Deadline podcast Crew Call recently interviewed Alex Kurtzman, and the co-creator of Star Trek: Discovery talked about how the future of Star Trek will boldly go into animation. And don't expect just to see one animated Star Trek show, either -- there are actually several on the horizon.
Star Trek: Lower Decks is an animated series that will air on CBS All Access. Its creator, Mike McMahan, was a writer and story editor on Rick and Morty whose love of Trek was made clear on a Twitter account he ran that laid out a theoretical eighth season for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Although it's a cartoon, Kurtzman described the show as being for kids ages "eleven to seventy." In terms of the show's format, it takes what would normally be the A-Plot for a Next Generation episode and makes it the secondary story, opting to make your average background story the narrative's prime focus. This premise was also used in the Next Generation episode that has the same name as the series, in which the focus was on several junior officers undergoing crew evaluations.
The second, yet to be named animated Star Trek show will launch on Nickelodeon. The show will be full CG animation, which Kurtzman described as being on par with Love, Death & Robots in terms of quality. The show is targeting a much younger age bracket, which Kurtzman says you have Star Wars to thank for. In general, audiences for Star Trek develop as young as 9-12 years of age, but the Star Wars franchise is accessible to much younger viewers. Kurtzman said that at age four, he could picture himself "staring up at the twin suns of Tattooine" and now he wants to make Star Trek palatable for younger generations. The unnamed show is being developed by Kevin and Dan Hageman, who wrote the story for Hotel Transylvania, The Lego Movie, and episodes of Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu.
The second season of Short Treks will also contain animated content. Season 2 will have a total of six short episodes, two of which are animated. Olatunde Osunsanmi, who directed the Short Treks episode "Calypso" will be directing one of the animated episodes. In the interview, Kurtzman said award-winning composer Michael Giacchino would be "doing one of the animated shorts." Giacchino composed the music for all of the rebooted Star Trek movies since 2009. Short Treks launched in October 2018 and the first season consisted of four episodes between 15 - 18 minutes in length.
Kurtzman says that the animated shows would be love letters to Star Trek. Although they will feature mostly new characters, there might be some familiar animated faces making an appearance.
Streaming on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Commander Saru, Anthony Rapp as Lt. Commander Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly, Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler, Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber, Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Mary Chieffo as L'Rell, Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno, Ethan Peck as Spock, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. Season 2 is streaming now.