After nearly 50 years, Star Trek is still transporting us. But which Star Trek? There have been so many, and we all have our own favorites. It's not just generational, either — it's personal. Here's a handy* guide to what your favorite version of Star Trek says about you.
Top image: TrekCore/Madame Tussauds
The differences between the Star Trek versions go beyond the different captains — there are also the different crews and ships (or space station). And a different attitude to exploration.
So here we boldly go...
The Original Series
You love to go out every night and get into trouble. You like your Saurian brandy strong and your whiskey straight from the bottle. Sometimes you can't quite remember what happened the next day, and there are cameraphone videos of you acting "out of character" — almost as if you were duplicated by the transporter or affected by a weird goop or hit with bliss spores. But you always manage to laugh it off. You're loyal to your friends, but nobody can tell you what to do. You hate authority figures, especially old dudes. You like to get kind of baked and talk about philosophy and the nature of social evolution, but you're also really good at your job when everything's about to blow up. Most of all, you want to help people sort out their messed-up shit — you're the person that everyone calls when they want to do an intervention on someone.
The Animated Series
You're an explorer, but you never get into too much hot water. You like to hang out and watch TV with your cat and your friends, just as much as going out on the town. You don't really drink as much as you used to, and your friends are always worried that you're kind of regressing to childhood. You do a lot of drugs, but mostly just hallucinogens. You don't really have a problem with authority, and you kind of like it when your grandpa stops by — but you mostly just like hanging out with your friends. And your cat.
The Original Cast Movies
Your life is one long series of losing things — and then getting them back, but losing other things in the process. Someone steals your car, and by the time you get your car back, you've lost your phone. You can't ever quite manage to win without losing. You like being in charge, but you hate having too much responsibility, and you wish you could just stay a middle manager forever. You like to laugh — but it's a wry, slightly bitter chuckle, not a belly laugh. Haters are always giving you a hard time, because they don't understand how awesome you are or because they blame you for stuff that happened when you weren't even there. Even when a hot naked android turns up in your shower, you can't really get too excited about it.
The Next Generation
You're constantly trying to reach consensus with everybody, and it kind of drives people nuts but they also love you for it. Even when there's no actual conflict or there's just a small misunderstanding, you're like, "let's have a rap session. Let's have a house meeting. Let's go into the break room and have some oatmeal bars and hash things out." You just like having lots of meetings and making sure everybody is really friends. You also like to go hiking a lot, and hanging out at the mall. You like to play squash, and the mall has a squash court, which is just awesome. Also, you try to eat at every restaurant in the mall food court, because you want to be open to experiencing different cultures. You like chocolate a LOT. Also, you love culture, like Shakespeare. And landscape paintings. You like to hug everyone, and make sure all your friends like each other. So you can all hang out at the mall. You have a problem with bullies, especially bullies who try to force everyone to conform, or try to make everything about money.
Deep Space Nine
You kind of hate everyone. Maybe you were picked on a lot when you were younger, or maybe your parents were immigrants who fled from persecution and then faced discrimination in their new home. Whatever the reason, you have a dim view of human nature and you don't want to take part in anyone's house meetings. You're obsessed with conspiracy theories that the CIA created AIDS, and the NSA is watching you in the shower. And you like to experiment with religion, especially like Kabbalah or anything New Age that involves lots of cool visions that THEY don't want you to see. But you also believe a strong military is needed (because of your dim view of human nature) and support getting tough with Russia and North Korea. You regard war as a natural extension of politics. You and your friends are constantly getting drunk and getting into fights and then making up and getting drunk again. You all cry together, a lot.
The TNG Movies
Nobody understands how cool you and your friends are, even though you try to explain it to people a lot. You guys are so awesome — you dress up as 18th century sailors, you go out to the desert and ride around in yourdune buggy for hours, you sit around shaving each other. Your coworkers and random acquaintances get tired of hearing about all the cool things you and your friends did on the weekend, but that just means you haven't fully explained how cool it all was yet. Sometimes people try to copy you and imitate your style, but you're too cool for them. You and your cool friends hate all those posers who try to be the most beautiful or have the best gear — but they don't have a cool dune buggy like you do. You ride around in your dune buggy for hours and hours and hours. Maybe this year you'll go to Burning Man, or Coachella. You've heard those are pretty chill. And you could bring your dune buggy.
Life is constantly presenting you with unfamiliar situations and weird people, and you don't really like it — you just want to go home. You're paranoid that foreigners will try and steal your car or take your job, but you also make a huge effort to be nice to everyone and try to understand their point of view, even though you know it'll never work out. You like to nurture people and help bring out the best in them, but you're never entirely sure if they want your mentorship or if they're just putting up with you. In general, you can't tell if people like you, and it makes you nervous — if people disagree with you, you'll change your opinion until the maximum number of people agree. You like to be theatrical, entering a room with a hearty laugh or possibly a showtune, but then you don't really know how to keep the larger-than-life vibe going once you're actually in the room. You just want to go home! But then you also like to go on weird vacations, like that time you spent a month living in an Irish village and trying to seduce anyone with an Irish accent.
The New Frontier
Your life is basically one big soap opera, and people have a hard time keeping track of who's sleeping with whom in your social circle. Your partner's mom is trying to control everything in your life, and meanwhile you're constantly getting dragged into weird office politics at work. You want to be a footloose and fancy free explorer, swinging a nice sword, but instead you're more like the one stable person in a world full of lunatics, and you find yourself settling down and getting married instead of going out and being a wild and crazy person.
Everything is too frustrating and annoying. You see yourself as a great pioneer and explorer, going out and conquering new frontiers and breaking new ground in the name of discovery and exploration and stuff. But you're always getting dragged into people's confusing and nonsensical quarrels instead. Like for a year or two, this guy at work wanted to drag you into his interdepartmental battle with some shadowy figure who worked in another building, and you never even figured out what that was all about. Every time you're all set to make some cool discoveries, at work or on the weekends, someone calls a safety drill or convenes another boring meeting about not misusing office supplies, or calls you to come over right away because a grown man swallowed a hundred Lego bricks. You packed a really neat lunch to go out exploring in the wilderness, but instead you're trying to help a 40-year-old barf up Lego. You want to escape from this dead-end life, but you don't know how.
Starfleet Corps of Engineers and Vanguard
You love to fix things— anything, any time. You will come over to your friend's place in the middle of the night if his or her toaster is toasting too much on one side and not on the other. You live for weird mysteries, too — like, if there's a glitch that nobody can explain, or a weird green slime in the fridge that nobody can identify, you will put everything else on hold to figure it out.
The J.J. Abrams movies
You're a diamond in the rough, baby. You just haven't achieved your full potential yet, but as soon as you do, people will totally fall all over themselves to admire you. You're still figuring out who you are and what you're about, but you already know deep down that you're the best, at everything. Because you already know you're the best, you tend to blow things off while you go wind-surfing or hang-gliding or skateboarding — you love extreme sports! In general, you tend to wait until things get really really bad, and then you jump in and come up with some miraculous solution that shouldn't work but does. You have a huge temper and tend to get into brawls with friends, colleagues, strangers and small poodles — but then you hug and make up, and the whole misunderstanding just brings people that much closer to the eventual realization that you're the best. The Best. Now who wants to go do some extreme sports?
* Note: This guide will not actually be handy. At all.