'Star Trek' First Contact Day promises plenty of Trek news and nostalgia

A host of celebrations, festivities and special events are in store on Paramount+ on April 5 — a date known to all "Star Trek" fans as as First Contact Day: the day when humans and Vulcans first met in the movie "Star Trek: First Contact."

If you recall, "Star Trek: First Contact" sends the USS Enterprise-E and her crew through a temporal vortex in an attempt to stop the Borg from preventing the first warp flight by the human race, which subsequently results in the first contact with an alien race (the Vulcans) on April 5, 2063. It's one of the pivotal moments in human history and after that everything begins to change. Following the invention of warp drive, fleets of starships are built and mankind starts exploring the galaxy. It unites humanity in a way no one ever thought possible when they realize they're not alone in the universe; poverty, disease and war, they're all gone within the next 50 years. 

Unless of course you live in the Mirror Universe, where inventor of warp drive Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) gives the visiting Vulcans both barrels before everyone plunders the alien survey ship.

According to the official blurb, the event will "honor and commemorate this future date by providing 'Star Trek' fans exclusive programming, including themed panels with the cast and creatives from classic and current 'Star Trek' television series and cast from 'Star Trek: First Contact' exclusive news from the 'Star Trek' Universe on Paramount+, curated episode marathons, the return of the #StarTrekUnitedGives initiative and more."

You can see the First Contact Day-themed panels below in a list provided by StarTrek.com

"So, you guys have an eternal soul, right..?" Humans first meet Vulcans…and the rest is history. (Image credit: Paramount)

"Star Trek: First Contact" 25th Anniversary Panel: featuring cast members Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, and Alice Krige as they discuss behind-the-scenes memories and the movie's importance 25 years after its premiere. 

Creating First Contacts Panel: costume designer Gersha Phillips ("Star Trek: Discovery"), senior concept designer Neville Page, VFX supervisor Jason Zimmerman and make-up & prosthetics department head James Mackinnon ("Star Trek: Picard") come together in conversation about creating the incredible worlds of Star Trek. 

Women in Motion Panel: joining Sonequa Martin-Green from "Discovery" are Michelle Hurd and Isa Briones from "Picard" and Dawnn Lewis from "Star Trek: Lower Decks" and together they'll look back at how “Star Trek: The Original Series” actress Nichelle Nichols helped pave the way for women of color on television and overall, her lasting impact on not only Star Trek” but science and culture.  

Second Contact Panel: Mike McMahan, the creator of "Lower Decks," Paul F. Tompkins, the co-host of "Star Trek: The Pod Directive" together with Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" discuss how some of the hilarious B-plots from past shows — including "The Next Generation" — paved the way for new iterations of "Star Trek" and in particular "Lower Decks," the franchise’s first animated comedy.  

"Star Trek: Prodigy" Panel: executive producers Kevin and Dan Hageman are joined by Kate Mulgrew from "Star Trek: Voyager" who is reprising her role as Captain Kathryn Janeway in "Star Trek: Progidy" as they talk about the highly anticipated upcoming CG-animated kids series from Nickelodeon and CBS Studios. 

Fans worldwide will be able to livestream the First Contact Day panels for free at StarTrek.com/FirstContact. The panels will also be available to stream for free in the U.S. on PlutoTV and the Paramount+ Twitch page. After their initial airing, the panels will be available on-demand on the Paramount+ YouTube Channel and on Paramount+.

Oh, but there's more, so much more.

For fans based in the US only, First Contact Day celebrations will kick off with part one of a streaming marathon of episodes featuring iconic first contacts from 10 different "Star Trek" series. The “Best of First Contacts” episodic streaming marathon, presented by Paramount+ begins 9am PT/12noon ET. The marathon will pause for the duration of the First Contact Day panels — available worldwide —  (at 12noon PT/3pm ET) and will resume with part two after the panels conclude (at 6pm PT/9pm ET)

The episodes included in the Best of First Contacts streaming marathon are as follows:

"Star Trek: The Original Series" — "Arena" (S01, E18)
"Star Trek: Lower Decks" — "Second Contact" (S01, E01)
"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" — "Little Green Men" (S04, E07)
"Star Trek: Short Treks" — "Children of Mars" (S02, E06)
"Star Trek: Voyager" — "Scorpion, Part 2" (S04, E01)
"Star Trek: Discovery" — "New Eden" (S02, E02)
"Star Trek: The Animated Series" — "The Infinite Vulcan" (S01, E07)
"Star Trek: Enterprise" — "The Andorian Incident" (S01, E06)
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" — "First Contact" (S04, E15)
"Star Trek: Picard" — "Broken Pieces" (S01, E08)

(Curiously, the actual movie "Star Trek: First Contact" doesn't seem to be included in the celebration, but thankfully none of the reboot movies are either.)

Crowdfunded by the same team who bought us the incredible "What We Left Behind" DS9 documentary, this is exciting stuff. (Image credit: Paramount)

Finally, the crowdfunded documentary on "Voyager" now has an official name — "To The Journey, Looking Back at Star Trek: Voyager" and logo and has surpassed every expectation, unlocked every goal and raised over a staggering $1.1million. Hopefully this will get talked about in at least one of the panels, depending on how long ago they were recorded.

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Scott Snowden

When Scott's application to the NASA astronaut training program was turned down, he was naturally upset...as any 6-year-old boy would be. He chose instead to write as much as he possibly could about science, technology and space exploration. He graduated from The University of Coventry and received his training on Fleet Street in London. He still hopes to be the first journalist in space.