The Star Trek franchise has been a beloved fixture of the science fiction genre for the past six decades. Since the original series aired in 1966, it has inspired fans around the world to gaze up at the stars with wonder after watching the exploits of the USS Enterprise and its intrepid crew. Several other Star Trek series were created to capture the magic of the original, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine, to the latest Star Trek: Discovery and Picard.
The many television shows and feature films didn’t just get fans inspired by space exploration; they got fans inspired to commemorate their love for all things Star Trek with some amazing tattoos. From face-palming Picard to beautiful renditions of the United Federation of Planets seal and the Starfleet Insignia, Trekkies have found unique ways to show off their favorite aspects of the Star Trek fandom. Here are the 10 best Star Trek tattoos only true fans will understand.
One of the niftiest pieces of technology in all of Star Trek is the replicator, which allows a person to request anything they want from it by stating the item’s name, followed by any descriptors that might make their request more accurate. From their favorite food—something chocolate for Counselor Troi—to any piece of equipment—parts to fix a warp core for Geordi—it materializes in front of them in the blink of an eye.
This adorable tattoo depicts Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s most requested item from the replicator; a cup of Earl Grey tea served piping hot! It’s use of bold color is in keeping with Star Trek’s iconic color palette, and notice the Enterprise inside the cup!
The starships featured in Star Trek have always been fascinating to fans of the franchise, especially given how widely they vary. The most widely recognized starship in Starfleet, the USS Enterprise, is a Constitution-class ship that has a dozen different variations throughout the various television series and films in which it’s featured.
The Klingons and the Romulans are fond of using the Bird-of-Prey, a small warship that resembles a bird of prey such as a falcon or an eagle, with its wings in a forward gliding position. This Redditor's tattoo is a stylish silhouette of the Enterprise outrunning two Birds-of-Prey, their warp trails streaming behind them into the words, “Boldly Go!”
One of the most famous agencies in all of Star Trek, and one of the oldest in Starfleet, the Starfleet Corps of Engineers, headquartered at Fleet Operations Center in San Francisco on Earth, enjoys an interstellar reputation for being masters of modification and technological adaptation.
One of the most famous among their august ranks was Geordi La Forge, in charge of Starfleet Engineering on the NCC Enterprise 1701-D in Star Trek: The Next Generation. His aptitude for solving complex engineering problems was unmatched! Chelsea Youngblood's tattoo of the Corps’ symbol, complete with Starfleet logo and the two wheat boughs of the UFP, is a commitment to technical excellence.
When the first Star Trek series launched in 1966, Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and the rest of the daring crew of the USS Enterprise were sent on their peaceful mission of exploration by the United Federation of Planets. It’s an interstellar government made up of numerous planetary systems, all working together to reach common objectives involving space exploration, scientific research, conflict resolution, and interstellar commerce.
The UFP is often simply referred to as the “Federation” in various Star Trek series, and its seal is a cluster of stars encircled by two wheat boughs. This Redditor's tattoo features the same cluster of stars, but two cherry blossom branches instead for a unique twist on a traditional piece of sci-fi imagery.
The Vulcans aren’t known for being very expressive, often letting their hands “do the talking” so to speak. One of their most infamous attack maneuvers is the “Vulcan neck pinch”, which allows them to render an opponent immobile just by pinching a certain nerve on their necks. But the most famous hand sign attributed to Vulcans is the formation of a “V” with their fingers, along with the parting words, “Live long, and prosper.”
This tattoo depicts a hand giving the Vulcan “V”, which looks to be made of a stone or crystal that is crumbling away amidst billowing smoke. Between the middle and ring finger of the hand is a white outline of the original USS Enterprise, soaring off into the stars.
Flowers have often played an important part in Star Trek. In the original series from 1966, the “singing plant” of Talos IV,a blue plant with a broad lily-pad shaped leaf and a white blossom on top, was heavily featured in the episode “The Cage”. The plant also referenced in Star Trek: Discovery more than fifty years later! Mr. Spock even declared his love for a woman due to spore-producing flowers in “This Side of Paradise”.
This tattoo depicts a beautiful blue, black, and white flower, though it doesn’t bear any resemblance to the singing plants of Talos IV. It’s long green vines snake in tendrils around the arrow-head shaped pennant of the Starfleet insignia in silver and gold.
The most famous ship in all of Star Trek, the USS Enterprise has had a dozen different variations over the past sixty years. The most recognizable version of the Constitution-class ship is the NCC-1701 captained by James T. Kirk from the original Star Trek series. The second most recognizable version is the NCC-1701-D, captained by Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Only a truly dedicated Trekkie would get the ship designation of the TNG Enterprise tattooed on their knuckles, but we have to admit, the numbers combined with the ghostly outline of the vessel look very cool when brought together. Unfortunately, the placement of a tattoo anywhere on the hands requires a lot of touch-up work depending on how often you use them.
Though Star Trek: The Next Generation gave us a lot of memorable characters, one of the most maligned—at least at first—was young Wesley Crusher, son of Ship’s Doctor Beverly Crusher, and pain in Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s ass. To be fair, Wil Wheaton could only play the part given to him, and Gene Roddenberry saw Wes as a bit of a “boy wonder”, but his wide-eyed naivete was often annoying amidst the grounded drama of Star Trek.
This tattoo has it all; Picard facepalming from another stupid thing Wesley’s said surrounded by yellow baroque filigree. And of course, at the bottom, the immortal words, “Shut up, Wesley!” to commemorate the few times when Captain Picard actually lost his cool.
To Klingons, the Sword of Kahless is one of the most famous artifacts in their culture. The original bat’leth, it is an ancient weapon that the mighty warrior Kahless used to defeat the tyrannical Molor. Whoever possesses it would gain honor and prestige in the Kling Empire the likes of which they have never known.
The sword was first featured in and made for the Season Four opening episode of Deep Space Nine. It was more ornate than the usual bat’leths used by Klingons in previous Star Trek series, with hand-etched engravings giving it a more unique aesthetic. This chest tattoo of the Sword of Kahless is only for the most dedicated Trekkie and an honorary member of the Klingon Empire.
When Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered in 1987, it was hard to imagine any new crew of the USS Enterprise living up to the memorable crew of the original series. But after countless films with the cast of the original series over twenty years, the time had come for them to pass the torch to a younger generation.
TNG became just as popular as the original Star Trek series, perhaps even more so. The adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, his second in command William Riker, and the lovable android Data were every bit as thrilling as those of Captain James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Doc McCoy. This back tattoo is a beautiful commemoration of the bold men of Starfleet who boldly went where no one has gone before.