We may know more isolated facts about the Franchise/{{Whoniverse}}. We may be more emotionally moved by the Franchise/{{Buffyverse}}, but in terms of a coherent sense of history, world-building, cross-series and cross-media continuity, you really can't beat the Trek Verse.

[[InternetBackdraft No matter what the fans say.]]

The '''Trek Verse''', aka the ''StarTrek'' [[TheMultiverse multiverse]], was invented by Creator/GeneRoddenberry for ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''. Initially no more detailed or self-consistent than any other SpeculativeFiction 'verse, it has become a place with a continuity which outstrips that of any other project on television. It is built up by the {{canon}} details from six television shows, an AnimatedAdaptation series, and thirteen feature films; there is also a [[Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse myriad of original novels]] that are not officially canon according to Creator/{{Paramount}} Pictures, which owns the franchise, but many fans consider them so anyway. (As for the several {{Comic Book Adaptation}}s, their quality varies wildly, so at least some of the older ones have fallen prey to FanonDiscontinuity.) It also spawns vast amounts of {{fanon}}, in the form of more FanFic than the human mind can safely comprehend. As for future installments, there is a fourteenth film in early pre-production, and a second season of ''Series/StarTrekDiscovery'' due sometime in 2019.

At least one planned series (''Assignment: Earth'') was to be set in the Trek Verse during the 1960s, but did not come to pass.

!! Timeline

The Trek Verse diverges from our universe some time between 1965 and 2000. The major divergence arguably occurred some time in the 1960s, with the creation of a group of genetically enhanced humans called Augments. The differences did not become visible until the 1990s, though, when that group (which included Khan), now adults, launched an international conflict called the Eugenics Wars. The exact impact of this war is hard to deduce, as there have been several [[RetCon retcons]] applied to allow TimeTravel stories to a recognizable contemporary Earth. At one point, it appeared that the Eugenics Wars had been retconned into the late 21st century, but that retcon was itself retconned into a simple inaccuracy (A character saying "two hundred years" when "three hundred years" was called for).

The "active" history of the Trek Verse covers the period of time during which mankind has spread out into nearby space, a period of approximately over 400 years, separated into four eras:

* '''The Pre-Trek era''': Mid 20th century to late 21st century. Radical scientific and political developments lead to devastating conflicts such as the Eugenics Wars (1992-1996) and [=WWIII=] (2026-2053) putting humanity on the verge of extinction. Later, Zephram Cochrane's launch of humanity's first ever warp-capable vessel, the ''Phoenix'', grabs the attention of Vulcans making the historic ''official'' FirstContact between humans and extraterrestrials. This paves the way for the greatest cultural and technological renaissance in human history nearly eliminating poverty, disease and war.
* '''The Enterprise era''': Early to mid 22nd century. Man's first forays into deep space. This era culminates with the foundation of a United Federation of Planets, of which Earth is a signatory member. ([[Series/StarTrekEnterprise ENT]])
* '''The Classic era''': Early to late 23rd century. A period of rapid expansion for the Federation. It is before or during this period that man reaches and surpasses the technological level of the rest of the major local species and becomes the dominant player in local politics. ([[Series/StarTrekDiscovery DIS]], [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries TOS]], [[WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries TAS]])
* '''The Modern era''': Mid to late 24th century. A period of internal conflict and consolidation. Despite tacit peace with the other local major powers, wars with distant powers such as the Romulan Empire, the Borg and the Dominion weaken the Federation. ([[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]], [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine DS9]], [[Series/StarTrekVoyager VOY]])

It establishes at least three separate universes -- The Main Trek Verse aka "The Prime Reality" as noted above, The MirrorUniverse (of the Terran Empire and later, uglier events in which the former subjects of the Empire are subject to backlash by everyone else), and the [[Film/StarTrek Kelvin Timeline]] aka "The [[Creator/JJAbrams Abramsverse]]" (consisting of the ''Pre-Trek'' and ''Enterprise'' eras as they were with a radically revamped ''Classic'' era), with hints of others, the most likely candidate being the alternate future of ''Enterprise'''s Temporal Cold War. This does not include the Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse, which adds an indeterminable number of extra continuities of its own. Note, however, that so far as anyone knows, the other Gene Roddenberry-developed properties like ''Series/EarthFinalConflict'' and ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' have nothing to do with Star Trek. It's almost complex as the many continuities of ''{{Transformers}}'', but at least the Trek mercifully interconnects them in ways that mostly make sense.

!! Species

The Trek Verse is rife with life, every third planet populated by HumanAliens, RubberForeheadAliens, or [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Godlike]] EnergyBeings all living on a PlanetOfHats. Some of the major players include:

* '''Bajorans:''' A mostly peaceful and spiritual race hardened by the rape of their homeworld by the Cardassians, they play a large role in [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]] where the titular space station hovers over their planet. The Federation wants them to become a member state but the two are opposed in some ways, including the Bajoran religion, especially the slightly xenophobic hardliner faction that wants both the Cardassians and the Federation to stay out.
* '''The Borg:''' [[HiveMind Cybernetic collective]] skilled in [[YouWillBeAssimilated adaptation and assimilation.]] Took over the role of [[StrawmanPolitical thinly veiled stand-ins]] [[DirtyCommies for communists]] from the Klingons in the Modern era. Generally treated as the single largest threat to the Federation, in part because they more or less ''cannot'' be negotiated with, have access to the knowledge of thousands of species and trillions of individuals and can adapt very quickly to almost any weapon used against them, rendering it useless, and partly because they are in some ways the Federation's dark reflection. A group that goes around incorporating other cultures into their own, in order to make the whole stronger, more complete, and more "perfect"? [[NotSoDifferent Did the writer just describe the Federation... or the Borg?]]
* '''Cardassians:''' Even more ScaryDogmaticAliens than the Romulans, introduced in the Next Generation era and a main antagonist of [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]; Expansionist, collectivist and many [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour 1984]] [[ThereAreFourLights overtones]]; they are brutal as colonial overlords and merciless with dissenters. They occupied the Bajoran homeworld until LaResistance got too much for them and actively try to subvert the treaty that forms the Cardassian [[TheNeutralZone Neutral Zone]] in order to control it. [[spoiler: They later side with The Dominion against the Federation. This ends ''[[LaserGuidedKarma horrifically]]'' for them, and by the latest point in the official timeline they've practically been reduced to a rump state due to the complete devastation of their entire nation, both homeworld and colonies.]]
* '''The Dominion:''' TheEmpire from another part of space, set to take over our side of the galaxy. Sort of a mirror version of the Federation, as it is comprised of many races, but unified through military force, with its most visible members being the Vorta and Jem'Hadar. Much of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' revolves around the war with them, and the consequences of this {{arc}} are sometimes felt in the other series. They also get to be stand-ins for [[AcceptableTargets the evil]] [[DrugsAreBad of drugs]], as their warriors are [[GovernmentDrugEnforcement addicted to one to keep them in line]].
* '''Ferengi:''' [[PlanetOfHats An entire race]] of [[CorruptCorporateExecutive slimy capitalists.]] The big-eared, big-nosed Ferengi value profit above all else, cheat and swindle as a way of life, have [[SpaceJews big ears and noses]], and are played by primarily Jewish actors. The Ferengi were originally meant to be the new BigBad for The Next Generation in the way that the Klingons were for the original series, but that fell through after one or two episodes when it became apparent how silly they were. Ferengi were later relegated to comedy relief, most famously in the character Quark on Deep Space Nine.
* '''Humans:''' A race that is characterized, ironically, [[HumansAreSpecial by their lack of strong defining characteristics]], as well as their disproportionately large numbers within the Federation colonies and Starfleet, especially during the classic era. Other unique aspects of humans include the comparatively high level of diversity within their own species, and their familiarity with their planet's pre-apocalyptic history and culture; which was a time of rampant violence, greed, and ignorance before the Third World War issued in a new cultural era. Earth, the human homeworld, is home to the Federation's governmental bodies and Starfleet, its military force; and is located in Sector 001 on Federation maps.
* '''Klingons:''' a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Proud Warrior Race]] of RubberForeheadAliens (originally white guys wearing fu manchus and shoe polish in [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries TOS]]; retconned in Series/StarTrekEnterprise), started out as enemies of the Federation, but later became tacit allies. Later stories focus on the internal struggles of the Klingon Empire as a power on the wane.
* '''Romulans:''' Secretive diaspora Vulcan sub-species who rejected the Vulcan drive for logic, but have cloaking devices, which makes up for it. [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Highly xenophobic and reliant on their secret police to keep order]], they are [[FantasyCounterpartCulture loosely inspired by the Roman Empire]] and their territory is the Romulan Star Empire. They are also somewhat a ProudWarriorRace but have fewer qualms about [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty sneaky tactics]] and value honor for the Empire higher than personal honor. They once got along with the Klingons but these fundamental differences and some nasty wars mean Romulans and Klingons hate each other's guts. [[spoiler:The new [[Film/StarTrek Trek reboot movie]] makes it canon that the Romulan homeworld was destroyed by a supernova, sending Nero back in time for revenge and starting the AlternateTimeline.]]
* '''Vulcans:''' A logical, long-lived species (who suppress their emotions) with close ties to humanity. They are best recognized for their pointed ears, [[Film/TheThreeStooges Moe Howard]] haircuts, a distinctive salute (see CrossCulturalHandshake), and a clever defensive attack wherein they can render a person unconscious by squeezing the neck (the famed Vulcan Nerve Pinch). Like humans, Vulcans went through a cultural turning point (although theirs was much more drastic), and their intense devotion to logic is a backlash against their wild, vicious past. [[StrawVulcan Much is made]] of the contrast between the rational, collected Vulcans and the more emotional and impulsive human characters.
!! Galactic Quadrants

The Milky Way galaxy is divided into four 90-degree wedges called ''quadrants''. These are:

* '''The Alpha Quadrant'''. This is home to the Humans, Vulcans, and a number of other minor races, all of whom have banded together to form ''The United Federation of Planets''. It's also home to the Bajorans, Ferengi, and Cardassians. Portions of the Klingon and Romulan Empires also extend into the Alpha Quadrant.
** The Federation occupies a region of space roughly 8000 light-years across. Since it's 50,000 light-years from the center of the galaxy to the edge, the Federation covers less than 3% of the alpha quadrant.
** Earth is located on the border of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.
* '''The Beta Quadrant'''. Major parts of the Klingon and Romulan empires are here. The Federation, likewise, claims some territories inside the Beta Quadrant. This is the least-discussed quadrant in the various TV series and movies, and as such little is known about it.
* '''The Delta Quadrant'''. Home to the Borg, and several dozen other species. Seemingly the [[CrapsackWorld most savage Quadrant]], every other lightyear is controlled by an extremely xenophobic and hostile race. This is the quadrant that the ''[[Series/StarTrekVoyager U.S.S. Voyager]]'' was lost in for 7 years.
* '''The Gamma Quadrant'''. Home to the Dominion. A permanent wormhole connects the Gamma Quadrant to the star system where the Bajorans live.
!! Treknology

Technology in ''Star Trek'' is as varied as the scriptwriters who invented it. However, despite some outright discontinuities in the availability or even [[ForgottenPhlebotinum existence]] of various pieces of Treknology, there are certain staples that show up again and again as the standard means by which the Federation (and most of the other major players) get things done:

* ArtificialGravity. Ubiquitous on all starships and space stations, it is possibly the most robust piece of technology in the 'verse. On-screen, it has only failed twice [[Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry as a result of]] [[Series/StarTrekVoyager enemy action]].
** It also failed once one screen due to a [[Series/StarTrekEnterprise technical malfunction]].
** And once on screen it was disabled for [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine medical/species reasons]].
* DeflectorShields. These are standard equipment on most starships. They consume a significant (but not excessive) amount of power, can withstand a sizeable amount of punishment, and are weakened in precisely predictable ways when damaged ("Shields down to 40%, Captain!"). Scaled-down versions of this technology are used to create smaller force fields, for such uses as prison doors that are vulnerable to power failures.
** A special kind of force field is employed by Starfleet in their cargo and shuttle bays, allowing shuttles to pass through without having to cycle through an airlock system. These bays can be decompressed in an emergency by shutting the force field off while the space doors are open, allowing hazardous material to be quickly removed from a ship, or even acting as an emergency propulsion system when a quick boost is needed.
* EverythingSensor, usually referred to as simply the ship's sensors. They can detect life forms, time travel, the entire subatomic particle zoo, and even alterations to the fabric of the universe, and can pinpoint not only the direction to any of these oddities but also the distance. However, their ability to locate a crew member planetside seems to be inversely proportional to the amount of peril said crew member finds himself in.
* FasterThanLightTravel, in the form of Warp Drive. Starships can travel several times, or even several hundred times, the speed of light -- but only under rare, [[GameBreaker non-repeatable]] conditions can they cross the entire galaxy in less than several decades. Starships under warp are fully aware of the sub-light universe they're travelling through, and may even (DependingOnTheWriter) engage each other in combat while travelling at warp speed.
** Speeds while travelling faster than light are given in warp units, where Warp 1 is equal to the speed of light and higher warp numbers represent progressively faster speeds. During the filming of TOS, there was no official warp speed scale, but after the series concluded it was unofficially decided that warp X = X[[superscript:3]] times the speed of light. In TNG, the system was formalized as warp X = X[[superscript:3.33333...]] times the speed of light ''up to warp 9'', and speeds asymptotically approached infinity at a hypothetical Warp 10. In the alternate future of the TNG finale, though, a starship was stated to be going "warp 13".
** It was established in an episode of TNG that [[GreenAesop excessive use of the warp drive damages the fabric of reality]], leading the Federation to establish a "speed limit" of warp 5 except in [[GodzillaThreshold emergency situations]]. The amount of attention paid to this detail in later episodes [[DependingOnTheWriter varies]], of course.
* FTLRadio, over [[SubspaceOrHyperspace subspace]]. DependingOnTheWriter, subspace radio either propagates infinitely fast (allowing for instantaneous two-way communication between distant starships and starfleet HQ), or takes days to cross the larger interstellar distances. A quadrant-spanning subspace relay network is usually involved, whether deliberately mentioned or not.
* RayGun, in the form of Federation phasers and Klingon disruptors. There are small handheld, and large starship-mounted, varieties. Hand-held phasers have a [[StunGuns "stun" setting]], useful for knocking out an adversary without killing it. Ship-mounted varieties are usually powerful enough to weaken an enemy ship's shields, but not so powerful as to destroy their target in a single hit. Depending on the scriptwriter (and the era), phaser beams travel either ''at'' the speed of light, or many times faster than light.
* StealthInSpace, in the form of the Cloaking Device. Thanks to the Treaty of Algeron, only the Romulans and Klingons posess this technology ... at least, ''officially''.
* {{Teleportation}}, called simply Transporters. They can operate over distances of several thousand kilometers, but are ''not'' long ranged enough to beam a person from the Earth to the Moon (unless someone comes up with a {{Technobabble}} way of doing so that only works for that one episode). They cannot operate through a starship's DeflectorShields. Several other local conditions can interfere with the operation of Transporters, usually in direct proportion to how much immediate danger an away-team is in.
* TractorBeam. Sometimes visible, sometimes not. Fighting a tractor beam with your ship's engines can put a heavy strain on your hull, and may threaten to tear you apart.

Starting in the Next Generation era, we also got:
* HardLight, used for entertainment on the Holodeck. Some Holodeck programs can take on a [[ArtificialIntelligence mind of their own]], though the computer that controls them never does. The system can also be used to create artificial crewmembers wherever holographic emitters have been installed, including emergency medical doctors.
* MatterReplicator technology, called simply Replicators. An outgrowth of Transporter technology, they can synthesize any object for which they carry a program, except living creatures.