The Star Trek Universe has really become reenergized in the last decade or so. To say it is boldly going where no one ever thought it would ever go is an understatement of epic proportions.
Live action? Yes!
Massive cast reunions? Da!!!
Metaverse? Well, not so much … at least not that we know.
The STU was explored, disclosed, prodded, and questioned throughout a wide variety of San Diego Comic Con panels with cast members and crew from the various shows talking about the state of their art, as well as what can be expected in the next season of each of their shows.
The following is a compendium of information gleaned from reputable sources.
To quote Captain Christopher Pike from Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: “Hit it.”
Star Trek: Picard
To paraphrase the 1980 classic film, “The Blues Brothers,” They’re putting the crew back together.
And putting it together they are. Picard regulars Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and Rafaella Musiker (Michelle Hurd) will eventually be joined by Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Worf (Michael Dorn), and William T. Ryker (Jonathan Frakes). And as always, playing center field within the swirling sci-fi cosmos will be none other than Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart).
Picard – The Low-Down
Folks at the Star Trek: Picard panel didn’t have to ask why it took so long to bring all of the regulars back. Series Producer, Alex Kurtzman, headed them off. He credited Sir Patrick Stwart in saying, “If we’re going to get to the crew, we’re going to have to earn it.” Kurtzman said of himself and the production team, “… I think we took two seasons to earn the return of the crew. And the key thing for us was that we didn’t want to have the crew sort of come and have cameos. We actually wanted everyone to have really significant roles.”
Slide Show Source: **
Gates McFadden continued the discussion by crediting Terry Matalas for “the great story.” She also noted that her character had been traveling throughout the galaxy, staying busy and expanding her knowledge. “We’re different,” she said. “We’ve evolved.
Sir Patrick Stewart, who plays the show’s namesake, then recalled an exchange between himself and Kurtzman prior to the start of filming for Season 3. He said, “When I was expressing my concern about how we would develop and grow, and he said, ‘Well, has nothing happened to you in the last 25 years? And i said, lord, yes … so much. I don’t feel like I’m the same person that I was then. And he said, ‘YES!’ That’s what we want from Jean-Luc Picard!”
So, expect each of the characters to be brought into Season 3 in some logical way so that they can demonstrate how they’ve changed and grown, and how they will contribute to what has already been announced to be the final season of Star Trek: Picard. The show should air early in 2023, though an exact date has not been announced.
But Wait, There’s More!
Kurtzman did also make a tiny add on announcement after the Picard teaser aired for the audience. “I should also add that Brent Spiner is also going to be there and he’s going to be an old new character.” A mystery wrapped in an enigma and shrouded in smoke. Stay tuned in 2023.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
The 2022 SDCC Star Trek Universe panel trotted out more than a few newsy bits about Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. The very popular spin-off from Star Trek: Discovery now voyages into Season Two with amazingly high expectations.
Strange New Worlds – The Low-Down
It is no surprise for anyone that James T. Kirk will make his second appearance in Season Two. He first appeared in the Season One finale, playing the captain of the USS Farragut. That was an alternate timeline that was erased by the conclusion of the show. Another plot reveal is that Number One, Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn), is imprisoned for being a genetically modified Illyrian. That may seem like a real jump, but it was all foreshadowed in the “Ghosts of Illyria” episode. She looks as human as she does because of her genetic modification. She joined Star Fleet under false pretenses. In some ways, this might set up a legal battle between Captain Pike and Star Fleet in the same way that Captain Jean-Luc Picard defended Mr. Data’s status as a Star Fleet officer in “The Measure of a Man.”
Paul Wesley took his moment in the sun at SDCC to talk about how the show will unveil a newer, fresher take on James Tiberius Kirk. He said: “We only saw Kirk for a handful of scenes in that episode. I’m excited for people to see this younger version of Kirk. There’s more levity, and it’s exciting to see that. He’s growing into the character we know, not an alternate reality captain like we saw in season 1.”
BONUS MATERIAL: Rick and Morty at SDCC 2022
Phaser Points (there are no bullet points in space)
Each of the Strange New Worlds’ cast got to make their own disclosures, some silly, others not:
- Celia Rose Gooding, who plays Nyota Uhura, disclosed that everyone liked her singing in Episode 102, and said that: “I’m going to get more musical Uhura if I have anything to say about it.”
- Christina Chong (La’an Noonien Singh) admits she knew little of Trek when she got the role, but dived right in. She vouchsafed, “I don’t know … who knows … maybe we get to see a version of La’an where she inherits more of the other side of Khan.” Like her, we don’t know, but it would be cool.
- Anson Mount (Christopher Pike) said about the diversity of genres in Season One: “We took some big swings in Season One, as you’ve already seen, but we’re going for the fences in Season Two.”
- Ethan Peck (Spock) spoke about how in Season Two “we’ll see Spock really wrestle with his human side much more. He will continue his experimentation with his human emotions, and it will sort of lead to fundamental changes in some very important relationships in his life.”
While it wasn’t discussed overtly in the session, another crew member will very likely make his first appearance in Season Two (unless you count a sound bite and the character’s arm in one shot a first appearance) – Montgomery Scott. Enterprise’s new chief engineer will likely take his place in the engine room in the first episode.
Star Trek Below Decks – The Low Down
A lot of newsie nuggets sprang from the Star Trek Below Decks panel at SDCC 2022.
- The second season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will momentarily collide with a few crew members from the lower decks’ environs. SDCC 2022 revealed plans for a crossover event between Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks, with crew members from the U.S.S. Enterprise and the U.S.S. Cerritos meeting up for the first time. Exciting, you say? Well … yes! The exact details are not public knowledge yet, but the episode will be directed by Veteran Trek director Jonathan Frakes.
- Mike McMahan, creator of the show, revealed that BD will visit a classic Star Trek location, “They’re going to visit the (Deep Space Nine) station,” he said. “They’re going to circle it; they’re going to go in and walk the Promenade and look at the Cardassian architecture and maybe even see some familiar faces.” You can count on more than just Klingon admiral Martok to appear. He appears in the show’s recently released trailer.
- Canon be darned. Expect even more fun from this effervescent show. Based on the panel’s participants, everyone seems to be having waaaay too much fun at this point.
As independent parts of The Star Trek Universe, each program has its own production schedule. Look to individual Web sites to discover when each program’s seasons will debut.
* Source: YouTube – STAR TREK: PICARD | Comic Con 2022 Full Panel (Patrick Stewart, Gates McFadden)
* Source: YouTube – Star Trek: Picard S3 | Teaser | Paramount+
*** Star Trek: Picard | The Many Roles of Brent Spiner | Paramount+
**** Star Trek: Strange New Worlds | Lower Decks Crossover Announced (SDCC 2022) | Paramount+