How to Watch Star Trek in Order (2023) Complete Timeline

How to Watch Star Trek in Order (2023) Complete Timeline

As a devoted Star Trek fan who has ventured into the captivating depths of the franchise, I'll gladly share my ultimate guide on how to watch Star Trek in order.

Follow along as we navigate through the series, episode by episode, and prepare for an out-of-this-world journey through the cosmos! Let's get started!

Quick Viewing Order

  1. Star Trek: Enterprise 
  2. Star Trek: The Cage
  3. Star Trek: Discovery seasons 1-2 
  4. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 
  5. Star Trek: The Original Series 
  6. Star Trek: The Animated Series 
  7. The first six Star Trek films 
  8. Star Trek: The Next Generation 
  9. Star Trek films 7-10: Generations up to Nemesis 
  10. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 
  11. Star Trek: Voyager 
  12. Star Trek: Lower Decks 
  13. Star Trek: Prodigy 
  14. Star Trek: Picard seasons 1-3 
  15. Star Trek: Discovery seasons 3-4

*Films are in italics 

Star Trek Chronological Viewing Order

1. Star Trek: Enterprise (Year: 2151-2161) 

Star Trek: Enterprise (Year: 2151-2161)

The Star Trek: Enterprise is a prequel to The Original Series. Based on the Star Trek timeline, this series is the earliest by timeline.

Its story revolves around the Earth’s first-ever warp five capable ships, the USS Enterprise NX-01, captained by Captain Jonathan Archer.

When Earth Starfleet launched its first starship, Archer took his human crew deep into space. They had their first contact with several Star Trek alien staples. 

The Star Trek series also began the involvement of humans in the Temporal Cold War when they first encountered the Star Trek aliens in Cabal.

Looking for a cool birthday party idea? Playing the Star Trek Enterprise will make your Trekkie guests go wild! 

2. Star Trek: The Cage – The Original Series one-off pilot episode (Year: 2254)

"Star Trek: The Cage" is a one-off pilot episode of the original series of Star Trek, set in the year 2254.

It follows Captain Christopher Pike and the crew of the starship USS Enterprise as they encounter a powerful alien race that can create lifelike illusions.

The episode explores themes of humanity, morality, and the potential of space exploration.

3. Star Trek: Discovery seasons 1-2 (Year: 2255)  Star Trek: Discovery seasons 1-2 (Year: 2255)

The Star Trek: Discovery seasons 1-2 is next on our list. This is the first series to feature Michael Burnham, an officer, as the main character. Burnham is the USS Discovery NCC-1031’s science specialist. 

In the first Star Trek Discovery season, Michael and her crew dealt with a galaxy on the brink of war. While in the second Star Trek Discovery season, she and her crew had to chase The Red Angel, a mysterious entity. It even showed Michael and her crew embark on a one-way trip to the furthest distance ever. You'll also find several Star Trek decor ideas in this series!

4. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Year: 2259)

It follows the adventures of Captain Christopher Pike, Spock, and Number One aboard the USS Enterprise.

Set in the prime timeline, the series showcases their exploration of uncharted territories, encounters with alien species, and the triumphs and challenges they face while upholding the principles of the Federation in a rapidly evolving galaxy.

This remarkable series captures the spirit of the original Star Trek, immersing us in a universe teeming with breathtaking exploration, riveting encounters with alien civilizations, and the unwavering dedication of our intrepid crew.

5. Star Trek: The Original Series (Year: 2265-2269) 

Star Trek: The Original Series (Year: 2265-2269)


The Star Trek: The Original Series is the series that started it all. While most Trekkies find this series to be the “first” series that should be watched when beginning to watch the show, some still prefer it to be in the third place chronologically. 

It also followed the adventures of Captain Kirk and his First Officer Spock as they boldly went to a place where no one had gone before to explore strange new worlds.

This series showcased the return of Leonard Nimoy as Spock and many other episodes such as the Space Seed. 

We love Mr. Spock so much that we collected Spock action figures and other incredible Star Trek toys over the years!

6. Star Trek: The Animated Series (Year: 2269-2270) 

Star Trek: The Animated Series (Year: 2269-2270)


The Star Trek: The Animated Series was originally and formally titled the Star Trek and The Animated Adventures of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek.

This animated series Star Trek was a continuation of the USS Enterprise’s voyages in Star Trek The Original Series. The Star Trek: The Animated Series had the same cast in the two Star Trek series except for Ensign Chekov. 

The entire Star Trek animated series was mainly voiced by the original cast from the previous series.

Some episodes were sequels to The Original Series Star Trek, such as “Once Upon a Planet,” “More Tribbles, More Troubles,” and “Mudd’s Passion.”

At the same time, the other Star Trek episodes were the original concepts of Gene Roddenberry, the Star Trek’s creator, which weren’t used before The Original Series concluded. 

The Star Trek show mainly featured a handful of innovative technologies like the aqua shuttle and the recreation room.

Furthermore, it also featured many non-humanoid alien species and alien officers aboard the Enterprise, which weren’t featured within the Star Trek original series’ budget. 

7. The first six Star Trek films (Year: 2273-2293) 

The first six Star Trek films (Year: 2273-2293) 

The first six Star Trek movies happened approximately three years after Kirk’s adventures aboard the Enterprise.

Kirk became the Admiral at Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco when he decided to reunite with the Enterprise crew to investigate the mysterious cloud of energy wreaking havoc in space. 

The Star Trek films were The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, The Final Frontier, and The Undiscovered Country. 

You can check out our favorite Captain Kirk quotes here

8. Star Trek: The Next Generation (Year: 2364-2370) 

Star Trek: The Next Generation (Year: 2364-2370) The Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) followed nearly an entire century after the initial five-year journey of the USS.

Enterprise, when the USS Enterprise-D begins its exploration mission. Seventy years after the undertakings of Star Trek VI, humans and Klingons have finally found peace.

However, Patrick Stewart, aka Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and the Next Generation crew still encountered many hostile alien life forms in the Star Trek: The Next Generation series. 

Star Trek: The Next Generation series also featured the incarnation of the famous starship. It is much larger than the starship captained by Captain James T. Kirk a century earlier. In addition, the starship carried more crews aboard.

However, the crew’s mission was no longer limited to a mere five-year mission in the Next Generation. We found plenty of Star Trek gift ideas in this series!

9. Star Trek films 7-10: Generations up to Nemesis (Year: 2293-2379) 

Star Trek films 7-10: Generations up to Nemesis (Year: 2293-2379)

The Star Trek films 7-10: Generations - Star Trek: Nemesis focused on the passing of the torch from Captain James T. Kirk to Picard and the epic conclusion of Picard and his crew’s adventures and five-year mission aboard the Enterprise-D.  

Like the First Contact, the Star Trek Generations mostly took place in 2371, although the Star Trek movie opened in 2293, right after the events of Star Trek VI.

In contrast, Star Trek: Nemesis happened four years after the Star Trek Generations. When the Star Trek Voyager and Star Trek Deep Space Nine events concluded, Picard and the Enterprise-D took their final mission together. 

In the Star Trek Generations, Romulan’s new leader wreaked havoc on the Federation, which instigated an investigation for the Enterprise. Soon, they found out that the new leader was Picard’s genetic clone.

10. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Year: 2369-2375) 

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Year: 2369-2375)

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9) started approximately five years after The Next Generation’s start.

The Star Trek motion picture concurrently began to run with Picard’s voyage. Unlike the other series, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine did not occur aboard a Starfleet ship.

Instead, the show focused on the defensive, political, and commercial space station Deep Space Nine. The Star Trek DS9 is an outpost situated near the mouth of a stable wormhole on the far-flung places of explored space.  

It also followed Sisko’s command on the Deep Space Nine, even though the Deep Space Nine station actually belonged to the natural inhabitants of nearby Bajor.

These inhabitants requested Starfleet’s protection and presence right after Bajoran freedom fighters finally ended the ruthless Cardassian occupation of their world.

11. Star Trek: Voyager (Year: 2371-2378)  

Star Trek: Voyager (Year: 2371-2378)

Star Trek: Voyager essentially functioned as the fourth season of the Original Series.

It focused on the adventures of Captain Kathryn Janeway when she chased the Maquis vessel. She was aboard the USS Voyager when Maquis has suddenly transported 70,000 light-years away. 

The Star Trek Voyager is relatively smaller than either Picard’s or Kirk’s starships. Voyager could only accommodate 150 crews.

However, it is powerful and fast and even can land on any planet’s surface in the Star Trek universe. 

Amidst being a small vessel, it is considered one of the most technologically advanced vessels in Starfleet.

12. Star Trek: Lower Decks (2380)

"Star Trek: Lower Decks" (2380) is an animated series that follows the support crew aboard the USS Cerritos, a less glamorous Starfleet ship.

The show offers a humorous and irreverent take on the Star Trek universe, highlighting the often overlooked adventures and mishaps of the lower-ranking officers as they navigate their duties, relationships, and unexpected encounters.

13. Star Trek: Prodigy (Year: 2383)

"Star Trek: Prodigy" (Year: 2383) is an animated series that follows a group of rebellious teenagers who discover an abandoned Starfleet ship, the USS Protostar [1].

Guided by an enigmatic hologram of Captain Kathryn Janeway, they embark on a thrilling journey across the galaxy, learning valuable lessons about teamwork, bravery, and the principles of Starfleet.

14. Star Trek: Picard (Year: 2399) 

Star Trek: Picard (Year: 2399)

This series is focused on Captain Picard twenty years after his faceoff with Shinzon [2].

Picard has already retired and currently worked in his family’s vineyard. He miserably mourned the death of his friends and Romulus.

This planet had been destroyed when its sun went supernova in 2387 in the Star Trek universe.

When Picard learned about the stranger’s connection with him, he was then pulled into his one last mission. 

15. Star Trek: Discovery seasons 3-4 (32nd Century)

In seasons 3-4 of "Star Trek: Discovery" (32nd Century), the crew of the USS Discovery finds themselves stranded in a future where the Federation is on the brink of collapse.

They navigate a chaotic universe, facing new allies and enemies, as they work to restore hope and bring the Federation back to its former glory while uncovering the mysteries of the Burn and the Emerald Chain.

Is There Another Way/Order to Watch the Series? 

Yes, there is another way/order to watch the Star Trek saga. You can watch it with the order based on the released date or in-universe continuity.

The Star Trek films and eight TV shows typically jump around the franchise’s chronology with prequels, sequels, and bits in between. 

However, we suggest that you watch the Star Trek show chronologically, especially if you are a newbie Trekkie.

We also suggest watching the Star Trek TV shows first, followed by Star Trek movies. 

You may start watching the Star Trek shows/series, starting with the Final Frontier, Strange New Worlds, or The Undiscovered Country. 

But the franchise has two distinct timelines as separate entities that may confuse you, like the alternate timeline or alternate reality in Kelvinverse or Kelvin Timeline. 

Where To Watch Stark Trek?

Paramount + Logo

Star Trek can be streamed on Paramount+ [3], the primary platform for all the latest series and a vast library of past episodes and movies. Additionally, select Star Trek content may also be available on other streaming platforms like Sling and Pluto TV.


Should you watch Star Trek in chronological order? 

Yes, our team recommends watching Star Trek in chronological order of release date.

Although some Trek fans claim that The Next Generation is essentially a fresh start, there is a fair chance that you will miss various back-references. 

What is the most popular Star Trek series? 

Although the series ran for three seasons, most Star Trek fans widely believed the Star Trek: Next Generation to be the best series to start watching the whole franchise.

So, it is not surprising to know that it is, by and large, the most popular series. Although some fans also claim that The Original Star Trek Series and the Kelvin Timeline are equally as popular.  

Can I watch new Star Trek without watching old ones?

Yes, you can enjoy the new Star Trek series without having watched the older ones.
The new series are designed to be accessible to newcomers, offering fresh storylines and characters while still capturing the essence of the Star Trek universe.

Final Thoughts

Based on my experience, Star Trek series and movies were not released in chronological order [4], so we hope that you find this guide helpful for your binge watching.

Starting with Star Trek: Enterprise through Star Trek: Discovery seasons 3-4  the subsequent shows and movies allows you to appreciate the evolving storytelling, character arcs, and the rich history of this beloved franchise.

Whether you choose to follow the chronological order or the release order, each entry offers its own unique contributions to the Star Trek legacy. 

And if you happen to be a solid Star Trek fan, too, you may also want to check out Star Trek toys and collectibles here. 

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