Here’s everything revealed about the future of Star Trek at Comic-Con 2022. The long-running science-fiction franchise returned to the first in-person San Diego Comic-Con since 2019, in the wake of controversial comments about modern Star Trek made by original Captain Kirk, William Shatner. These comments put no dent in the enthusiasm of the audience in Hall H, who eagerly awaited further news on the impending return of the original Star Trek: The Next Generation cast in Star Trek: Picard season 3, and much more from the Star Trek universe.
The franchise was well represented in San Diego, with appearances by Patrick Stewart and Gates McFadden, who is returning as Doctor Crusher in Picard, Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid from Star Trek: Lower Decks, and Anson Mount and Ethan Peck from Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. These Star Trek captains and crew were accompanied by many more costars, writers, and showrunners. The audience in San Diego was treated to new footage, teases about future Star Trek projects, and even a surprising crossover announcement.
Both Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Prodigy were absent from Star Trek‘s Comic-Con panel. With only 90 minutes, five current Star Trek shows, and more in development, it’s hardly surprising that these two shows didn’t feature. However, there were plenty of exciting reveals during the Star Trek panel for audiences to enjoy, proving that the franchise is in very good health as it approaches its sixth decade. Here’s everything revealed about upcoming Star Trek projects at San Diego Comic-Con 2022:
Star Trek: Picard
First up was Star Trek: Picard season 3’s TNG reunion, with Patrick Stewart and Gates McFadden on the panel. A short teaser trailer revealed the first look at beloved Next Generation characters such as Dr. Crusher (McFadden), Worf (Michael Dorn), and Geordi (LeVar Burton) alongside characters previously seen in Picard. Despite the four pips on his collar in the brief tease, showrunner Terry Matalas stated that Worf would not be a Captain, but Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) has clearly earned her Captain’s uniform following the events of Picard season 2.
It was also offhandedly revealed by Patrick Stewart that there would be more than one Enterprise in Picard season 3. Gates McFadden added that the scripts for her episodes were the best material ever written for Doctor Crusher. Executive Producer Alex Kurtzmann also revealed that the TNG cast would be joined by a new Brent Spiner character and confirmed that the former Enterprise crew will not be reduced to mere cameos. As the Picard panel came to an end, Kurtzmann also teased that audiences can expect more Star Trek shows with female leads, but didn’t elaborate further on these upcoming projects.
Star Trek: Lower Decks
The Comic-Con panel for the irreverent, but meticulously canon-literate animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks got off to a moving start. Dawnn Lewis, who voices the Cerritos captain and Mariner’s mother, Carol Freeman, talked about her own history with Star Trek. After relating her and her family’s excitement at being cast in a Star Trek show, Lewis emotionally spoke of the cultural impact of Nichelle Nichols, who played Star Trek: TOS‘ Uhura. The rescue and exoneration of Captain Freeman forms the plot of Lower Decks’ season 3 premiere, airing in late August. It’s an episode described by Tawny Newsome as being like a movie and looks like it heavily borrows from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, something reflected in the promotional materials for the episode.
The biggest reveal in the Lower Decks trailer was a hilarious and affectionate nod to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the closing moments of the season 3 trailer. In tribute to DS9′s title sequence, Commander Ransom (Jerry O’Connell) orders the Cerritos to “circle around and pretend we’re in awe of the pylons.” Showrunner Mike McMahan confirmed that the crew will board the iconic space station, and interact with some familiar faces. This opens the possibility that audiences could see the returns of Star Trek: DS9′s Quark or Major Kira, given that both characters remained on the station after the events of Deep Space Nine’s final episode. There are earlier references to DS9 in the trailer when Tendi and Rutherford are seen eating at the restaurant owned by Benjamin Sisko’s father. Exciting as the prospect of returning DS9 characters is, the Lower Decks news didn’t end when the panelists left the Hall H stage.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Following a highlights package of the acclaimed Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 1, the panel was hijacked by a returning Jack Quaid and Tawny Newsome. The Lower Decks stars had returned to announce an upcoming live-action Star Trek crossover between the animated comedy series and the Star Trek prequel series. It was the biggest surprise of Star Trek‘s Comic-Con panels, and one that begs a lot of questions for audiences to pore over until it airs as part of Strange New Worlds season 2.
It’s likely this animated/live-action crossover that Christina Chong was referring to when she said that there are more high-concept episodes in Strange New Worlds season 2. How the animated and live-action characters will interact with each other remains to be seen, but it’s an exciting prospect that’s also the first high-profile Star Trek crossover since Star Trek: Enterprise‘s 2005 finale. Jonathan Frakes, who appeared in the divisive crossover that closed Enterprise will direct the Strange New Worlds/Lower Decks crossover episode that is billed as “mind-blowing.“
More information was also given on what to expect from birthday boy Paul Wesley as James T. Kirk in Strange New Worlds season 2. Wesley revealed that Kirk will still be on the Farragut, but as a Lieutenant, rather than a Captain, promising more “levity” in the role. Meanwhile, Ethan Peck also teased that Spock’s conflict between his human and Vulcan sides will be further addressed in Strange New Worlds season 2. Executive Producer Henry Alonso Myers also stated that audiences shouldn’t expect to see Dr. M’Benga being replaced by Dr. McCoy any time soon, stating that there was still plenty of time before Pike’s Enterprise caught up with the TOS timeline and established canon. And on the subject of contentious canon, Alex Kurtzmann revealed a potential comeback for Strange New Worlds’ retconned Gorn.
Miscellaneous Star Trek Projects
Interestingly, the Star Trek panel closed with some teases about some as-yet-unannounced projects. When asked about revisiting characters from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Kurtzmann said that discussions have been had, but they wish to respect what went before. He namechecked Benjamin Sisko as a character who would be critical for them to get right. He also stated that there were two new Star Trek shows in development, which could refer back to the female-led projects he’d hinted at previously, or something entirely different. Overall, Star Trek‘s return to Comic-Con promised a hopeful and positive future for Star Trek as a whole, proving that the franchise is in rude health as it approaches its 60th anniversary in 2026.
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