19 Star Trek Facts to Beam Over in 2023
Updated · Mar 06, 2023
At a time when humans were still star-gazers rather than star-flyers, the original Star Trek was born.
Recently, the iconic sci-fi franchise has warp-sped to surging popularity, no longer the sole domain of old-school nerds. The blast from the past wave combined with the oh-so-powerful nostalgia led to the Star Trek expansion into numerous series spin-offs and feature films.
To make your stay on the “Enterprise” even more exhilarating, we have collected 19 Star Trek fun facts. Feast your eyes upon the exclusive list below.
(If you’re wondering about Star Trek’s enduring relevance, head on to YouTube and search for how to properly pronounce “Omicron.” It might prove helpful.)
Stellar Star Trek Facts to Boldly Read (Editor’s Choice)
- If you want to know Star Trek inside out, you need 39,000 minutes of Earth time to watch it all!
- The first Star Trek show ran for only 3 seasons and was dropped in favor of comedy sitcoms.
- In the Star Trek universe, what color is Mr. Spock’s blood? Apparently green because it is based on copper, not iron.
- The most famous Star Trek kiss scene marks the first interracial kiss on US TV.
- The most beloved cameo appearance is made by… Spock’s beard?
- James Doohan’s fingers might be fewer than ten, but he did survive a shot to the chest.
- Gene Roddenberry, the person who wrote Star Trek, had piloted a “flying fortress.”
- If Star Trek and Black Mirror had a baby… in fact, they did, and it was pure dystopian fun.
- To speak fluent Klingon, you need to grasp more than 4,000 words.
Star Trek Info
In order to “live long and prosper” like a true Vulcan, you first need to know a lot of Star Trek facts & trivia. Start with our carefully curated list of fundamentals here:
1. First things first—What is Star Trek?
You can definitely ask the Trekkies (the over-zealous Star Trek fans) about that… good luck getting a straight answer, though. The massive franchise covers five TV shows, an animated series, and 13 feature films. It makes for one hell of a binge-watch.
2. Star Trek aimed to “boldly go where no man has gone before.”
(Source: Star Trek)
You probably are quite familiar with what’s “Enterprise” and who is “Mr. Spock.” Before we continue with our Star Trek trivia facts, though, we’ll just clarify it for the more novice Trekkies out there.
The gist of the original story is that the “Enterprise” (that weirdly shaped starship) flies under Captain James Kirk’s command, while Mr. Spock is one of the most colorful characters and its first officer. Its purpose is to search other civilizations in the vast deepness of space.
The original takes place in the 23rd century so perhaps our great-great-great-grandchildren will need to learn the Vulcan salute in school.
3. Star Trek was actually canceled.
Don’t worry—the franchise likely won’t die anytime soon.
History has it, though, that the original Star Trek’s TV debut came in 1966, and the show ran for only three seasons until ‘69.
The reason it got canceled? Low ratings, of all things.
4. Star Trek was “inspired” by Vietnam.
Gene Roddenberry is more than the person who made Star Trek. The US pilot had flown a B-17 bomber (appropriately called “the flying fortress”) in WWII, and then served in the LAPD for a while. After that he set his sights on TV and sci-fi was never the same again.
Star Trek fun facts you need to know: the “Enterprise” is named after the “USS Enterprise (CV-6),” a US warship that proved its mettle both in Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway.
5. You will need exactly 651 hours and 48 minutes to watch all of Star Trek.
Which roughly translates to a little more than 27 whole days… if you decide to exclude the 13 movies, you can save a day.
We suggest you take a month-long break from work and the world and get going!
By the way, if you plan on googling how many Star Trek episodes there are in total, we’ve got you covered. Up until now, all series amount to 824 episodes but that number goes up with every passing day.
6. Star Trek tackles war, racism, and discrimination.
You’ll often see the uninitiated wondering why Star Trek is so popular. Allow us…
Unlike doomsday dystopias, Star Trek paints a bright future for humanity and the universe.
In it, it also pays to be smart. It doesn’t matter who you are and where you come from—it doesn’t make any difference if you’re Black or white, a Borg or a Romulan, a female or an androgynous alien. The only things that matter for your survival are your brain and skills.
Another portion of Star Trek facts trivia to dog-ear: The first (and the most famous) interracial kiss on TV was between Captain Kirk and his Lieutenant Uhura in 1968. It was well-received even in the American South.
Original Star Trek Trivia
Do you know what date Star Trek: the original series' first episode came out? The pop-culture phenomenon kicked off on September 8, 1966.
The original series started a sci-fi revolution—one that’s been going on for more than half a century now and has a fanbase like the unknown Universe—one that’s constantly expanding.
7. Star Trek was the first space Western with its “Wagon Train concept.”
1960s Star Trek was not a head-turning show but certainly had its unique flair. It captivated younger audiences through its pioneering take on complex social and moral issues wedged in a space opera setting.
It has also regaled fans with its fair share of humor. For example, the “Enterprise” interior often had nonsensical labels like “GNDN,” which reads “goes nowhere, does nothing.”
8. When fans speak, even the network has to listen.
Remember their names—Bjo & John Trimble. Also known as the power couple and hard-core sci-fi buffs who saved the first Star Trek series from cancellation. The duo initiated a nation-wide campaign for salvaging the show after rumors said it would not be renewed for a third season.
Fans across the US wrote letters to the network and even organized street protests in its name… and they won!
More Star Trek trivia facts for you: Bjo & John asked NASA to rename their shuttle “Enterprise” (NASA, the soft-hearted science geeks they are, eventually complied).
9. Many Star Trek actors had scars from WWII, some more visible than others.
(Source: Washington Post)
This one is reserved for the true know-it-all fans—do you know which actor from the original Star Trek series was missing a finger while filming? None other than James Doohan, who played “Scotty,” the kilt-wearing, Scottish-accented “miracle worker” of the original crew.
Old-timer fans love retelling this tidbit of Star Trek facts trivia. Doohan, a Canadian pilot in WWII, survived 6 machine-gun bullets on D-Day. Even though one bullet destroyed his middle finger, he still got lucky—a cig case saved him from taking a straight hit to the chest. Talk about a miracle worker!
As for the less visible WWII-related scars, George Takei (Star Trek’s Hiraku Sulu) spent several years as a child in a Japanese American internment camp. Some say that the experience might have nudged him towards acting.
Star Trek Franchises
The all-knowing Tomatometer places memorable Star Trek film titles such as the “Wrath of Khan” (1982) and the “First Contact” (1996) near the top, but J. J. Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” earned the freshest tomato score of 94% critical acclaim. Let’s check out what the rest of the franchise has in store.
10. Spock’s beard is the best-loved cameo character.
Which, if you ask us, isn’t surprising at all. However, prepare to be shocked with an example of our “the most obscure Star Trek characters, but world-famous actors” list. Before he became a Hollywood darling, Dwayne Johnson, The Rock, played a minor part as a fighter in an intergalactic arena.
Also, in one of the most sidesplitting episodes, Kevin Riley, a minor character, planned a ball on the “Enterprise,” sang away with an extreme panache (and awful tunes), and claimed “Captain” for a very short while.
11. Finally, Star Trek flies under one captain.
(Source: Memory Alpha)
After decades of changing its corporate keeper, it’s now clear who owns the Star Trek franchise. It’s consolidated under ViacomCBS following the merger of CBS and Viacom in 2019.
12. Quentin Tarantino might have taken a stab at a new Star Trek reboot.
Not everyone is a fan of the Star Trek remakes but there’s surely some positive things we can say about them—for one thing, they keep the franchise alive. Perhaps they score lower in comparison to the originals… but while they focused on the all-time favorite trio—Kirk, Spock, and McCoy—the remakes shed light on the other interesting characters as well.
13. The scene where all original Star Trek actors stood together.
(Source: Den of Geek)
In one of the episodes the whole crew is filmed on a deck together with a number of new faces. Most of those extras were actually crew members working on the series—writers and fans alike. Notables included Roddenberry’s personal assistant, Susan Sackett, Bjo Trimble, of course, and James Doohan’s twin sons.
Star Trek Revenue
The Star Trek universe has branched out across digital and media channels. Its revenue keeps skyrocketing as well. No doubt, being one of the most recognizable and highest-grossing media franchises of all time will get you there.
14. Star Trek can teach you how to act as a team.
(Source: The Mercury News)
If you’re insatiable for more Star Trek experiences, you can always strap your Oculus on, and dive into the Star Trek VR game “Bridge Crew.” For a mere $25, the story transports you on the starship “Aegis” as you seek out a new home for the Vulcan race.
The key to winning is teaming up and making decisions together with your team. Only then can you ace the mission.
15. Star Trek collectibles often come with sky-high prices.
(Source: Four Sales)
Action figures and collectibles come in all different shapes and costumes and form an indelible part of any die-hard fan’s shelf space. Trekkies are in luck here.
Playmates Toys, Inc. (only one of many licensed toy creators) has released more than 470 different Star Trek action figures between 1992 and 2000 alone.
Real-life collectibles are also a treat. For instance, Kirk’s original phaser from “Wrath of Khan” was recently sold for $57,500 while his Starfleet tunic and pants fetched $72,000.
16. How much is Star Trek worth, though?
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
Get ready for some seriously impressive numbers…
Just the movies alone have grossed almost $2.3 billion worldwide placing them as the 9th most profitable in the history of cinematic art.
The whole franchise is even more popular and awe-inspiring when it comes to numbers. With an estimated $10.6 billion in revenue, Star Trek is currently in the top 50 highest grossing media franchises worldwide of all time.
Star Trek in Pop Culture
You know you want to know more Star Trek fun facts!
Resistance is futile! Read on…
17. That Star Trek / Black Mirror episode that left us white-knuckled.
Crossovers are renowned for an extra dose of fan service. The dystopian TV series “Black Mirror” started its fourth season with an episode named “USS Callister.”
In the show, a talented programmer copies his colleagues’ DNA in a simulated Star Trek digital space. The creator acts as the ship captain until he is annihilated (digitally) and left unable to exit the game (physically).
18. Klingon is more widespread than Tolkien’s Elvish or GoT’s Dothraki.
You’re probably tempted to ask: is Klingon even a real language? It is now.
When linguist Marc Okrand came along, he put together a few scraps of Vulcan and a whole lot of Klingon to use in various episodes. Then, the official Klingon Dictionary was finally published in 1985, with basic grammar and vocabulary rules in it.
More on today’s Star Trek trivia facts that will definitely make you fun at parties: “petaQ” is the most used swear word in Klingon. It (maybe) translates to something bland like “enemy,” but it sure sounds harsher. Kids, don’t do this at home.
19. Klingon mixes Yiddish, German, Native American… and “everything nice”?
(Source: Klingon Wiki)
There is no sure way to find out exactly how many words there are in Klingon. The most reliable source out there, the KlingonWiki, places the number between 4,000 and 4,500 but the vocabulary keeps evolving. The hardest part, though, besides the pronunciation, is figuring out what really constitutes a “word.”
From the moment we laid eyes upon the original series, we have harbored a star-crossed love for Star Trek. With its never ending humor and firm grasp on serious subjects, new content and ever-growing fanbase, it manages to stay contemporary, innovative, and interesting even after so many years on the screen.
So, tell us, were you surprised by any of the Star Trek fun facts in our collection? It doesn’t matter if you are a newbie, navigating your way around the expansive universe, or an old-school fanatic with a huge collection of keepsakes and vast knowledge of everything Star Trek, we welcome you to this Trekkies community.
Live long and prosper!
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