10 Star Trek Events That Happened Between TOS & TNG’s Eras

The decades between Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation was an eventful period in Star Trek history. Although Captain James T Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the USS Enterprise-A helped secure peace with the Klingon Empire, new threats to the Federation continued to emerge. Meanwhile, the Romulan Star Empire continued to be an enemy to both the Klingon Empire and the Federation, leading to considerable bloodshed across the galaxy. Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy) continued his diplomatic career during this time, and found himself in conflict with his father over the next big conflict to face the Federation, while nursing ambitions for Romulan Unification.

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Many of the Star Trek: The Original Series characters continued to be involved in Federation business after the Enterprise was decommissioned. Captain Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) commanded the USS Leondegrance on a five-year mission, and during its subsequent tour as a training vessel. One of the Starfleet cadets to be trained on the Leondegrance was the future Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) of the USS Enterprise-D. As the previous generation settled into retirement, Star Trek‘s next generation rose through the ranks against a backdrop of military conflict and giant leaps forward for technology between the years of 2293 and 2364.

10 2293 – Captain Kirk Is Killed On The USS Enterprise-B

William Shatner as Captain Kirk on the Enterprise B in Star Trek Generations

Not long after the Enterprise-A was decommissioned, Kirk was one of the invited guests on the first flight of the USS Enterprise-B, commanded by Captain John Harriman (Alan Ruck). Not long into the flight, the Enterprise went to the aid of two starships caught in the wake of the Nexus energy ribbon. As the destructive energy ripped through the brand-new Enterprise, Kirk went down to engineering to adjust the deflector. He succeeded but was seemingly ejected into the vacuum of space, remaining lost inside the Nexus for almost 80 years until he was recovered by Captain Picard.

9 2294 – Scotty Is Missing, Presumed Dead

James Doohan as Scotty in Star Trek and the Enterprise transporters

En route to his retirement on the Norpin colony, Captain Montgomery Scott (James Doohan) was aboard the USS Jenolan when it crashed into a Dyson sphere. Low on supplies, the only two survivors of the crash, Scotty and Ensign Matt Franklin opted to wait inside the Jenolan’s pattern buffer. There was something fitting about the Enterprise’s legendary engineer being saved by Star Trek‘s transporter technology. 75 years later, Scotty was discovered by the USS Enterprise-D and helped the crew avoid a similar fate to the USS Jenolan.

8 2311 – The Romulans Withdraw After The Tomed Incident

The Romulans in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Neutral Zone"

The exact details of what happened during the Tomed Incident have never been made clear in Star Trek canon, but it’s known to be the last hostile encounter between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire for decades. Thousands of lives perished during the incident, which had wide-reaching consequences for both the Federation and the Romulans. In the wake of the incident, the Treaty of Algeron was signed, which banned Federation research into cloaking technology and redrew the boundaries of the Neutral Zone. The Romulans then withdrew from interstellar affairs for a considerable period of time.

7 2319 – The Cardassian Occupation Of Bajor Begins

Marc Alaimo as Gul Dukat and the Bajoran capital city

Although it would be nine years before they brutally annexed the planet, the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor began in 2319. Identifying the planet as a rich source of minerals, the Cardassian Union convinced the Bajorans to surrender their planet without a fight. This allowed the Cardassians to control Bajor’s peaceful and compliant populace via the Bajoran Occupational Government. This puppet government made the Cardassians’ military occupation look legitimate, which worked because the Federation didn’t intervene in the Occupation of Bajor as it was deemed a civil matter.

6 2327 – Picard Graduates From Starfleet Academy, Gets Stabbed By A Nausicaan

A young Picard is stabbed in Star Trek

Jean-Luc Picard graduated from Starfleet Academy at the top of his class in 2327, showing how far he’d come since first being rejected by the institution. However, as Doctor Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) later observed, he was still cocky, despite having matured considerably during his studies. This cockiness eventually put Jean-Luc in life-threatening danger when, as an Ensign, he was stabbed through the heart by a Nausicaan. Picard would have died if it weren’t for the artificial heart that he had fitted. When that artificial heart malfunctioned in Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s “Tapestry”, Q (John de Lancie) helped Jean-Luc realize that it was this near-death experience that made him into the ambitious and determined Starfleet Captain he would become.

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5 2336 – Dr. Noonian Soong Builds Data

Brent Spiner as Dr. Noonian Soong talking to Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation

Descended from a line of notorious eugenicists, Dr. Noonian Soong (Brent Spiner) moved into the field of artificial intelligence. Soong’s research into advanced A.I. took over most of his life, and after a very public setback that left him disgraced in the scientific community, he continued this work in secret on Omicron Theta. Working in partnership with his wife Juliana O’Donnell (Fionnula Flanagan), Soong built four androids with varying degrees of success. The fourth, Lore was a highly sophisticated Soong android, but he lacked the ethical subroutines and mental stability shown by the fifth, and most successful Soong android, Data (Brent Spiner), who was built in 2336.

4 2344 – The USS Enterprise-C Is Destroyed

Rachel Garrett, Captain of the Enterprise-C

Over 50 years after the end of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and relations between the Klingon Empire and the Federation were starting to fray. It was thanks to the noble sacrifice of Captain Rachel Garrett (Tricia O’Neill) and the crew of the USS Enterprise-C that Kirk and Spock’s legacy of peace remained intact. When the Romulans attacked a Klingon outpost at Narendra III, the Enterprise-C answered the distress call and was destroyed while protecting the outpost. The warlike Klingons respected the Enterprise-C’s honorable sacrifice, avoiding another potential Klingon war.

3 2346 – The Khitomer Massacre Orphans Worf And His Brother Kurn

Worf confronts his brother in Star Trek The Next Generation

The Romulan Star Empire continued to attack Klingon outposts in the years following the destruction of the USS Enterprise-C. A Klingon colony on Khitomer was attacked by the Romulans in 2346 after a Klingon collaborator, Ja’rod betrayed the colony’s defenses. Mogh, the father of Worf (Michael Dorn) and Kurn (Tony Todd) attempted to avert the catastrophe and unmask Ja’rod as a traitor, but he was too late. He and his wife were among the 4000 Klingon colonists who were killed, thus orphaning and separating the Sons of Mogh for many years. The tragedy began Worf’s Klingon problems in Star Trek: The Next Generation when Mogh was posthumously framed for Ja’rod’s betrayal.

2 2355 – The USS Stargazer Is Lost In A Battle With The Ferengi

Picard commands the Stargazer in Star Trek

By 2355, Captain Jean-Luc Picard had commanded the Constellation-class USS Stargazer for 22 years after the previous Captain was killed in battle. While exploring the Maxia Zeta system, the Stargazer was attacked by an unknown starship, later revealed to be Ferengi in origin. Although Picard was able to destroy the attacking Ferengi ship, he couldn’t save the Stargazer as it was too severely damaged. Abandoning ship and saving the lives of his remaining crew, Jean-Luc still had to face a court-martial hearing for losing the Stargazer. Picard was exonerated of all charges and awarded the Grankite Order of Tactics for originating the Picard maneuver.

1 2362 – Miles O’Brien Becomes The Hero Of Setlik III

O'Brien confronts the Cardassians in TNG, The Wounded

The Setlik III massacre was a formative moment in the backstory of Star Trek‘s Chief Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney) and one of the most notorious events in the Federation-Cardassian War. The conflict had been raging since 2347, but the sneak attack on the Federation outpost was a horrific war crime based on bad intelligence. Almost a hundred civilians were killed by the Cardassians, including the family of Captain Benjamin Maxwell (Bob Gunton) of the USS Rutledge. The Rutledge arrived too late to mount a rescue, but O’Brien did lead an attack against a Cardassian encampment, and saved the lives of 13 fellow officers earning him a reputation as “the hero of Setlik III.

A year later, Captain Jean-Luc Picard assumed command of the USS Enterprise-D, which would deal with the fallout from many of these big events in Star Trek history. Across seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Picard, and his crew had to deal with the aftermath of the war with Cardassia, re-establish relations with the Romulans, and confront the truth of the Khitomer Massacre. An alternate-reality version of the USS Enterprise-D even encountered its predecessor just prior to its destruction. When the USS Enterprise-D left Earth for its first mission to Farpoint Station, Star Trek: The Original Series‘ Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelley) was there to pass on the torch to the next generation of Starfleet heroes.

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