(written from a Production point of view)
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. With artwork from Doug Drexler, 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.
The fourth edition of the Encyclopedia, comprising two hardcover volumes in a slipcase, is expected to be released in October 2016. Produced by becker&mayer! and published by HarperCollins Publishers, this new edition – the first in seventeen years – will include three hundred new pages covering the remaining seasons of Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as Star Trek Nemesis and an appendix discussing the alternate reality. 
- 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.
Background information Edit
- Articles generally comprise one or two paragraphs. Some contain behind-the-scenes information, annotated in italicized fonts to distinguish them from the in-universe approach of the work. Many also featured images created specifically for the Encyclopedia, including shots of barely visible starships like the Saber-class and Norway-class vessels, and a photograph of Cochrane's statue.
- The first edition of the Encyclopedia was published in black and white, and in both hardcover and softcover formats. It contained material from Star Trek: The Original Series, the first six Star Trek movies, Star Trek: The Next Generation to partway through season 7, and part of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 1. This edition was translated into Japanese and German (1995, published by Heel).
- The second edition saw the Encyclopedia published in full color. It was only published in hardcover format. It added information from the remainder of TNG Season 7, Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Deep Space Nine to partway through season 5 and Star Trek: Voyager to partway through season 3.
- The third edition of the Encyclopedia retained the full-color format, and had both hardcover and softcover releases. However, this edition took a different approach to its update – which covered Star Trek: Insurrection, Deep Space Nine to partway through season 7 (but with main character details covering the final episodes) and Voyager to partway through season 5 – as it was provided in a 128-page appendix to the second edition material. 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. This edition was released in hardcover in Japanese and Italian (translated from English by Massimiliano Antonioli for Fanucci Editore as the Enciclopedia ufficiale di Star Trek). Both of these editions contained fifty pages of additional material over their English-language source publication.
Sources and usage Edit
- The Encyclopedia was essentially a byproduct from the extensive research the authors had already performed for the Star Trek Chronology, the first edition of which was published one year prior to that 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.", Co-author Debbie Mirek clarified. 
- As with its progenitor, not taken into account were officially licensed non-live action works – such as the various Star Trek novels, comics, and games, which are considered apocryphal; nor was Star Trek: The Animated Series, which was considered non-canon at the time of writing the Encyclopedia, or any previously licensed in-universe reference work which had hitherto been considered "official". Mirek 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 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 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"." 
- As of 2002, the official Star Trek franchise treats both the Chronology and the Encyclopedia as the sole primary reference sources (beyond the episodes/movies themselves) for all subsequent in-universe reference works; as such these two works are elevated to the status of "quasi-canon". Licensed works of this kind – such as the later GE Fabbri and Haynes Publishing Star Trek publications (the Okuda author couple are not seldomly assigned to the later publications as "technical consultants" to ensure compliance) – are required to be in concordance with the information contained within these two works. As a consequence, all previous reference works written from an in-universe perspective were no longer considered official references – 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 – and no information from these was taken into account in either the Encyclopedia or the Chronology. Labeled "unofficial", these works were de facto debunked and demoted by the franchise to the apocryphal status of novels, comics, and games. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 11, p. 71) Greg Jein's "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship" article, written as a fan two decades earlier, was the only unofficial source acknowledged in the Encyclopedia (1994, p. 57; 1999, pp. 85-86). The Constitution-class registries in the Encyclopedia are largely based on this article, starting their journey to elevation into canon.
- 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 identified on screen by name only, be it orally or visually. Classes noted as conjectural are listed below.
- While the authors had incorporated some conjectural historical information in their earlier 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. However, there were two noticeable exceptions; the designs of the SS Valiant and the Daedalus-class of which Jein had built reference models for representation in the Chronology. Both were also visually represented in the Encyclopedia, as Okuda and Drexler championed their elevation into canon, that of the Daedalus-class in particular. The latter at least managed to make on-screen appearances as a display model, though the link between class-name and appearance remained unestablished. See: Daedalus class model for further information.
- The wikia's Memory Alpha site was not used for research when compiling the 2016 edition. 
Conjectural ship classesEdit
The following classes appeared in the Star Trek Encyclopedia and are noted as conjectural, but not on what basis. Rigel-class and Yosemite-class were mentioned on a Starfleet Operations chart in "Brothers":
Cover gallery Edit
Further reading Edit
- "Star Trek Encyclopedias", Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 4, pp. 90-91