Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Discovery, and Star Trek: Lower Decks took center stage at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, July 20, with three panels devoted to the long-running franchise, whose current home is CBS and CBS All Access (subscribe to CBS All Access here).
The trio of Comic-Con Star Trek panels showcased exclusive content and breaking news for Star Trek: Discovery (currently airing) and the new programs Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks. Plus! Fans were treated to a first look at more Star Trek: Short Treks, including one episode that will act as a teaser for Star Trek: Picard, providing backstory on what happened to the eponymous character in the 15 years since he left Starfleet. (Other episodes will include Ethan Peck reprising his role as Spock, along with Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Anson Mount as Captain Pike.)
Here's everything that happened at the Star Trek Comic-Con panels
Star Trek: Discovery Comic-Con Panel
First up, some casting news: actor David Ajala will join the Discovery crew next season as Cleveland Booker, known to his peers as Book. Ajala co-starred in Jupiter Ascending, Falling Water, and as Manchester Black on Supergirl. The character is new to the Trek universe and is described as "smart and capable," with "natural charisma and devil-may-care attitude that tends to get him into trouble as often as it gets him out."
Also revealed during the panel, a massive time jump, which will place the crew more than 1,000 years into the future. This twist coincides with the end of Season 2, which saw the crew disappear through a wormhole and believed to be lost for good. "There will be things you recognize, things you don't recognize," executive producer Alex Kurtzman said. "I just want to assure you, first and foremost, that it's still Star Trek and it will always be Star Trek the way [creator Gene] Roddenberry wanted it."
Star Trek: Lower Decks Comic-Con Panel
The Star Trek universe lifted the veil on Star Trek: Lower Decks for the first time, a forthcoming animated series set in the Star Trek world and developed by Rick and Morty headwriter Mike McMahan. Jack Quaid will voice the show's lead character, the straightlaced Ensign Brad Boimler. "He really wants to be a captain. He's very booksmart, but he's just constantly getting in his own way," Quaid said.
Other announced cast members include Noel Wells, Tawny Newsome, and Eugene Cordero. The Starfleet characters that comprise the ship's bridge crew will be voiced by Dawnn Lewis, Fred Tatasciore, Gillian Vigman, and Jerry O'Connell, who moderated the panel.
Little was previously known about the series — there is no premiere date set — but Star Trek: Lower Decks will focus on "four ensigns that serve on a not important ship in Starfleet," McMahan said. The writer added that Lower Decks will take place right after Star Trek: Nemesis in the Trek timeline. "Voyager is back," he added. Lower Decks is set to also feature a brand-new ship class and design called the "Califonia Class." The show takes place on a ship called the USS Soritos.
Star Trek: Picard Comic-Con Panel
The day's most-anticipated Star Trek event started with a standing ovation for Sir Patrick Stewart as he took the Comic-Con stage for an extended look at Star Trek: Picard, the 2019 CBS All Access series that returns the legendary actor to his most iconic role, Jean-Luc Picard.
Stewart had long said he wouldn't return to play Picard, who featured on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but was compelled to suit up once again because of the plans for the character.
"The great thing about taking this part of Patrick's story forward... it's an extraordinary opportunity to see the most unknown part of his journey," producer Kirsten Beyer said.
Added executive producer Michael Chabon, "Patrick has been a collaborator with the writers from the beginning."
Unlike recent Star Trek shows, the Picard series will be serialized — harkening back to the original Star Trek. "It's a new kind of Star Trek show made by people who love the old kind of Star Trek shows," Kurtzman said. Adding, "Picard represents the ideal captain not just as a philosopher but as a human being."
The first official Star Trek: Picard trailer also debuted on Saturday, revealing that The Next Generation star Brent Spiner and Star Trek: Voyager's Jeri Ryan will appear on the series.
Also in the Picard cast: Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, and Harry Treadaway. The show is executive produced by Alex Kurtzman, Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, and Heather Kadin.
Expected to be released in early 2020, although no release date has been confirmed, Star Trek: Picard takes place 20 years after the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which first introduced Picard to audiences. Despite the familiar character, fans should expect a different Picard in the CBS All Access show.
"Patrick was very clear to us in the beginning. He did not want to repeat what he had already done," Kurtzman teased at the TCA winter press tour. "And by the way, it's been 20-plus years, so he couldn't possibly be that same person anymore. And so the question becomes: What has happened to him in that period of time? Have there been occurrences that force him to reckon with choices that he's made in his life? How do you hold on to being the person everybody loved when the circumstances around you may have changed so radically? Those are the big questions that we're asking."
Here's the official description of the Star Trek Comic-Con event:
"Over 50 years ago, the world was first introduced to what would quickly become a cultural phenomenon for the ages. Star Trek broke barriers then and continues to do so now, inspiring people of all generations and walks of life with its celebration of cultural diversity, scientific exploration, and the pursuit of uncharted frontiers. Today, the Star Trek universe continues to thrive, exploring all-new missions for Starfleet. CBS All Access invites you to join the cast and producers of its hit series Star Trek: Discovery and be the first to hear about two new upcoming additions to the Star Trek universe: the highly anticipated new series Star Trek: Picard starring Sir Patrick Stewart, and the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks. Star Trek: Discovery cast scheduled to appear include Sonequa Martin-Green alongside executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Michelle Paradise, and Heather Kadin, with series guest star Tig Notaro, who plays Chief Engineer Reno, moderating the conversation. Star Trek: Lower Decks will feature co-creator and executive producer Mike McMahan and surprise guests sharing an exclusive first look at the upcoming animated series. Star Trek: Picard cast members will come together for the series' first Comic-Con. The panel will feature, Sir Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, and Harry Treadaway, alongside executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, and Heather Kadin."
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