Star Trek‘s domination of the burgeoning CBS All Access streaming platform appears to be expanding, with plans set for another animated series – in addition to Star Trek: Lower Decks – and, on the live-action front, two more installments of the story-supplementing Star Trek: Short Treks.
Alex Kurtzman, who spreads his talents as a producer across a wide array of films and television shows, notably the imminently-returning Star Trek: Discovery, has revealed to THR that plans are in the works for at least one more Star Trek All Access animated series. While details about the second animated offering were not offered, the next two installments of Short Treks will arrive sometime in the spring, set to premiere after Discovery Season 2 finishes its weekly episodic rollout.
Interestingly, Kurtzman does clarify that the mystery series will distinguish itself from Lower Decks, which, developed by Rick and Morty’s Mike McMahan, will follow the exploits of low-level crew serving on an low-level Starfleet ship. Confirming that he is planning a “minimum of two” animated shows, leaving open the possibility for even more, Kurtzman hints a stark contrast between the animated offerings, declaring, “Each show has to have its own identity.” He further explains:
“There’s other animated things that we’re building that are an entirely different perspective and an entirely different tone [from Lower Decks]. What’s exciting about it is not only looking at each animated series as what’s the different tone, but what’s the different technology we can apply to these things so that visually they’re entirely different?”
Kurtzman also goes into some detail about his broader Star Trek strategy:
“Our goal is to not only expand the definition of Star Trek and what has qualified as traditional Star Trek, but also to tell stories that are both self-contained in a very short period of time that also connect to the larger picture of what we’re doing, not only in Discovery but in the world building of Trek in general. And you get to tell these very intimate, emotional stories that are side stories to characters. So, you get the benefit of the experience in and of itself but then when you watch Discovery you’ll see that these were all setting up things in the world of season two.”
While we know next to nothing about this second All Access Star Trek animated series, it could defy the conventional infrastructure of the franchise, possibly even forgoing the regular setting of a starship. Indeed, Kurtzman expresses a desire to instill a new sense of awe and wonder through the perspective of non-fully-formed characters who aspire to step into a larger world, exemplified by Star Wars and farm boy Luke Skywalker’s longing look at the binary sunset of Tatooine. “It’s important to me to find a way to go back and reach younger kids in a way that Trek should and never really has,” hints Kurtzman.
For now, the Star Trek small screen saga will continue when Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 premieres on CBS All Access on January 17. Additionally, the platform will ready itself to host the return of Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in a developing Star Trek: The Next Generation live-action sequel series.