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Star trek’s starfleet uniform colors: what they mean & why they changed.


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  • Star Trek's uniform colors have changed over the years to reflect different meanings and visions of the franchise's costume designers.
  • In the original series, blue represented medical and science divisions, gold denoted command positions, and red was worn by engineering, security, and communications divisions.
  • The switch from red to gold uniforms in the 24th century was likely a decision made by Starfleet to move away from the negative association with red uniforms ("redshirt" deaths).

Star Trek 's iconic uniforms have through a variety of changes in color designation and design in the past 57 years for a variety of reasons. In Star Trek: The Original Series ' unaired pilot, there were only two colors - blue for the science and medical divisions and gold for everybody else. Due to the costs involved in mounting a second pilot for the network, the gold uniforms were retained for TOS ' successful pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before". After that Star Trek embraced the gold, blue, and red uniforms that were an integral part of TOS ' iconic visual style between 1966 and 1969.

The meaning of gold, red and blue have changed over the years and so too has the way that those colors are displayed on the uniform. This is understandable for a franchise that has been running for 57 years. Each new costume designer will have their own vision for how they think Star Trek 's uniforms will look, and which characters would best suit which color. For example, Robert Blackman adapted original Starfleet uniform designer William Ware Theiss' Star Trek: The Next Generation uniforms for the 90s Trek shows and subsequent movies. Although he redesigned the outfits, Blackman honored the new color meanings decided upon by Theiss.

What Star Trek’s Uniform Colors Mean

In the entire history of Star Trek , blue has always denoted that the officer wearing the uniform is attached to Starfleet's medical or scientific divisions. During the 23rd century, the gold uniform denoted command positions and were also worn by Star Trek 's ace helmsman Lt. Hikaru Sulu (George Takei) and navigator Lt. Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig). The red shirts were worn by the engineering, security and communications divisions. The red shirts also had an unfortunate association with the countless members of Starfleet away teams that were killed in the line of duty. Meanwhile, Kirk's green uniform was usually reserved for diplomatic functions.

By the 24th century there had been a switch around of Starfleet uniform colors and their relevant associations. Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) wore a red uniform throughout Star Trek: The Next Generation , rather than a gold one, so too did his Number One, Commander William T Riker (Jonathan Frakes). Meanwhile, the gold uniforms were worn by everybody with an operational role from security down to engineering, with occasional Enterprise-D helmsmen wearing red uniforms, like Lt. Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) in TNG season 1.

Why Star Trek’s Uniform Colors Changed

There's never been an in-universe explanation for the red and gold switch between Star Trek 's 23rd and 24th centuries. It can easily be explained by an operational decision made by Starfleet's wardrobe department to break away from the problematic " redshirt " association. Similarly, the more sober gray uniforms in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the Star Trek: The Next Generation uniforms could have been designed to reflect the war footing that Starfleet had found itself on while in conflict with the Dominion.

The real-life explanation for why Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes weren't dressed in gold is more interesting, however. There are apocryphal stories that Stewart and Frakes didn't look as commanding in the gold uniforms designed by original Star Trek: TNG costume designer William Ware Theiss. It's certainly true that the dark red uniforms worn by Captain Picard and Commander Riker pop better on screen than the gold uniforms worn by the ops team. More interesting still, Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) was supposed to be in science division blue, but it was a bad color for his pallid android skin tone.

Starfleet Uniform Variants In Star Trek

Interestingly, Scott Bakula's Star Trek: Enterprise went back to the color distinctions from Star Trek: The Original Series. Each of the blue flight suits had colored piping around the shoulders reflecting yellow for command and red for operations. The only notable difference was that Lt. Hoshi Sato (Linda Park) had the blue piping of the science division on her uniform to reflect her role as the Enterprise NX-01's linguist and translator. It's thanks to Hoshi's scientific research into alien languages that Lt Nyota Uhura (NIchelle Nichols) can maintain hailing frequencies in her operational position aboard the USS Enterprise.

Other notable uniform variants are the similarly blue uniforms from Star Trek: Discovery which had gold or silver cuffs and side panels for command and operations, respectively. The iconic crimson movie costumes had different colored turtleneck sweaters under the tunics, presumably to denote crew role. Prior to those iconic crimson outfits were the poorly received monochrome uniforms designed for Star Trek: The Motion Picture , which were sometimes referred to as space pajamas. The longer that the franchise continues into the future, the more likely it is that Starfleet uniforms will continue to adapt and change. However, Star Trek: Discovery 's far future uniforms prove that Star Trek 's command red is very much in style almost a millennium after it was first introduced.

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What Do the Different Uniform Colors Mean on ‘Star Trek’?

By jason serafino | mar 30, 2023, 3:23 pm edt.

The distinct colors have meaning.

Gene Roddenberry may have dreamed of a perfect future when he created Star Trek , but parts of his vision were firmly rooted in the real world, specifically in the physical makeup of the crew of the Enterprise itself.

Roddenberry, along with the show’s producers, decided to take numerous cues from the United States Navy when creating the official ranks on the show, including a captain overseeing a crew made up of a commander, a handful of lieutenant commanders, lieutenants, and several subordinate roles. But it’s the different colors of the Starfleet uniforms that really tell the story of how the Enterprise operates.

Fans know the basics: an array of blue, red, and gold shirts line the bridge of the ship every episode. Those colors weren’t just randomly picked for the sake of diversity, though. They actually correspond to the ship’s various service roles . The gold shirts are worn by the command division, which includes Captain Kirk, Lieutenant Sulu, and Pavel Chekov. Red uniforms belong to the engineering/communications division, including chief engineer Scotty and communications officer Uhura. The blue shirts are worn by the science/medical staff, including McCoy and Spock .

As with everything in Star Trek , though, it’s a lot more complicated than all of that. In addition to the red shirts belonging to engineers and communications personnel, they are also assigned to the security division. What’s the purpose of the security division on the Enterprise ? Well, they’re usually the supporting characters who are immediately killed whenever the crew is confronted by a new enemy. This is something of a running gag for fans of the franchise, as whenever one of the “Red Shirts” is seen on screen, you know they’re not long for this world .

Also, those gold shirts worn by Kirk and crew might not have been so gold after all. According to an interview with Star Trek ’s costume designer, William Theiss, the idea was for the show’s uniforms to be red, blue, and green. In fact, on the set, Kirk’s outfit certainly looked to be an avocado (or lime) green, but the end result was a little different when the studio lights finally hit the uniform.

“It was one of those film stock things,” Theiss said, “it photographed one way—burnt orange or a gold. But in reality was another; the command shirts were definitely green.”

This might come as a surprise to Trek fans until you remember that Kirk actually did wear green on a few occasions, including the times he was in formal dress and his seldom-seen alternate green get-up, seen in the clip below.

These alternate uniforms were all the exact shade of green Theiss describes, but they were made from a different material than the standard Enterprise shirts and apparently had no issue retaining their natural color scheme when lit on set. The gold shade may have been a production mishap, but the color has since entered the Trek canon as the official hue of Kirk and his command staff. So, in the Star Trek universe, Kirk wears gold; in the real world, though, the bridge of the Enterprise was designed with a completely different color palette in mind.

It gets more confusing when you look at the later Trek series, like The Next Generation , which had the command staff in red and operations in yellow—basically the reverse of the original series. Then, of course, the movies switched costumes and colors with nearly every entry, including the powder blue monstrosities worn in Star Trek: The Motion Picture .

Roddenberry’s eye for detail was unique for sci-fi TV at the time, and everything on the Enterprise had a specific purpose. Despite some production fumbles, ill-fated redesigns, and inconsistencies later on, the colors that make up Starfleet’s uniforms tell a story that many viewers probably never even noticed.

A version of this story originally ran in 2016; it has been updated for 2023.

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A Guide to the Different Uniform Colors the Characters Wear in ‘Star Trek’

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Star Trek: The Original Series premiered in 1966. And in the year 2022, the franchise doesn’t seem to be slowing down soon. Currently, there are several ongoing television series with a new film and series recently announced.

I was a toddler when Star Trek: The Next Generation came out in 1987, making Picard’s Enterprise crew one of my earliest memories. I still love the series (as I sip out of my Chateau Picard wine tumbler). But the meaning of their uniform shirts eluded me for the longest time. Honestly, I thought you just picked your favorite color outfit when you joined a crew. After the “redshirt” trope (where a redshirt team member was more likely to die on a Star Trek away mission) became known, I thought there might be more to it. Apparently, there is a whole color-coded system in place. And the meaning of the colors changed slightly through the various shows.

The Original Series

For the original Star Trek series and the Enterprise prequel that came later, the uniform color breakdowns are:

Red – Engineering, Security, and Communications

Blue – Science and Medical Staff

Gold – Command Staff

Green – Command Staff Formal

The original series is where the redshirt trope comes from. It always seemed like if a random character in a red shirt went on an away mission, then they were not making it back to the ship. The largest group of people wore red uniform shirts, which would make it more likely that a person who died or got injured would have a red shirt on.

The Next Generation

When The Next Generation arrived, the series changed several things from the original, including the uniform colors:

Red – Command Staff

Gold – Operations and Security Staff

TNG , more so than the original series, set the template for most future shows. Even though the uniform styles changed, the color classifications stayed the same in Deep Space Nine , Voyager , Discovery , Picard , and the animated show Below Decks .

However, every season contained at least one character who wore their own take on the uniform that did not line up with the standard Starfleet look. Examples being: Deanna Troi from TNG (to relate to her patients better), Odo and Kira Nerys from Deep Space Nine (because of their connection to the Bajoran military), and Seven of Nine in Voyager (because of her cyborg physiology).

Now that we are clear on which uniform color means what, which color would you pick?

(feature image: Paramount)

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What Do The Star Trek Uniform Colors Mean & Why Are They So Important?

Star Trek cast posing in their red uniforms

"Star Trek" is definitely a technicolor wonderland of a show. That sense of eye-catching brilliance trickles down from the background scenery to the props used by each cast member, all the way to the uniforms the show's central crew wears as a part of their duties. 

It's easy to notice that the crew of the Starship Enterprise wear tunics in varying shades. Those colors are quite important — they denote which job class each crew member belongs to. Those classes were devised by series creator Gene Roddenberry and costume designer William Ware Theiss, and are intended to resemble the classifications used by the United States Military on noise-heavy aircraft carriers. 

Sometimes there are differences allowed for dress uniforms; the command staff, for instance, will wear green uniforms during formal occasions. And these rules aren't hard and fast ones; across the whole universe of "Star Trek" series, films, and other ephemera, the colors various officers wear on the show and the meanings behind them change depending on when the scene takes place in the show's general timeline. But these are the color codes that most often denote each character's job on the ship, and the ones used during the original "Star Trek" series to explain who is who and what they do.

The term 'red shirt' gained a negative connotation

Even if you're not a "Star Trek" fan, you've probably heard jokes about how often red-shirted officers are introduced to the show, only for them to quickly die during away missions. For a period of time, the term "red shirt" became a dirty word in the "Star Trek" world; it's gone on to take on a larger cultural significance, indicating that a person is a disposable background element easy to get rid of. And yet many of the show's red-toting characters are the franchise's longest-lasting individuals. The class encompasses the engineering, security, and communication staff positions on the Enterprise. Lt. Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) and Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (James Doohan) are among the most prominent crew members who wear scarlet hues. To wear red on the bridge is definitely a high honor.

Are 'red shirts' more doomed than their counterparts? Mathematician James Grime weighed in on the subject during a talk at New York's Museum of Mathematics in 2017. A simple statistical calculation revealed that 10% of the show's red-shirted denizens die during the original show's run — compared to 18 percent of golden-shirted characters. "There is some truth in the old 'Star Trek' myth if you look at security officers ... 20 percent of security officers died. So I think the moral of the story is, if you're on the starship Enterprise and you want to survive, be a scientist," he said.

Ironically, crimson red was eventually used to denote a position of authority on the ship; the uniforms that debuted in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" place the crew in scarlet togs, with no color divisions to mark them.

Blue denotes a scientific mind

If you're feeling blue during your time on the Enterprise, then you're probably logically-minded. Throughout much of the original "Star Trek" series, blue uniforms were given to the show's science and medical officers. That's why Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Nurse Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett), and Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley) can be seen sporting blue tunics throughout the series' run. The designation of blue uniforms hasn't changed much during the course of various "Star Trek" series; blue and purple shades are used to indicate ship medics in such continuations of the universe as "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Blue was also the chosen shade for the crew uniforms in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," with splashes of brown, oatmeal and white. This change didn't go over well with the cast. Their rebellion against the baggy uniforms went beyond their alleged unsightliness; costume designer Robert Fletcher sewed shoes into the bottom of each uniform, forcing the actors to ask their assistants for help in completing simple tasks such as going to the bathroom. A change was promptly made for the next film, and the red Navy-style uniforms stuck with the whole movie franchise until "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was launched.

Golden shirts denote power

Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), meanwhile, sports a gold-colored shirt. These are the outfits worn by those in command: largely, captains and other figures of authority. In other iterations of the show, gold tunics are worn by members of the ship's security staff. In any event, it's a uniform that denotes power.

But those shirts weren't actually intended to be golden at all; in reality, they were pale green tunics that were filmed as golden or orange-looking thanks to the sort of film the show used. According to an interview conducted with Bill Thiess in 1988 for Star Trek Prop Authority , it wasn't the show's intent to present Kirk and other captains as wearing gold at all. "It was one of those film stock things; it photographed one way – burnt orange or a gold. But in reality was another; the command shirts were definitely green." Unfortunately, thanks to that mistake the look has stuck, and Kirk's uniform is more often remembered as golden instead of green.

Whether they're sporting green or dodging danger in red, there's one thing officers on the Enterprise definitely know how to do – look stylish in a timelessly classical way.

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Every Shirt Color in Star Trek, Explained

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Every shirt color in Star Trek has meaning and I’ll try my best to explain to Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike what that is. You know how some schools and most jobs require students and employees to wear uniforms? Well, Starfleet basically does the same with its officers. In The Original Series , Commanding officers wear gold, science officers wear blue, and engineering officers wear red. But what does that mean for all the different iterations of Star Trek ?

Commanding Officers of Star Trek


The classic shirt color of those in command positions is gold. Unless we’re talking about Captain Kirk’s green formal top in the “Journey to Babel” episode of The Original Series . (Captains Pike and Kirk revive these prime colors in Strange New Worlds .) Then Captain Picard came along in The Next Generation and the colors shifted to red and black.

Enterprise was later content to put Captain Archer in something that looked more appropriate for a car shop than an important space mission. But who are we to judge?

Discovery has since returned to red with gray sometimes peppered in for more official occasions. Luckily, however, it’s not the color of shirts that make the leader. It’s the person within them and how willing they are to make morally dubious decisions.

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Science Officers of Star Trek


The shirt color of science officers has consistently been blue throughout Star Trek . The types of blue may change depending on what series you’re watching. Nevertheless, though, blue seems to be the staple of officers overwhelmed with trying to keep their officers alive from planet to planet.

Dr. Julian Bashir showed up in Deep Space Nine with a brash, overly confident can-do attitude. He was the first doctor in Star Trek to be yelled at rather than doing the yelling. He was also the first one to grow before our very eyes into a competent and dependable professional. But the blue in the collar of his shirt spoke to the tradition of those who came before him. For that, Dr. McCoy would be most proud.

Engineering Officers of Star Trek


Speaking of tradition, the Red Shirts have continued to be synonymous with bad luck no matter what Star Trek TV series or movie they’re in. Everyone else is in a sci-fi story with hints of comedy and drama. Meanwhile, the Red Shirts are in a horror movie where they go off to investigate strange happenings and then just never come back.

Lt. Uhura is perhaps one of the only Red Shirts to make it out of a Star Trek series alive. Chief Engineers always do well because they’re part of the main cast and really likable (for the most part, at least). Taking Odo out of a Red Shirt probably saved his life. Then again, the chances of anything taking out Odo were slim anyway.

Hopefully, I’ve successfully explained the meaning of every shirt color in Star Trek . There are a lot of variations that have appeared through the years. All of the Enterprise crew, for example, just looked like mechanics. Even Discovery doesn’t have much variation in how the officers dress. Will that change with future Star Trek projects ? Only time – and Paramount Plus budget – will tell.

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Color Psychology Meaning

Star Trek Uniform Color Meanings

What is the meaning of the uniform colors in Star Trek? This post will cover the original crew, the next generation (TNG), and beyond, including deep space 9 (DS9), and Voyager.

Star Trek uniform color meanings.

Generally, the different uniform colors helped to differentiate between the different duty positions, levels of authority, and generally the command structure of the federation, and the crew on the starships.

In the Star Trek universe, the colors of the uniforms worn by crew members hold specific meanings. Let’s break it down:

Original Series

Original Enterprise

Red Uniforms: These are typically worn by crew members in engineering, security, and communications roles. Notably, Lt. Nyota Uhura and Montgomery (Scotty) Scott wore red uniforms. Wearing red on the bridge is considered a high honor. However, there’s a running joke about crew members in red shirts often meeting unfortunate fates during away missions. So, if you’re on the Starship Enterprise and want to survive, don’t wear red!

Blue Uniforms: These represent medical and science divisions. They’ve remained consistent across various “Star Trek” series. Blue shades indicate ship medics and scientific personnel.

Gold Uniforms: Worn by command officers, gold symbolizes the importance of strategic decisions. Command staff, including Captain Kirk, would wear these iconic golden shirts.

TNG, DS9 & Voyager

TNG Enterprise.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), and beyond, not only did the uniforms modernize, the color meanings changed. Let’s delve into the significance of each uniform color:

Red Uniforms: These are worn by command staff. Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his senior officers sport these crimson hues. Red signifies leadership, decision-making, and strategic roles. If you’re in red, you’re at the helm of the starship, making critical choices for the crew and the mission.

Blue Uniforms: Medical staff wear blue. Dr. Beverly Crusher and other medical officers would have a blue uniform. This remains the same as in the original series.

Gold Uniforms: Operations and security staff wear gold. Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge, Lt. Worf, Lt. Tasha Yar, and Chief O’Brien fall into this group. Gold symbolizes efficiency, engineering, and tactical prowess. These officers keep the ship running smoothly, maintain systems, and ensure security.

In summary, the colors of Starfleet uniforms reflect the crew members’ roles and responsibilities as they explore the final frontier!

Why The Uniform Colors Change?

The switch in uniform color in the 24th century likely aimed to move away from the negative connotation associated with “redshirt” deaths, those unfortunate crew members who often met their demise during away missions.

The evolution of Starfleet’s uniform colors reflects different visions of the franchise’s costume designers over the past 50 plus years. Each new designer brings their own perspective, adapting the color meanings while honoring the legacy of this beloved sci-fi saga.

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Over the many years of thriving Star Trek TV shows and movies, there has always been special attention shown towards the overall design of the science fiction genre defining franchise. Gene Roddenberry, the show's creator, even had a specific set of design rules for what the Federation ships were supposed to look like , ensuring that they would be instantly recognizable as Federation just from a quick glance. The importance of recognizable themes stayed strong, from the fairly logical design of the warp and transporter technology , all the way to what is potentially the most important visual aspect of the show: the costumes.

While there have been various changes made over the years (although, not as drastic a change as that of Klingon appearances ), the Starfleet uniforms stay fairly similar. With the expedition of The Original Series, the colors used by the officers have stayed fairly consistent, each representing a different job aboard the ship. So what exactly do these colors mean?

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One of the most recognizable to anyone who is away from the age-old Star Trek joke about the poor officers who are donned in red. However, the idea that wearing a red shirt in the franchise is a death sentence is not only a myth , but is something that changed drastically after the official color changes occurred at the start of The Next Generation. In The Original Series, the red uniform was the most used aboard the ship, and was worn by those in engineering, security, and communications. The most notable of red wearing characters was chief engineer Scotty, and the groundbreaking Uhura (played by the late Nichelle Nichols ).

After the uniform change made in TNG, the red shifted meaning. It was now reserved for the command staff, including Captains such as Picard, Janeway, and the morally questionable Sisko , as well as high ranking officers such as commander Riker, who was second in command during the TNG days. This change was present until the Kelvin timeline films and the more recent Strange New Worlds series, which both reverted to The Original Series color designations due to their timelines coinciding.

The blue uniform color was the one designation not to change after the great uniform change of 1987 (when the pilot episode of TNG came out). The blue uniform was for the science and medical staff. It was worn by officers such as the incredibly iconic lieutenant Spock from The Original Series , the ships' science officer, as well as the early Dr Julian Bashir on board the space station in Deep Space 9 , although this was later changed to green.

Gold, or yellow depending on the desired grandness, was the color of command officers during The Original Series as well as Strange New Worlds, and the Kelvin timeline films . Kirk was most notable for wearing this, a bright yellow uniform which was actually, due to the late 60s limitations for color film, slightly green in real life. This was because the yellow didn't record well, so the yellow-green had to be made and worn to make it look golden yellow on screen. Gold was also reserved for just the captain on board the ship, rather than those in command positions. This explains why Kirk wore gold, and Spock, his second in command, did not.

Yellow/gold then shifted in during TNG onwards to represent the operations and security staff, as well as engendering. The disability-positive representing Geordi LaForge is most notable for wearing this color for this time, being chief start of engineering.

The uniforms that were actually supposed to be green, rather than the greenish yellow, were rarely seen during The Original Series and were the formal attire for command staff. Kirk is seen wearing the color on multiple occasions. During TNG, the green was replaced by the longer dress robe-like red uniforms often donned by Picard. Green also replaced some medical officers during the Voyager and DS9 series, which characters such as the Holographic doctor donning the jungle green uniform. This change, despite being fairly obvious to some, often goes unnoticed with casual fans, as it is much less dramatic than the red and gold color switch.

There are plenty of other variations on the classic Starfleet uniform, which has gone through multiple iterations over the years. They range from the brightly colored uniforms found within The Original Series and the early days of TNG to the more dulled down, subtly dark variations of the TNG movies and the much grittier DS9. However, they have always kept a small pop of color in there to help audiences instantly know what this character's role aboard the ship was. Even Enterprise , which was set before the foundation of the Federation, used color as a visual indicator of role, following very subtly the Original Series color coding, with the small shoulder rectangles of color on their otherwise fairly plain and similar uniforms.

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Star Trek's Different Uniform Colors And Their Meanings Explained

T he Starfleet uniforms seen on the original "Star Trek" series back in 1966 were designed by William Ware Theiss, a costume designer who had previously worked on major Hollywood productions like "Spartacus," and who would go on to design for films like "Harold & Maude," "Bound for Glory," and "Pete's Dragon." According to an article on , Theiss became friends with D.C. Fontana on the set of "Spartacus" (Fontana worked as a member of the studio's typing pool), which gave him the connection he needed to land his "Star Trek" job. It was Theiss' idea to make futuristic space uniforms look more shirt-like and casual, which stood in contrast to the shiny-and-chrome sci-fi costumes that were more in vogue at the time.

Theiss was also notorious for the skin-revealing outfits he designed for the show's many female guest stars, and he was noted for being able to ride the line of acceptability when it came to nudity. He was a talented man whose name should be more widely known by Trekkies.

The actual colors of the Starfleet uniforms, however, were decided by committee (with Fonanta and show creator Gene Roddenberry giving input), so Theiss went along with the idea that the various workers on a Federation starship should be color-coded by their respective departments. Little could Theiss have known that the Starfleet department colors would remain a permanent fixture in a media franchise that would last (as of this writing) 57 years.

As far as Starfleet is concerned, there are three central departments on a Starfleet vessel: Gold is for command, blue is for science/medical, and red is for engineering/security. In the days of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," the red and gold would be inverted. Theiss won an Emmy for "Next Generation" before his death in 1992.

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Gold, Red, Blue, And Other Uniform Colors

In the original "Star Trek," for instance, one might note that Captain Kirk ( William Shatner ) wore a gold uniform. That was to denote his position in management. Other lower-ranking officers in gold uniforms were essentially on the "management track," presumably learning about all departments on a starship and hoping to command a vessel of their own someday (or at least become a first officer).

Those in the red uniforms worked with the technical aspects of a ship. Scotty (James Doohan) and Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) dealt with machinery, engines, communication devices, etc. Red was also used for security officers on the U.S.S. Enterprise, which may be why so many redshirts died on away missions; they were ancillary security officers. Red uniforms were also worn by yeomen, who essentially helped with clerical work and didn't have a rank. It's worth noting that in the canon of "Star Trek," engineers, yeomen, and security officers don't have to attend Starfleet Academy to serve on board a starship. One can simply enlist. Those officers answer to the heads of their respective departments.

Those in blue, like Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), are in charge of scientific research and medicine. A lot of "Star Trek" is devoted to the sciences, so it makes sense that it would be an active and enormous part of any ship. The science/medical department is pretty self-explanatory.

One might note that Kirk occasionally wore a green tunic with a V-neck collar. The green uniform didn't denote any unique department and seemed to be a regulation fashionable alternate for starship captains. If a captain was bored with their standard gold uniform, they were allowed -- on casual Fridays? -- to wear the green one.

The All-Red Uniforms

In director Robert Wise's 1979 film "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," the uniforms were updated. The crew all wore disco-ready bodysuits that were, likewise, color-coded by department. Command officers now wore all-white outfits, science officers wore a muter steel blue, and engineers wore a muted golden brown. Looking close, one might also note that the Starfleet insignias on officers' left lapels were also color-coded, and the coloring system seemed to be more elaborate for the badges. Command officers wore white, science officers wore orange, medical officers wore green, engineers wore red, operations officers wore gold, and security officers wore silver. "The Motion Picture" was the only "Star Trek" outing to use this code.

"Star Trek: The Motion Picture" also revealed that officers seemed to have many fashionable alternatives to their standard uniforms, and multiple uniform cuts and tunics could be seen around the ship. Occasionally, it seems that Starfleet goes through fashion phases where it becomes lax and less stringent about the uniformity of its uniforms. These "any uniform will do" phases seem to last about a year before Starfleet cracks down again.

Hence, in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," a new standard was put into place, and the all-red, Christmas sweater-like uniforms (seen in the picture above) would remain the standard through at least the 2350s when the Enterprise-C was commissioned. Those uniforms looked awfully hot but had button-down, shoulder-fastened chest flaps that could be opened to cool off a little. One might note that the subtle department colors were included on the uniform's collars, cuffs, and shoulder straps. Command officers wore white, engineer/security officers wore orange, and science/medical officers wore grey.

The Red/gold Flip

William Ware Theiss returned to "Star Trek" to design the uniforms seen on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," and the design reverted to the red/gold/blue color coding from the original series, only now with the red and the gold reversed; commander officers like Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) wore red while engineering/security now wore gold. There has been no explanation in the canon of "Star Trek" as to why the department colors flipped. Some fans have theorized the red/gold flip was a production decision made to confront the "redshirts always die" cliché that has wormed its way into the Trekkie's pop consciousness. If the captain wore red, then audiences would no longer assume that those in red uniforms were doomed.

The "Next Generation" color coding system has stayed in place until this day. Those colors remained unchanged in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "Star Trek: Voyager," and the four "Next Generation"-inspired feature films. More recently, "Star Trek: Lower Decks," which takes place about 10 to 15 years after "Next Generation," boasts the same coding. The general uniform designs have changed a lot, but the coloring remains consistent.

On "Next Generation," Picard also might be seen wearing a grey uniform with a suede-like red jacket thrown over it. Like Kirk's green tunic, this seems to be a special fashion dispensation for captains. One might also note that Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton), who served as an acting ensign on the U.S.S. Enterprise-D, wore a grey/dark grey body suit. This was the uniform given to provisional officers; Wesley hadn't gone to Starfleet Academy yet and wasn't an official ensign.

The Distant Past, The Distant Future

The 2001 series "Star Trek: Enterprise" is set a century before the events of the original "Star Trek," and the show's costume designers came up with a wonderful uniform design that rests comfortably on a timeline between NASA and Kirk. The crew all wore functional, indigo-colored jumpsuits, replete with pockets and zippers, that bore their department colors on stripes seen over their shoulders. Because "Enterprise" takes place long before the notorious red/gold flip, command officers still bear gold stripes, while engineering/security officers wear red ones. The science officers have always worn blue.

Also set before the events of the original "Star Trek" was the 2017 series "Star Trek: Discovery," which featured a pretty drastically different uniform design. The characters wore all-blue uniforms that featured chrome-encrusted highlights on their sides and wrapped around their shoulders to denote their departments. On "Discovery," command officers wore shiny gold, science officers wore shiny silver, and engineering/security officers wore shiny bronze. Medical officers were permitted to wear all-white uniforms, a trend also seen in the chronologically concurrent "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds." That series adhered more directly to the 1966 designs and colors.

In the third season of "Discovery," a time warp threw the characters into the 32nd century, and, naturally, Starfleet uniforms had changed. The cut of the uniform was very different; the ranking pips were displayed in multiple ways all over an officer's body. Sometimes, the uniforms were grey with department colors denoted on down-the-chest stripes. Sometimes, they were all one color.

For clarity's sake, however, the "Next Generation" era color coding remained intact on 32nd-century "Discovery," something that seems to have lasted the better part of a millennium. The biggest change: medical officers now wear white instead of blue.

Read the original article on /Film .

Star Trek uniforms

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star trek color shirt meanings

‘Star Trek’ uniform colors, explained

Matthew Doherty

Everyone knows the iconic Star Trek uniforms. The brightly-colored outfits amazed viewers seeing color TV for the first time in the 1960s and helped to define the unique aesthetic style of the Star Trek universe, becoming an instantly recognizable feature of the shows.

The 23rd Century

star trek color shirt meanings

In The Original Series , there were three uniform colors . Each color represented a certain duty division aboard a starship or station. Gold, as worn by Kirk and Sulu, denoted the command division of Starfleet, which included most ranking officers and administrative personnel. Blue, as worn by Spock and McCoy, denoted the sciences division. This included researchers and medical staff. Red, as worn by Uhura and Scotty, denoted the operations division which covered a wide range of specializations such as engineering and security. Each color choice was bold and striking, meaning viewers could immediately tell what position any new character had in Starfleet.

The Original Series gave rise to the infamous phenomenon of “redshirts.” Security officers wore red shirts and would regularly put themselves in harm’s way. Enterprise crew clad in red were massively more likely to be killed than their counterparts in the other divisions. A redshirt’s life could be painful and short — they would be blown up by alien weaponry, plunge head-first into bottomless chasms, or even have all their red blood cells surgically removed by malevolent cloud creatures. Around 26 officers in red uniforms died during the course of the series’ three-year run. In the season two episode “ The Apple ,” four unfortunate redshirts are killed navigating a jungle deathtrap, being struck by lightning, shot by plants, and falling onto landmines. Even by the cruel standards of the show, this ranks as a bloodbath.

Strange New Worlds — set very shortly before The Original Series — keeps the same uniform colors, but adds a new one. A white uniform denotes someone working as a member of medical staff, but these were seemingly phased out in favor of standard blue uniforms by the time of The Original Series .

Star Trek: Discovery , a prequel series set a little further prior to The Original Series , introduced a new color-coding system. All uniforms were made of dark blue fabric, with division denoted by metallic stripes on the shoulders. These stripes were gold (command), silver (sciences), and copper (operations). These clothes were super-sleek but looked too much like Navy uniforms, and it could be hard to tell at a glance who was part of what division.

The 24th Century

star trek color shirt meanings

By The Next Generation , the uniform colors had changed . While blue still denoted science and medical, the meanings of red and gold were inverted. No reason was ever given in-universe for this, but the real-world explanation is that Next Generation actors looked better in certain colors — Brent Spiner as Data, for example, was deemed to look far better in gold than in red or blue. The change also came partly as a result of the Star Trek movies of the 1980s, where all Starfleet personnel were shown to wear red uniforms (the fabric for the costumes took better to red dye). Kirk had been seen wearing red for the movies, so it was felt that audiences would come to associate red with command.

Whatever the century, series, or ship, Star Trek just wouldn’t be the same without everyone clad in brightly colored pajamas. Too many modern science fiction shows have their actors wear drab, dark, soulless uniforms. Strange New World s is proudly carrying on the multi-colored tradition set way back in 1966.

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  • Sep 7, 2023

Star Trek Uniforms: The Meaning Behind The Colors

When the original Star Trek series premiered in 1966, it wasn't just the groundbreaking storytelling that caught the audience’s attention; it was also the iconic uniforms worn by the crew. The most striking feature is the bright color scheme. The uniform colors were used to help viewers instantly recognize the roles of the crew. Command officers like Captain Kirk wear gold; science and medical officers like Spock and McCoy wear blue; engineering personnel like Scotty and security officers wear red. These colors were specifically chosen to be visually striking on the color TVs that first became widely available in the 1960s when the show first aired.

Star Trek Uniform Colors

So, what was the actual meaning behind the selection of uniform colors?

Gold, worn by command officers, was chosen to symbolize the importance of strategic decisions.

Blue, worn by science and medical personnel, represents those engaged in the exploration of both outer and inner frontiers: the universe and the human body.

Red, worn by engineering crew members and security staff, stands for the heart of the ship: the people who keep it running.

With regard to the women’s short uniform dresses, these were tastefully designed, and there was an emphasis on the characters' confidence, competence, and individuality.

At that time, this marked a significant departure from the stereotypical portrayal of women in science fiction as mere eye-candy or damsels in distress. Women were portrayed as capable professionals in functional and stylish attire.

And so the choice to use different colors for the uniforms was an intentional decision to visually represent the different crew member’s functions within a team. It symbolized the show's underlying belief in a future where the clear diversity of roles and responsibilities are essential in contributing to the unified mission of successfully exploring the galaxy.

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I wonder why they changed the colors in the TNG era. Maybe Red just felt like a Command color...

This was an amazing read and I now know the reasons for the colours. I love the TOS uniforms. They are my absolute favourites. If only we saw a man wearing those miniskirt uniforms to show even more diversity. That would have been awesome. Either way, the TOS uniforms looks good and served a purpose whilst not seemingly being militarised. A beautiful blog. 😊🙏🖖❤

You are very welcome, Gigi. 😍❤🖖

Patrick Stewart, star of TV's "Star Trek: The Next Generation," prepares to "engage" during filming at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California in 1987.

Star Trek Uniforms Fully Explained

Screenshot from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Since its premiere more than 50 years ago, Star Trek has been at the center of a growing web of culture, television, film, and fandom. With nine television series and 13 films, with undoubtedly more to come, there is a wealth of material to analyze and enjoy. Today, an enthusiastic fan can take just a single aspect of the Star Trek universe and dive into it for weeks.

Take uniforms. A seemingly simple concept, right? Star Trek generally focuses on the experiences of people serving in Starfleet, essentially a futuristic version of the Navy in space. So, Starfleet uniforms should be fairly consistent, even boring. Everyone's supposed to look like a cohesive group, so there should be little variation.

However, the uniforms of Star Trek are so varied and connected to the intricate fictional world of the franchise that it's pretty fascinating. Someone appearing on Star Trek: The Next Generation and then showing up again in a film like Star Trek: First Contact will probably have to fit themselves into two very distinct outfits. With more than five decades of stuff to go through, says CNET , there's a dizzying variety of looks for what's supposed to be a pretty staid quasi-military organization.

Practically everything about the history of Star Trek uniforms is linked to behind-the-scenes stories, real-world creativity, in-universe drama, and even a touch of fashion history here and there. From color, to cut, to material, there's a lot to learn.

Color is key to Star Trek uniforms

In Star Trek: The Original Series , which ran from 1966 to 1969, you can't miss the brightly hued uniform shirts sported by the crew of the starship Enterprise . Captain James T. Kirk and other members of the command staff sport golden yellow tops, says Mental Floss . Blue is reserved for the science department and medical personnel, so you'll see it on Mr. Spock, the second-in-command, and the ship's physician, Doctor McCoy.

And what of the folk in red uniforms? According to Star Trek lore, these poor "redshirts" are little more than cannon fodder, though, officially, red is for communications, admin, and security. If you're watching an episode where a random, red-clad crewmember is asked to beam down to the planet with the main cast, don't get too attached. They're probably going to get zapped, eaten, or otherwise annihilated to further the episode's plot.

Of course, there are some exceptions. Statistically speaking, says Nerdist , redshirts are not that bad off. Consider also that red shirts adorn major characters like Scotty, the ship's chief engineer, who made it through the entire series.

Now that you've got that settled, remember that it's only good for one series. In later Star Trek shows, red and gold switched places. Captains like The Next Generation 's Jean-Luc Picard wore a dark red, while his security chief, Worf, wore gold.

Starfleet rank is shown by pips and stripes

Like so many real-world military organizations, Starfleet hinges on rank. Crewmembers are expected to follow orders, but on starships that can carry thousands of people, who are they supposed to take seriously? That's where the rickrack comes in.

In Star Trek: The Original Series , rank was denoted by stripes of gold ribbon on someone's sleeves. The more stripes, the higher the rank. Generally speaking, says Atlas Obscura , two or three stripes means a captain. Commissioned officers are a safe bet for one stripe. Non-commissioned people get either a bit of braid or nothing at all. The stripes were brought back for the reboot films beginning in 2009.

The follow up series, Star Trek: The Next Generation   went for something different during its 1987 – 1994 run. The colors became a more muted, and the old rank stripes, which, frankly, looked like something you might have picked up from your local craft store, were retired. In their place, officers wore "pips," subtle little pins, on their collars. The higher someone's rank, the more pips they sported.

Other films played around a bit with the rank symbols, like the different colors and badges shown in 1982's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan . Still, they weren't too off the original mark. Generally speaking, the more junk on someone's uniform, the more likely it is that you'll have to follow their orders.

The original series went for velour

Futurama 's Zapp Brannigan character, a send-up of Captain Kirk, is all about his velour uniform. The first Star Trek series really was into luxurious velour, too, but the fabric proved challenging to maintain. It's not as if the 1960s were known for comfortable natural materials, after all.

According to Esquire , the fabric initially used in Star Trek: The Original Series was a little flashy. Costume designers used a stretch cotton velour for the tops, with a black synthetic Dacron infused with sparkles for the pants. Both materials were meant to subtly glitter under studio lights, lending the uniforms a shimmery, 23rd-century, spacefaring feel. 

Unfortunately, the velour was a flop. Many called it "that rotten velour," noting that the fabric tended to shrink in the wash and could tear easily. In the third and final season, designers substituted it for a double-knit nylon, says CNET , which proved to be a much hardier fabric, especially when it got thrown into the washing machine.

Captain Kirk's special green shirt was a little embarrassing

Originally, reports Atlas Obscura , the command staff of Star Trek: The Original Series was supposed to be sporting a muted green. Under the studio lights, though, the cameras read the green velour as a golden yellow. The production team simply went with it for the rest of the series.

Careful observers of the 1960s run will note that Captain Kirk is sometimes seen in a very green tunic-style shirt. According to an interview with series costume designer Bill Theiss , that's because it was made out of a different material. That particular shirt looked genuinely green. This is also why some of the colors in the original series seem to change, said Theiss. Even the miniature of the Enterprise could appear ever so slightly green under the right conditions.

William Shatner, the Canadian actor who played Kirk, wasn't necessarily fond of the tightly wrapped look, says Cinemablend . "It was a little embarrassing after lunch to have that tight green thing on you," he said.

Star Trek's women went from pants to miniskirts

The first pilot episode of Star Trek: The Original Series , " The Cage " is an odd duck. Though it was shot in 1964, it didn't make it to screens in its complete form until a Betamax release in 1989. Bits of the story were included in the season one two-parter "The Menagerie," but it contained only the briefest glimpses of what might have been.

These included things like a smiling Spock, different uniforms, and a woman in command wearing pants . Star Trek: The Original Series is notorious for its gendered uniforms. The men wore pants and long-sleeved shirts. Female crewmembers were confined to miniskirts so short that Lieutenant Uhura, the communications officer, always seemed on the verge of an embarrassing situation when she sat down.

That's partially why Number One, the second-in-command in "The Cage," stands out: She's wearing pants. Number One, played by Majel Barrett, is also a daring commander. But she wasn't considered right for the character. When Star Trek got its second pilot, none of the women were in command, and certainly none of them wore pants. Barrett returned, albeit as the emotional, mini-skirted Nurse Chapel.

Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura, offers up a counterpoint. "I was wearing [miniskirts] on the street," she told the BBC . "What's wrong with wearing them on the air? [...] It was the era of the miniskirt. Everybody wore miniskirts."

The first Star Trek movie shook took uniforms in a weird direction

Star Trek: The Motion Picture looked like it was going to be a big deal. The 1979 film was the first time that fans would get to see their beloved crew on the big screen. Anticipation was high. Then, the movie debuted.

It landed with a dull thud. While die-hard fans still got enjoyment out of Star Trek 's film debut, most viewers couldn't get past the plodding story and dialogue-heavy scenes. It made just enough profit to justify a sequel, to be sure. SyFy contends that The Motion Picture did originate some interesting new trends for the franchise, like wearable communicators and redesigned Klingons . Still, few would point to this entry as their favorite Star Trek movie.

Some of the blame surely lies with the redesigned uniforms. Where The Original Series had colorful, if somewhat cartoonish togs for the crew, The Motion Picture made it look like everyone was going to the weirdest slumber party ever. According to Memory Alpha , the crew was now outfitted in two-piece tunics and one-piece jumpsuits in mind-numbing shades like pale blue and beige. At least the women on the crew were dressed in the same jumpsuits worn by the men. They might have looked oddly dull for space adventurers, but crewmembers like Lt. Uhura didn't look like they needed to worry about errant breezes. And, if nothing else, the space pajamas look pretty comfortable.

The Wrath of Khan redeemed Star Trek uniforms while cutting costs

Though Star Trek: The Motion Picture began the series tradition of changing Starfleet uniforms at every opportunity, rebooted uniforms didn't get very eye-catching until the second film. In Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, both the plotting and the uniforms got a much-needed upgrade.

To be fair, the striking red jackets of The Wrath of Khan wouldn't have existed as we know them if it weren't for the beige jumpsuits of The Motion Picture . As revealed by Empire , costume designer Robert Fletcher, burned somewhat by his experiences on the first film, decided to stay on in an attempt to redeem his craft. Fletcher still had to work within budget, says Forgotten Trek . Indeed, the budget was smaller, since the studio had been spooked somewhat by the lackluster performance of the first motion picture. As a result, Fletcher rather cleverly utilized the old movie uniforms. His team dyed the tunics red because that was the shade that took best to the fabric. 

Meanwhile, Fletcher added a few more militaristic details to the revamped uniforms, like boxy shoulders, stripes, and shiny rank insignia. Fletch referred to it as "Hornblower in outer space," referring to the popular Horatio Hornblower series, set in the era of the Napoleonic Wars. The maroon color proved so successful that it persisted far beyond the film and back onto television with the follow-up series, Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Star Trek: The Next Generation's uniform was all about spandex

While the uniforms debuted in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan were structured, boxy outfits inspired by military getups, the theme wasn't going to last, for William Ware Theiss, who designed the costumes for Star Trek: The Original Series , was ready to completely revamp even his own designs. Theiss was called upon to design the costumes for the first year of Star Trek: The Next Generation , the follow-up series that premiered in 1987. According to Forgotten Trek , Theiss wanted to pull back from the structured look of Wrath of Khan and return to a softer appearance.

That meant spandex. Specifically, Theiss employed a heavyweight material, of the type often used for swimsuits. He also changed the color scheme, making red the color for command staff, while gold was switched to engineering and security. Blue remained the key shade for medical and science personnel.

While designers might have liked the spandex, it got poor reviews from the actors. The form-fitting material was unforgiving of a heavy lunch or brief dalliance with a slice of cake. Robert Blackman, who replaced Theiss in later seasons, came to the rescue with a different cut and wool fabric. Unfortunately, only the male actors got the best changes, like two-piece uniforms. Female actors like Marina Sirtis, who played Counselor Troi, were stuck in uncomfortable one-piece jumpsuits for a while longer.

Deanna Troi's exception confused Trek fans

In Star Trek: The Next Generation , ship's counselor Deanna Troi was actually a Starfleet officer, but you wouldn't know it from her clothes. While everyone else on staff was wearing the regulation Starfleet uniform, Troi was often stuck in revealing onesies that recalled the first film's unfortunate jumpsuits. 

It may have something to do with Troi's gender. As quoted at Forgotten Trek , Marina Sirtis, who played Troi, took a dim view of how the show treated female characters. "The women on this show are very non-threatening," she said. "You don't see women in power positions." Troi was meant to be a soft, caring therapist. Perhaps her clothing was meant to reflect that gentleness, but with an admittedly sexist twist that lowered her necklines and kept Sirtis trapped in revealing spandex for much longer than her coworkers. Too often, her clothes reflected stories where Troi was made to be helpless or even outright dull for the sake of the plot.

Counselor Troi finally got to wear the real uniform in "Chain of Command, Part 1," a season six two-parter. In it, Captain Jellico, an uptight fill-in for Captain Picard, curtly tells Troi to just wear the uniform already. While the impetus for the wardrobe change might have been embarrassing for her character, Sirtis was delighted. As she told the BBC , "I was thrilled when I got my regulation Starfleet uniform [...] I got all my brains back."

The "skant" tried to reach gender equality but fell flat

We should give Gene Roddenberry some credit. While he was often of his time for things like scantily clad secondary characters on Star Trek: The Original Series , he genuinely tried to push back against cultural assumptions. Sometimes, it worked and became practically legendary, as when he helped to create a diverse bridge crew on the first television series. Other times, he pushed for costume parity that simply didn't land.

Roddenberry was involved with the production of Star Trek: The Next Generation from its 1987 premiere until shortly before his death in 1991. He was part of almost everything in the series, including the costume design. As reported by Star , Roddenberry directed designer William Ware Theiss to design what became known as the "skant."

This take on the minidress was made out of the same spandex as the other uniforms. It was also meant to be unisex. Crewmembers of any gender would be able to wear the thigh-baring skant. Yet, it was a hard sell. The skant was ever-so-briefly seen on a male crewmember here and there in the first season, says SyFy, but never after that. Female crew like Counselor Troi wore it a bit longer, but actors and viewers alike thought it just made her look like a space cheerleader. Though you can understand what Roddenberry and company were going for, the skant just couldn't stay. It faded into fan lore and obscurity soon after the first season.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine made the uniforms fit for actual work

Star Trek didn't stop with Star Trek: The Next Generation . The sequel series was followed up by a progression of films and further television series. These included Star Trek: Deep Space Nine , which premiered in 1993 and briefly ran concurrently with The Next Generation . Though both series are supposed to take place at roughly the same time, the uniforms seen on Deep Space Nine were a serious departure.

Costume designer Robert Blackman returned to the jumpsuit design but mercifully stayed clear of figure-hugging, back-breaking spandex, says Forgotten Trek . Instead, the looser jumpsuits were made out of wool. Blackman had, like earlier designers, discovered that wool took dye better than other fabrics and held up to repeated washings. 

The softer uniforms looked like they could exist in a real, workaday reality. Characters like Chief O'Brien can be seen in the bowels of Deep Space Nine, a scrappy space station inherited from its previous Cardassian occupants. His jumpsuit, based in part on a mechanic's outfit and NASA workaday gear, looks right at place in the more gritty, realistic world of Deep Space Nine .

Star Trek: Lower Decks brings back color and might explain a big mystery

Star Trek: Lower Decks is an animated comedy series, the first ever to take a look at the ridiculous side of Star Trek . While it's very definitely a silly take on the franchise, the Lower Decks series actually holds a clue to the ever-changing and seemingly inconsistent uniforms across the series.

In part, the uniforms of Lower Decks are an homage to a never-used 1994 redesign. According to Trek Movie , creator Mike McMahan realized the discarded uniform design for the Star Trek: Generations movie was just right for his series. It calls back to The Next Generation just enough to make connections but remains distinct and colorful in its new two-dimensional context.

This latest series might also help explain the constantly shifting Starfleet uniforms. Careful viewers may have already noticed that different ship and station crews sport wildly different looks, even when they're supposed to be taking place at the same time. 

Inverse points out the apparent fact that Starfleet uniforms seem to correspond to very specific ships and jobs. Someone sent to a space station like Deep Space Nine would wear one uniform, while another crewmember on Picard's Enterprise would sport something noticeably different. An outside viewer could still see they were Starfleet personnel but might correctly guess they were stationed in different places. The looks on Lower Decks , which are their own unique creations, add more evidence to support this theory.

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Star Trek Uniform Colors – What Do They Mean?

Space…the final frontier.

In 1964, Gene Roddenberry pitched his idea for a space-age Western to NBC. His hope was to create a science fiction series that was like “Wagon Train to the stars,” but he also wanted the show’s content to reflect some of the very real problems that were plaguing Earth at the time. He felt the show had the potential to provide viewers with a realistic glimpse into a more utopian society, one which he thought was possible for humanity if they could learn some lessons from the past.

In 1966, his vision came to fruition when Star Trek first hit the airwaves. Over time, the show would go on to earn high praise for its cultural influence. The Original Series featured one of TVs first multiracial casts, one that also portrayed women in working roles, and many have cited Star Trek as being the inspiration, at least in part, to some of the technologies we have today, like cell phones and computer tablets. We even have a new way of speaking to each other thanks to Star Trek with the creation of Klingon , the world’s most popular fictional language.

The attention to detail Roddenberry brought to creating his fictional universe was immense, and while he may have helped inspire the iPad, not everything from Star Trek has caught on just yet. Apparently, his vision of a more utopian future also included velour tops, spandex jumpsuits and plastic. Something tells us we still have a ways to go before we start seeing fashion models walking down the catwalk dressed like Worf.

While the Star Trek uniform colors might seem highly illogical , that doesn’t mean they actually lacked that same awareness Roddenberry used elsewhere in the series. In fact, a lot of thought went into the costume design. The colors and insignia on each uniform can actually be quite telling.

It turns out there is a reason you should avoid wearing a red shirt during exploration missions.

To Boldly Go Where No Costume Designer Has Gone Before

To stay in line with his vision of a realistic future, Roddenberry wanted crew members of the Enterprise, the fictional star-ship of the series, to have realistic jobs and job titles. They used the US Navy as a guide, creating comparable ranks and job structures. There was a commander, a handful of lieutenant commanders, lieutenants, and numerous other roles. The various positions were eventually learned by viewers throughout the course of the show, but it was the uniform colors that gave the real hints as to who does what on Enterprise.

The Starfleet did not have randomly assigned uniform colors. Each color actually represented one of the ship’s various jobs and service roles. Here’s a quick breakdown on the Star Trek uniform colors from the Original Series:

  • The command division wore gold shirts. This includes Captain Kirk, Lieutenant Sulu, and Pavel Chekov.
  • The science and medical staff wore blue shirts. This includes Lieutenant Commander McCoy and Commander Spock.
  • The engineering and communications division wore red shirts. This included Chief Engineer Scotty and Communications Officer Uhura.
  • The security division also wore red shirts. You might know these people as the careless supporting characters that are immediately killed whenever the crew is confronted by a new enemy. We told you to avoid them.

This all gets a little messy in later Star Trek series. In The Next Generation, for example, command staff wore red and it was the engineering and security staff that wore yellow. Each new Star Trek movie that comes out further complicates things. Costume colors switch in almost every new adaptation.

Sleeve stripes highlighted the rank of crew members. The meaning of these has also changed throughout the course of the franchise. Generally speaking, the more stripes one had on their sleeve, the higher ranking they were. So captains often wore two or three stripes, while other enlisted officers might only have a single stripe.

Gold Is The New Green

Now for the really confusing part. Remember how Captain Kirk and crew wore those gold command shirts?

The Star Trek uniform colors were originally supposed to be red, blue and green. If you pay close attention, you’ll see this was the case. Captain Kirk’s outfit was actually more of a lime green when he was on set, but under bright studio lights, it appeared gold on film. As Star Trek costume designer William Theiss describes , “It was one of those film stock things. It photographed one way – burnt orange or a gold. But in reality was another; the command shirts were definitely green.”

Despite gold being canonized in later show dialog, when the lights are off, Kirk definitely shows his true colors.

Regardless of what color they were, one has to respect the vision and contributions that Star Trek has brought to the science fiction genre. Gene Roddenberry wanted everything in his fictional universe to have a specific purpose. While the series has had it’s share of highs and lows, one has to respect the attention to detail given. Just hope you never find yourself stuck wearing one of those red shirts.

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Star Trek: Discovery’s Uniforms, Decoded


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Star Trek has a long tradition of color-coded uniforms that signify in which divisions Starfleet personnel serve. Perhaps most memorably, on The Original Series command division was gold, science and medical were blue, and operations, engineering and security were red. Naturally, that approach continues on CBS's franchise revival Star Trek: Discovery , with some notable alterations.

RELATED: Every Star Trek TV Pilot, Ranked

Set a decade before Kirk, Spock & Co. set off on their five-year mission, the new show eschews the bright colors of The Original Series , and opts instead for uniforms more akin to those of Enterprise , the 2001-2005 drama that took place about a century earlier, during the early days of interstellar travel. The color piping on the blue fitted jumpsuits corresponded with each of the divisions of the beloved 1960s television series, but designated ranks with silver pips displayed on the right chest, rather than on the sleeves.

"We looked at Enterprise ," executive producer Akiva Goldsman recently explained , "we looked at The Original Series , at that point in canon, and we tried to pull across the color palette."

However, Discovery trades in the Skittles rainbow for something a little more subdued (albeit a lot more metallic), with gold, silver and bronze, a little closer to the divisional designations used in the unaired 1965 pilot "The Cage."

"We are looking at doing the red, blue and gold shirts," said costume designer Gersha Phillips. "We've come up with a system where we're doing a foiled compression panel and delta panels that we're putting in on the jackets that tell that same story of the departments."

As with The Original Series and its prequel Enterprise , the Starfleet uniforms of Discovery use gold to designate the command division, which traditionally encompasses officers and crewmen in command (of course) and control functions. That includes captains, executive officers, helmsmen and navigators.

RELATED: Star Trek: Discovery Will Push Boundaries, Drop F-Bombs, When Necessary

On Star Trek: Discovery , First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) and Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) notably wear gold accents.

Instead of the blue of The Original Series , silver is used on Discovery to specify the sciences division, which covers Starfleet officers and crewmen in scientific and medical research and control functions. Those can include a wide range of departments and duties, from sensors and research to surgery and medics.

On Discovery , science officers Saru (Doug Jones) and Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp), and medical officer Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz) notably wear silver accents.

The largest division of most any Starfleet crew, operations encompasses such functions as engineering, security, communications and tactical. On The Original Series operations personnel wore red, which gave rise to the term "redshirt," meaning a stock character who dies soon after being introduced. However, on Discovery , operations officers and crew are designated by bronze accents on their blue uniforms.

RELATED: Star Trek: TNG's "Sarek" Is Required Viewing Before Discovery

On the new series, operations personnel include security officer Lt. Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) and Cadet Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman).

Ranks and Division Badges

The color coding of the Starfleet uniforms on Star Trek: Discovery continues with the metallic badges, which correspond to the gold, silver and bronze of each of the divisions. What's more, those badges display the division insignia as seen on The Original Series : the stylized star for command, a "ringed planet" for sciences and a spiral for operations.

But there's a twist, with ranks on Discovery indicated with pips, akin to those of Star Trek: The Next Generation , only here displayed on the badges themselves: four pips for a captain, three for a commander, and so on.

In the United States, Star Trek: Discovery debuts Sunday, Sept. 24, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on CBS, before moving to the CBS All Access streaming service for subsequent episodes. In Canada, the series debuts on CTV and Space at 8:30 pm ET, with its second episode set to air immediately after on Space — subsequent episodes will air Sundays through Nov. 5. Internationally, the series will stream on Netflix.

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What Do The Different Colored Shirts In Star Trek Mean?

What Do The Different Colored Shirts In Star Trek Mean?

Have you ever wondered what the different colored shirts in Star Trek mean? Well, prepare to be enlightened. In the iconic Star Trek series, the different colors of shirts worn by the characters actually symbolize their roles and responsibilities within Starfleet.

In the second paragraph, let's dive deeper into the significance of these colors. The red shirts, worn primarily by officers in security and operations roles, often find themselves in dangerous situations. This has led to the unfortunate stereotype that red shirts are more likely to meet a tragic end. On the other hand, gold shirts are worn by command-level officers, including the captain and first officer. They handle the overall leadership and decision-making responsibilities. Finally, the blue shirts are worn by the science and medical personnel who focus on research, exploration, and providing critical medical care. Understanding the different colored shirts adds an extra layer of depth and meaning to the characters and their roles in the vast Star Trek universe.

In Star Trek, the different colored shirts that crew members wear indicate their roles aboard the starship. The red shirts typically belong to security personnel and often meet unfortunate fates, earning the nickname "redshirt." Blue shirts are worn by medical and science officers, while yellow shirts are worn by operations and engineering personnel. Command officers, including the captain, usually wear gold shirts. These colors help viewers distinguish between departments and roles within the Star Trek universe.

What Do The Different Colored Shirts In Star Trek Mean?

Exploring the Meaning of Different Colored Shirts in Star Trek

Star Trek, the iconic science fiction franchise, has captivated audiences for decades with its imaginative storytelling, futuristic technology, and memorable characters. One notable aspect that has become synonymous with the series is the distinct color-coded uniforms worn by the crew members. Each color represents a different division or role within Starfleet. In this article, we'll delve into the meaning behind the different colored shirts in Star Trek, shedding light on their significance and the characters who wore them.

1. Exploring the Command Division

The first division we'll explore is the Command Division, which primarily focuses on leadership, decision-making, and strategy. Command personnel are responsible for the overall operations and management of the starship or starbase. In Star Trek, the Command Division is represented by the color gold.

Gold uniforms have been predominantly worn by Starfleet captains, first officers, and high-ranking officers. The iconic Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner in the original series, donned a gold command shirt. Other notable characters associated with the Command Division include Captain Jean-Luc Picard from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and Captain Kathryn Janeway from "Star Trek: Voyager."

The gold shirts symbolize leadership, authority, and the ability to make tough decisions. They often represent individuals who are in command of the starship or leading important missions. These characters are typically responsible for ensuring the safety and success of their crew, making critical choices, and upholding the values of Starfleet.

1.1 Captains: The Pinnacle of Command

Within the Command Division, the role of the captain holds a special significance. Captains are the highest-ranking officers aboard a starship or starbase and are responsible for the overall command and direction of the vessel. They are the decision-makers, the ones who set the course and lead the crew towards their mission objectives.

Captains are known for their experience, expertise, and ability to inspire loyalty among their crew. They are the ultimate symbol of command, and their gold shirts reflect their esteemed position. Whether it's Captain Kirk's boldness, Captain Picard's diplomacy, or Captain Janeway's resilience, the gold shirt represents the pinnacle of leadership and authority within Star Trek.

To portray the weight of command, the gold shirts often feature intricate details and embellishments, showcasing the captain's rank and the insignia of their respective starship. The gold color signifies their responsibility to make crucial decisions, navigate uncharted territories, and face challenging situations head-on.

1.2 First Officers: Trusted Advisors

Another vital role within the Command Division is that of the first officer. The first officer serves as the second-in-command and is responsible for supporting and assisting the captain in their duties. They act as the captain's right-hand and are often seen as the captain's most trusted advisor.

First officers, represented by gold shirts as well, contribute to the decision-making process, offer valuable insights, and provide leadership in the captain's absence. They are skilled in various areas and collaborate closely with the captain to ensure the smooth functioning of the starship or starbase.

Characters like Commander William Riker from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and Commander Spock from the original series are notable examples of first officers. Their gold shirts embody their loyalty, expertise, and unwavering support for their respective captains.

2. The Science and Medical Division

In contrast to the gold shirts of the Command Division, the Science and Medical Division in Star Trek is represented by the color blue. This division encompasses various fields of scientific research, exploration, and healthcare. Its members include scientists, researchers, doctors, counselors, and other specialists.

The blue uniforms are often associated with intellectual pursuits, expertise, and a dedication to advancing knowledge and understanding of the universe. Characters who wear blue shirts are known for their scientific acumen, problem-solving abilities, and commitment to the well-being of others.

One of the most iconic characters in the Science and Medical Division is Lieutenant Commander Spock, the first officer of the USS Enterprise in the original series. Portrayed by Leonard Nimoy, Spock's blue shirt reflects his logical thinking, analytical mind, and contributions to the ship's scientific endeavors.

2.1 Science Officers: Explorers of Knowledge

The science officers within the Science and Medical Division play a vital role in expanding the boundaries of knowledge and understanding. They are responsible for conducting scientific research, analyzing data, and exploring new phenomena. These officers have a passion for discovery and are driven by curiosity.

The blue shirts of science officers symbolize their commitment to exploration, innovation, and the pursuit of scientific breakthroughs. They often work closely with the command division, providing valuable insights and expertise to inform decision-making processes.

Characters like Lieutenant Commander Data from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" exemplify the scientific prowess and thirst for knowledge associated with the blue shirts. Their expertise in various scientific disciplines contributes significantly to the missions undertaken by their respective starships.

2.2 Medical Officers: Guardians of Health

Medical officers within Starfleet's Science and Medical Division are dedicated to the well-being and health of the crew. They are highly skilled doctors, nurses, and counselors who provide medical care, diagnose illnesses, and offer emotional support to those in need.

The blue shirts worn by medical officers represent their compassion, expertise, and commitment to preserving life. They are often seen in sickbay, tending to the wounded or conducting medical examinations to ensure the crew's overall well-being.

Well-known medical officers from the Star Trek series include Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy from the original series, portrayed by DeForest Kelley, and Dr. Beverly Crusher from "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Their blue shirts reflect their dedication to healing, their medical knowledge, and their role as guardians of the crew's health.

3. The Operations and Engineering Division

The Operations and Engineering Division, represented by the color red, focuses on the technical aspects of starship operations, maintenance, and efficiency. Members of this division are responsible for ensuring that the ship's systems are functioning optimally, handling repairs, and overseeing essential operations.

The red shirts in Star Trek symbolize the versatility, adaptability, and problem-solving skills of these individuals. They are often seen working in engineering, on the bridge, or in critical roles that require technical expertise.

Scotty, the beloved chief engineer of the USS Enterprise in the original series, portrayed by James Doohan, is a prominent character associated with the Operations and Engineering Division. His red shirt speaks to his resourcefulness, technical brilliance, and ability to keep the ship running smoothly.

3.1 Engineers: Masters of Technology

Engineers within the Operations and Engineering Division are instrumental in maintaining the starship's core systems and ensuring their efficient functioning. They possess expertise in a variety of technical fields, such as warp propulsion, energy management, and structural integrity.

The red shirts worn by engineers symbolize their ingenuity, problem-solving skills, and ability to think on their feet. They are often the go-to individuals when critical repairs need to be made or when the ship encounters technical difficulties.

Characters like Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and Commander Montgomery Scott, known as Scotty, showcase the expertise and resourcefulness associated with the red shirts. Whether it's resolving a warp core breach or finding a creative solution to keep the ship operational, engineers play a crucial role in the success of Starfleet missions.

3.2 Operations Officers: The Backbone of Efficiency

Operations officers within the Operations and Engineering Division handle the vital tasks related to the smooth operation of the starship. They oversee communications, logistics, crew assignments, and resource management. These officers ensure the ship is running efficiently and effectively.

The red shirts worn by operations officers represent their adaptability, multitasking abilities, and attention to detail. They are responsible for coordinating the various departments on the ship, ensuring the crew is well-organized, and maintaining effective communication within Starfleet.

Characters like Lieutenant Nyota Uhura from the original series and Lieutenant Commander Worf from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" exemplify the operational skills and dedication associated with the red shirts. Their roles in communication and security highlight their crucial contributions to the overall efficiency of the starship.

Reflecting on the Meaning behind the Colored Shirts in Star Trek

The different colored shirts in Star Trek hold tremendous symbolism, representing the diverse roles, skills, and responsibilities of the characters within Starfleet. Gold shirts signify leadership and command, blue shirts represent science and knowledge, and red shirts represent operations and engineering.

Each division plays a crucial role in the success and exploration of the Star Trek universe. Whether it's making critical decisions, advancing scientific understanding, or maintaining the ship's systems, the unique meaning behind the colored shirts adds depth to the characters and the stories they inhabit.

What Do The Different Colored Shirts In Star Trek Mean?

Meaning of Different Colored Shirts in Star Trek

In the Star Trek series, the different colored shirts worn by the crew members indicate their roles and positions on the starship. These colors have specific meanings and provide information about a crew member's specialization and responsibilities. Here is a breakdown of the different colored shirts and their significance:

1. Gold Shirts (Command Division)

Crew members wearing gold shirts are usually in command positions. They include the captain, first officer, and other high-ranking officers responsible for leading and making important decisions.

2. Red Shirts (Operations Division)

Red shirts are typically assigned to crew members working in engineering, security, and other operational roles. However, they are often seen as expendable characters who are more likely to be involved in dangerous situations or die on away missions.

3. Blue Shirts (Science and Medical Division)

Crew members wearing blue shirts are involved in scientific research, medical duties, and other technical roles. They are responsible for analyzing data, conducting experiments, and providing medical assistance to the crew.

Key Takeaways

  • The different colored shirts in Star Trek represent different roles and positions on the starship.
  • The gold shirts are worn by command personnel, including captains and first officers.
  • The blue shirts are worn by science and medical officers, including doctors and scientists.
  • The red shirts are worn by security and engineering personnel, who often have dangerous job roles.
  • The different shirt colors provide a quick visual cue to identify the roles and responsibilities of each character.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. what is the meaning behind the different colored shirts in star trek.

The three main shirt colors in Star Trek are:

  • Gold/Yellow: Command Division
  • Blue: Sciences and Medical Division
  • Red: Operations and Engineering Division

These colors help distinguish between command officers, scientific personnel, and engineers, making it easier for the crew to navigate their roles and responsibilities on the starship.

2. Why are command officers assigned gold/yellow shirts?

Moreover, gold/yellow shirts are often associated with bravery, courage, and strategic thinking, which are essential qualities for command officers.

3. What does the blue shirt indicate?

The blue shirt serves as a visual indicator that these crew members specialize in fields such as astrophysics, biology, chemistry, and medicine.

4. What does the red shirt signify?

The red shirt represents the hardworking and essential crew members who keep the starship running smoothly.

5. Are there any other colored shirts in Star Trek?

Now that you know the meaning behind the different colored shirts in Star Trek, you can appreciate the thought and symbolism put into the iconic uniforms of the franchise.

As we've learned, the different colored shirts in Star Trek signify different roles and departments aboard the ship. The gold shirts are worn by command officers, such as Captain Kirk, who make important decisions and lead the crew. The blue shirts are worn by science and medical officers, who conduct research and provide medical care. The red shirts, sadly known for their high mortality rate, are worn by security and engineering personnel.

Knowing the meaning behind the different colored shirts adds depth and context to the Star Trek universe. It helps us understand the hierarchy and responsibilities of the characters on the show. So, the next time you're watching Star Trek, pay attention to the colors of the shirts, and you'll have a better understanding of the characters and their roles!


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Memory Alpha

Starfleet uniform

  • View history

Starfleet uniforms in 2371

Starfleet uniforms in 2371, showing two separate styles in use at once

Picard and Wesley, 2365

A provisional officer's uniform alongside a standard duty uniform

Starfleet uniforms were uniforms worn by individuals serving in the Federation Starfleet , originally a United Earth organization. These uniforms facilitated the wearers' needs as both scientists and researchers , as well as Starfleet's military role. The uniform and combadge used by Starfleet personnel may vary by the ship or facility they were assigned to, or the officer's rank or department. These were often retained even when visiting other Federation locations. ( TNG : " The Child "; DS9 : " Homefront ", " Tears of the Prophets "; LD : " We'll Always Have Tom Paris ", " Kayshon, His Eyes Open "; DIS : " Saints of Imperfection ")

Casual duty attire also allowed for considerable variation of uniform aboard a Starfleet vessel, though it was ultimately up to the captain's discretion. Wearers were expected to abide by the Starfleet dress code , though special exceptions were sometimes made for certain aspects of an individual's cultural heritage, such as Worf 's Klingon baldric , Nog 's Ferengi headdress , and the earrings of Ro Laren , Kira Nerys , and Shaxs . ( VOY : " Learning Curve ", et al.) According to Elim Garak , " I think Starfleet should allow their officers more latitude in accessorizing their uniforms. You'd be surprised what a nice scarf can do. " ( DS9 : " Broken Link ")

On two occasions, the term " Federation uniform " was used to describe Starfleet uniforms.

In 2369 , the Bajoran civilian Mullibok , who was being evicted from his home , asked Commander Benjamin Sisko how many Federation uniforms he planned on sending down to have him removed. ( DS9 : " Progress ")

In 2372 , Chakotay referred to his as a Federation uniform as he explained to Kar how it was like the Jal name that the Kazon earned. Chakotay told him that his uniform was earned through " years of study ", and " learning about science and ships and navigation , " adding too, that he was further taught to be "[..] prepared us to defend ourselves in battle. They prepared us very well. And we had to pass many difficult tests before we were given the right to wear the uniform. " ( VOY : " Initiations ")

  • 1.1 Command
  • 1.2 Operations
  • 1.3 Sciences
  • 2.1.1 Type #1
  • 2.1.2 Type #2
  • 2.1.3 Type #3
  • 2.1.4 Type #4
  • 3 Uniform variations
  • 4 Dress uniforms
  • 5.1.1 Design
  • 5.2 Ambiguous uniform
  • 5.3 External links

Divisions [ ]

Starfleet uniforms were classified by color among the command, sciences, and operations divisions. Occasionally, the uniforms were also broken down by department, while displaying rank insignia conspicuously. The color scheme had varied over time throughout Starfleet history, but the uniforms were designed for comfort even in the most extreme environments. ( DS9 : " Trials and Tribble-ations ", " Let He Who Is Without Sin... ")

Command [ ]

The command division was the head of Starfleet, with most of the ranking officers in Starfleet Command wearing these colors. Generally, this division was responsible for the administration of starships , starbases , and space stations .

Operations [ ]

The operations division was the backbone of Starfleet, encompassing the engineering , security , and support departments. This division was responsible for technological innovation and for maintaining and defending the Federation.

Sciences [ ]

The sciences division was the heart of Starfleet, composed of the exploratory , medical , and mental health departments.

Uniform styles [ ]

Unknown eras [ ].

These Starfleet uniforms were introduced between the 24th and 31st centuries .

Type #1 [ ]

Transporter Facility ops chief, photo

A female officer in an unknown uniform

This uniform was worn by an operations division officer , as seen in a photo within the Transporter Facility maintained by Chief Petty Officer Carlton Dennis . ( LD : " Grounded ")

Type #2 [ ]

Tal host, junior officer

A female junior officer in a uniform from an unknown era

This uniform was worn by one of Tal 's hosts . ( DIS : " Forget Me Not ")

Type #3 [ ]

Khi'eth Starfleet Lieutenant Holo

A holographic representation of a female lieutenant

This uniform was worn by officers in an unknown era. ( DIS : " Su'Kal ")

Type #4 [ ]

Kelpien and Ba'ul Alliance joining the Federation

Holographic representations of officers in uniforms from an unknown era

This uniform was worn by the delegation welcoming the Kelpien and Ba'ul Alliance into the Federation. ( DIS : " Su'Kal ")

In the 23rd century , similar uniforms had been in use as cadet outfits. ( DIS : " Through the Valley of Shadows ")

Uniform variations [ ]

Deanna Troi, casual attire

Troi in her casual attire

Some officers wore alternate uniforms. Deanna Troi often wore casual clothing while on duty, and T'Pol retained her original Vulcan uniform with a few concessions to her Starfleet rank and ship assignment. Other officers, such as Worf, Montgomery Scott , and Ro Laren, were allowed to wear accessories relating to their culture with their uniforms, but this was at the discretion of the captain. Uniforms were also altered to accommodate non-humanoid officers, such as the three-armed, three-legged uniform of the Edosian Arex , and the uniforms for beluga whales Kimolu and Matt . ( ENT : " Borderland "; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan ; TNG : " Ensign Ro "; TAS : " Mudd's Passion "; LD : " First First Contact ")

Uniforms were also adapted to environmental or atmospheric conditions. When exploring the planet Tyree , Benjamin Sisko and colleagues wore long, flowing gown uniforms to deal with the sand . They featured a colored stripe to represent departments. ( DS9 : " Shadows and Symbols ")

Dress uniforms [ ]

Worf dress sash

Worf wearing his dress uniform with a Klingon ceremonial sash

Dress uniforms were a variant of the standard Starfleet uniforms worn for special occasions, such as weddings , courts martial , funerals , and the greeting of ambassadorial delegations and heads of state. ( TOS : " Court Martial ", " Journey to Babel "; TNG : " Lonely Among Us ", " Manhunt ", " Data's Day "; DS9 : " Move Along Home ", " Rules of Engagement "; VOY : " Course: Oblivion ", " One Small Step ", " Ashes to Ashes "; Star Trek: Insurrection )

Appendices [ ]

Background information [ ].

Patrick Stewart 's character of Jean-Luc Picard has appeared in more styles of Starfleet uniform than any other character on screen without story contrivances (like time travel , holodecks , or alternate timelines ) being involved.

For most of Star Trek 's history, Starfleet uniforms have had at least three division colors. Some characters have worn different division colors in different episodes. Leslie , Jae , Tom Paris , Harry Kim , and Sylvia Tilly have each been shown wearing three colors at different points (including, for Paris and Kim, alternate timelines and holodeck scenarios); however, the first character to wear all three division colors in one episode was Ensign Sam Rutherford , who wore operations gold, command red, and medical blue in LD : " Envoys ".

The Starfleet uniforms worn during Star Trek: The Original Series were designed by William Ware Theiss , who returned to design the Star Trek: The Next Generation uniforms (which were further adapted into future versions on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine , Star Trek: Voyager , and the TNG -era films by Robert Blackman ). Robert Fletcher designed the uniforms seen throughout the original series movies, with later new designs provided by Nilo Rodis .

Robert Blackman also designed uniforms worn on Star Trek: Enterprise , a design representing a precursor to those seen in TOS . The uniforms seen in Star Trek: Discovery were designed by Gersha Phillips . The uniforms in Star Trek: Picard were designed by Christine Clark .

Michael Kaplan designed the uniforms seen in Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness , and Sanja Hays designed the uniforms for Star Trek Beyond .

As shown in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction , a number of Starfleet uniforms have had padding to increase muscular appearance. Such cases include two costumes for Tom Paris , one racquetball costume for Julian Bashir , and a Deep Space Nine costume for Worf, to create a more Klingon appearance. According to Wil Wheaton , all the main cast members wore muscle padding during the first two seasons of The Next Generation , mainly because of the tight-fitting nature of the spandex uniforms used in these two seasons. [2]

Several prototype uniform undershirts to those seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan on were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [3]

Ambiguous uniform [ ]

Human Elysian Councilor

Female on the Elysian Council

A Human female seen as a member of the Elysian Council in " The Time Trap " wore a uniform of ambiguous origin. It was described in the Star Trek Concordance as "a white suit with blue collar and an insignia on the left breast," and was suggested to "possibly [be] an early Star Fleet [sic] uniform". While it is known that the Bonaventure , and possibly other Earth/Federation ships, were lost in the years prior to 2269, it is unclear if this is indeed a Starfleet uniform, and, if so, from which era it originated.

External links [ ]

  • Starfleet uniform at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • 22nd & 23rd century Starfleet uniforms  at Ex Astris Scientia
  • 24th century Starfleet uniforms  at Ex Astris Scientia
  • Starfleet uniforms  at Spike's Star Trek Page
  • Interview with William Ware Theiss at Phaser Resource (X)
  • 1 Daniels (Crewman)
  • 3 Calypso (episode)

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Published Aug 23, 2023

The Starfleet Insignia Explained

No Star Trek symbol captures the eye or imagination quite like the delta.

Starfleet Insignia Explained

"The Starfleet Symbol." "The Arrowhead." "The Delta."

star trek color shirt meanings

Star Trek uses symbols to convey a lot of things, but none captures the eye or imagination quite like the delta. In the years since The Original Series first aired, fans have tried to determine the meaning behind the various insignia shapes we see in the show. To most, it seems that the iconic delta shape is some sort of ship assignment patch meant to represent the U.S.S. Enterprise .

Some arrive at this conclusion because they see various Starfleet personnel wearing a number of different insignia. However, like any puzzle without a key, it’s impossible to precisely interpret the meaning of these other insignia.

The hidden key to the puzzle was finally uncovered a few years ago. The discovery was a memorandum written by producer Robert H. (Bob) Justman to  costume designer William Ware (Bill) Theiss . The subject? STARSHIP EMBLEMS.

A copy of that memorandum has been digitized from the Gene Roddenberry  Star Trek  Television Series Collection (held in the Library Special Collections division of the Young Research Library at UCLA in Irvine, California) and is shown below:

star trek color shirt meanings

This memo, written during the production of the episode "The Omega Glory," and referencing Captain Ron Tracey, nullifies the long-held assumption that Starfleet assigned different insignia shapes to starships during TOS. Theiss’ inclusion of an alternate insignia for the  Exeter 's captain and chief medical officer, unfortunately, downplays how genuinely ubiquitous the delta insignia is within the  Star Trek  universe. As a result, fans of the series are left with conflicting visual information regarding the meaning of the insignia worn throughout the original series.

Nearly 50 years after Bob Justman wrote his memo, we now have the opportunity to clarify the use of each and every Starfleet uniform insignia used in   TOS. With a wee bit of Scotty's ingenuity, and a pinch of Vulcan logic, the complete picture of what Gene Roddenberry envisioned for the delta insignia should snap into focus.

There are six Starfleet duty insignia used in The Original Series:

  • Starship Duty Insignia (Fleet personnel emblem)
  • Spacecraft Duty Insignia (Auxiliary Fleet/ Merchant Marine personnel emblem)
  • Outpost Duty Insignia (Outpost and Colony personnel emblem)
  • Cadet Duty Insignia (Starfleet Academy student emblem)
  • Starbase Duty Insignia (Headquarters,  Space stations, Drydocks, and Ground installation personnel emblem)
  • Fleet Command Insignia (Senior field commander personnel emblem)

In the  Star Trek  universe, the delta emblem is a direct descendant of the vector component of the old NASA (and later UESPA) logos in use during Earth’s space programs of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Those symbols were worn by some of the first space explorers and adorned uniforms and ships during humanity’s first steps into the final frontier.

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United Earth Space Probe Agency integrated with Starfleet as the leading United Earth space exploration service.

The delta insignia was first drawn in 1964 by costume designer William Ware Theiss with input from series creator Gene Roddenberry. The delta — or “Arrowhead” as Bill Theiss called it — has evolved into a revered symbol and one that's synonymous with  Star Trek  today.

The delta also conveys information about the wearer’s duties aboard ship using a series of division symbols. When paired with a distinctive, elongated “star,” the insignia represents someone assigned to the Command division aboard ship. When it displays the “planet” symbol, it represents the Sciences division, a stylized “e” stands for Engineering (later Operations), and a red “Swiss Cross” is worn by starship personnel assigned to the Nursing Corps.

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Captain James T. Kirk wearing the Starship Duty Insignia, Command Division.

Let’s continue our study of  Star Trek ’s insignia with personnel assigned to other starships that are wearing the delta insignia.

Before we knew about this memo, we assumed that each ship had its own unique insignia, but there are problems that theory doesn't account for. For instance, does it bother you, or at least seem odd to see the surly guys in Starbase 11’s Officer's Club (in the episode "Court Martial") giving “their captain” a hard time over the presumed death of their mutual friend Ben Finney? Or, to see deceased crew members aboard the  U.S.S. Defiant  (in the episode "The Tholian Web") wearing the delta insignia?

If different starships had different symbols, why weren't they wearing them? Simple. The memo makes it clear that those Starfleet officers are not assigned to the  Enterprise ; they are simply wearing Starfleet’s standard-issue Starship Duty Insignia.

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Non-Enterprise Starfleet personnel in Starbase 11’s Officer’s Club in Court Martial, and Below: Deceased U.S.S. Defiant crew member wearing the Starship Duty Insignia in "The Tholian Web."

By now, you might be saying, “What about U.S.S. Exeter ’s Captain Ron Tracey and his chief surgeon, Dr. Carter?” As these two insignia patches are the error being addressed in the memo, they need no further explanation. They alone are the anomaly (an anomaly Theiss never repeated), which led to the misconception that every ship has its own assignment insignia.

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Above: Captain Ron Tracey of the U.S.S. Exeter, and Below: his CMO, Dr. Carter.

As you can see here, Theiss thoughtfully, if erroneously, provided both officers with unique assignment insignia patches, and in keeping with his fastidious reputation, insured both patches included their appropriate division symbols.

Early in TOS, we get our first look at non-delta insignia. In the episode "Charlie X,"  Antares ’ Captain Rampart and his first officer are wearing the Spacecraft Duty Insignia, which indicates that they are assigned to an auxiliary spacecraft serving in Starfleet's Merchant Marine Corps — just as Justman points out in his memo. 

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Antares' Captain Rampart, and his XO wearing the Merchant Marine Spacecraft Duty Insignia.

Not long after that, we get a look at another new insignia. The Outpost Duty Insignia is worn by Starfleet personnel assigned to outposts on the very edge of Federation space, the frontier. This emblem is characterized by a gold spikelet against a black background. Warning: Do not put yourself in a situation where this insignia goes on your uniform. Personnel wearing this badge never seem to live happily ever after.

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Outpost Crew from "Balance of Terror" & "Arena" pictured wearing the Outpost Duty Insignia.

A few episodes later, the Enterprise takes shore leave and Kirk reminisces about his days at the Academy. Worn by students attending Starfleet Academy, the Cadet Duty Insignia is characterized by a pewter colored, smaller version of the Starbase Duty Insignia.

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Second Class Midshipman Finnegan wearing the Cadet Duty Insignia.

First seen in "The Menagerie," the Starbase Duty Insignia is worn by personnel assigned to Federation Starbases, which include Starfleet Headquarters, space stations, drydocks, and other ground installations. The emblem, which is devoid of any departmental symbol, is a stylized representation of an “Evening Starflower” (a flowering plant native to the western hemisphere of Earth).

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Above: Admiral James Komack of Starfleet Command - Sector 9, and Below: Admiral Fitzpatrick.

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Miss Piper, assistant to Commodore Mendez, and Lt. Areel Shaw Starbase 11 JAG Officer wearing the Starbase Duty Insignia.

So how does Commodore Wesley in "The Ultimate Computer," or Commodore Decker in "The Doomsday Machine," fit into the spectrum of Starfleet insignia?

Well, let’s talk about commodores for a moment. A commodore is a flag officer rank, one position above captain. A starship captain usually commands a single vessel, but a commodore ordinarily commands more than one ship. Usually, commodores command a group of ships (either close to their flagship or distant), or in the case of TOS, they normally command a starbase.

In charge of evaluating the operational performance of the M5 computer while it's in total control of a starship, Commodore Wesley sits in temporary command of the  U.S.S. Lexington  to lead a battle fleet in war games against the  Enterprise . Throughout the episode, Commodore Wesley continues to wear his Starbase Duty Insignia, while the  Lexington  crew would have been wearing the delta.

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Commodore Bob Wesley in the transporter room briefing Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock about the M5 computer.

Finally, we come to one of my favorite characters ever — Commodore Matt Decker in "The Doomsday Machine." We saved him for last because we could only properly discuss his insignia and what it means after we talked about Starfleet’s other symbols first.

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William Windom as Commodore Matt Decker

Unlike Commodore Bob Wesley, who was only in temporary command of the  Lexington , Matt Decker is a Flag Officer with permanent field command of a starship. In fact, he's the only Flag Officer we see in  Star Trek  with a field command. As a consequence of Commodore Decker's rank and status as Commander of the  U.S.S. Constellation  (his flagship), he wears the Fleet Command Insignia denoting his status as a Flag Officer in the field. If we had seen Commodore Decker's crew (may they rest in peace), we would have seen the delta shape insignia in use on their uniforms. Commodore Decker's own first officer would have held the rank of Captain and worn the Starship Duty Insignia.

It should be noted that "The Doomsday Machine," which was filmed early in Season 2, is not referenced in Bob Justman’s memo. Some speculate that Decker’s absence from the memo is further indication of the inconsistent use of emblems in  Star Trek , but that presupposes that the production staff missed that detail. However, the very existence of the Justman memo, and a whole forest of others just like it, demonstrates that the opposite is true.

The production team of  Star Trek  worked diligently to ensure that every aspect of the future they were busy creating held up under scrutiny. Gene Roddenberry was notoriously rewriting scripts himself to ensure no less than exactly what he wanted ended up on-screen, and that fastidious nature permeated the entire production staff. That Decker’s unique emblem is not mentioned in the production memo indicates that his particular insignia isn't an error at all; but represents something else.

Check out Commodore Decker's insignia. Remember that when Theiss created the insignia for Captain Ron Tracey, he went out of his way to ensure it was emblazoned with a Command Star department symbol. Commodore Decker has no such departmental symbol in his insignia patch, which places it in the same design lineage as the Starbase Duty Insignia, which is also devoid of any departmental symbol.

At this point in  Star Trek , we’ve seen a number of flag officers; but they have all worn the Starflower shape, which indicates assignment to a starbase, while Matt Decker alone in TOS series serves as a flag officer in permanent command of a starship. He is wearing an insignia that conveys his unique status, the Fleet Command Insignia, and if you look closely, you'll see that Matt Decker’s emblem is visually related to the Starbase Duty Insignia. Decker’s insignia is a stylized representation of an individual petal from the same “Evening Starflower” emblem that comprises the starbase symbol. This insignia isn't mentioned in the production memo because it's not an error at all.

Hopefully, by now, you can see how consistent the  Star Trek  costume department really was in their use of insignia, and that Bill Thiess never repeated the error he made during "The Omega Glory" after it was pointed out by the memo.

Returning to the delta, Roddenberry and Justman intended it to be a very special symbol that communicates something important. The insignia worn on Starfleet uniforms is the equivalent of the badges worn by U.S. Service members — to show how they serve, not where they serve. Both men served with distinction in World War II. Roddenberry was an Army Air Corps pilot and Justman was a radio operator in the Navy. In the air and at sea, they understood the value of visual communication. In uniform, they themselves carried those values on their chests, on their collars, and on their sleeves. Twenty years after they wore their own various insignia, they helped to create something new — a symbol to inspire others. In the 1960s, the Starfleet delta had far more in common with the golden pin awarded to a NASA astronaut than a simple mission patch, and it was intended to equal that proud emblem in both use and sentiment.

star trek color shirt meanings

The NASA Astronaut Pin. There are two versions of this pin, a silver pin awarded to those who complete their training, and a gold pin awarded only to astronauts who have flown in space.

The delta proclaims that the person wearing it has achieved the goal of every cadet entering the Academy, and the dream of many a devoted fan — to serve aboard a starship and set sail in an endless sea of stars.

star trek color shirt meanings

Starfleet Insignia Badge, Command Division from Star Trek Discovery

They used to say if man could fly, he'd have wings. But he did fly. He discovered he had to.

Captain James T. Kirk

star trek color shirt meanings

I am grateful to have an experienced and learned group of expert Star Trek fans who helped with the research on this article — Steve Fronczek, Creative Services Manager, ANOVOS; Lieutenant Commander Michael J. Quigley, United States Navy; and Dayton Ward, Star Trek author.

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This article was originally published on October 7, 2018

John Cooley is a lifelong Star Trek fan.

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Inside the ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Series Finale: The Last-Minute Coda, the Surprise Easter Eggs, and What Season 6 Would Have Been About (EXCLUSIVE)

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery steaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/Paramount+.

SPOILER WARNING: This story includes descriptions of major plot developments on the series finale of “ Star Trek : Discovery,” currently streaming on Paramount+ .

Watching the fifth and final season of “ Star Trek: Discovery ” has been an exercise in the uncanny. Paramount+ didn’t announce that the show was ending until after the Season 5 finale had wrapped filming — no one involved with the show knew it would be its concluding voyage when they were making it. And yet, the season has unfolded with a pervasive feeling of culmination. 

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“I think there’s more to it than just, ‘Oh, it was a coinkydink!’” the actor says with a laugh, before explaining that she’s thinking more about subtext than direct intent. “I’ve gotta give Michelle her flowers. She has always asked the deeper questions of this story and these characters. Those questions of meaning and purpose led to questions of origin and legacy, and, yes, that is quite culminating.”

Martin-Green and Paradise spoke exclusively with Variety about filming the finale and the coda, including the surprising revelation about the origins of one of “Discovery’s” most memorable characters and what Paradise’s plans for Season 6 would have been.

“It’s the Most Complicated Thing I’ve Ever Seen”

Once the “Discovery” writers’ room decided the season would be organized around a search for the Progenitor’s technology, they also knew that, eventually, Burnham would find it. So then they had to figure out what it would be.

“That was a discussion that evolved over the course of weeks and months,” Paradise says. Rather than focus on communicating the intricate details of how the technology works, they turned their attention to delivering a visual experience commensurate with the enormity and complexity of something that could seed life across the entire galaxy.

“We wanted a sense of a smaller exterior and an infinite interior to help with that sense of power greater than us,” Paradise says. Inspired in part by a drawing by MC Escher, the production created an environment surrounded by towering windows into a seemingly endless procession of alien planets, in which it’s just as easy to walk on the walls as on the floor. That made for a daunting challenge for the show’s producing director, Olatunde “Tunde” Osunsanmi: As Burnham battles with the season’s main antagonist, Mol (Eve Harlow), inside this volume, they fall through different windows into another world, and the laws of gravity keep shifting between their feet.

“It’s the most complicated thing I’ve ever seen, directorially,” Paradise says. “Tunde had a map, in terms of: What did the background look like? And when the cameras this way, what’s over there? It was it was incredibly complex to design and shoot.”

Two of those planets — one in perpetual darkness and rainstorms, another consumed by constant fire — were shot on different parking areas on the Pinewood Toronto studio lot.

“The fire planet was so bright that the fire department got called from someone who had seen the fire,” Paradise says. “It should not be possible to pull those kinds of things off in a television show, even on a bigger budget show, with the time limitations that you have. And yet, every episode of every season, we’re still coming in on time and on budget. The rain planet and the fire planet we shot, I believe, one day after the other.”

Martin-Green jumps in: “Michelle, I think that was actually the same day!”

“It Felt Lifted”

The last time a “Star Trek” captain talked to a being that could be (erroneously) considered God, it was William Shatner’s James T. Kirk in 1989’s “Star Trek: The Final Frontier.” The encounter did not go well.

“I had my own journey with the central storyline of Season 5, just as a believer,” Martin-Green says. “I felt a similar way that Burnham did. They’re in this sort of liminal mind space, and it almost felt that way to me. It felt lifted. It really did feel like she and I were the only two people in this moment.”

It’s in this conversation that Burnham learns that while the Progenitors did create all “humanoid” alien species in the galaxy in their image, they did not create the technology that allowed them to do so. They found it, fully formed, created by beings utterly unknown to them. The revelation was something that Martin-Green discussed with Paradise early on in the planning of Season 5, allowing “Discovery” to leave perhaps the most profound question one could ask — what, or who, came first in the cosmos? — unanswered.

“The progenitor is not be the be all end all of it,” Paradise says. “We’re not saying this is God with a capital ‘G.’”

“There’s Just This Air of Mystery About Him”

Starting on Season 3 of “Discovery,” renowned filmmaker David Cronenberg began moonlighting in a recurring role as Dr. Kovich, a shadowy Federation operative whose backstory has been heretofore undisclosed on the show.

“I love the way he plays Kovich,” Paradise says of Cronenberg. “There’s just this air of mystery about him. We’ve always wanted to know more.” When planning Season 5, one of the writers pitched revealing Kovich’s true identity in the (then-season) finale by harkening back to the “Star Trek” show that preceded “Discovery”: “Enterprise,” which ran on UPN from 2001 to 2005.

In the final episode, when Burnham debriefs her experiences with Kovich, she presses him to tell her who he really is. He reintroduces himself as Agent Daniels, a character first introduced on “Enterprise” as a young man (played by Matt Winston) and a Federation operative in the temporal cold war. 

This is, to be sure, a deep cut even for “Star Trek” fans. (Neither Cronenberg nor Martin-Green, for example, understood the reference.) But Paradise says they were laying the groundwork for the reveal from the beginning of the season. “If you watch Season 5 with that in mind, you can see the a little things that we’ve played with along the way,” she says, including Kovich/Daniels’ penchant for anachonistic throwbacks like real paper and neckties.

“I didn’t know that that was going be there,” Martin-Green says. “My whole childhood came back to me.”

“We Always Knew That We Wanted to Somehow Tie That Back Up”

Originally, Season 5 of “Discovery” ends with Burnham and Book talking on the beach outside the wedding of Saru (Doug Jones) and T’Rina (Tara Rosling) before transporting away to their next adventure. But Paradise understood that the episode needed something more conclusive once it became the series finale. The question was what.

There were some significant guardrails around what they could accomplish. The production team had only eight weeks from when Paramout+ and CBS Studios signed off on the epilogue to when they had to shoot it. Fortunately, the bridge set hadn’t been struck yet (though several standing sets already had been). And the budget allowed only for three days of production.

Then there was “Calypso.” 

To fill up the long stretches between the first three seasons of “Discovery,” CBS Studios and Paramount+ greenlit a series of 10 stand-alone episodes, dubbed “Short Treks,” that covered a wide variety of storylines and topics. The second “Short Trek” — titled “Calypso” and co-written by novelist Michael Chabon — first streamed between Season 1 and 2 in November 2018. It focuses on a single character named Craft (Aldis Hodge), who is rescued by the USS Discovery after the starship — and its now-sentient computer system, Zora (Annabelle Wallis) — has sat totally vacant for 1,000 years in the same fixed point in space. How the Discovery got there, and why it was empty for so long, were left to the viewer’s imagination. 

Still, for a show that had only just started its run, “Calypso” had already made a bold promise for “Discovery’s” endgame — one the producers had every intention of keeping.

“We always knew that we wanted to somehow tie that back up,” says Paradise, who joined the writers’ room in Season 2, and became showrunner starting with Season 3. “We never wanted ‘Calypso’ to be the dangling Chad.”

So much so, in fact, that, as the show began winding down production on Season 5, Paradise had started planning to make “Calypso” the central narrative engine for Season 6. 

“The story, nascent as it was, was eventually going to be tying that thread up and connecting ‘Discovery’ back with ‘Calypso,’” she says.

Once having a sixth season was no longer an option, Paradise knew that resolving the “Calypso” question was non-negotiable. “OK, well, we’re not going to have a season to do that,” she says. “So how do we do that elegantly in this very short period of time?”

“I Feel Like It Ends the Way It Needed to End”

Resolving “Calypso” provided the storytelling foundation for the epilogue, but everything else was about giving its characters one final goodbye.

“We want to know what’s happening to Burnham, first and foremost,” Paradise says. “And we knew we wanted to see the cast again.”

For the latter, Paradise and Jarrow devised a conceit that an older Burnham, seated in the captain’s chair on Discovery, imagines herself surrounded by her crew 30 years prior, so she (and the audience) could connect with them one final time. For the former, the makeup team designed prosthetics to age up Martin-Green and Ajala by 30 years — “I think they were tested as they were running on to the set,” Paradise says with a laugh — to illustrate Burnham and Book’s long and happy marriage together.

Most crucially, Paradise cut a few lines of Burnham’s dialogue with Book from the original Season 5 finale and moved it to a conversation she has with her son in the coda. The scene — which evokes the episode’s title, “Life Itself” — serves as both a culminating statement of purpose for “Discovery” and the overarching compassion and humanity of “Star Trek” as a whole.

To reassure her son about his first command of a starship, Burnham recalls when the ancient Progenitor asked what was most meaningful to her. “Do you know how you would answer that question now?” he asks.

“Yeah, just being here,” Burnham replies. “You know, sometimes life itself is meaning enough, how we choose to spend the time that we have, who we spend it with: You, Book, and the family I found in Starfleet, on Discovery.”

Martin-Green relished the opportunity to revisit the character she’s played for seven years when she’s reached the pinnacle of her life and career. “You just get to see this manifestation of legacy in this beautiful way,” she says. “I will also say that I look a lot like my mom, and that was that was also a gift, to be able to see her.”

Shooting the goodbye with the rest of her cast was emotional, unsurprisingly, but it led Martin-Green to an unexpected understanding. “It actually was so charged that it was probably easier that it was only those three days that we knew it was the end, and not the entirety of season,” she says.

Similarly, Paradise says she’s “not sure” what more she would’ve done had there been more time to shoot the coda. “I truly don’t feel like we missed out on something by not having one more day,” she says. “I feel like it ends the way it needed to end.”

Still, getting everything done in just three days was no small feat, either. “I mean, we worked ’round the clock,” Martin-Green says with a deep laugh. “We were delirious by the end — but man, what a way to end it.”

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  22. The Starfleet Insignia Explained

    Star Trek uses symbols to convey a lot of things, but none captures the eye or imagination quite like the delta. In the years since The Original Series first aired, fans have tried to determine the meaning behind the various insignia shapes we see in the show. To most, it seems that the iconic delta shape is some sort of ship assignment patch meant to represent the U.S.S. Enterprise.

  23. Meaning of uniform color in Star Trek Voyager

    The uniforms typically seen in Star Trek: Voyager are the Standard Duty Uniform style that was introduced in 2369 - nearly two years before Voyager found itself stranded in the Delta Quadrant.. As with other TNG-era uniforms, there are three division colors used on the uniforms: Red/Maroon - this denotes the COMMAND division. Examples are anyone on the command track, including helmsmen ...

  24. Star Trek: Discovery Season Finale, Epilogue Explained

    Kovich's office is littered with relics from "Star Trek" history, like a bottle of Chateau Picard, the baseball from the desk of Capt. Benjamin Sisko of "Deep Space Nine," and one item ...

  25. Collect Official Star Trek Badges

    Star Trek: The Next Generation ComBadge. $29.95. Fast Ship Item. These Star Trek badges are must-have collectibles for any fan! Display the Star Trek: Discovery Command Badge on your desk, the Star Trek: Discovery Black Badge on your mantle, and the Star Trek: The Next Generation Bluetooth Communicator Badge on your TV stand to show the galaxy ...