Aboard the main deck of the USS Enterprise are (left to right): Chekov (Walter Koenig), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Scotty (James Doohan), and Sulu (George Takei).
Movies - TV
Why Star Trek's Ever-Changing Uniforms Are More Than Just Style Choices
The first-season finale of "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” ends with Future Pike meeting Present Pike to tell him about the possibility of a future timeline. Appearing in the uniform first seen in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”, the audience knows where Future Pike ventured from.
While Trekkies love continuity, there have been many instances of uniform changes throughout the Starfleet’s existence. From the sexist mini-skirts in the original series, to the color-coded variations in “The Next Generation” and “Deep Space Nine”, the distinct uniforms tell the audience what era the characters are living in.
Because several Star Trek shows were airing simultaneously in the early 90’s, the uniforms had to be distinct to separate the shows. In the current Paramount+ era of Star Trek, this has become much harder to delineate because of the crossing timelines of many of the shows.
"Star Trek's" timeline reveals that Trek, unlike other sci-fi franchises, offers a very distinct, recorded history and chronology. But the frequent uniform redesigns serve both a story function as well as a taxonomic function, and can serve as guideposts in case the audience gets a little lost or overwhelmed.