How does The Orville fit into the Star Trek universe?

How does The Orville fit into the Star Trek universe?

The Orville is back with a new season and we can’t help but notice its striking similarities with Star Trek. The sci-fi drama has its roots in Star Trek, as creator Seth MacFarlane has been a huge fan since childhood.

The Orville seems to be trying to fill a void that Star Trek left, much like being a rebound show. You know, the one you watch because you’re missing that one series you just finished, in a desperate attempt to find something similar?

The Orville is that show for Star Trek fans. Now, this brings us to the main question: Is The Orville a part of the Star Trek canon? Being inspired by something is one thing, and being a spinoff of an original franchise or series is another.

The Orville is not a part of the Star Trek universe. It is a different show, though it has common elements with Star Trek. Creator Seth MacFarlane was inspired by Star Trek and its elements while creating the series. But officially, The Orville is a different show altogether.

How is The Orville related to Star Trek?

The Orville is not a part of the Star Trek universe. But it is related to Star Trek in terms of a common premise, subject matter and visual effects. The creator of The Orville, Seth MacFarlane, was in fact inspired by Star Trek while creating this show.

Many crew members who were also a part of the Star Trek creative team, are associated with The Orville, including executive producers Brannon Braga and David A Goodman. So, naturally, the theme and the ethos are the same.

But officially, Star Trek and The Orville are completely different shows owned by two different networks. Star Trek is owned by CBS Studios, while The Orville is produced by Fox Production.

Some may even call The Orville a ripoff of Star Trek, considering the similar elements and the need for it to give a sort of tribute to the show. The Orville is at best a successor of Star Trek and tries to create something similar, but is definitely not a spinoff.

How Does The Orville Fit Into the Star Trek Universe?
Star Trek | Source: IMDb

The Orville also heavily parodies Star Trek and could qualify as a spoof. Although MacFarlane only tried to deliver a tribute to the original universe, some elements can definitely be read as trying to parody Star Trek.

Why did Seth MacFarlane create The Orville?

Seth MacFarlane created The Orville to pay tribute to the original Star Trek, heavily borrowing elements from popular sci-fi franchises. There are many common elements between The Orville and Star Trek, and MacFarlane has earlier admitted his love for the latter.

How Does The Orville Fit Into the Star Trek Universe?
The Orville | Source: IMDb

MacFarlane probably wanted to create something similar to Star Trek but not a spinoff or something directly related to the franchise. His motive was to create something that could fill the void that Star Trek left.

He also parodied a lot of the Star Trek elements in the show, so we could actually see The Orville as a critique of Star Trek and other such popular sci-fi franchises. In fact, MacFarlane spent most of his career with Family Guy, a show known for parodying Star Wars. He clearly has a flair for such spoofs.

So, MacFarlane probably already anticipated upcoming comparisons with Star Trek and he does not seem to mind. The main attraction of The Orville is the staunch similarity of its elements to Star Trek, so this has actually worked in favor of the show.

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About The Orville

The Orville is a science fiction comedy-drama series created and co-produced by Seth MacFarlane, who also stars as the lead on the show. The series is heavily inspired by the Star Trek franchise.

Set in the 25th century, the series captures how humanity has found alien life and created an interspecies-universal commission for maintaining peace. It follows the exploits of a union starship, USS Orville, as its crew embarks upon their journey of various missions across the galaxy. 

Alongside MacFarlane, the show stars Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J. Lee, and others.