Ever since the airing of the first Star Trek episode- "The Man Trap"- on 8th September 1966, Star Trek and its franchise have become a core component of modern-day culture. Over the course of 50 years, there have been 13 feature films and 6 television series, along with an ever-growing constellation of games, comics, toys, and books. So if you are someone late to the world of Star Trek and looking to get started, then here is a Star Trek character 101 for you.

James T Kirk

1/13James T Kirk
James T Kirk
Captain James T Kirk is the most synonymous word with Star Trek and USS Enterprise. Kirk appeared in the Star Trek: The Original Series and has been portrayed in numerous films, books, comics, webisodes, and video games, leading his crew as they explore "new worlds, where no man has gone before."

Kirk born in Iowa became the first and the only student at Starfleet Academy to defeat the Kobayashi Maru test, a computer simulation with "no-win scenario." Before becoming the youngest captain in the history of Starfleet, Kirk served on board of the USS Republic and USS Farragut. James T Kirk can be described, as Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block noted in their Star Trek 101 primer, "cunning, courageous and confident". Kirk also has a "tendency to ignore Starfleet regulations when he feels the end justifies the means"; he is "the quintessential officer, a man among men and a hero for the ages.

Kirk was brought to life on silver screen by William Shatner, who went on to portray the character in all the three series and many of the movies followed.
Originally the character was named Jeffrey Hunter in the early pilot episode, the character was partly based on C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower hero and depicted as an "a man with very human emotions." According to Shatner himself " "Kirk was a man who marveled and greatly appreciated the endless surprises presented to him by the universe ... He didn't take things for granted and, more than anything else, respected life in every one of its weird weekly adventure forms".

Jean-Luc Picard

2/13Jean-Luc Picard
Jean-Luc Picard
In 1986, following the massive success of Star Trek films, a new Star Trek television series started named Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the series, a new captain was introduced to lead the USS Enterprise Jean Luc Picard.

Originally, creator of the show Gene Roddenberry, wanted Stephen Macht, the father of Gabriel Macht (Suits’ Harvey Specter) to play the role of Picard, as he wanted an actor who was "masculine, virile, and had a lot of hair". However, after a very convincing audition and pressure from casting directors, "a middle-aged bald English Shakespearean actor" by the name Patrick Stewart was cast, who then went on to make Picard one of the two best captains in the Star Trek universe.

In contrast to impulsive and pragmatic Kirk, Picard was depicted as deeply moral, highly logical, and intelligent, Picard is a master of diplomacy and debate who resolves seemingly intractable issues between multiple, sometimes implacable parties with his wisdom. Though such resolutions are usually peaceful, Picard is also shown using his remarkable tactical cunning in situations when it is required.

The character has near-universal critical acclaim among fans of The Next Generation, and there are often lengthy and serious debates over whether Picard or James T. Kirk is the "best" Starfleet captain.

Spock

3/13Spock
Spock
If there is any other character in the Star Trek franchise, that is as iconic as the USS Enterprise and James Kirk, then it is none other than the might Spock. Spok played by the now legendary Leonard Nimoy serves the USS Enterprise as science officer and first officer in The Original Series.

Spock, a half human and half Vulcan, Spock serves as a Federation ambassador, contributing toward the easing of the strained relationship between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, after retiring from Starfleet.

Leonard “Bones” McCoy

4/13Leonard “Bones” McCoy
Leonard “Bones” McCoy
Leonard 'Bones' McCoy, originally played by DeForest Kelley, was the chief medical officer of the USS Enterprise.McCoy is suspicious of technology,[especially the transporter. As a physician, he prefers less intrusive treatment and believes in the body's innate recuperative powers.

A close confidant of Kirk, passionate, sometimes cantankerous McCoy frequently argues with Kirk's other confidant, science officer Spock, often offering an offering a counterpoint to Spock's logic.

Khan Noonien Singh

5/13Khan Noonien Singh
Khan Noonien Singh
Khan first appeared in The Original Series episode "Space Seed", portrayed by Ricardo Montalban. The character once controlled more than a quarter of the Earth during the Eugenics Wars of the 1990s, was revived from suspended animation in 2267 by the crew of the Starship Enterprise. As a result, Khan attempts to capture the starship but is thwarted by James T. Kirk and exiled on Ceti Alpha V to create a new society with his people. In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, set fifteen years after "Space Seed", Khan escapes his exile and sets out to exact revenge upon Kirk.

Montgomery Scott

6/13Montgomery Scott
Montgomery Scott
Montgomery Scott, or Scotty, was the second officer and "miracle worker" of USS Enterprise. Born and raised in Aberdeen, Scotland, his technical knowledge and skill allow him to devise unconventional and effective last-minute solutions to dire problems. In The Star Trek Compendium, Alen Asherman notes that Scotty's identity is strongly connected to the Enterprise itself, and the character often takes a paternal attitude toward the ship.

Q

7/13Q
Q
Q appears is a character that appeared in Next Generation, Deep Space 9, and Voyager series, portrayed by John de Lancie. His origins are unknown and possess immeasurable power over normal human notions of time, space, the laws of physics, and even reality itself. And he is being capable of violating or altering any or all of them in unpredictable ways limited only by his imagination.

Data

8/13Data
Data
Data is self-aware artificial intelligence and synthetic life form designed and built by Doctor Noonien Soong.

Data was found by Starfleet in 2338 as a sole survivor on Omicron Theta in the rubble of a colony left after an attack from the Crystalline Entity. He is an anatomically fully functional android who serves as the second officer and chief operations officer aboard the Federation starship USS Enterprise-D and USS Enterprise-E.

The character introduced in the Next Generation was played by actor Brent Spiner.

The Borg Queen

9/13The Borg Queen
The Borg Queen
The Borg are a vast collection of "drones", or cybernetic organisms linked in a hive mind called "the Collective", or "the Hive". The Borg Queen is the focal point within the Borg collective consciousness and a unique drone within the collective, who often refers to herself as "we" and "I" interchangeably.

Worf

10/13Worf
Worf
Worf is one of the most visually recognizable characters in that appears in both The Original Series and Next Generation. Worf, a Klingon, was adopted by Federation parents after his parents were killed in a Romulan attack.Although Worf was raised by humans, he considered himself a Klingon at heart and studied the ways of his people. In the Next Generation, Worf was, Worf was assigned to the USS Enterprise-D as relief flight control and tactical officer.

Odo

11/13Odo
Odo
Odo is a character that appears in the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is a member of a species called the Changelings, who can space shift.He serves as the head of security for the space station Deep Space Nine.Intelligent, observant and taciturn, Odo uses his unique abilities to maintain security on the DS9 station and, later, aids the Bajoran people and the Federation throughout the Dominion War against his own people, the Founders.

Sarek

12/13Sarek
Sarek
Sarek is a Vulcan astrophysicist, the Vulcan ambassador to the United Federation of Planets. The character first appears in the 1967 episode "Journey to Babel" for The Original Series.

Seven of Nine

13/13Seven of Nine
Seven of Nine
Seven of Nine is a character that appears in seasons three through seven of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager. She is a former Borg drone who joins the crew of the Federation starship Voyager.