Weekly Trek – July 4-10, 2016

The final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005 marked the end of an 18 year uninterrupted run of Star Trek on television.  Of that, 526 episodes (Or 527 if you count the final episode of Enterprise, but…uggh) and 4 movies are set in the 24th Century with the crews of the USS Enterprise-D (and E), Deep Space Nine, and USS Voyager.  Needless to say, viewers got to know those characters and that overall time period pretty well until it all came to an end with 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis

With the television shows done and rumblings on the film front that the entire franchise would be rebooted back to the 23rd Century era of Kirk and Spock in the next movie, the 24th Century appeared to be over.  But for Pocket Books, holders of the Star Trek novel license, this presented an opportunity.  Up until that time, the Star Trek novels published by Pocket Books had to fit around the existing shows and movies.  Adventures were generally standalone and didn’t have consequences, since the characters and such all had to be put back the way they were at the beginning of the story in order to mesh with the continuity of filmed Trek.

After Star Trek: Nemesis, though, the 24th Century was wide open.  Pocket Books took advantage of the situation and set about continuing the stories of the TNG, DS9, and VOY crews beyond the events of Nemesis.  The editors at Pocket worked with writers of the novels from the various series to create a shared continuity between the books.  Readers didn’t have to read every novel from every series to understand what was happening, but events from one could be mentioned in a novel from another.  They also fleshed out more of the Federation beyond the Enterprise, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager, which novels like Articles of the Federation, which was centered around the Federation government and President Bacco.

Starting in 2007, the novels began building toward a massive invasion of the Alpha Quadrant (Home to the Federation, Klingon Empire, and Romulans) by the Borg (Incredibly dangerous and powerful cybernetic beings) starting with Before Dishonor by my favorite Trek author, Peter David.  This was followed by Greater than the Sum by Christopher L. Bennett.

The Borg plot culminated in the Fall of 2008 with the three novel mini-series Destiny by David Mack.  There’s really nothing mini about it, though.  Destiny is (And I don’t use this word lightly) epic.  The three books add up to over 1100 pages, and they touch on almost all of the 24th Century crews as well as characters from the timeframe of Star Trek: Enterprise over 100 years earlier. 

By the end of Destiny, I was very satisfied with the story it told.  More than that, though, I felt like I had just read the equivalent of a series finale for Star Trek’s 24th Century.  It wasn’t the actual end, of course.  Pocket Books has published over 20 more novels since then in the TNG line alone, not to mention DS9, Voyager, and Titan (Following Captain Riker’s new ship).

I was done, though.  I don’t mean that to sound like I was walking away in anger.  Far from it.  I’d gotten a massive conclusion that filmed Trek was never going to be able to provide. 

Of course, with the coming of the new Star Trek series in 2017, there’s a chance that Pocket Books’ new continuity will be completely undone.  If the rumors about the show being an anthology series set in the Prime timeline (as in the timeline before the new movies) are true, there’s every chance they could revisit the 24th Century and fill in events after Nemesis.

If they don’t, though, I will be fine.  Perfectly happy, actually.  Destiny gave me all the closure that I needed.  And it didn’t need to kill off any of my beloved characters in order to do it!  Yes, I’m looking at you Force Awakens!

- Alan Decker

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