In many ways, Star Trek The Original Series pioneered the modern shared universe model that became a must for virtually every franchise following the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been cited by many sources as the father of the modern shared universe, but long before Tony Stark launched the juggernaut superhero franchise in 2008’s Ironman the granddaddy of all cinematic universes was in full swing in the stars above, and that is of course Star Trek.
The Star Trek multimedia universe launched in 1965, almost completely by accident and through a series of unpredictable fortunate and unfortunate events. When the failed pilot for The Original Series starring Captain Christopher Pike was rejected by NBC and a new3 pilot commissioned a conscious choice to move slightly further down the timeline into the lives of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew on the same federation starship and instantly a shared continuity was born from a history that was never told.
This may have been the beginning of the shared universe, but it was solidified with the idea of Phase II and the continuing missions of Kirk and company in the movie franchise. The entire shared universe was cemented once and for all with The Next Generation in 1987, another conscious choice to move nearly a century deeper into the timeline.
Some universes are more connected than others
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have complained about the lack of two-way connections between the Television side and the Movies, often calling for their favourite streaming and Television stars to cross back over to the events depicted in the movies, something Marvel has so far shown no interest in carrying out. Star Trek, on the other hand, has been crossing over in every direction for a long time.
Today we’ll look at the characters from The Original Series and their subsequent crossover appearances in the larger shared universe.
Characters from The Original Series have been some of the most prolific, their connection with fans seems to overshadow those of all the characters who would come afterward.
The love of these characters and their love for their fans is most likely a combination of the groundbreaking work they did in launching the franchise, and the length of their tenure in their respective positions. As a result, the entire original crew has appeared all over the franchise.