Since its inception, the Star Trek franchise has produced some of its most compelling narratives centered around time travel. From iconic episodes such as “City on the Edge of Forever” and “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” to entire films like “Star Trek: The Voyage Home” and “First Contact,” time travel has been at the heart of Star Trek’s appeal.
The recent ‘Strange New Worlds’ episode, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” has continued this tradition, drawing inspiration from Trek’s storied past and introducing a Trek twist on a quintessential time travel dilemma: “Would you kill baby Hitler, given the chance?”
In our recent article, “Terry Matalas’ Trek: Top Ten Potential Storylines for Star Trek: Legacy,” we speculated on possible narratives involving the temporal cold war and Data’s potential role as a temporal agent. Given Terry Matalas’ profound interest in time travel – as evidenced by his remarkable personal contributions to the restoration of the Universal Hero car and creation of the mind bending SyFy series’12 Monkeys’ – it’s reasonable to suggest that this theme might play a significant role in “Star Trek: Legacy.”
Matalas’ passion for time travel shines in his work on ’88MPH: The Story of the DeLorean Time Machine,’ which documents the iconic car’s restoration. His personal DeLorean Time Machine replica is widely recognized for its accuracy and has made numerous TV appearances, including on “Jay Leno’s Garage.”
Given this background, could Star Trek: Legacy see significant time travel story arcs, or even a whole season dedicated to the theme? Could time travel become the central thematic drive for the entire series?
Let’s indulge ourselves in a bit of speculative fan storytelling. Drawing inspiration from ‘Back to the Future II,’ imagine a plotline involving the return of the infamous Tribbles, entwined with a classic Trek ‘Conspiracy’ and sprinkled with a bit of Matalas inspired easter eggs…
In the sprawling tapestry of the cosmos, a beacon of bold adventure, the Enterprise-G, carves a path through space, leading a diplomatic envoy under the guidance of Ezri Dax to the newly contacted Raritan III. This marks the bold (hypothetical) introduction to Star Trek: Legacy, a narrative symphony marrying the comforts of the known with the thrill of the new, navigating the ever-captivating frontiers of space-time.
Helmed by the maverick Captain Seven of Nine, the diplomatic mission unfolds with a rhythm of formality until it is disrupted by a surprising communique. Worf, Starfleet’s seasoned Klingon warrior, contacts Ezri for a covert meeting in a local bar, hinting at a mystery that sets the stage for intrigue.
Inside the bar, a low hum of chatter overlays old-world melodies, cradling patrons of diverse origins. Tribbles, those adorable fuzzballs, purr contentedly, captivating many. Into this tableau of galactic camaraderie saunters Cyrano Jones, the infamous trader from “The Trouble with Tribbles.” Intriguingly, a century has seemingly left no trace on him.
The plot thickens when Worf confronts Jones, only to be hurled aside by a strength belying Jones’ appearance, who promptly transports away. As the dust of bewilderment settles, First Officer Raffaela Musiker contacts Worf with news of alarming tachyon energy readings from an orbiting vessel – a temporal fissure. The narrative takes an exhilarating turn as Worf reveals his covert directive from Starfleet Temporal Investigations, and the crew embarks on a thrilling chase after the time-hopping Jones.
Stepping out of the fissure, the crew witnesses history alive and breathing. The lively Space Station K7, the majestic silhouette of Kirk’s Enterprise, and the ominous presence of a Klingon Battle Cruiser welcome them to a bygone era. Now, they must navigate the known past, and unravel the enigma of Jones and the Tribbles.
Navigating this temporal maze, Worf and Ezri strive to observe without influencing, all while avoiding past versions of themselves from DS9 “Trials and Tribble-ations.” Amidst this delicate ballet, a delightful encounter unfolds between Engineer Alandra LaForge and Scotty on Kirk’s Enterprise. Alandra devises a tech solution for the tribble infestation, using the ships computer core as a virtual transporter buffer, prompting a jest from Jack Crusher about time-crossing technology sharing. Unruffled, Alandra simply replies, “It should be OK, he invented the thing…”
Jones slips through their fingers again, and the crew gives chase, this time landing at the abandoned Starbase 12, under quarantine due to an unidentified threat. The plot takes a chilling turn as the seemingly harmless Tribbles are revealed to be precursors of the bluegill parasites from the TNG episode “Conspiracy.”
Unnerving revelations follow as they discover Starbase 12 infested with molting Tribbles, and capture Jones, who’s been hosting a Queen parasite. Despite the horror, their mission isn’t over yet.
The enigma deepens with an incoming message from the future, revealing Data, now the director of Starfleet Temporal Investigations. Via a trans-temporal hologram, Data extends an offer to Seven to join Temporal Investigations and commission the Enterprise-G as a timeship. Prior to deciding, Worf must share a paradoxical enigma with Captain Seven.
The climactic revelation unfolds in the bowels of the Enterprise-G, where Worf and Seven confront the ship’s “Catastrophic Data Recorder,” a resilient log designed to endure even a warp core breach. Worf reveals an aged duplicate unearthed from deep within Earth’s crust, dating back an astounding 66 million years. In proximity, the two devices thrum with tendrils of exotic energy. A scan confirms their similarity, save for a baffling temporal variance.
Worf delivers the shocking revelation, “At the end of Earth’s Cretaceous period, the Enterprise-G suffered a warp-core breach on the planet’s surface.” This monumental disclosure propels Star Trek into its next dramatic chapter, heralding a mystery transcending space and time. The crew, now guardians of a secret echoing through eons, teeter on the precipice of a thrilling temporal odyssey.
Star Trek: Legacy has the potential to be a daring voyage through the complex corridors of time itself, interweaving all eras of Star Trek. It could be a saga uniting past, present, and future, setting the stage for a high-stakes adventure that could decide the Federation’s fate.
With Matalas at the helm, the possibility of interweaving complex time travel tropes such as predestination paradoxes, closed temporal loops, and parallel timelines into Star Trek: Legacy isn’t just feasible – it’s tantalizing.
As we eagerly anticipate Star Trek: Legacy, one thing is clear: in the hands of a time travel aficionado like Matalas, Star Trek’s future may well be shaped by its past – and the legacy of the future is filled with possibilities to explore.