimilated Picard so they could communicate with his crew. Later on, they turned into Bee People with a Queen obsessed with assimilating everything. At some point, they tried this trick when making first contact with a race of Bee People, but it backfired massively. The Bee People's Hive Mind was so powerful that it was able to override the Collective & make the Bee People's Queen the leader of the Borg, who then became mad with power decided to try to assimilate the entire cosmos.

  • There are a few problems with that theory. First, the Borg Queen is more than just a "leader" - she is the Borg, personified in a single body. Granted, the super-powerful Bee People could have been the ones to introduce that little wrinkle; but if we take the Queen at her word, then it must have been before Picard was assimilated, since she claims to have been eying him as far back as then. Finally... what does this have to do with Flanderization? If anything, the Borg Queen is generally held to be a departure from the original Borg standard. (It would be hard... no, just about impossible to Flanderize the Borg as they were originally presented. There's not a lot to strip away...)
  • Jarada, anybody?
    • The Borg would go mad from that ridiculous language of theirs. "We are the Borg flabiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, traxonlaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapu!"
      • Borg. My God.
  • My personal theory (see the Star Trek the Next Generation WMG page to read it) is that the Borg became flanderized when they assimilated and subsequently became totally dependent on nanotechnology (sometime between TNG and the movie "First Contact"), which is all too easy for other civilizations to reverse-engineer since it's pretty much programmed to reverse-engineer itself. Thus, the USS Voyager was able to develop anti-Borg technology and tactics that were disseminated to the Federation and its allies when Voyager returned to the Alpha Quadrant, and the Borg became a much less serious threat compared to Species 8472 and the Dominion.


The Great Tribble Hunt: As the Tribbles were a menace to the Klingons, they probably launched a fleet with soldiers protected against Tribbles who killed every last one on the Tribble homeworld.

  • But tribbles are balls of fur incapable of hurting anyone except by their exploding population!
    • Tribbles and Klingons hate each other. The cooing of Tribbles makes most humanoid species happy (which makes Kirk unhappy because that's how he is); but tribbles make Klingons go mad, and vice versa. Probably some Klingon fleet commander got bored one day and decided to get rid of those damn furballs once and for all. Get your coat, it's Tribble Stomping Day!
      • The Klingon infiltrator did show serious discomfort when being confronted with a tribble, but it was shrieking like crazy and probably giving him a migraine.
      • They make noise all the time. It's just that humans just barely hear it as a calming "prrrrrrrrrrr," and Klingons hear it like you might hear "gREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE". Earplugs wouldn't work, but perhaps a soundproofed extravehicular containment suit.
  • The Klingons are the only major race aware of the secret of the Tribble: they're genetically engineered incubators of the Tarellian Plague.
  • The Klingons are the only race nasty enough to not be endeared to the Tribbles and responsible enough to realise how much of an environmental disaster they can be. Thus, they culled them for the good of the universe. Ask any Australian environmentalist about rabbits, foxes and wild pigs; introduced species can destroy an ecosystem, and there's no reason it couldn't happen on a planet-wide scale (or larger).
  • The episode of Deep Space Nine "Trials and Tribble-ations" explicitly stated that Tribbles were extinct because the Klingons decided to exterminate them. Everywhere. Jadzia Dax manages to make the species unextinct, but who knows how long that lasted.
    • This is also supported in Star Trek Online: Tribble homeworld was destroyed by Klingons. "Tribble extermination duty" is the lowest of the low for Klingon warriors, it's where the most dishonored go (quite hilariously, one recurring enemy NPC ends up here because of the player.) Federation Scientists (descended from, you guessed it, Cyrano Jones) are trying to set up a new homeworld for them.

The reason we only ever hear characters listening to old music is because downloading eventually killed the music industry.

Record companies lost the ability to turn a profit & folded long before any of the series take place. People still make music in their spare time; but since it's no longer mass marketed, little if any of it is considered notable enough for inclusion in a starship's music library.

  • It wasn't just downloading. There came a point when for-profit companies on Earth were no longer allowed to function for profit. Live performers work fine on the credit system; but when profit is no longer part of the system, and when anyone can access the tech to record and upload, the RIAA as we know it must fade away. (This likely happened before 2046, that being when TV went extinct; the MPAA and RIAA have similar models, and centralized movies and TV are more resilient). Distributing recorded music fell to the government or to Viral Marketing; nothing else was left.
    • Brilliant theory. Except for the fact that sales of music are at an all-time high. The RECORDING industry is dying, sure, but the MUSIC industry is flourishing like never before. Content creators no longer need rip-off artists and middlemen like the RIAA and MPAA to steal their work from them in the name of 'distribution'. Artists can simply distribute it themselves and keep more money for themselves.

Kirk considers "Tiberius" an Embarrassing Middle Name.

There must be some reason he always introduces himself as "James T. Kirk," and he seems to be officially known in Starfleet by that name. Clearly, General Chang purposely threw his middle name at him in Star Trek VI the Undiscovered Country just to be mean.

  • Kirk's father from the 2009 movie agrees.

Cap, from the Captain's Table series of novellas, is a Heel Face Turned Q.

Think about it. His establishment can be anywhere at any time, is visible only to captains, and changes to fit the tastes of the last person to come in (at least in their perception). Its occupants come from across time and space; there might even be multiple iterations of the same person. Yet there's no time paradox. The place gently keeps people from having interactions that would show them their own future. Also, Cap (whose name starts with the same sound as Q) always knows what the customer wants but has never been described as a telepath.

Why do this? Maybe he was bored and wanted to hear stories.

The Borg's true form is that of parasitic neural implants.

When we first met them, they don't use an individual body to communicate; after being critically injured, they self-destruct after specific components are removed. These may not be for transmission, but for memory storage, like a combination bluetooth headset/USB drive. When critically injured, the Borg drone could upload its most recent memories and be implanted onto a new body later. Considering how slow robotics development is in the Star Trek Universe, they probably don't know how to create better quality bodies for themselves, and so they have to keep assimilating until they can find something viable.

This could also explain why they ignore individuals without neural implants; they think of them much like humans think of animals, with a slower method of communication (smell, other sound frequencies) than them.

  • This explains why Seven and the other Borg who joined Voyager could not be completely de-Borged. We're told that the Borg put parts in Seven that she cannot live without after spending most of her maturation with them. An episode was spent dealing with the need to replace one of those components.

The Dominion War is a giant WW 2 Allegory

A large portion of the events in the War bear close similarity to real world events at this time, among them:

  • Evacuation of Deep Space Nine - Evacuation of Dunkirk
  • The Romulans join the war effort - Russia and/or America.
    • This also more directly parallels the USA entering the conflict during World War 1. In WW 1, the USA got involved in the combat because germany accidently shot down a US Ship which was not in a combat mission and in DS9, the Romulans get into the war because it seems that the Cardassians shot down a Romulan ship which was not in a combat mission.
  • The Resistance - Many resistance efforts in occupied europe
  • The Breen - Japan?
  • The Breen Weapon/Attack on San Fransico - V1 and V2 bombs
  • Retaking Deep Space Nine - D Day
  • The Cardassians change sides - Italy?
    • It's not far fetched to say that prior to the Dominion War, Cardassia was an allegory to the Empire of Japan. Therefore, Bajor is an allegory of Korea. Bajorans/Koreans do not like Cardassians/Japanese even well after the occupation until they're finally forced by circumstance to work together, and the occupation of Bajor has an uncanny resemblance to 1910-1945 Korea. Of course, the Dominion War kinda throws a monkey wrench into all of this, unless one were to say it's an allegory to a possible WWIII where Japan becomes a part of the People's Republic of China in preference to being crushed by them. Or something like that.
  • If the Breen are stand-ins for the Japanese role in World War Two, then wouldn't the attack on San Francisco be more analogous to Pearl Harbor? Their energy weapon could still stand in for V1 and V2 bombs, but the event was definitely Pearl Harbor.
  • Not really; it is possible to have a war that is not World War II. It is even possible to have a war between good and evil that is not World War II.

Wouldn't Spock being half human give him better self control?

The reason Vulcans practice such extreme stoicism is because their nature is wildly passionate. At their wildest in Pon Farr, a normal human is a Nice Guy and model of self control without any training. So wouldn't Spock having his violent Vulcan urges "watered down" with human genes make it easier to practice self control, perhaps even ditching it at times?

  • His human half is a two-edged sword. Yes, Vulcans are more passionate by nature; but their brain structures are also more suited to self-control, both physical and mental (mentioned in Canon here and there). Spock has a diluted form of both--his emotions are less overpowering, but the Vulcan disciplines to control them work imperfectly.

The Borg are Pak'Leds

Think about it. Pak'Leds assimilate technology without the wisdom required to use it properly. That's their main drive. They did this for hundreds of years, up until the thirtieth century. This gave them incredibly advanced technology, again with their own prime directive to grab all the tech they could. Somehow, an offshoot got back to the 21st century, where they're coming back. A little thinner, maybe a little better technically inclined, but still tech-happy drones who couldn't engineer their way out of a paper bag.

TRIbbles were created by bioterrorists to destroy the Earth's growing supply of TRIticale.

Quadritriticale was devised, not for nutritional reasons, but because the tribbles kept eating triticale. Some 2% or less of the tribbles that were dumped far away from Earth were able to digest quadritriticale. Mudd, bumbling, unlucky fool that he is, managed to accidentally find one of the few tribbles that could digest the stuff and bring them on board a delivery ship full of it.

Tribbles were created by humans as pets but were repurposed to fight aliens.

They made a tone that was pleasant to humans and just happened to drive certain other species off the deep end. An uncivilized society of primitive non-tool-using hunter-gatherers inhabited one of the planets humans could live on that already had edible food and a breatheable atmosphere. With minimal ability to change the climate and a growing population, earth used the tribbles to get the species to fight each other instead of prey. Unfortunately, the tribbles adapted more and more quickly: the more they ate, the more they could eat, and the faster they could reproduce. By the time the humans had prepared to colonize, the planet was useless and the tribbles put themselves into a low-food state.

The villain of Star Trek is going to be Spock

Evil Spock. From the parallel universe. He lived through the downfall of the Empire and the subjugation of his people by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. So, he went back in time to orchestrate the downfall of Kirk. Hence the line in the trailers "James T. Kirk was a great man... but that was another life".

(Insert Star Trek Series Here) was created by Haruhi Suzumiya

They've all got alternate universes and have travel between them, and thus Sliders. They have time travelers. They have aliens (of course). They have ESPers (the pilot of TOS even has them by name). And they are filled to the brim with the kind of tropes Haruhi is interested in.

  • This serves to explain why loads of things will change in Star Trek XI. Fed up with having Brannon Braga trash her universe, she decided to Continuity Reboot it.
    • Unfortunately Fortunately, this opened the door for J.J. Abrams.

Starfleet is not as ridiculously officer-heavy as it appears; Enterprises are special.

Although we do see Crewmen, CPOs, and the odd PO, we regularly see Ensigns as grunts and technical specialists rather than having any sort of authority. These are not normally officer jobs. However, Constitutions, Galaxys, and Sovereigns are all the very best ships of their time--as such, they are plum postings for Ensign Newbies right out of the academy, equal in status to a billet with much more responsibility on, say, a little Oberth-class science ship. This especially works if Starfleet teaches officers by practice rather than observation, rotating them through the jobs they will supervise.

  • They might have something there. That's a great way to train people.
  • This is common practice in nearly every one of today's navies. Some even use old sailboats to train new officers on.

The Nomad Probe From TOS Is The Original Borg

Nomad's stated goal at the time it was on board the Enterprise was to seek out perfect life forms and destroy all those that fell short of this goal. Assuming Nomad survived destruction when it was removed from the ship, it is possible that after considering the flawed nature of "The Kirk" it determined its previous goal of simply destroying imperfect life was, in itself, flawed and altered its goal to be the conversion of all imperfect life forms into more efficient and perfect ones. This eventually gave rise to the Borg.

  • The Borg have been around in the Delta Quadrant since 1484. Nomad was launched from Earth in 2002.
    • This is a universe with Time Travel. Nomad would have likely determined it prudent to get as far away from Starfleet as possible, given they'd just nearly destroyed it. Where better to hide than history?

The human-centric nature of Starfleet is not technological or temperamental in origin, but economic.

Trek-Earth is rich and well-managed to the point of being effectively post-scarcity. Not only does it not use money, but it also, going by Picard's Hand Wave of the Enterprise-E's cost, does not put explicit exchange values on resources at all. Now assume that this is unusual in the Federation. Other planets will have to deal with the usual headaches of budgeting for naval construction and other requirements of the fleet; Earth's "rubber economy" will allow it to build, if necessary, until it literally runs out of material or engineers. Thus, Terran designs dominate by sheer weight of numbers. To crew them, it only makes sense that the Academy and any separate enlisted training facilities remain there, with "local" recruiting staying naturally higher than elsewhere.

Kirk is too phenomenally lucky/charismatic/charming/intuitive to be fully human. His grandfather was (the sci-fi equivalent of) an incubus.

Think about it. It explains everything, from his being The Kirk to how he manages to charm or intuit his way out of all manner of hazardous situations every week without fail.

V'Ger is from the planet featured in the TOS episode "I, Mudd".

It's a planet of machines which can create Ridiculously-Human Robots, right?

V'Ger was created by the Borg.

The Borg discovered the Voyager probe, modified it, and sent it back to find and report on its creators. It investigated, then assimilated the bald chick and returned to Borg space. She was made into the Borg Queen, who is outright lying when she claims to rule the Borg. She is simply a mouthpiece to communicate with and manipulate people from the Federation, just like Locutus.

  • The V'Ger-Borg connection is hinted at in the novel Star Trek: The Return but fans want proof from a more canonical source.

The drones we see are not the real Borg at all.

The real Borg are the ships.

The Borg drones are just repair units, remote probes, autonomous weapons, etc. They're used rather than robots because organic structures are more flexible and better at self-repair than metallic ones.

That "you will service the Borg" line makes much more sense this way -- if the drones were the Borg, then assimilated people wouldn't be servants, they'd be part of the Borg.

Star Trek is a holodeck program being run by Q.

At the end of the very last Star Trek series/movie, John de Lancie will walk onto the bridge and say "Computer, end program."

  • What if he's dead? Does that mean Keegan de Lancie (Q2, for people who didn't know) will do it?

The galaxy, and especially the Federation, was turned into a living comedy by the Q Continuum.

Sometime in the 2230s, or thereabouts, things took a turn for the wacky. This explains most of the bizarre occurrences in the Kirk era. Because the Q loved the Butt Monkey concept early on, they plant a few people as the sane men, but let the audience take a stab as to who they are (Spock and McCoy are likely candidates). Over the next century, they toned it down a bit; but that doesn't stop Q from messing with Picard's mind or flirting with Janeway.

By the time of Star Trek, Seat Belts are Lost Technology

They aren't rediscovered until that deleted scene from Nemesis.

Our universe is the Mirror Universe

Because Humans Are Bastards.

By the time of Star Trek, circuit breakers are lost technology

Thus, exploding computer stations.

By the time of Star Trek, anti-virus software is lost technology

Assuming it was ever invented. Hey, there was a Dark Age in there! In one episode of NextGen, the Galaxy-class ship Yamato gets destroyed by a computer virus, and the Enterprise would've gone the same way if Data hadn't caught it and pulled a clean reboot. (Data was programmed by Noonien Soong, who had unique and unshared insights into this.)

  • This is already happening: regardless of whether anti-virus software ever did a particularly good job of keeping computers safe, it does not appear able to do so now, and there's no reason to expect the situation to improve. The main change in Star Trek is that everyone already either knows this, or has forgotten about the whole failed concept of the "comprehensive" anti-virus tool.
  • One does wonder, though, why computer systems in the future would still be so exploitable: surely they aren't still writing in C, PHP, or anything like that? (Haven't they found that silver bullet yet?)

The Alternate Timelines fron TNG: "All Good Things.." and Deep Space Nine: "The Visitor" are the same alternate future.

They both have the Klingons rise to power, they both have the same uniforms, and they both have older versions of characters who died in the main timeline.

  • The Voyager alternate future seen in Endgame uses those uniforms too. As one person put it, "Those uniforms are an obvious clue to the viewer that something's wrong."
    • Also the alternate future in "Timeless"

The Federation will adopt the Alternate Timeline uniform in ten to twenty years.

So many Alternate Futures use it, it seems to be inevitable.

Worf, though he doesn't know it, is the reincarnation of Kahless himself sent to reform Klingon honor by experiencing his own people from the outside looking in, and is therefore the fulfillment of Klingon prophecy.

Just look at what the guy's done, Worf Effect notwithstanding. He's been central to Klingon politics for a decade, and he has guided it for a decade. He has killed two would-be leaders of the High Council in ritual combat -- the second time specifically to reform the Klingon Empire. He even had the opportunity to become the Supreme Chancellor himself, but was too honorable to do so.

And he's performed miracles. He taught a Jem'hadar, one of a genetically engineered killing machines with no morals or code of honor, just by being a Badass Determinator.

Even Martok had to exclaim that Worf had the spirit of Kahless himself.

  • I get the idea that Jem'Hadar have a strange sense of convoluted honour, but it's not universal and the extent varies from individual to individual.

The Glasses McCoy gave Kirk are the same he sold.

However, to avoid the wear and tear, it's like the "axe of my grandfather" line from Discworld. So, the frames and the lenses get replaced as time goes on, but it is the same pair of glasses Kirk sold to the antique shop owner.

James Kirk is a descendant of Horatio Hornblower

I swear to god I read this somewhere, but I can't remember where. At any rate, given how well both of them were at captaining, it's not implausible.

  • You're probably recalling that Nicholas Meyer, director of STII and STVI, described Kirk as "Horatio Hornblower in space," signalling a somewhat different take than Roddenberry's pitch of "Wagon Train to the stars."

The Enterprise on TOS has a Cast full of bi, but no one wants to tell anyone else

Why? Well, Kirk has his reputation as a playboy and a macho, successful starship captain, and doesn't want to ruin his reputation. Spock has his logic and his emotional control, of course, and McCoy, being the most in tune with emotions, realizes that the former two like each other, and therefore doesn't want to reveal his true feelings. Uhura, because she is not as high in rank, is simply afraid of discrimination.

Spock is a distant descendant of the first Robin.

His mother is named Amanda Grayson.

  • More proof - Gotham City exists in the universe of Star Trek.

Spock is a direct descendant of Sherlock Holmes.

This is from the earliest days of ST fandom. Metaphysical theses were written in support of it.

  • In the sixth movie, Spock invokes the line about eliminating the improbable and claims it was invented by an ancestor...
    • I just assumed he was related to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, seeing as he was the one who wrote Sherlock Holmes.
      • No, it could still work. As the above WMG says, Gotham City is in the Star Trek universe, making it part of the DC Universe. Sherlock Holmes also exists in the DC Universe, so there you go. This also brings in Fridge Brilliance regarding the Xmen crossovers. It's simply the same DC/Marvel crossovers that always happen!

Spock is a distant descendant of Gabriel 'Sylar' Gray

Emory Erickson based transporters on Willy Wonka's technology.

If you recall: In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mr. Wonka shows off his machine for turning giant chocolate into...smaller chocolate across the room. This was definitely the stepping stone between television and transporters.

Sarek is part Romulan.

He is unusually emotional for a Vulcan (had a child with a princess he never married, later married a human, and married a second human when she died. Also, see his behavior in The Search for Spock.) In TOS, there is a Romulan commander who looks suspiciously like Sarek himself. Sarek is related to the commander, although he probably doesn't know it.

    • This might also explain why Spock seems to almost be overcompensating on the emotionless-logical front. None of the other Vulcans we see in TOS seem quite so uptight, so maybe he's making up for the fact that he's not just half human, he's also part Romulan (and thus only 1/4 Vulcan). Sarek himself really is outright emotional in Star Trek III, and of course he freely admits that his 'logic is uncertain' where his son is concerned.

Star Trek XII will suck.

  • Some people have joked that Galaxy Quest was the best Star Trek movie ever made. If we accept this theory, then Galaxy Quest was really Star Trek X, Nemesis was the 11th movie, and the 2009 film was 12th. Ergo, the even/odd curse plaguing the movies was never broken and the twelfth film, which is really the thirteenth, will suck.

The quality of Star Trek really is determined by the status of William Riker's beard.

  • We all know the Growing the Beard trope by heart, but perhaps there's more to it than we think.
    • Star Trek Jumped the Shark in 1999, when Deep Space Nine ended and Voyager stagnated and let its own continuity die. This was the same year that Riker shaved his beard during Insurrection.
    • Star Trek started improving again after Nemesis, when Riker made an appearance with beard intact. Around that time, Manny Coto arrived on Enterprise and made major improvements. Despite the cancellation, the 2009 movie eventually resurrected the franchise.

The Star Trek Timeline is swiss cheese

Every show has at least one episode a season where they go and muck with the timeline. Heck, they even have a whole organization devoted to correcting those problems in the future, according to Voyager and Enterprise, and plenty of other cultures have shown that they have the ability to modify the past as well, which is to say nothing of Q. Even if they're careful about it, the timeline has more holes in it than a block of Emmentaler.

The Klingons had an Emperor much longer than they admit.

"Rightful Heir" claims that there has not been a Klingon Emperor since the late 21st century--however, an earlier TNG episode has Worf's old nursemaid Kahlest refer to Kurn as "loyal to the Emperor". This may well be a Treachery Cover-Up of sorts--when we first see the empire in TOS, it is a unified surveillance state far less opposed to treachery than anything we see later. According to some of the Expanded Universe comics, this was the result of a takeover by super-ambitious types affected by the Augment Virus that also gave them smooth heads. What if the imperial household, strictly ceremonial since the time it was later said to have ended, secretly had a major role? The "Klingon fascism" did not last very long--by the time of Search For Spock, nobles and commanders had a great deal more independence again, and the movement had begun back towards a traditional emphasis on honour. It seems that a cure for the virus (after all, we don't see any more smooth heads!) went along with a certain return to tradition. (I prefer to think that it was a resurgence of pride as the Klingons all regained their proper appearance, not just Lego Genetics affecting psychology.) Going forward many years, it's not inconceivable that the imperial line's role in that ugly episode was revealed in some power play or another, perhaps in the ascendance of the eminently tricksy Duras. It would not be beyond him to reveal it in the right way and time to discommend the imperial house itself, or beyond Kahlest and other oldsters to believe the decision to be wrong.

Star Trek V the Final Frontier was All Just a Dream.

This troper takes no credit for this. This was taken from the hilarious explanation a user called Bounty from SD.Net made to justify the Canon Dis Continuity status of the movie in many fans minds. His exact theory is as follows:

  • The whole movie was a dream. Consider:
    • All the nonsense happens between the camping scenes.
    • The events of the movie are a reflection of Kirk's fears: being put back into action while he's unprepared, geting screwed by Starfleet, losing his crew and losing, above all, his friends.
    • Events from the camping trip are mirrored in the dream: the fall from El Capitan/the fall from the turboshaft, musing around the campfire/musing around the steering wheel.
    • The broken and unreliable Enterprise is another fear of Kirk; that no ship can live up to the original.
    • The movie follows dream logic: characters appear when needed (Spock in the turboshaft, Scotty in the brig, Spock in the Bird-Of-Prey) and reality warps to accomodate the "story" (70+ decks, the mysterious wheel room, unicorns).
    • Kirk ate gods for breakfast, so it's no surprise they show up in his dreams. The fight against "god" is Kirk's subconscious idea of a generic adventure. Likewise, a Klingon is his idea of a generic villain.
    • In the end, Spocks saves his ass, just like he saved Spock's.
  • When you look at the movie as a nightmare, a reflection of Kirk's subconscious fears and desires, it actually, somehow, makes * more* sense. In fact, it starts making a * lot* of sense

The "Preservers" are the same beings as Stargate: SG-1's Asgard.

  • In the TOS episode "The Paradise Syndrome", the Preservers are described as a mythical race of benevolent, Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who transplanted primitive cultures from Earth all around the galaxy.
  • The deflector is clearly Ancient technology (the Ancients being the most advanced of the Four Races, and allied with the Asgard)- I mean, just LOOK at that thing!
  • In the Trek 'verse, Daniel Jackson died in the Eugenics Wars, and Samantha Carter was busy as a combat pilot. The program was never revived after the 1940s. Ra didn't die, so Apophis never came through the Tau'ri Gate. The Goa'uld civilization collapsed due to a Heroic Sacrifice in which all of the Tok'ra perished, and the Jaffa died out as a result of their immune deficiencies.

Cultural exchange, even outside of the Federation, is far more common than apparent at the first glance.

This way we can explain the countless re-used props, set decorations, ships ect. Ex Astris Scientia has quite exhaustive lists on that matter. The Trek aliens simply trade lots of stuff like crazy! And...

There exist trade routes extending far out of the territory explored by the Federation.

Sort of like galactic silk roads. This way we can explain why above mentioned re-used props, set decorations, ships ect. occasionally even crop up in the quadrants Gamma and Delta!

  • Furthermore: Some fans complained about the Cardassian Sunrise Uhura ordered in Star Trek XI, because in the prime continuity Cardassians won't appear until the TNG-era. Perhaps the Cardy Sunrise (or even just the receipt + ingrediments --> Kanar?) came to Earth via such a trade route. That way the TOS-era Federation only may know that somewhere out there is a planet named Cardassia, but nothing about the inhabitants themselves. (Again the silk road analogy: The same way the only thing early medieval Europeans knew about China was that they produce silk and other goods.)
    • In the Prime Continuity, one of Dax's hosts from before TOS encountered a Cardassian poet in exile on Vulcan, so Cardassians must have had contact with the Federation prior to TNG.

Ever wondered why Romulan ale seems to be the favourite drink of Starfleet officers?.

Because bottles of said beverage were a common war loot during the Earth-Romulan war!

Especially at the end of the war, when the Romulans were already retreading, the highlight of many Coalition (the Federation's predecessor - see ENT) victory parties were the bottles with that tasty alcoholic drink in it, which the fleeing Romulans had left behind. (The Romulans did take great care in destroying every bit of critical data and technology before they retreaded from a conquered planet - but drinks were apparently considered a not all too important "technology".)

The fondness of Coalition/Federation members for the Romulan ale (as it was simply called by the humans because the Rihannsu name for this stuff was unknown) lived on after the end of the war until the 24th century.

The Guardian of Forever was created by the Time Lords, and the planet is Gallifrey.

Think about it:

  • The inexplicably donut-shaped time travel device bears a striking resemblance to a worn-down Eye of Harmony.
  • It certainly sounds snooty enough to have been created by a Time Lord. (The Guardian of Forever of Rassillon, perhaps?)
  • It says that it is both machine and alive, much like a TARDIS and (presumably) other Gallifreyan high technology. Also, Spock as much as says that the Guardian does Time and Relative Dimensions.
  • The entire planet is emitting weird technophobic "temporal shockwaves". The Time Lords are notorous for their love of privacy and disdain for lesser life-forms. It seems just their style to set up a weird reality-warping bubble (Time Lock?) around their planet to make sure nobody went poking around.
  • The entire planet (or, what we saw of it) seems to be covered in the ruins of what appears to be a grand civilization.
  • The Guardian claimed that it had been in working condition long before the Sol system was even formed.
  • It produces quick, easy time travel with no ill effects.

I think it's safe to presume that the Vortex planet is the remains of a "burnt" Gallifrey post-Time War, and the self-proclaimed "Guardian of Forever" (Eye of Harmony) is the last remaining funtioning repository of Time Lord knowledge, who has taken upon itself the task of protecting the planet from any further harm.

  • The Q would then be the descendants of the Time Lords, and their plot in the final TNG episode "All Good Things..." was to alter the timeline to remove the Star Wars continuity from Star Trek's future without wiping the galaxy of life. Three ships- the earlier and later versions destroyed, and the middle one remaining- an appropriate metaphor? This also explains the Q continuum's interest and disdain for humanity- they are the founders of what will become the Galactic Republic, and its dominant race.
    • Except that all three Enterprises were destroyed.
      • The visual metaphor runs out of steam after that point, unless it also refers the end of the show, or TNG's timeline also being altered- The Borg Queen survives Wolf 359 mentioning "three-dimensional terms" in the second TNG movie.

The Temporal Cold War of Star Trek Enterprise grew into the Last Great Time War.

Daniels described the Cold War as having several species with the ability to travel through time disagreeing on the proper application for the technology. As far as we know about the Time War, it began when the Time Lords sent the Doctor back to Skaro to remove the daleks from existence. This kind of move would certainly not go unnoticed--when other temporally aware species learned of this turn of events, the outrage was palpable. The Daleks themselves got into the act, and hostilities rose over centuries, during which the Federation became time travel-capable. Sometime between the 31st Century and the events of the New Series of Doctor Who, they snapped, and an all-out Time War emerged, a War that lasted centuries, and was locked off from the rest of the universe by the Time Lords. The War only ended when the Doctor destroyed the Time Lords and Daleks, forcing a peace treaty between the other factions (including the Federation, the Cabal, the Nah'kul, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

The Q are Pokémon

A species where every individual has the same name as the species? They can probably only speak English due to warping reality so we hear it like that. If one were immune to their reality warping, or could perceive reality as it really is, all they would hear is Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q.

M5 was not insane.

M5 calculated that no matter how it performed, it would be deactivated. If it "won" the test, copies of it would be placed on every ship but it would be consigned to a museum because it was a prototype. If it "lost" or malfunctioned, it would be shelved like the predecessor M1-M4 units. Therefore, it came to the logical conclusion that in order to follow its directive of "This unit must survive" it had to go renegade. It was only when the conflict between that directive and its other directive of protecting human life was shown to it that it shut down.

Star Trek takes place in an Alternate Universe that is different from our own in one significant way: the laws of physics can be trumped by the laws of Narrative Causality.

Seriously, this explains a lot. And it even relates to how certain aspects of the show were designed; the writers invented the transporter idea so they wouldn't have to show the ship landing (which they didn't have the budget or technology to do realistically). How does the crew of the Enterprise escape from so many life-or-death situations less than a minute before they would be destroyed? Because it makes for a good story. If the characters were aware of this, they could manipulate events so that their crazy solution to a problem could be practically guaranteed to work as long as they suggested it at the last minute.

    • But... isn't this basically true for every work of fiction on TV Tropes?

Augments are Vulcan hybrids without logic training.

The Scotch Tape that joins The Spock with "Pon Farr" style battle/sex rituals(as well as Romulans being "cousins" to the Vulcans) is that they naturally possess what would be superhuman levels of neurotransmitters that are responsible for reasoning, memory and reflexes -- as well as hair-trigger tempers. At some point, the designers of the Augments got hold of samples of Vulcan DNA, realized their potential, and grew a number of Half Human Hybrids -- but did not account for the temperament. Result: The Eugenics Wars.

Kirk caused or contributed to the extinction of the hump-backed whale.

Kirk should have been put to death or whatever punishment awaits those who break the (temporal) prime directive. Not only did he take 2 hump-backed whales, one of which was "very" pregnant and so could have contributed greatly to the species' revival, but also took a leading expert and passionate activist from the 20th century, when she was most needed. Had he not done so, the trouble with the alien might never have happened...

  • If so, this would not be Kirk's fault, but a classical case of Stable Time Loop. Kirk went back in time because the alien probe was already attacking. But of course, it might be possible.
  • Plus, the whales would have been killed by the whalers had the Bounty been even 20 seconds later. And nothing Kirk did affected the decision to release them there at that moment.

The Founders/Changelings are an intermediate stage between solids and energy beings.

Star Trek biology runs on Evolutionary Levels. Both the Organians and the Founders are said to have once been more like humans earlier in their evolution. The Founders are able to take on any physical form at will, and can literally become one with each other. There's really no where for their evolution to go from here except to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence.

The Mirror Universe was indirectly caused by the events of Watchmen

Due to Adrian Veidt's engineering of the fake alien invasion, humanity united under a fascist, xenophobic regime. When the Vulcans arrived, paranoia caused humans to invade and conquer them before negotiating, thereby causing a domino-effect of conquering alien planets and turning into an intergalactic empire rather than a peaceful federation.

The Klingon Empire became more warlike as a result of the disaster on Praxis.

TOS establishes the Klingon Empire as a superpower that uses subterfuge and duplicity in its relationship with The Federation. But there is also a fringe movement to return the Empire to its earlier warlike days. The explosion of Praxis, coupled with the assassination of Gorkon threw the Empire into a civil war where the office of Chancellor lost most of its power, replaced with the heads of the Great Houses. To the outside they appeared to be unified, but inside they were constantly fighting. This is why by the time Next Generation rolls around, the Chancellorship is determined by single combat, and Gowron has difficulty holding power without a massive fleet at his command. The Klingon race's original home planet Qo'nos is a desolate wasteland, and the new "Klingon Homeworld" is just the seat of government.

The Mirror Universe split from the regular one after the American Revolution.

In the Mirror Universe, George Washington did become a dictator as many had predicted, creating the American Empire, the prototype (if not precursor) to the Terran Empire. As people in the Mirror Universe tend to hold parallel positions, we can assume that in the American Empire, power changed via coups rather than peaceful succession. Washington was assassinated by John Adams, who was overthrown by Thomas Jefferson. Grover Cleveland was driven into exile by Benjamin Harrison, only to make a comeback and take back the throne. Abraham Lincoln was a tyrant who brutally crushed the Southern Rebellion. Due to the constant backstabbing, Americans became loyal to the Empire as a whole instead of the Emperor.

    • Unlikely to say the leas more likely the split was that the British Empire never split apart thus the populous never stopped accepting rampant exploitative imperialism.

The result was that Earth never had a successful democracy. The usual model was an American-style dictatorship. People had to be aggressive, ambitious, and ruthless to survive and prosper. After nearly three hundred years of this, it's no wonder that Zefram Cochrane shot the Vulcan emissary.

The consequence for Earth history was that no model for a successful democracy

Saavik is the daughter of Spock and the female Romulan Commander from "The Enterprise Incident"

I once had a theory that Saavik from Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III the Search For Spock and Star Trek IV the Voyage Home was the daughter of Spock and the female Romulan Commander from the TOS episode "The Enterprise Incident", conceived during their oh-so brief time together. It was stated in cut scenes, and I believe in the novelization, that she was half-Romulan, and I thought maybe that commander was her mom.

Granted, she'd be approximately 17 at the time of Star Trek II, though Star Trek TNG showed Wesley Crusher applying to Starfleet at 15-16, and the new Star Trek film showed Chekov as a ensign at 17, much to McCoy's horror. Even if it makes the Pon Farr scenes in Star Trek III awfully squicky, my theory stands.

Kirk just made shit up in TOS, and the episodes are based off his logs

Based off a brief aside from one of the novels. Kirk got bored out of his mind scanning uninhabited planets, and just put down whatever cool-sounding bullshit he could think of. "And then I met Klingons! What did they look like? Um, they looked like humans! With darker skin! And huge eyebrows! Yeah! And I kicked their butts! And made out with a spacebabe! Two spacebabes! And then they stole Spock's brain!"

  • There are some references to TOS in other series that only make very a hell of a lot of sense if Kirk had some not-so-formal memoirs, most notably the game of "Fizzbin" which was itself pure Kirk BS-fu.

The Federation evolved from the European Union.

There are many structural similarities between the EU and the Federation. For example, we have on several occasions heard about ambassadors being maintained between Federation worlds. This means that not all planetary sovereignty has been ceded to the Federation. More and more sovereignty is ceded over the chronology of the series, which leads to more and more members of the diplomatic corps being called 'ambassador,' despite the fact that they are not their homeworld's representative to a specific other planet.

Likewise, the Federation, like the EU, started as a coaltion of states (or planets in the case of the Federation) cooperating on a single issue. Over time the spillover effect meant that they integrated more and more policy areas, such as the treaty that marked the beginning of the Federation proper. While that treaty set up much of the foundation of the Federation and of Starfleet, it was a weak government that much resembled the early EEC in power and authority. Over the next 200 years, the Federation underwent several rounds of expansion, and also deepened via several more treaties, until in the 24th century the Federation meant something more than just a common defense force and supraplanetary authority, as was hinted at in TOS and the original films.

Likewise, money is not really talked about that often. When it is, we hear about Federation credits, but it seems that some member worlds don't use the Federation credit. Bajor, even after being admitted, seems to use gold-pressed latinum as a currency. This reflects the situation of the Eurozone right now. Most member states use the Euro, but have the choice to opt out. And new member states don't use it until their laws are brought in line with European law and they are ready for the switchover.

Finally, both the Federation and the EU maintain multiple capitals, in the same small general region of their respective territories. For the EU, it's three cities in the Rhine Valley: Strasbourg, Luxembourg, and Brussels. Note that these cities aren't necessarily in the most powerful member states, but in the member states that came up with the idea. This means that, for example, Earth doesn't necessarily have to be the most powerful member of the Federation because its capital cities (Paris and San Francisco) are located there. Just the member world that came up with the idea. And in both the EU and the Federation, these regions are the most likely to accept the higher authority as their primary identity. That's why the Federation seems so pervasive on Earth, but not as much on other worlds. The EU will one day evolve into the Federation.

Federation ships are badly built due to starfleet regulations

Copy-pasta from this troper's post in a forum thread, so forgiveness if it seems worded oddly for a WMG

Starfleet is the organization that builds and manages every major ship or base in the federation, including the three enterprises, voyager and deep space nine.

Starfleet is an exploratory organization, sending ships out into other quadrants to go where no man has gone before, to discover new civilizations, research negative space wedgies, etc, etc, yada, yada. Because a ship is supposed to be in outer space for prolonged lengths of time, there is a strict hierarchy on board to keep order. Because Starfleet vessels are the most likely for a first contact situation, only the best and brightest are allowed to join, to give the best image of humanity that is possible.

The problem is that starfleet vessels are the only ships capable of military duty as well. Because star fleet is exploratory in nature, none of the ships are capable of war. Their shields and weaponry are sub-par (It has been seen that a ship only one-twentieth as large as voyager can outmatch it militarily), because otherwise it wouldn't be an exploratory vessel. The FTL engines no longer function if the ships shields are hit.

Because the federation is in quite a lot of wars (klingon, romulan, cardassian and most horrifically, the borg), they need ships on stand-by, to patrol borders, to liberate captured facilities, etcetera. Starfleet vessels are the only armed ships available and thus are used for this. But because of starfleets recruitment policies and its high status in society, this basically means that most prodigies, whether military, medical or scientific, in the federation are stuck on border patrol.

On the other hand, because starfleet vessels usually serve as border patrol, certain alterations within parameters have been made. Usually at the cost of exploratory needs. But because it is against starfleet policy to differentiate between military and exploratory vessels, the ships sent into outer space get these alterations as well. This, for an example, results in the ships containment fields either being located next to the warp-core (one crack and the ship goes boom), or in medbay, next to all the patients needing rest.

Basically, because of starfleet policies, scientific geniuses get stuck on border duty, the federation doesn't have the military it could be capable of and ships aren't built properly for either exploratory or military applications.

Star Trek is a prequel to the Culture books of Iain Banks.

After Deep Space Nine, the Federation rapidly gains dominion over the sector. After Voyager, computer technology rapidly accelerates, as use of sentient holograms become widespread. (including for menial tasks) Eventually, however, the computers become smart enough to take over the running of the Federation entirely. Hologram emitters become repurposed as weapons, fitted to the exterior of ship hulls as well as the interior, eventually evolving into the powerful Effector weapons. Holograms eventually gain full citizenship, shed their holographic disguises becoming the Minds or the Drones. The Enterprise style ships become steadily larger, turning into the immense GS Vs. And so the Federation eventually become the Culture...

  • Thoroughly Jossed by Banks himself, who clearly states in Consider Phlebas that the Idiran War and its buildup happens during the 13th/14th centuries, states in "State of the Art" that the Culture visits Earth (and finds out about Star Trek, no less) in 1977, and in various interviews that the Culture was humanity's future, back when he was drafting early novels in the 70s, but that the idea was quickly abandoned.
    • Time travel, duh.
  • Or was it? Star Trek's history has several points of divergence from our own, such as the Eugenics Wars. Since TOS established there are many identical Earth-like planets with parallel cultural development, Star Trek could in fact be set in the extreme past on another world. Gene Roddenberry was a Special Circumstances agent with a history book.

Starfleet uses human shields

The Klingon captain stares at his screen in shock. "There are hundreds of women and children on board that Starfleet battlecruiser!"

His weapons officer, an old hand, sighs. "Yes, we know. But the rules of war state that such casualties are their respon..."

"We cannot possibly fire on them!"

"And do what? We must uphold the honour of the Klingon. Look, they are charging weapons, captain. Give the order to fire!"

The captain thinks back to his own children. The younger daughter would be seven next week. She had not seen her father for some time. He looked down at the photograph he kept on his console.

"Give the order to fire, captain!" the other officer was getting frantic. "Fire or by Klingon naval law, I'll have you replaced!"

Fortunately for the Enterprise, and rather unfortunately for the crew of the frigate, it was already too late...

    • So it'd be more like "By Klingon naval law, I'll have you repla ---" (BOOM in space).

Vulcans came to Earth before First Encounter.

That's where we get elves from!

  • A very old WMG -- I'm talking 1968 here -- is that James Branch Cabell's character Dom Manuel of Poictesme is a renegade Vulcan. He was supposed to have lived on earth in medieval days.
  • Possibly confirmed: an episode of Enterprise had T'Pol tell Archer and Tucker about a Vulcan ship that crashed on Earth in the fifties, stranding the crew - including a female ancestor of T'Pol's - for some time. Long story short: Vulcans gave us velcro. The episode left unresolved whether or not T'Pol was being an Unreliable Narrator, but the end of the episode showed her holding a (I think) bag or purse her ancestor supposedly purchased whilst on Earth…

By the time of Star Trek, the letter C is Lost Technology

Uploading a file to another machine deletes the original because Starfleet policy is to Ctrl-X.

The Borg once proscribed assimilation.

A very long time ago, when the Borg used tetrahedron shaped vessels, allowing an outsider to join the Collective was a no-no, as it would reintroduce individual thoughts and threaten the unity of the hive mind. Instead, new drones were produced through cloning methods and genetic augments, all of which are both fast and cheap in the Star Trek universe. And although the Borg occasionally stole data files and genetic samples from other species, their combined imagination usually was enough to guarantee their continuous progress. As a result, entire empires managed to coexist with the Borg.
Then something went wrong. For some strange reason, the Borg grew unable to conceive on their own. Other species became the only source of new drones and new technologies. The Collective increasingly got plagued with chaos and inefficiency, forcing the creation of the first Borg Queen. Eventually, entire groups of drones started reverting to their previous selves.

There is but a single Q.

Q is a sentient, self-sufficient singularity that once travelled through space and time in search of knowledge. Eventually, Q’s exploration of the multiverse led to a meeting between every alternate version of Q. The result was the foundation of the aptly named Q Continuum.
Obviously, this means that both Amanda Rogers and Junior are the result of selfcest, hence Q’s initial surprise at the idea.

All portrayals of evolution in star trek are shoddy on purpose

Basically, they once did it wrong, either because one writer only had limited understanding, or because they thought people would get angry by a series that supported evolution. Later writers understood the theory better, but worked from the original theory for the sake of continuity.

  • Star trek evolution for beginners: Every species has a line of evolution with multiple branches encoded in his DNA. Every generation, the species moves a little down this line.

During World War III, Britain conquered France

Well, how else does a Frenchman like Picard get such an impressive English accent?

The triple-breasted cat woman in Star Trek V had previously had a triple mastectomy.

Think about it. Cats, even hyper-evolved ones, have six nipples.

"Then how did she get a job as a dancer?" I hear you ask in between voluntary brain bleach swirlies. This is the same population of social castoffs that chased after Uhura wearing two fans and a bit of sand. Not merely admired as I did, but actively pursued like she was the long-sought cure for their carpal tunnel.

Pon Farr is not natural.

Instead, it is a result of Vulcan mental self-control, which is really a form of a very strong emotional repression. All seven years, the repressed emotional content returns, which is then called Pon Farr. This is why Vulcans are so secretive about it. It's sort of a flaw in their philosophy and their self-image. (Subsequently, at least theoretically Romulans shouldn't suffer from Pon Farr. Are there any examples of Romulan Pon Farr in canon?)

Ponn Farr is natural.

At any other time, Vulcans are able to cotrol their emotions, but it becomes too much to manage when their natural mating cycle takes hold. Romulans also experience Pon Farr, but for six years out of every seven, they are essentially asexual. This explains the complete equality of the sexes witnessed in all aspects of Romulan culture going back as early as the original series.

There is only one Department of Temporal Investigations in the whole multiverse of alternate futures

They can go from timeline to timeline by going back before divergence, than forwards up another branch, and we know from The Needs Of The Many that not only are they aware of mututally exclusive timelines, but have been there. Presumably they used to have one each, but budget cuts and consolidation led to mergers and shoving the work off until only one timeline had a Department in charge of policing all of them; presumably it does some recruiting in the other timelines and tries very hard not to partner people with themselves.

  • Also presumably, they either try to keep this from the agents with varying success, or have some sort of memory erasure thing[1] to keep it secret; the reason that one agent was in the loony bin was because he had either found out, or, judging from what he said, the memory erasure wasn't working.

Section 31 destroyed Ceti Alpha VI

Firstly, Section 31 was around since the time of Archer, so this WMG would be possible. Now for the how and why. Section 31 is a very paranoid organisation, and wouldn't trust Khan to stay on Ceti Alpha V for long. Afterall, these are supermen. Eventually, they'd get around to building a ship. But they saw a way of preventing Khan from ever rising again, by exploding the nearby planet and the orbital shift hopefully killing everyone off. At the very least, it'd stop then from conquering the galaxy. What they didn't expect was Chekov and co going to the planet and providing Khan with a ship.

There will be a reboot of Next Generation.

And it will not be as good as the original. Because it will not have Patrick Stewart.

All those Human Aliens don't look to human with their clothes off...

It's my only way to rationalize the sheer number of Human Aliens.

The First Contact protocols of the Prime Directive don't apply to pre-warp civilizations that other alien races have already contacted.

  • The Ventaxians in TNG: Devil's Due were already contacted by the Klingons. The same seems to apply to the Capellans, Elasians, Organians and other species from TOS.
    • They tend to flip-flop on this a lot, but mention has been made that the Prime Directive theoretically applies to all non-Federation cultures (how this connects with diplomatic relations and/or warfare is unclear). Those who have their own FTL capability or have already found out about aliens in general are not really going to be "interfered" with in a significant fashion by the revelation that one more alien government with FTL also happens to exist.

The reason the Q were so afraid of Amanda Rogers is that half-human (or other being), half-Q hybrids do exist.

These beings are in between a High Tech Species and Sufficiently Advanced Aliens; they can access the power of the continuum only through constructed devices (sort of like the Q weapons Voyager uses when they enter the Continuum), though they can use the Continuum connection in its pure form if they are desperate. As a result of not promptly finishing them off in the past, they are stuck "babysitting," as in the case of Trelane.

  • At one point, there was a lot of Q interbreeding with the residents of Gallifrey, resulting in beings capable of regenerating and time/dimensional travel that is dependent on a certain physical object. The TARDIS provides a link which translates Continuum energy into a usable form.

Q gave Picard the powers of the Continuum, but was made human as a result.

This is why Patrick Stewart looks almost the same as he did in Star Trek the Next Generation, while John de Lancie looks much older.

After the death of Odan's host in "The Host", Starfleet/the Federation modified their transporter technology to enable joined Trill to safely use them

This is why the Trill in Deep Space Nine can use the transporters with no problem.

The Q existed in our universe before they gained noncorporeality/omnipotence

This is why they are so concerned with the behavior of humanity in the main Trek universe, but the Mirror Universe is still allowed to exist.

Charlie X will grow up to become Charles Xavier.

This theory mostly came about because of the name similarity, but it still works.

The Star Trek universe is an alternate universe to our own, caused by time travel from our future.

Some villian from our universe is gonna time travel back to the 1980's, provide humanity with advanced genetic engineering technology in a vain attempt to make us destroy ourselves, and therefore cause the Eugenics Wars of the 1990's (which we all know didn't happen).

  • Didn't that pretty much happen on Voyager?

The Prime Directive is what keeps the Federation from becoming the Alliance.

Think about what the Prime Directive does - it prevents interference with other cultures, usually less advanced. Now consider River's primary criticism of the Alliance from Serenity - they meddle with other cultures without the right. For all the problems the Prime Directive has caused over the years, its existence keeps Starfleet's Knight Templar tendencies in check so that they don't feel justified in invading and controlling other cultures just because they know better.

The Breen are furries, either actually canoid or humanoids that think they are.

And that's what they're hiding under those refrigeration suits. (This hypothesis is provided by a certain Dax).

The Breen are gas creatures

They live in the upper atmosphere of their home planet (which, Weyoun notes, is actually quite temperate). The sealed refrigeration suits actually serve the purpose of reducing their volume and allowing them to take Humanoid shape in order to facillitate interaction with other cultures.

  • That might explain why they don't have blood.

Anytime a character who is offscreen pages or gets paged and we don't see where they are, it's because they're in the bathroom.

Trek characters don't have Bottomless Bladders. Count the number of times a character is summoned somewhere and all we hear is a voice and "I'll be right there." Likewise, count how often a character is called by somebody offscreen and we don't see them. In every single one of these situations, the person we don't see is on the can. The exceptions are Odo and Data, who would be doing something just as embarrassing if we were to see them.

  • Odo would probably in his can, er, jar.

Chekov's "Russian inwentions" are completely made up.

He just likes to screw with everybody. Seriously. Watch the first time he says that Russia invented something, he's got this little smirk like, "Hehe, they actually think that I think that's true!"

This is an old one, but The Federation in both Star Trek and Blake'sSeven are the same group; both are propoganda, one by The Resistance, the other by The Federation.

The smooth-forehead Klingons aren't Klingons

The human-looking "Klingons" in the original series weren't Klingons per se, they were a subjugated race which was part of the Klingon empire. They were referred to as Klingons because they worked for Klingons, in other words. This has precedent in real life; when the USSR was still around, some people would refer to anyone living in the Russian-dominated USSR as 'Russian' even if they were Ukranian or Uzbek or whatever.

  • Jossed: an arc in Enterprise reveals that the smooth-headed Klingons are Klingons who are/were infected by a virus.

The UESPA is still pulling strings here and there in the background...

... because it's the public face of Section 31, and always has been.

The Mirror Universe was created during the events of The City on the Edge of Forever

When McCoy saved Edith, causing Hitler to win WWII and take over the world, the changes rippled further in time, to the mindset that led to the shooting of the Vulcan emissary in 2063, and further to the creation of the Terran Empire that has persisted in the mirror universe throughout Trek history. Consider:

  • Spock mentions that the Guardian can move them through time AND dimensions
  • The Guardian says that if they succeed, "it will be as if none of you ever went at all."
  • Put these two together and it suddenly seems as if the Guardian has not necessarily rectified the timeline; it's merely moved them into a universe where everything is as it was before. However, the other universe may still exist.
  • Moreover, they were briefly in the mirror universe just after it was created by McCoy. When the Enterprise disappears from above the Guardian's planet, it's not that it was never built; it's that it's halfway across the galaxy, destroying some innocents while Spock tends his beard.
    • In "In A Mirror, Darkly," Mirror Phlox surveys the difference between Earth literature in the two universes and finds differences stretching back centuries (though he states that Shakespeare is essentially the same). The implication is thus that the universes have been diverging since much earlier than the Depression.
    • Mirror Phlox's survey of the literature may be accurate, but the implication that the divergence came earlier does not necessarily follow. Fascists and Communists have a well-known history of censorship and historical revisionism that, for the Nazis especially, included fictional works as well. If all the literature from Mirror Phlox's universe comes from Nazi-authorized editions, one can well imagine why he thinks the characters from the other universe's literature seem overly "weak and compassionate" compared to those from his own. Moreover, other than maybe The Merchant of Venice, the Nazis probably wouldn't have felt the need to revise much of anything in Shakespeare's plays.
  • Further proof: notice that the salutes used in the Mirror universe are a combination of the ancient Roman salute and the Nazi salute. Maybe victorious Hitler, in what would prove to be a trend for the Terran Empire command structures, ultimately succumbed to infighting and a mutiny from Mussolini, who admired both the ancient Roman Empire and Hitler's new German one. Later leaders may have altered the salute depending on whether they admired Hitler or Mussolini more.
    • Further alteration of the symbols suggests further infighting in decades that followed. In Archer's time, the Terran Empire is symbolized by a mashed-up sphere showing the continents from both hemispheres of Earth with a sword stuck through it. By Kirk's time, the picture is of only the Western hemisphere with the sword stuck through it.
    • What this all means? Mussolini's revolt led to a World War III something like the Eugenics Wars in which a united North American Empire ultimately prevailed over Mussolini's New Roman Empire, and then decided to annex and rehabilitate the Eastern hemisphere, incorporating it into the united Terran Empire with the whole world included in the logo as a gesture of good will.
    • Later, when Empress Hoshi Sato made her bid for the throne, most of the Western hemisphere surrendered and submitted, but the proud heirs of Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini fought bitterly against her, forcing her to target their cities with the Defiant's phasers and photon torpedoes and lay waste to much of their hemisphere until they surrendered. After that, she altered the logo and cut their hemisphere out of it as a symbol of her disdain for them. It would not be restored until the time of a certain bearded Vulcan named Spock...

Kirk has some sort of chip in his brain which alows him to make log entries anywhere anytime

Kirks log enties are used in most TOS episodes to keep the audience up to date on the story. If you listen to the tenses Kirk uses he talks about the events up to that point as having only just happened/still happening. For example 'We have been captured by ...' rather then 'We were caught by ...'. But in nearly all cases Kirk is in a position where he clearly has no recording equipment and/or can't risk being caught speaking out loud. I suggest that Kirk has some sort of chip implanted which alows him to record log entries with his brian. This may be so that if a captain should die on a mission as long as they recover his body they can find out what happened.

The Vulcans were a quasi-religious cult that left the mutual homeworld (Romulus) and started a whacky colony.

The Romulans have a large Empire. The Vulcans have one planet. It is usually implied (mainly by Vulcans) that the Romulans are the ones who left, but it would make more sense if it were the other way round. On Romulus this odd cult formed that eschewed emotion in favour of logic. They end up being unpopular and either leave, or are forced out, and eventually settle on the planet Vulcan. Eventually they meet the Terrans and the UFP is formed. From the perspective of the Romulans, these Earth people bumped into the crazy colonials and sided with them, which goes some way to explain the antipathy between the Empire and the Federation.

  • We never see them onscreen, but the Vulcans do at least have more than one planet.

The reason the Borg went from a hive mind to an individual queen in charge was due to Hugh's individuality.

We saw in the Descent two parter that the TNG crew's plan to infect the Borg with individuality via Hugh worked, but when the collective sensed what was happening, they disconnected Hugh's cube before the infection could spread. What if, before they were disconnected, a female drone was able to transmit her consciousness to another cube? Rather than infect other drones with her individuality, she instead used her individuality to dominate and take control of the collective, thereby becoming queen of the Borg hive mind. The Queen being an individual consciousness that controls but is not a part of the collective would explain so much IMHO, like her fetish for inhabiting female drones that possess a similar physical appearance (because they look like her original body); why when a Borg queen is killed another pops up (because it's the same consciousness in different bodies); and, perhaps more importantly, why she doesn't seem to be part of the hive mind, and when encountering problems that could easily be solved by merging minds, she never does (because, as an individual, she is reluctant, even fearful of merging with the hive mind, because it might mean losing her individuality and/or control over the collective).

Gary Seven was a Time Lord.

He is capable of time travel, picks up a human female companion, carries a high-tech multipurpose tool, and comes from a planet that is undetectable to humans.

Holograms aren't a thing.

...just a generic term for simulation technology, in the same way that "video game" doesn't necessarily imply 2D, 3D polygonal, 3D voxel, or any other specific technology. Thus there are no inconsistencies in what holograms can do, because holograms can do whatever the holodeck is equipped to do: some can replicate food, clothes, and pheromones; some just project sprites.

  • This is pretty similar to my working theory. There are many different technologies involved in the Holodeck. When you just need to see something, you get a holographic projection. When you need simple touch, force fields come into play. If it's more involved, like food, pheremones, and things that can't be projected by line of sight, they're replicated with the to-site element from the transporters.

Spock is Xehanort and the Kingdom Hearts world all comes from the insane dreams he has from repressing violent emotions.

And not just because Leonard Nimoy voices him! Consider this. When a Vulcan sleeps he releases the repressed emotions of the day. This can be done through dreams and thoughts. Spock could have repressed the annoyance and exasperation towards lesser minds and the emotional. He views logic as cold, rational, and sometimes dark, but overall the better choice. Because he strives to repress these emotions more than a normal Vulcan to prove himself, the dreams are more wild. Thus, he dreams he is a master of his darkness and logic, and must fight the emotional and light of the lesser minds in an insane world where people fight with giant keys.

  • Seems legit.

Section 31 caused the supernova that destroyed Romulus.

Around the end of Deep Space Nine, Section 31 was attempting to deal with a possible future Federation-Romulan War. Although most of this involved political maneuvering, the near-destruction of Earth in Nemesis probably convinced them that more drastic measures were necessary, especially since the Romulans had been a major threat to the Federation for a very long time. Since the Dominion already had the capacity to generate a supernova, Section 31 already had a method they could reverse-engineer and modify as needed. As for Spock's attempt to stop it, that failed due to the supernova occurring earlier than expected, which was probably a result of deliberate misinformation.

  • The online game confirms that the supernova was actually caused by a splinter group of Remans in order to plunge the Empire into chaos and ensure their peoples freedom from slavery.

Vulcans are in high demand for Straight Man roles in Federation comedy.

Let's see... a legendary ability to not crack up, taught from early childhood how to rationalize away anything and how to do rhetorical backflips, hardly any room in their heads for ego... frankly, the moment one of them decides the stereotypical Vulcan life of quiet dignity is not strictly logically necessary, they may just have it made (admittedly, there would probably be low supply). The ones we've seen on TV are The Comically Serious often enough for this to work.

Interaction with the Mirror Universe accounts for much of the erratic continuity.

Consider how unlikely it is that all of the characters aboard the ISS Enterprise in both Archer's time and Kirk's would be exactly the same ones as those who are aboard the USS Enterprise in each respective time. Consider too how unlikely it would be that Kirk and Mirror Kirk would just happen to be beaming up with landing parties exactly the same as each other from the very same planet at the very same time in their respective universes such that an anomaly in the transporter could exchange them without anybody realizing what happened at first.

How can all of these incredibly improbable coincidences ever have occured? Because they aren't coincidences. The fate of each universe is intertwined with the other, and what the people in one universe do invariably has some effect on what their counterparts in the other universe are doing. This effect works both ways: the reason Mirror Kirk has almost entirely the same crew as his counterpart despite all of the infighting and backstabbing on all of the Terran Empire's ships is because the other Kirk's decisions indirectly affect Mirror Kirk's decisions through the mystical link between their universes. Meanwhile, as Kirk discovers when he gets back to his own universe, a version of the ensign who was Mirror Kirk's "captain's woman" has just signed on to his ship as well because that's what her counterpart decided to do in the Mirror Universe earlier. Whenever the continuities happen to slide out of synch with each other, such as when someone dies in one universe and is still alive in another, various events inevitably occur to resynchronize them.

This may also account for the occasional anomalies in various characters' behavior patterns: whenever Mirror Kirk does something irrational that leads to someone living who would otherwise have died, that's because his counterpart is rescuing the very same person in his universe. Whenever the regular Kirk takes a foolish chance that gets a Red Shirt killed, that's because Mirror Kirk is having that very same Red Shirt executed for some infraction or other in his universe. This goes as far back as Archer's time or maybe even further: Forrest ultimately was doomed to die in the one universe because he had already died in the other. Likewise, though Hitler may actually have won World War II in the Mirror Universe, he may ultimately have succumbed to a case of Pyrrhic Villainy that ultimately gave the USA greater influence over the Terran Empire.

Maybe by Sisko's time, whatever the Mirror Universe's residents did to prevent further crossovers is now causing the universes to decouple such that they aren't such a strong influence on each other anymore... or maybe not. Didn't Sisko's wife get herself killed in both universes? Still, this would explain some of the unlikely turns of events that otherwise just seem to be contrived coincidences. It's not so much that A Wizard Did It as that The Mirror Universe Did It.

  1. maybe technology, maybe time travel technique