We’re living in an incredible era to be a fan of Star Trek. Star Trek: Discovery is going strong, and coming back for a third season soon. Star Trek: Picard just launched to wide acclaim. Between the other upcoming shows like Lower Decks, and the number of books, comics, and games, there are so many ways to experience new stories in the Final Frontier. And there’s another huge milestone in our fandom to talk about this week: Star Trek Online has opened the gates on their Tenth Anniversary Celebration, a brand new update called Star Trek Online: Legacy.
In Legacy, Captains will team up with Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine and, for the first time, Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham. You’ll revisit the planet Excalbia, from The Original Series episode “The Savage Curtain.” But if you’re just looking to jump into this MMORPG for the very first time, ten years of content seems like a lot to catch up on — after all, STO has more episodes than The Original Series, Enterprise, The Next Generation, and Deep Space Nine. So we’re here to help you out with a guide to what’s been going on in the Galaxy.
A brief warning: There are spoilers for the main story of Star Trek Online here.
Star Trek Online is best described as a permanent Star Trek convention, or the Trek theme park you’ve always wanted. You create a character from an established race or one of your own design, and go on adventures where no one has gone before. You’re joined on these adventures with a cast of over 40 Star Trek actors, reprising their original roles on the show, including Leonard Nimoy and LeVar Burton. Wear the uniforms from the show you like the most (including the 2399-era uniform from Star Trek: Picard), and command your favorite starship. You’ll join a community of millions of other Trekkies, in a giant wonderful community.
The story of the game takes place in the year 2411, twelve years after the events of Star Trek: Picard. It’s been two years since a brutal war between the Klingons and the Federation, brought on by interference from the shape changing Undine — better known to you as Species 8472 from Star Trek: Voyager. The galaxy has changed tremendously since the supernova which destroyed the Romulan homeworld. While the brutal Tal Shiar, and their Empress Sela (Tasha Yar’s child, who first appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation), have tried to regain a grip on their empire, a faction of like-minded Romulans have split off and formed their own Republic, vowing to move away from their Empire’s sinister past.
These three major factions of the galaxy spent a year testing each other, hoping to gain the upper hand, when everything changed. The Iconians, an ancient race that presided over the galaxy long before the Federation, returned and declared open war on the citizens of the galaxy. They were enraged, and seemingly all powerful. Players even discovered, through Sela herself, that the Iconians were responsible for the destruction of Romulus. The war was going badly for the newfound alliance of Federation, Klingons and Romulans, and more and more desperate methods were attempted, including building a Krenim Timeship from Star Trek: Voyager, with the goal of erasing the Iconians from the timeline entirely.
It was during these experiments that a new discovery was made — the Iconians had once been a peaceful people, until they were betrayed in the distant past. The heroes of the alliance and the former Empress, Sela, journeyed back in time to this era of Iconian history, in an attempt to stop the war. There, they found the Iconian’s most sacred object, a World Heart. These past, peaceful Iconians were desperate to get the object off world, but Sela stole it for herself, in revenge for Romulus. T’Ket, the most warlike Iconian, swore revenge on the Romulans, creating a causality loop where Sela herself was ultimately responsible for the destruction of her homeworld. In the end, a heroic figure from the Alliance returned the World Heart to the modern Iconians, creating peace through an act of diplomacy, not war.
Since the end of the Iconian War, the bonds between the major factions have only grown stronger. In 2411, they formalized this Alliance into the Khitomer Allied Fleet Service, the first formal service with members from all three factions. They’ve even launched the first ship jointly developed by Starfleet and the Klingon Defense Force. Even the Dominion, newly led by Odo, is joining this new venture.
But even in this era of unprecedented peace and cooperation, there are threats out there. J’Ula, sister to T’Kuvma, has traveled forward in time quite by accident, bringing with her a fleet of retrofitted Klingon vessels and a mysterious Mycelial weapon. How she will figure into the future of the galaxy remains to be seen.
A journey into the future of Star Trek Online is a journey to be surrounded by fascinating stories, fellow Trekkies, and a warm blanket of your favorite TV shows and movies. No matter what era of Trek you love, there’s something for you here, and now is the perfect time to jump in. While you’re waiting for the next episode of Star Trek: Picard, dive into the future of the Star Trek universe and see how all of your favorite characters have been.