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This Month in Trek: New Year, New Trek

What's going on in the world of Star Trek this month?

Star Trek: Picard

Each month, scours the internet for the best mentions, writing, art, crafting, and all-around creative endeavors from the global Star Trek community. Our picks for January include the launch of Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Voyager's 25th anniversary, and more!

January's biggest news is clear: after more than a year of waiting, Star Trek: Picard finally hit our streaming screens. Fans were stoked.

Patrick Stewart returned to Los Angeles to celebrate Picard and enjoyed the honor of having his handprints memorialised at the Chinese Theatre along side several TNG castmates.

It's safe to say that fans and critics have embraced Star Trek: Picard, and so much of that credit goes to the mastermind behind the camera of the show's first three episodes, Hanelle Culpepper.

One of the most important events of the premiere takes place on the planet Mars, and is referenced throughout the episode. Fans familiar with the red planet noted that Picard's depiction of its surface appearance was startlingly accurate. Over at the Planetary Society, Emily Lakdawalla spoke with visual effects supervisor Jason Zimmerman, who let us all in on a few secrets about getting it right.

"I was granted an interview with visual effects supervisor Jason Zimmerman, and I asked him. It turned out to be more traditional art than engineery simulation, just working from great images of Mars (“Google is always a visual-effects supervisor’s best friend,” he said, and I laughed, not admitting that it’s a science writer’s best friend, too)...

...For Zimmerman, making Mars so realistic was important to please fans. “In Star Trek, we really do try and honor the science of things because I think the fans specifically do care about those things, maybe more than some other sci-fi franchises. It’s a little daunting because it’s something that people know. So for us it was really just about doing a ton of research. As much as we could find—realistic images, photos, recreations and all of that, and then piecing it together to create the most faithful representation that we could. We definitely wanted Mars to be recognizable, and to be faithful to what it was supposed to look like based on NASA and everybody else that’s got pictures and recreations of it.”

January 16th marked Star Trek: Voyager's 25th anniversary, with "Caretaker" debuting that day in 1995. Captain Janeway herself, Kate Mulgrew, did some digging and shared her original Janeway uniform and director's chair from set. Some fans even did the same!

Was this a hint as to what we should expect from Riker's appearance on Star Trek: Picard or just some good ol' Dolly Parton sanctioned meme fun?

And finally, we could not get enough of these adorable finger puppets, created by fan Carl's mother. Nothing is more perfect for hours of entertainment!

Star Trek: Picard streams exclusively on CBS All Access in the United States, in Canada on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and OTT service Crave, and on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories.