The original Star Control, developed by Toys for Bob and published by Accolade, was released in 1990, followed by Star Control 2: The Ur-Quan Masters in 1992 and the largely forgettable Star Control 3, by Legend Entertainment, in 1996. And that was the end of it until 2013, when Stardock announced that a reboot was in the works, officially revealed in 2016 as Star Control: Origins.
Origins is set long before the events of the first games, when humanity was just beginning its journey to the stars. At that point in its history the human race only has one interplanetary exploration vessel, and it doesn't even have FTL capabilities when the game begins. That situation will presumably change fairly early on, however, as you'll be traveling to other star systems to explore alien worlds and meet the weirdos who live on them—not the sort of thing you can do with conventional engines.
The "the heart of the game" is the stories it tells in both the overall arc and "one-off adventures," Stardock said. "You aren’t exploring for the sake of exploring. You have a purpose and your actions will have profound consequences across the known galaxy."
A Fleet Battles beta demonstrating the game's outer space combat has been available to people who preorder the game for a while now, and Stardock expects to have a second beta ready to go by the end of April. But the new trailer makes it clear that there's a lot more to the game than simply blowing up bad guys—exploration, discovery, and character interactions are what made the originals so great, and Origins appears to be following the same path.
During the development of Origins, Stardock has been involved in a legal dispute with Star Control creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche. Ford and Reiche assert that they hold the rights to Star Control and are marketing their new game, Ghosts of the Precursors, as a direct sequel to Star Control 2; Stardock says that it acquired the rights and assets to the series from Atari in 2013 (Atari acquired Accolade in 1999) and that the Toys for Bob campaign is causing confusion with Star Control: Origins.
So far, neither side has shown a public inclination to settle; in March, Reiche and Ford went public with the terms of its settlement offer to Stardock, which was rejected, at dogarandkazon.com. Stardock maintains its own lawsuit Q&A on the Star Control forums. Both games are still in development.
Star Control: Origins doesn't currently have a release date, but it's available for prepurchase on Steam and expected to be out later this year. More info is available at starcontrol.com.