We've had almost 40 years of Star Trek movies since the first one came to our screens back in 1979. If there's one things that the internet as a whole can agree on it is that the even ones are better. That is, until you get to the Next Generation movies, which mostly just squander the potential of the beloved series.
Nobody's really sure how the rebooted "Kelvin timeline" entries fit into this theory except that Into Darkness is pretty bad. So look, the "rule of evens" has not really taken off, despite some attempts to revise it.
Our favorite take just throws 1999 Trek send-up Galaxy Quest into the mix to put a "good" one between 1998's Insurrection and 2002's Nemesis, both of which are pretty mediocre. Also, if fans are married to the even/odd theory (which they are), this workaround is as good as any.
Answering the question of which Star Trek movies are bad isn't the only way fans spend their time, though. Some also make time to argue its superiority to Star Wars, while others look inward.
They find cracks in the movies' logic and then make memes so everyone can see and share their points as easily as possible. We've gathered some for your consideration.
Here are the 20 Star Trek Memes That Show The Movies Make No Sense.
20 To be fair, only two of them didn't make it
The uniforms on Star Trek have seen some changes over the decades as times, budgets, and sensibilities changed. The original series’ classic flared trousers and miniskirts gave way to those weird, blue jumpsuits with the chunky belly boxes in the first movie.
Starting with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Starfleet officers started dressing up in these classy jacket/sweater combos that had only one problem: they were all red.
One of the series’ most famous tropes is that if you’re wearing red and your name isn’t Montgomery Scott, you are doomed. In the original series, red was the color of both engineers and security, the latter of which provided fodder to show the audience what the main characters were up against.
These new threads look really cool, and their jackets have that cool flap for a more casual look. However, everyone on the ship wears the same color. In fact, the only way that their uniforms differ is through their sweaters and flap straps.
So how do we know who’s expendable? It was just super inconvenient for fans.
It may not be a coincidence, though, that the first movie we see these costumes in ends with first officer Spock perishing while saving the ship. We can’t say that he would have survived if he still had his blue shirt. However, the red one didn’t do him any favors.
19 It all makes sense in the headcanon
One of the most puzzling and divisive changes the 2009 reboot movie introduced to the series was the romantic relationship between Uhura and Spock.
We aren’t saying it didn’t make sense, but even the mostly awful Star Trek V: The Final Frontier put the Enterprise communications officer with Scotty, and we’re not actually sure which is more baffling, to be honest.
This meme comes up with a reason for the romance, however. In this case, Uhura is there to provide a romantic outlet for the Vulcan while he waits for his true love, Kirk, to warm to him.
Pairing off the captain and his first officer is nothing new. That was the basis for some of the earliest fan-fiction in the ‘60s, and “Kirk/Spock” survives to this day.
It has outlasted every series in the franchise, and it will continue until Paramount has no more movies to make.
Even as public interest in Star Trek comes and goes, the relationship will live on in some dank corner of the internet like Gollum in The Hobbit, just cradling its precious ‘ship and needing nothing else.
We’ve come to accept this part of the Kelvin timeline. It just took three movies to sink in.
18 Fashion is cyclical
In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the crew of the Enterprise discovers that their lost friend isn’t quite as deceased as they’d assumed. They also find out he’s transferred his soul into Dr. McCoy, possibly because Bones is the last person who would want that “pointy-eared hobgoblin” rattling around in his head.
They steal their own ship, disable another to stop the Federation from chasing them, and go off to put the pieces of Spock back together.
Also, since they put this plan together pretty quickly and unofficially, most of them don’t get a chance to change into their uniforms.
Because of this, we get another quick look at what counts as casual wear in the 23rd century, and it is really something to behold.
Most of the crew looks fine. Sulu has a smart blue shirt and a full-on leather cape because he can pull that look off, and we envy him for that. McCoy walks around dressed like a cranky old man, which suits him. However, then we have Chekov.
Poor, sad Pavel has to walk around for the first half of the movie looking like a Space Puritan.
Luckily, he gets to wear something more passable near the end, and that’s good because he wouldn’t get another chance to change until the fifth movie.
17 It wasn't just Picard
The original crew’s final outing, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, used some of the sets from the still-airing The Next Generation. Despite the crew’s attempts to hide this by blocking as much of the background as possible with extras, you can still recognize the Enterprise-D’s distinctive warp core.
If you look closely — or at all, really — you’ll also identify the room that hosts The Undiscovered Country’s dinner scene as the same one in which the Next Generation crew had all of their important meetings.
The shared shooting locations were a practical cost-saving measure. After all, it doesn’t make much sense to build another Enterprise when you have a perfectly good one sitting around.
Also, rooms and hallways aren’t all that the movie and the series share. As we see in this picture of Captain Sulu on the U.S.S. Excelsior, Jean-Luc Picard isn’t the only one who likes a spot of tea during down time. We’re especially fans of the custom, ship-specific chinaware that he’s rocking here.
We don’t know if this is a Federation-wide thing or if Sulu just insisted on it. The later captain always took his hot Earl Grey in a boring, glass mug, and he never had it on the bridge. He was big on rules.
16 They're not that bad
Complaining about casting is one of the internet’s favorite hobbies. Fans get especially enthusiastic about it when they’re dealing with beloved characters and franchises.
When Fox cast the 6’2” Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in its X-Men movies, naysayers complained that he was too tall for the role-- and they were right from a pure, comic-book perspective.
However, it would be hard for even the most skeptical fan to argue at this point that Jackman wasn’t amazing at his role as Wolverine.
Similarly, fans had a lot of opinions when they first started to get a look at the new crew of the Enterprise. This meme singles out Zoe Saldana as Uhura, but fans had plenty of doubt to go around.
Director J.J. Abrams had a bit of doubt about casting the new Sulu. The role went to Korean-American actor John Cho, who is great in the role. However, Abrams reportedly hesitated about moving away from the character’s Japanese roots. It took the original Sulu, George Takei, to convince him.
"He told me that he looked hard for a Japanese-American to play Sulu and asked me what I thought of his choice to cast someone not of that lineage,” Takei said. “To me, so long as the character remains Asian-American, that would be all that matters.”
It worked, and both the movie and Star Trek fans benefitted.
15 Seriously, what was that?
Star Trek: Generations introduces some changes to the Next Generation crew in their first cinematic outing. That means fancy new uniforms, sure, but the characters also developed.
The most drastic update is that Commander Data finally installs that emotion chip that he retrieved from his evil brother Lore at the end of the two-part episode “Descent”. We aren’t sure what took him so long, but that was the final season, and it was probably too late to introduce permanent character changes.
Data’s new peripheral instantly turns him into the movie's comic relief. How you feel about that depends on what you think of the normally deadpan android using a tricorder as a puppet or playing a song with the bleeps and bloops on his bridge station.
Some of this nonsense comes from the chip malfunctioning, causing Data to have a weird emotional breakdown and fusing itself into his head. However, the rest of it is just the writers and actor Brent Spiner trying to find ways to make Data funny outside of his usual fare of “what even is dating?”
Despite the circumstances, “Mr. Tricorder” is one of the most bizarre things in all of Star Trek, a series in which Christopher Lloyd plays a Klingon who fights a giant worm for no reason.
14 What is a subtitle, anyway?
If you asked a Star Trek fan who didn’t enjoy J.J. Abrams’ second go at the franchise why they didn’t like it, you’d be starting a pretty long conversation.
They’ll probably mention the weird casting of established villain Khan or that part at the end in which Abrams destroys half of San Francisco for no reason.
Maybe they’ll even say something about the ending, which is almost exactly like the finale of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, only it’s Kirk sacrificing himself to save the ship instead of Spock and it’s otherwise worse in every way.
However, haters also pick up on the little things, and they’ll probably start with the title.
It’s Star Trek Into Darkness, and this version of the Annoyed Picard meme gets at why that’s wrong. It should be a subtitle, as in “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” but someone on the creative side decided that they didn’t need to punctuate.
So now we’re not sure what the title means. It almost makes the “trek” part into a verb instead of the noun that it’s always been.
Luckily for people who took issue with this, the third movie, Star Trek: Beyond, has its title game straight.
13 Every show needs one, apparently
The relationship between the Enterprise-D’s first officer William Riker and ship’s counselor Deanna Troi goes back years before The Next Generation even began.
They had a relationship when Starfleet posted then-Ensign Riker on Troi’s home world of Betazed. It was so serious that they referred to each other as “Imzadi,” a term meaning “beloved.”
The two reunited on the Enterprise, and that should have been awkward, but it really wasn’t. They also walked back the whole “Imzadi” thing so that it could also refer to platonic relationships. However, the subtext was always there.
During the final season of their show, Troi started an inexplicable relationship with Lieutenant Worf which lasted about two episodes.
Also, apparently it only existed to provide some drama for future versions of Riker and Worf in the series finale. In the end, Riker comes to terms with Troi moving on.
Then Worf transferred to Deep Space Nine because it couldn’t hurt the ratings, and Troi and Riker got back together in Insurrection and finally got married in Nemesis.
This metaphor doesn’t quite work because Ross and Rachel’s turbulent relationship on Friends was about a quarter of the show. We usually forgot about Riker and Troi’s past until they specifically brought it up for dramatic purposes.
12 We also would have accepted 'Portland'
Ignoring the typo in this meme, it does have a point: very few people in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home seem to notice that the main characters are dressed like they arrived to town on a spaceship.
This is a departure for the series that became a mainstay in later series. The former Enterprise crew (since they blew up their ship in the previous movie) travel back in time to then-modern day San Francisco.
Their goal is to snatch up a couple humpback whales and take them back to the 23rd century with them so that the marine mammals can convince a space probe not to destroy Earth.
Okay, so it’s not a huge departure in terms of how weird and complicated the plot is, but it’s a romp that plays the crew’s culture shock for laughs.
Also, almost every Star Trek show since then has featured episodes with the crew traveling to Earth’s past. However, Voyage Home is definitely the best one of these.
Spock’s Vulcan robes and ear-hiding headband and Kirk’s pink, scalloped shirt aren’t even the weirdest getups in the group.
Uhura and Scotty are walking around in full Starfleet uniforms. However, now that we think about it, people do that in our universe, too. So maybe that’s not a huge deal.
11 All that classical training has paid off
Fans received the Next Generation crew’s second outing, First Contact, generally well (it is an even one, after all). It had time travel, the Borg, and a cameo from Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon during the battle scene at the beginning. It truly had something for everyone.
That’s not to say it was all good, however.
It does have that scene where Picard takes down some Borg with a Thompson submachine gun in the holodeck, and that’s weird.
Then at the end, it turns into a Die Hard-style action movie with Picard losing the uniform for this arm-baring t-shirt and swinging around Main Engineering to avoid the flesh-eating coolant Data just punched out of a tank.
This is not really the stuff we’d expect from a series that’s usually so introspective and focused on progress. Nothing’s wrong with action, of course, but it was just super weird seeing the Shakespeare-reciting, flute-playing Picard taking audiences to the “gun show.”
The next movie, Insurrection, took the tone back down. It was more like an episode of the show; the crew discovers a strange new world and a moral quandary to go with it. It was also pretty boring, so we can’t really complain too much about First Contact.
10 Maybe look up 'irony'
Star Trek: Generations features the fan-pleasing meeting of Captains James Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard... and then it ends with Kirk falling to his doom. It’s a little anticlimactic.
Even this is better than the original version of the scene, however, in which villain Soran simply shoots Kirk in the back. We aren’t sure why they had to get rid of the older captain at all, but neither one they shot feels particularly “right.”
The writers’ original plan was reportedly more impressive and ambitious, and it would have been something to see. Apparently, not only would Generations have the two Enterprise crews meeting, but the original Enterprise would also return.
“I think [we] envisioned the two Enterprises kinda locked in battle and somehow they would meet,” Generations cowriter Brannon Braga said at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention last year. “And Kirk would go down on his bridge, instead of a bridge falling on him.”
This plot would have given the original crew more to do and provided another opportunity for them to go rogue and steal their own ship like they did in The Search for Spock.
We imagine them busting the decommissioned Enterprise-A out of a museum for one more adventure. Also, maybe we could have gotten more than three of the original actors back for that.
9 I'm a doctor, not a necromancer
The end of Into Darkness may repeat Wrath of Khan, with Kirk receiving a lethal dose of radiation to save the ship, but the creators went ahead and sped up the process after that.
We didn’t get a Search for Kirk movie. Instead, he’s back up and running by the end of the movie thanks to the healing powers of Khan’s magic blood.
Bones tests the process on a deceased Tribble to make sure it will work even though the last thing they needed at that point was a possible infestation of furry squeak toys. It worked because the movie said it did, so Kirk was free to return just hours after his untimely (and contrived) end.
Dr. McCoy did this for his friend, not realizing that a breakthrough of this magnitude threatened to put him out of a job. Earlier, Khan heals a girl with a debilitating disease, presumably in the same way.
This suggests that Into Darkness creates a cure for every disease and even mortality. This should have changed the universe completely, but nobody ever mentions it again.
We admit that it’s no less dodgy an explanation for bringing Kirk back than Spock’s regeneration and rapid maturing due to his exposure to the Genesis planet. However, at least that was just a specific, one-time thing.
8 Star Trek: The Next Bad Decision
On the original series, away teams were usually some combination of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty/Chekov/Sulu, and then as many expendable security officers as the writers would need to show how dangerous the planet was.
This changed slightly in The Next Generation, with Riker heading up most away missions.
Regulations specifically prohibited a starship captain from going into potentially dangerous situations. This makes sense because the crew shouldn’t have to prepare for a new leader every time they enter orbit.
Eventually, however, the writers forgot about that in-universe rule and just let Picard leave the ship whenever, and of course, in addition to him, the team often included at least half of the senior officers.
It just seems like a bad idea to endanger your captain, first and second officers, lead engineer, chief medical officer, and head of security. However, that’s what they did in every episode and most of the movies.
Each ship has hundreds of other crew members who are both trained and available to go on these missions. We know that this would present nightmares for casting and production, but it’s one of our lingering issues with the entire franchise.
Considering the constant danger, we assume that they’d be a little more cautious with their senior staff.
7 'Can you show me the way to the next plot point?'
The 2009 Star Trek reboot includes one of the most amazing coincidences in the entire franchise.
After Kirk tries and fails to take over the Enterprise, Spock strands him on a planet to keep him from starting any more trouble. We’d have just thrown him in the brig, but if he’d done that, the rest of the movie wouldn’t have happened.
Kirk reaches the planet and happens to land within running distance of the cave in which the older, original Spock is hanging out. This gives Kirk and the audience a chance to catch up on the plot and all the backstory for Nero, the villain of the movie.
Also, if this isn’t coincidence enough, Star Trek writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman double down on the happy accidents by having Kirk and Spock head for a nearby Federation outpost, where they meet Scotty.
It’s all incredibly implausible when you think about it, but then again, so are transporters and warp drive.
Science fiction concessions are one thing, however. This series of happy accidents feels pretty forced. And it doesn’t necessarily ruin the movie, but it did have us marveling at how neat it all was. Planets are supposed to be pretty big.
6 Benedict Cumber-back
This trend isn’t specific to Star Trek, but it does start with Into Darkness.
For whatever reason, movie studios’ marketing departments have decided that the best way to sell films starring Benedict Cumberbatch is to intentionally hide that he’s in them. This may be the exact opposite of what marketing is supposed to do, but kudos to them for trying a bold new method.
The Into Darkness poster has Khan standing in a blasted-out wall that forms the shape of the distinctive Starfleet insignia. It’s a cool image, even though it did remind us that Abrams and crew were doing everything they could to convince us that Cumberbatch wasn’t playing Khan.
However, Abrams has hidden — and even lied about — details like this before, and everyone knew this was coming.
It was still nice to hold on to the possibility that this was not what was happening, and also that Into Darkness was going to be good instead of just loud and endlessly confusing.
However, we’re past that now, and we’ve moved on to just hoping that director Quentin Tarantino’s reported take on the franchise doesn’t end up as crazy and weird as we’re afraid it will.
Even if it is, though, the soundtrack will probably be really good.
5 You knew this was coming
We could hardly talk about things not making sense in Star Trek movies without addressing one of the most divisive parts of Into Darkness. We mean, of course, the decision to have Benedict Cumberbatch play a role that originally went to Ricardo Montalbán.
This meme sums up the most obvious problem with that. However, in the lead-up to the movie's release, this was one of the most convincing arguments that “John Harrison” was a totally separate character.
Obviously, if the villain was someone who looked a little more like Montalbán, Abram’s misinformation campaign wouldn’t have worked that well.
Cumberbatch is also a good draw. So clearly if you can put him in your movie, you should. We just don’t think he should have been Khan-- it’s just too weird.
Fans have tried to reconcile this difference with their own theories. The most plausible explanation is that “Khan” is just a title denoting leadership. So it’s possible that the “original” Khan expired due to the subtle changes in the Kelvin timeline, and Cumberbatch’s character succeeded him.
The other possibility is that he’s only pretending to be Khan. Those cryotubes didn’t necessarily have name tags on them, and “Harrison” knew that they’d just put him back in unless he said he was in charge. We couldn’t really blame him.
The truth, though, is that he’s the real Khan, and this doesn’t make sense outside of Cumberbatch’s star power and the character's name recognition.
4 That we know of...
David Marcus appears in Wrath of Khan as one of the lead scientists on the Genesis project, which aims to instantly terraform planets so they’ll support life. He is also Admiral Kirk’s son, as we discover later.
The joke here is that Kirk has such a reputation as a womanizer that he almost certainly has more than one offspring. It’s a big galaxy, and Kirk has smooched up a lot of it.
Even though David didn’t grow up knowing his father, he does share some of his qualities.
When he couldn’t find a way around a problem with the Genesis project, for example, he took a shortcut by using highly unstable “protomatter.” This is why the planet rips itself apart soon after it comes into being.
However, it’s also how Spock grows from a child to Leonard Nimoy in the course of a couple days, so it wasn’t all bad.
This reckless carelessness and disregard for rules mirrors his father’s own decisions. As we hear about in Wrath of Khan — and see for ourselves in the 2009 movie — Kirk cheated on a major test at Starfleet Academy.
The Kobayashi Maru scenario was supposed to present a situation that was impossible to win. However, Kirk reprogrammed it so he could succeed because losing is inconsistent with his values.
3 James T. Kirk's keys to success
While we’re on the subject of Kirk’s tenuous relationship with responsibility, this meme presents a recurring theme of his leadership style.
The Enterprise captain has occasionally found himself at odds with his crew. This is because they’re usually the voices of reason and caution, and he’d much prefer to get the job done as quickly as possible and move on to the next adventure.
His crew is typically up for some of his wilder ideas, however, provided that they get to be in on the fun.
This is why they helped him steal the Enterprise to go retrieve Spock’s body from Genesis. Also, as a bonus, Uhura got to lock a rude young officer in a closet, and Sulu got to beat up a big jerk who called him “Tiny.”
Regardless, it’s Kirk who has the reputation as the risk-taker, and that’s especially true in the reboot movies. At the beginning of Into Darkness, he violates the Federation’s Prime Directive of non-interference by leading a village of people away from the volcano that threatens to wipe them out.
Meanwhile, however, Spock was inside the mountain trying to stop it from erupting. So really, that entire mission was telling the Prime Directive to take a walk.
2 The second Picard
A gap exists between the Next Generation series and the four movies that followed it. The movies have way bigger budgets and better production values, but the characters also have some big differences.
We aren’t just talking about Data’s emotion chip here, either. Captain Picard in particular behaves in ways inconsistent with the person we watched for seven seasons. This meme features one of the major examples of this.
It shows a scene from Nemesis in which Picard, while disregarding regulations by leading an away team, takes an opportunity to go do donuts and sick jumps on an alien planet in the Enterprise’s onboard dune buggy.
No part of that makes particular sense, but it’s in the movie, anyway. Then we have Action Picard from First Contact.
However, the biggest contrast between Series Picard and Movie Picard is at the end of Generations.
The captain and his first officer are looking through the wreckage of the Enterprise to try to find Picard’s family photo album. While doing so, he picks up a little sculpture and tosses it aside.
Sharp-eyed fans recognize that as the Kurlan naiskos figurine that Picard received in the episode “The Chase”. It's extremely rare, and the captain was in awe just to see one.
However, Movie Picard just throws it aside like garbage, and that’s a big shift.
1 In space, everyone can hear you scream
We could hardly talk about the Star Trek movies without mentioning the series’ most iconic moment.
It’s from Wrath of Khan, when the villain leaves Kirk, McCoy, David, and Carol Marcus trapped inside of an asteroid, seemingly forever.
The point is to hurt Kirk and leave him knowing that Khan defeated him instead of just ending his life quickly. It’s also a sort of poetic justice from Khan’s perspective, since he blames Kirk for stranding him on Ceti Alpha V and never checking on him.
Kirk responds in the most Kirk way possible, and the camera cuts to outside the asteroid, where the yell does, in fact, seem to be echoing in space. Obviously that’s impossible, but so are all the loud explosions in a vacuum that we’ve been seeing for 40 years now, and we accept them.
The best part of this scene is that Kirk is putting on a show for his adversary. He knows that the Enterprise is nearby, undergoing repairs with plans to retrieve everyone in a few hours.
However, he has to make it look good, and if he has to violate laws of science and acoustics to make it happen, that’s just what he’ll have to do.
Are there any other Star Trek memes that prove the movies make no sense? Sound off in the comments!