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So, the sequel (if we ignore TAS) to the original Star Trek is Star Trek: The Next Generation. My question simply is: are any of the regular bridge crew actually from the generation following that of the bridge crew in TOS?

That is, if we say the members of Kirk's voyage were Generation 1, are any of the main crew members we see members of the generation following Generation 1?

I'm also including the CMOs, which means both Crusher and Pulaski.

Just to clarify, the people who I would classify as 'regular bridge crew members' are:

  • Picard
  • Riker
  • Data
  • LaForge
  • Worf
  • Yar
  • Crusher
  • Pulaski

And I'm not even going to worry about Wesley because he obviously can't be!

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Problem is, the entire notion of "generations" is routinely simplified to the degree that it doesn't actually reflect any sort of reality. You've already hit on that by including Pulaski. If Pulaski is Generation N, can Wesley Crusher also be Generation N? Doubtful. Then by extension, who of the TOS cast was actually Generation 1? – Lightness Races in Orbit Mar 21 at 4:13
@JDługosz in this context though the point is moot; as the characters in TAS are the same as those in TOS, it doesn't really matter here – Often Right Mar 21 at 9:39
"The Next Generation" referred to a generation of television series, not an in-universe generation of humans. – TOOGAM Mar 21 at 12:17
Short remark about Worf: He's the grandchild of the attorney who defended Kirk and Spock in Star Trek VI, so somewhat second generation from TOS. – Boldewyn Mar 21 at 13:35
@Boldewyn: Third... – Lightness Races in Orbit Mar 21 at 15:32
up vote 36 down vote accepted

No: they're actually the Next Next Next Generation

Here is my in-universe reasoning. Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the oldest regular bridge officer on the Enteprise-D, was born in 2305, as per his official biographical entry.

On the other hand, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock took place twenty years before Picard's birth, in 2285.

By that time, Captain Kirk (to be precise, Admiral Kirk at that time) had a child, David Marcus, who was already in his early twenties.

If Marcus had lived past 2285, he could have easily had a child who would be around twenty by the time Picard was born.

Therefore, measuring by human generational standards, Captain Picard was the third generation after Kirk's.

NOTE: @sfhq_sf came to the same conclusion, but by out-of-universe reasoning. Note that current average generational lengths do not necessarily apply in-universe to the 23rd and 24th centuries, which is why I used Kirk's progeny to arrive at the conclusion.

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that's what I said – sfhq_sf Mar 21 at 1:24
@sfhq_sf : Yes, but I reasoned it in a different way than you. On SFF:SE, we often have answers that come to the same conclusion but by different means. You used out-of-universe reasoning, I used in-universe reasoning. – Praxis Mar 21 at 1:25
Excellent reasoning. May a thousand upvotes rain down upon you! – Often Right Mar 21 at 1:27
@N_Soong : Or even the Next, Next, Next Generation. :-) – Praxis Mar 21 at 3:39
As an interesting Tidbit, in Germany TNG is called "Das nächste Jahrhundert" (the next century). Which is entirely appropriate as TOS takes place in the 2260s and TNG in the 2360s. So actually a case where the localized name fits better than the original. – Dulkan Mar 21 at 8:37

No. The average length of a generation per is about 25.5 years. So by the time of Picard and company it would be about the 3rd generation. As evidenced by the Enterprises A, B and C.

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@N_Soong thanks for the edit, I haven't figured out the links yet. – sfhq_sf Mar 21 at 1:13
Note that the commissioning of new Enterprises is not necessarily tied to the rise of new generations:… – Praxis Mar 21 at 1:24
No worries ;) The only quibble I have with your argument is that you're basing this on current statistics rather than taking into consideration the different conditions of the 23rd/24th centuries – Often Right Mar 21 at 1:26
There is nothing average about the crews of Starfleet, not by the standards of our time, not by the standards of their time. And take into account freezing sperm. A member of TOS could have a child when he was 90 (why would he is another question), and that child could be a crewmember on the ship of TNG. – ab2 Mar 21 at 2:25
@N_Soong a "grandfather" (a way to average the length of 2 generations) of 50 years has been reasonably consistent for at least a few hundred years in the west. – HorusKol Mar 22 at 2:21

YES (possibly. Ok, it's a stretch! - answer at the bottom, after I've had my rant)

The logic applied by @Praxis and @N_Soong, is absolutely correct for human beings. There is too much time between the TOS & TNG for a normal human of the next generation to be on TNG.

Known Exceptions:

Mr Spock - he appears in TNG (Season 5, Ep 7&8), so he could easily have had a son, who would be an appropriate age to appear in TNG. I am not aware of Mr Spock having a child.

James T Kirk - was sort-of still alive, inside the Nexus (ST: Generations). No known offspring of "this" Kirk.

Captain Montgomery "Scotty" Scott - trapped in a transporter loop (TNG: Season 6 Episode 4, "Relics"). He was elderly when rescued, so very unlikely to have had children.

Spock's FATHER, Sarek, on the other hand, DOES appear in TNG (so it should be "the previous generation"?!) - Season 5, Ep 7.

Ok, so those are all presumably "no"'s. Who else?

The computer - computer hardware is often referred to is (for example) 5th generation. However, these generations (in 20th century earth) go a lot faster than human generations, so would be unlikely.

This leaves (fanfare please!):

The computer/Majel Barrett-Roddenberry/Lwaxana Troi. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry portrayed the computer in TOS, and Lwaxana Troi in TNG. Lwaxana's daughter, Deanna Troi, was definitely in TNG.


P.S. - the question has since been edited, specifically eliminating the computer from "bridge crew".

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Hmm, I think that it's a bit of a stretch with your Lwaxana Troi/Nurse Chape/Computer argument 😉 – Often Right Mar 21 at 4:07
The other thing is that I specifically restrict it to regular bridge crew, none of the examples you mention satisfy that. If this was Voyager however, we'd have Mr Tuvok who probably would satisfy – Often Right Mar 21 at 4:17
The only non-human regular bridge are Worf and Data, both of whom are younger than Picard. As you point out, the computer might satisfy this, although it's drawing a long bow to argue that this was the next generation of computers following from Kirk's crew, but I don't specify that this is a bridge crew member in my list above – Often Right Mar 21 at 4:28
I'm impressed with the ingenuity and amount of thinking that had to be required to construct the Majel connection. Good job being inventive. – TOOGAM Mar 21 at 12:17
I did make it clear that it was a stretch. Most of the post clears up the loophole in other people's argument regarding generations age - and ignoring non-humans. – AMADANON Inc. Mar 21 at 21:44

Not Really but Yes?

Sulu's daughter was helmsman of the Enterprise in the Next Generation movie Generations.

Demora Sulu was a Starfleet ensign serving aboard the Excelsior-class USS Enterprise-B under the command of Captain John Harriman in 2293. The daughter of Hikaru Sulu, she carried on her father's legacy as helmsman of the Enterprise.

She wasn't part of the TNG series but just a pre-TNG opening of the one movie.

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Good spot, although she presumably wouldn’t have been part of a starship crew by the time period featured in The Next Generation. – Paul D. Waite Mar 21 at 23:17
I think technically the Enterprise commanded by Demora Sulu was the real "next generation", what with her being the actual offspring of one of the TOS crew, but I always assumed the "Next Generation" part of TNG just meant "next series" not literally the next genealogical generation of humans. – Nathan Mar 23 at 9:13

This is actually answered in the aptly titled movie "Generations", when Kirk says to Picard "I was out saving the galaxy when your grandfather was in diapers".

By the way this neatly agrees with both Praxis' and sfhq's answers which were each arrived at by different means.

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The length of an average generation from parent to child can vary greatly from one lineage to another, so that there are many examples of families have several exceptionally long or short generations in a row.

Touba Huang (428-451 AD), Crown Prince of the Northern Wei Dynasty, was born only 55 years before his great great grandson Emperor Xuanwu (483-515), making an average of 13.75 years per generation, and only 79 years before his great great great grandson Emperor Wen of Western Wei (507-551), an average of 15.8 years. Touba Huang's grandfather, Emperor Mingyaun of Northern Wei (392-423), was born 115 only years before Emperor Wen of Western Wei (507-551) an average of only 16.42 years per generation gap.

In the Tang Dynasty, Emperor Xuanzong (685-762) was born only 139 years before his descendant in eight generation gaps, Li PU (824-828), crown prince of Emperor Jingzon (809-827), making an average of 17.375 years per generation gap.

There was an Renaissance era Earl of Desmond in Ireland, whose FIRST wife was the granddaughter of his younger bother. Thus the children of that marriage were both the grandchildren and the great great grandchildren of the Earl's parents!

Similarly a Grand Duke of Baden who is the ancestor of many catholic royals and nobles married his older half brother's granddaughter and had children.,_Grand_Duke_of_Baden3

I once calculated that Prince Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria (1692-1699), descendant of many uncle-niece marriages, was descended from Grand Duke Gediminas of Lithuania (c. 1275-1341) in both ten and fifteen generation gaps, averaging about 27.8 and 41.7 years respectively.

Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572), King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, was descended in four generation gaps from Grand Duke Algirdis (c. 1296-1377), an average of 56 years per generation.

In the fictional universe of Star Trek Kirayoshi O'Brian was born in 2373 [enter link description here]'Brien5, about 104 years after his mother's mother was born in 2269'Brien6, thus making two female generations averaging 52 years each.

Thus it would have been plausible to make some of the STNG characters members of the "next generation" of TOS characters' families. But STNG was supposed to be the "next generation" of Star Trek TV shows, not the "next generation" of Star Trek families.

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+1 for a lot of historical detail, but -1 for it being only tangentially related to the question... – Nathan Mar 23 at 9:15

Worf is the grandson of the Klingon colonel (also named Worf) who tried to defend Kirk and McCoy in Star Trek VI (which actually makes him the next next generation)

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