First Contact Day is right around the corner, Star Trek fans, and this year looks set to be the biggest ever. 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact revealed that April 5th, 2063 was the day humanity first encountered an alien race and now the date’s a sacred one in the Trek community. This year, Paramount Plus is going all out to celebrate the occasion as the streamer has today announced that a major virtual event is taking place this coming Monday, April 5th.
As the press release promises, the First Contact Day celebrations 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 keep up to date with the festivities over at www.startrek.com/firstcontact.
The fun includes almost three hours of totally free virtual panels and programming, as hosted by Wil Wheaton and Mica Burton, that’ll feature cast members and creatives looking back at Trek history as well as teasing what’s to come in the future. Here’s the full list of exclusive programming: .
- 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 film’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, as seen in STAR TREK: DISCOVERY and STAR TREK: PICARD.
- “Women In Motion” Panel, featuring STAR TREK: DISCOVERY’S Sonequa Martin-Green, STAR TREK: PICARD’s Michelle Hurd and Isa Briones, and STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS’ Dawnn Lewis as they 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 STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS, Paul F. Tompkins, the co-host of “Star Trek: The Pod Directive” and Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes of Star Trek: The Next Generation discuss how some of the hilarious B-stories from past series like Star Trek: The Next Generation paved the way for new iterations of “Star Trek,” including STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS, the Star Trek franchise’s first animated comedy.
- STAR TREK: PRODIGY Panel, series executive producers Kevin and Dan Hageman are joined by Captain Kathryn Janeway herself of Star Trek: Voyager and Kate Mulgrew, who is reprising her role in animated form in PRODIGY, as they talk about the highly anticipated upcoming CG-animated kids series from Nickelodeon and CBS Studios.
All virtual panels will be available to livestream on the official website wherever you are in the world. US fans can also catch them on PlutoTV or on Paramount Plus’ Twitch page. After their live airings, the programming will be able to be viewed on demand from either the platform’s YouTube channel or on Paramount Plus itself.
The other highlight of the event is the marathon of classic episodes that will run throughout the day. These are only available for US viewers, though, and can be streamed on the official site. The theme of the marathon is “Best of First Contacts,” so it’ll showcase various iconic hours from over the past 50 years that see our favorite crews encounter different races for the first time.
Here are all the episodes set to be featured:
- Star Trek: The Original Series: Season 1, Episode 18 – “Arena”
- Star Trek: Lower Decks: Season 1, Episode 1 – “Second Contact”
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Season 4, Episode 7 – “Little Green Men”
- Star Trek: Short Treks: Season 2, Episode 6 –“Children of Mars”
- Star Trek: Voyager: Season 4, Episode 1 – “Scorpion, Part 2”
- Star Trek: Discovery: Season 2, Episode 2 – “New Eden”
- Star Trek: The Animated Series: Season 1, Episode 7 – “The Infinite Vulcan”
- Star Trek: Enterprise: Season 1, Episode 6 – “The Andorian Incident’
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 4, Episode 15 – “First Contact”
- Star Trek: Picard: Season 1, Episode 8 – “Broken Pieces”
The good news is you can catch all the panels and still complete the marathon as the classic episodes will pause for the duration of the virtual programming and will then continue once they’ve finished. Here’s how the day will break down, beginning at 9 a.m. ET and concluding at 9 p.m. ET:
- 9:00 AM, PT/12:00 PM, ET – “Best of First Contacts” Star Trek Episodic Marathon, Part 1 begins
- 12:00 PM, PT/3:00 PM, ET – Part 1 of Marathon Concludes; First Contact Day panels begin
- 2:45 PM, PT/5:45 PM, ET – “Best of First Contacts” Star Trek Episodic Marathon, Part 2 begins
- 6:00 PM, PT/9:00 PM, ET – Marathon concludes; First Contact Day panels replays
And that’s still not everything. Paramount is also launching the #StarTrekGives campaign. For every tweet that uses that hashtag, the studio will donate $1 to various charitable causes that champion equality, social justice and the pursuit of scientific advancements. The official Star Trek Shop is also hosting a sale, with 20% off all merchandise.
Last but not least, fans are being encouraged to get involved and share their own “first contact” stories about how they became followers of the franchise. Use #StarTrek, #FirstContactDay and #FirstContact for a chance to be retweeted by the official Star Trek Twitter accounts. Don’t miss all the fun this Monday, April 5th.