The Star Trek franchise has long embraced transmedia, appearing over four-decades as everything from television shows to novels to movies to video games. But while these transmedia properties have expanded the Star Trek universe for nearly half a decade, they haven’t always been considered part of the ‘canon’, or the official storyline. Producers involved with earlier incarnations of the franchise have deemed only what is seen in the on-screen incarnations to be official, rendering all novels, comics and video games non-canon.
Starting with the most recent J.J. Abrams directed movie, however, the producers have attempted to bring all transmedia spin-offs into the same continuity. Before ‘Star Trek (2009)’ was released a comic mini-series prequel, ‘Star Trek: Countdown’, told the in-canon back story for the film. A second mini-series, ‘Star Trek: Nero’, gave background on the film’s central villain.
Now an ongoing comic-series is underway that tells new, in continuity stories in the new movie universe, while foreshadowing elements for the sequel.
The comics writer, Mike Johnson, had this to say:
‘As we get closer to the next movie, the stories will begin to foreshadow the events of the movie, such as possibly introducing new characters we will see onscreen…pun very much intended.’
This transmedia extension is an intelligent way to bring all the elements of the franchise into one continuity, while building fan intrest for the newest film installment.