(written from a Production point of view)
|Third edition cover|
|Author(s):||Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda, with Debbie Mirek|
|Published:||1 May 1994|
January 1995 (Germany)
August 1998 (Japan)
1 December 1997
1 October 1999
10 April 2003 (Japan)
May 2011 (eBook)
|Pages:|| 400 (1st ed., 364 Germany, 495 Japan)|
640 (2nd ed.)
745 (3rd ed., 794 Japan)
|Reference(s):||ISBN 0671869051 (1st ed., softcover)|
ISBN 0671886843 (1st ed., hardcover)
ISBN 3893654496 (1st ed., Germany)
ISBN 4883214311 (1st ed., Japan)
ISBN 0671536079 (2nd ed.)
ISBN 0671536095 (3rd ed., softcover)
ISBN 0671034758 (3rd ed., hardcover)
ISBN 4812518725 (3rd ed., Japan)
ISBN 1451646887 (3rd ed., eBook)
The Star Trek Encyclopedia - A Reference Guide to the Future is the "definitive" Star Trek reference book, compiled by the production staff and officially licensed and endorsed by Paramount Pictures. An A-Z encyclopedia covering subjects from Andorians to Zefram Cochrane to Atoz, the Star Trek Encyclopedia was compiled by Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager staffers Denise and Michael Okuda. It includes summaries of all episodes, descriptions of all characters, rundowns of all locations, data on all lifeforms, and details on all starships that appeared in the Star Trek universe up to the fifth season of Voyager, and the final season of DS9 in the third edition.
While the first edition was still executed in black and white, the two subsequent editions were full color editions, all of which featuring artwork by Doug Drexler. The first and third editions came in softcover and in hardcover in a dust jacket variants whereas the second edition was only executed as a hardcover book.
- From the interior book jacket (3rd. edition)
- From 'audet IX [sic] to Zytchin III, this book covers it all. This is the ultimate reference book for all Star Trek fans !
- Added to this edition are 128 new pages. This addendum highlights the latest episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine®, Star Trek: Voyager® and the newest feature film, Star Trek: Insurrection™.
- The thousands of photos and hundreds of illustrations place the Star Trek universe at your fingertips, Planets and stars, weapons and ships, people and places are just part of the meticulous research and the countless cross-references that fill this book.
- Not taken into account were officially licensed non-live action works – such as the various Star Trek novels, comics, and games, considered "non-official" or apocryphal – , nor was Star Trek: The Animated Series, considered non-canon at the time of writing, or any previously licensed in-universe reference work, hitherto considered "official". Co-author Debbie Mirek has commented regarding the Animated Series, "I am not really sure why it was discounted. I believe Roddenberry did not like the animated series, and Michael, who respected the man enormously, valued his opinion. Gene was largely out of the loop for TNG, in my opinion, so what happened with ST:2 WOK and onward, shouldn't be attributed to him. Mike worked on all those films, and they have to be recognized as part of the "universe"." 
- Greg Jein's "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship" article, written as a fan two decades earlier, is the only (non-official) outside secondary source acknowledged in the Encyclopedia (1st ed, p. 57; 3rd ed, pp. 85-86). The Constitution-class registries in the Encyclopedia are largely based on this article, starting their journey to elevation into canon.
- Some articles (generally only a paragraph or two long) contain little-known facts from real world behind-the-scenes, annotated in italicized fonts to distinguish them from the overall in-universe writing of the work. Many also featured images created specifically for the Encyclopedia, including shots of barely visible starships like the Saber-class and Akira-class vessels, and a photograph of Cochrane's statue.
- While the authors had incorporated some conjectural historical information in their earlier Star Trek Chronology, mostly pertaining to early non-canonically established Star Trek history, they refrained from including most of that information in the Encyclopedia, strictly adhering to what was established on screen. The Encyclopedia was essentially a byproduct from the research the authors had performed for the Chronology, the first edition of which published one year prior to the first edition release of the Encyclopedia. "We again worked by episode, but used the scripts as a reference tool (once they were matched to the aired version of the episode). We catalogued terms, not just chronological data. We did the chronology for the sake of the chronology...it was only afterwards that the idea for the encyclopedia came up.", Mirek clarified. 
- Though for the most part adhering to what was canonically established, there was some conjecture included in the Encyclopedia, aside from some of the Constitution-class registries, as the authors made several references to material that was never explicitly noted in canon (i.e. made up exclusively for the Encyclopedia) or that came from unspecified materials that have yet to be identified on screen. The vast majority of these references were the registries, class designations, and some of the classes themselves assigned to Federation starships which were otherwise indicated on screen by name only, beit orally or visually. The following classes appeared in the Star Trek Encyclopedia and are noted as conjectural, but not on what basis. Rigel-class was mentioned on a Starfleet Operations chart in "Brothers":
- Two editions saw a Japanese-language release which, while largely faithful translations, were updated and expanded versions from their English-language counterparts. The only other known international release is the slightly abridged 1995 German-language first edition, published by Heel.
- As stated in the 1999 third edition summary, the last published edition of the Encyclopedia featured a 128-page separate special section in the rear containing information from Insurrection, the final season of Deep Space Nine and the fifth season of Voyager. This was a cost-saving measure, as integrating this information alphabetically into the existing material of the second edition would have resulted in a greater publishing expense and thus a higher price.
- It seems unlikely that a fourth edition of the Encyclopedia will ever be forthcoming. Editors from Pocket Books have indicated that they have little interest in continuing their line of Star Trek reference books, such as the technical manuals, the Encyclopedia, and the Chronology, due to the low sales such high-priced items are perceived to engender. The only "official" exhaustive reference work that is still updated is the Library of StarTrek.com, though this sometimes contains discrepancies.
- A popular and influential work, the official Star Trek franchise treats it, together with the Star Trek Chronology, as the sole primary quasi-canon sources for all subsequent in-universe reference works print publications, and requires licensed works of this kind, published since then, to be in concordance with the information contained within these two works, such as the later GE Fabbri and Haynes Publishing Star Trek publications. As a consequence, the franchise has officially debunked previously licensed reference works written from an in-universe perspective (from which not a single piece of information was taken into account in either the Encyclopedia or the Chronology), most notably Franz Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual as well as Shane Johnson's Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise and Worlds of the Federation. Labeled "unofficial", these works were de facto demoted by the franchise to the apocryphal status of novels, comics, and games. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 11, p. 71)
- "Star Trek Encyclopedias", Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 4, pp. 90-91