Star Trek Day 2021: Celebrate 55 years of Trek with live panels and more tonight

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, 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.

Related: The best Star Trek gifts and deals for 2021

Star Trek Day 2021 from Paramount+ will celebrate 55 years of "Star Trek" and the 100th birthday of franchise creator Gene Roddenberry.  (Image credit: Parmount+)

"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

  • "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.

If you're not able to watch tonight's Star Trek Day celebration, don't worry. You'll be able to catch replays of them all on Paramount+'s YouTube channel and Paramount+ after the event. 

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.