Fifty-five years ago today a science fiction franchise was born, beaming itself into the hearts of fans around the world. We're talking about "Star Trek," of course, and tonight (Sept. 8) you can celebrate alongside Trek's makers Paramount+ with an evening of panels and more online.
The first episode of "Star Trek: The Original Series" debuted on Sept. 8, 1966, introducing the world to Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and their crewmates as they explored the galaxy on the USS Enterprise. Despite being canceled after three seasons, the show led by the late Gene Roddenberry spawned 13 films and at least 10 series (with more coming) so that there is more Trek on TV via Paramount+ today than ever before.
Tonight's two-hour Star Trek Day celebration begins at 8:30 p.m. EDT (5:30 p.m. PT/0030 GMT) and will take place at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California. You can watch live a few ways: The event will be livestreamed at StarTrek.com/Day, as well as on the streaming service Paramount+ and on Paramount+'s Twitch channel. A live orchestra led by Jeff Russo, composer of the themes for "Star Trek: Discovery" and "Star Trek: Picard," will perform throughout the night.
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"Join hosts Wil Wheaton and Mica Burton for over two hours of free live-streamed panels and programming that will reunite iconic cast members and creative minds from 10 Star Trek television series, as they gather in person to celebrate 55 years of Star Trek," Trek representatives wrote in a statement. "In addition to the panels, the programming will feature legacy moments with iconic cast members diving into memorable Star Trek stories from years past. In addition, there will be a special Roddenberry Legacy panel, in honor of Gene Roddenberry’s 100th birthday."
Here's a description of the panels for tonight from StarTrek.com.
- "Star Trek: Prodigy": Voice cast panel to include Brett Gray, Dee Bradley Baker, executive producers Kevin and Dan Hageman, and co-executive producer/director Ben Hibon.
- "Star Trek: Discovery": Cast panel with stars Wilson Cruz, Blu del Barrio, Ian Alexander and co-showrunner/executive producer Michelle Paradise.
- "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds": Cast panel with stars Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn, Ethan Peck and co-showrunners/executive producers Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Meyers.
- "Star Trek: Lower Decks": Cast panel with stars Noël Wells, Eugene Cordero and series creator Mike McMahan.
- "Star Trek: Picard": Series panel with stars Patrick Stewart, Jeri Ryan, co-showrunner/executive producer Akiva Goldsman and a live performance from Isa Briones singing "Blue Skies" from the "Picard" season one finale.
- Roddenberry Legacy Panel: Gene Roddenberry's son Rod Roddenberry, CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment, will discuss his father's legacy and Trek's impact with Gates McFadden and Levar Burton of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and George Takei of "Star Trek: The Original Series."
- Legacy Moments: In addition to the panels, tonight's livestream will feature moments from Trek's past featuring Cirroc Lofton from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"; Anthony Montgomery from "Star Trek: Enterprise"; Garrett Wang from "Star Trek: Voyager"; George Takei from "Star Trek: The Original Series"; and Levar Burton from "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
Paramount+ is also working with the Roddenberry Foundation to raise funds for organizations working to support equality, social justice and the arts and innovation with its #StarTrekUnitedGives campaign. As in the past, the streaming service and foundation will donate $1 to such organizations for every person who tweets on Sept. 8 using the #StarTrekUnitedGives hashtag on Sept. 8.
"Paramount+ and the Roddenberry Foundation are also partnering on a new global campaign to engage fans in honoring the legacy of Gene Roddenberry," representatives wrote.