Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry put together a proposal for a science fiction series in 1960. He publicly marketed it as a Western in outer space as a kind of "Wagon Train to the stars", but privately told friends he was modeling it on Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" intending each episode to act on two levels, both as a suspenseful adventure story, and as a morality parable.
In the Star Trek universe, humans developed faster-than-light space travel, using a form of propulsion referred to as "warp drive", following nuclear war and a post-apocalyptic period in the mid-21st century. According to the story timeline, the first warp flight happened on April 5, 2063 and the Vulcans, an advanced alien race, made first contact with Earth on that day after detecting the warp drive signature. Partly as a result of the intervention and scientific teachings of the Vulcans, man largely overcame many Earth-bound frailties and vices by the middle of the twenty-second century, creating a quasi-utopian society where a central role is not played by money, but rather by the need for exploration and knowledge. Later, mankind united with some of the other sentient species of the galaxy, including the Vulcans, to form the United Federation of Planets.
Star Trek stories usually depict the adventures of humans and aliens who serve in the Federation's Starfleet. The protagonists are essentially altruists whose ideals are sometimes only imperfectly applied to the dilemmas presented in the series. The conflicts and political dimensions of Star Trek form allegories for contemporary cultural realities; Star Trek: The Original Series addressed issues of the 1960s, just as later spin-offs have reflected issues of their respective eras. Issues depicted in the various series include war and peace, authoritarianism, imperialism, class warfare, economics, racism, human rights, sexism and feminism, and the role of technology Gene Roddenberry stated that by creating "a new world with new rules, I could make statements about sex, religion, Vietnam, politics and intercontinental missiles. Indeed, we did make them on Star Trek: we were sending messages and fortunately they all got by the network.
Star Trek (Also known as "TOS", The Original Series) debuted in the United States on NBC on September 8, 1966. The show tells the tale of the crew of the starship Enterprise and that crew's five-year mission "to boldly go where no man has gone before." The original 1966-1969 television series featured William Shatner as Captain James Tiberius Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard McCoy, James Doohan as Montgomery Scott, Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, George Takei as Hikaru Sulu, and Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov. In its first two seasons it was nominated for awards as Best Dramatic Series. After three seasons, however, the show was canceled and the last episode aired on June 3, 1969. The series subsequently became popular in reruns and a cult following developed, complete with fan conventions. Originally presented under the title Star Trek, it has in recent years become known as Star Trek: The Original Series or as "Classic Star Trek" — retronyms that distinguish it from its sequels and the franchise as a whole. All subsequent films and television series, except the animated series of the 1970s and the earlier seasons of Enterprise, have had secondary titles included as part of their official names. A re-release of the series began in September 2006 with computer-generated imagery "enhancements" as a high-definition "Remastered" edition. The first season has been converted to this and other episodes are still being remastered. The remastered episodes currently air in syndication while the originals appear on many countries' channels although these broadcasts are infrequent and irregular.
Now 42 years later we have had a total of five television series, one cartoon series and ten major motion pictures with one still in the Post Production Phase and slated for a 8 May 2009 (USA), release. What more can the Star Trek Franchise give us? How about Captain Kirk's early years in Star Fleet?
Star Trek 2009 explores the early Starfleet careers of future Enterprise officers Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Amanda Grayson (Winona Ryder), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), McCoy (Karl Urban), Sulu (John Cho), and Chekhov (Anton Yelchin). A Romulan, Nero (Eric Bana), and a much older Spock (Leonard Nimoy) are influences, as well as Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood), the second captain of the USS Enterprise.
So, is this to be a reboot of the original series then? the makers of the film say "Yes and no". Abrams and the rest of the staff have been playing it close to the vest, but it seems that the main villain Nero's time travel in the movie may have affected the timeline, introducing the canon discrepancies that some purists have noticed. Abrams does, however state that the movie will tie up all canon questions and explain how they are brought in with the Trek lore we do know already.
And now for the million dollar question (at least it's on my mind), Is this going to be a franchise or just the one film?
Annd, The answer is:
Paramount has been trying to sign the cast and creative team for sequels featuring the younger Enterprise crew if the film is a success. Abrams has also stated that he is open to working on a sequel.