Star Trek took center stage today for the morning panels at day three of San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC).
The venerable sci-fi franchise was the subject of three back-to-back panels in the convention’s storied Hall H. Cast, crew, and creators were on hand with updates on the future of Star Trek: Discovery as well as new upcoming additions to the Starfleet mythos.
CBS gave us a glimpse of what to expect from Discovery‘s third season as well as insight into the forthcoming animated project, Star Trek: Lower Decks.
Most noteworthy to diehard Trekkies, though, was the main event panel with Sir Patrick Stewart and the cast and creators of Star Trek: Picard.
Star Trek: Discovery And Short Treks
The franchise’s current standard-bearer, Star Trek: Discovery, kicked off the SDCC panel with star Sonequa Martin-Green and producers Alex Kurtzman, Michelle Paradise, and Heather Kadin.
Discovery‘s second season ended with the titular starship and her crew being flung 1,000 years into the future. The series is set approximately 10 years before the days of Captain Kirk and the Enterprise.
Yet, despite a wide open canvas of space and time, Kurtzman assured fans that Discovery will continue to adhere to established canon.
“Part of the fun of it is that we get to honor canon and shake it up a bit,” Kurtzman said. “But it’s Star Trek and it will always be Star Trek.”
One addition to the third season will be actor David Ajala, most recently of the CW’s Supergirl. Ajala joins the cast as a new series regular, Cleveland “Book” Booker. According to Martin-Green, the season three premiere was filmed in Iceland.
Also announced in connection with Discovery were six new Short Treks. CBS All Access produced four such shorts to bridge the gap between the first and second seasons of Discovery.
These new Short Treks installments will include Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn reprising their Discovery roles as Mr. Spock and Number One, respectively.
Anson Mount will also appear, reprising the role of Captain Christopher Pike.
Kurtzman confirmed also that two shorts will be animated. The final one will serve as a teaser and prelude to Picard.
Star Trek: Lower Decks
Up next was a look at Star Trek: Lower Decks, the comedic animated series from executive producer Mike McMahan (Rick & Morty).
As announced by CBS late last fall, Lower Decks will be a comedy. The focus will be on the support crew of one of the Federation’s less impressive starships, the U.S.S. Cerritos.
“It focuses on four ensigns who are serving on a not-important ship in Starfleet,” McMahan explained. “Every Star Trek is kind of about family. And ours is about family but not the same family you’ve seen before.”
McMahan announced that the series takes place in the year 2380, just after the last TNG film, Nemesis.
Character designs and voice actors were unveiled. Actors Tawny Newsom and Jack Quaid were on hand along with Kurtzman, Kadin, and McMahan. Newsom will voice Ensign Mariner, and Quaid will provide the voice of Ensign Boimler.
McMahan announced the first season, consisting of 10 episodes, will premiere in 2020.
Star Trek: Picard
Last but not least was the main event. Sir Patrick Stewart and the cast and crew of Star Trek: Picard.
And the good captain brought some big names with him for the blockbuster panel.
Brent Spiner and Jeri Ryan were present for the panel and appeared in the show’s trailer. Spiner played Data on The Next Generation. Ryan portrayed the rescued Borg Seven Of Nine on Voyager.
Jonathan Del Arco will also return to his recurring role of Hugh, another Borg drone separated from the deadly collective.
As shown in the trailer, Picard has retired to his family vineyard. There, he is approached by a young girl (Isa Briones), desperate for his help.
This leads Picard back to Starfleet, who assembles a team to help the captain deal with a yet-to-be revealed threat that is somehow connected with this strange girl.
Other returning cast members announced, but not present, were TNG regulars Jonathan Frakes (Riker) and Marina Sirtis (Troi).
Star Trek: Picard is set to premiere in 2020 on CBS All Access in the United States. The series will stream on Amazon Prime elsewhere in the world the following day.
All images courtesy of CBS.