Star Trek gurus Mike and Denise Okuda held a panel on the newly-updated Star Trek Encyclopedia at the ongoing STLV convention in Las Vegas on Thursday, revealing new details on the updated reference guide arriving in October.
This endeavor – to update the most comprehensive print guide to the Star Trek mythos from its last release in 1999 – was a massive, two-year project requiring the addition of the final season of Deep Space Nine, nearly a third of Voyager, all of Enterprise, and several Trek feature films.
After several years of wondering if the project would ever be revived, CBS’s John Van Citters took the Okudas out to dinner and revealed the the Encyclopedia had been green-lit for a new edition.
The Okudas revealed some additional detail about how the project was tackled this time around – for example, Memory Alpha wasn’t consulted in any of their new research. “Any mistakes have to be our mistakes,” said Denise, who took the lead on the new round of Trek research. “We go with what’s on-screen as gospel.”
In terms of the new (or updated) content, the pair of hardcover books includes digital renders from the remastered editions of the Original Series (like the Antares from “Charlie X”), as well as some of the tweaks made to the Blu-ray edition of The Next Generation, such as the updated Charybdis mission patch seen in “The Royale” – treating the remastered editions of each show as the new canon.
Because the Encyclopedia is presented as an in-universe style – that is, written for readers living in the Star Trek universe – an official name for the “JJ-verse” film timeline was required, which is why Mike Okuda finally was tasked to create the Kelvin Timeline moniker for the film series.
“We wanted to [include the KT],” explained Mike, “in a way that didn’t place the Abrams films into a second-class position.” (Time constraints prohibited any inclusion of Star Trek Beyond content.)
Graphics artist Clint Schultz, who worked on both the 2009 Star Trek film and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, also contributed some artwork for entries from the Kelvin Timeline.
The authors’ favorite new inclusion in the new Encyclopedia is a nice look at the Starbase 11 matte painting from the remastered version of “The Menagerie, Part I,” with the pair in Starfleet uniform, the pair’s most visible Star Trek appearance. “We normally work in the art department as far behind the camera as possible,” said Mike, “but in that moment we got to be in a Star Trek episode.”
Finally, in regards to an updated version of the Star Trek Chronology, last released in 1996, the Okudas didn’t expect that project to be undertaken any time soon, if at all, but included an appendix to the new Encyclopedia that serves as a “Chronology Lite” feature.
The new Star Trek Encyclopedia arrives in stores on October 18 – preorder your copy below!
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