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First Contact Day: Patrick Stewart, Star Trek legends to celebrate with first looks, panels on April 5

By Benjamin Bullard

Star Trek is boldly assembling its galaxy-spanning stars and creative minds for a galactically great celebration, lining up a day of virtual panels, streaming marathons and more to commemorate a milestone anniversary in Trekkie lore: stardate 73726.8 (that’s April 5, 2063 in Earth-speak), the date when humans and Vulcans made that fateful first contact.

First Contact Day is beaming up in a big way next week, launching hours of exclusive Star Trek content on April 5, a “pivotal moment of exploration and acceptance in Star Trek history,” according to Paramount+. In addition to panel appearances from Trek legends like Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, and Alice Krige, the streaming event also will put fans in the middle of exclusive news and discussions featuring the creative minds behind the Star Trek universe.

“Join hosts Wil Wheaton and Mica Burton for almost three hours of free themed virtual panels and programming that will feature cast members and creative minds from Star Trek as they discuss exploration, unity through diversity and new frontiers in the franchise,” teases the network, “while offering exclusive sneak peeks into what’s next in the Star Trek Universe on Paramount+.”

We’ll let Cpts. Picard & Kirk share the optimism of everything First Contact Day means to Trek fans in the teaser clip below:

Framing all the panels and behind-the-scenes talk will be a curated “Best of First Contacts” streaming marathon — one that hones in on those iconic moments of first contact taken from 10 different Star Trek series. The entire livestream will be free to view online at, as well as PlutoTV and the Paramount+ Twitch page.

First Contact Day (and every day, for Trek fans) is all about celebrating the legacy of creator Gene Roddenberry and championing the “diversity, inclusion, acceptance and hope” he brought to life more than five decades ago, explains Paramount+. On April 5, for every fan who tweets the #StarTrekUnitedGives hashtag, Paramount+ pledges to donate $1 “to organizations who do the real-world work of championing equality, social justice, and the pursuit of scientific advancements.”

Anchoring the celebration is the Star Trek: First Contact 25th Anniversary Panel, which features Stewart, Frakes, Spiner, and Krige “as they discuss behind-the-scenes memories and the film’s importance 25 years after its premiere.”

A quartet of additional panels will go behind the scenes with creators and stars for a look at Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard, reflect on how Star Trek: The Original Series actor Nichelle Nichols “helped pave the way for women of color on television and overall,” laugh with Star Trek: Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan at “some of the hilarious B-stories from past series,” and preview the highly anticipated upcoming CG-animated kids series Star Trek: Prodigy.

There’s tons more, including a social campaign enlisting fans to share their personal stories of “first contact” with the Star Trek Universe under the #StarTrek, #FirstContactDay, and #FirstContact hashtags. It’s a lot to take in — but then again, April 5 is a stardate that only comes but once a year. Check out the celebration’s landing page for all the details, including the full panel schedule — and be inspired to live long and prosper.