The Star Trek movies and stardates

I’ve been wrong for years. The stardates in the Star Trek movies actually work out better than I thought.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture: Stardate 7412.6

Commander Decker says that Kirk hasn’t “logged a single star-hour in two and a half years.” This is 1468.9 stardate units after the last logged entry, “All Our Yesterdays” (stardate 5943.7). The stardate indicates it’s only been a year and a half since that episode.

Star Trek II, III, IV, and V

Star Trek II
Stardate 8130.3
Star Trek III
Stardate 8201.3
Star Trek IV
Stardate 8390.0
Star Trek V
Stardate 8454.1

It may seem that these movies span years, but in actuality there are but several months between the discovery of Khan and the death of Sybok. After defeating Khan, the Enterprise spends an undetermined amount of time in repairs, but not enough time to get over Spock’s death. After Spock is rescued, the crew spends less than three months on Vulcan. After getting a new Enterprise, they only spend enough time for them to discover that the new ship is falling apart, and to go on vacation. All in all, no more than a year could have passed throughout this entire period, and it was probably less than that.

Look at the stardates. If 1,000 stardates equal one year, this makes perfect sense.

Star Trek VI: Stardate 9521.6

We only know that it is supposed to have been three years since Sulu was given command of the Excelsior. According to the stardate, it looks like it’s only been one year. (“Cataloging gaseous planetary anomalies” is a stupid thing to do for three years, anyway.)

This movie must also take place over an unclear period of months, although this is not obvious from watching the movie. The stardate listed is the beginning of the movie.

Last updated December 29, 2006

David Trimboli | Index