There was an easy-to-miss moment during the Star Trek Day live event, but the man in charge of the Star Trek universe for Paramount+ has spoken for the first time about what the next show might be.
Kurtzman on Starfleet Academy
Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman was unable to make it to the live event due to overseas filming (for a non-Star Trek project), but did participate in the event with a pre-recorded conversation with host Wil Wheaton. Kurtzman spoke about the franchise’s legacy, how fans have kept it alive for 55 years, and how he and those working on current shows feel a “debt” to fans and those who preceded them in producing previous Trek shows.
Eventually, Wheaton asked Kurtzman if he could “tease anything in the future of Star Trek”. Alex first said that we shouldn’t expect a sixth show anytime soon:
Although we have five shows on the air, which is kind of a miracle, we’re in no rush, which means we only want to air things that we think are worthwhile.
Uninvited, he then proceeded to talk about a specific project and some of the themes for this potential future show:
I know there’s been a lot of talk about Starfleet Academy, which we are very happy about. And Wil, when we spoke there is this new generation which will arrive and which will inherit the problems of the old generation. What are they going to do to make the world a better place, to solve it. How are we going to avoid the mistakes of our elders? And how will we learn from the wisdom of our elders? It’s a really wonderful thing to consider when you think of something like Starfleet Academy.
This is not the first time we have heard of a Starfleet Academy show developed by Kurtzman, but this is actually the first time he has spoken about it openly. Back in 2018, when Kurtzman was first tasked with expanding the Star Trek universe for CBS All Access (now Paramount+), Variety reported a Academy show as one of the potential projects in development, coming from YA-focused writer/producer Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz (known for shows like CO and Gossip Girl). Savage and Schwartz recently signed a first streaming deal with Apple, so it’s unclear if they’re still attached. the Academy The series was also mentioned again in an August New York Times profile of Kurtzman when he extended his Paramount + Star Trek Universe contract for another five years.
Of course, Kurtzman knows Starfleet Academy well because it played a big part in the 2009 edition. star trek film he co-wrote. This film started with Kirk, McCoy and Uhura as cadets, and Spock as an instructor.
Cadets in space
San Francisco-based Starfleet Academy has been seen and referenced throughout Star Trek history in multiple shows and movies, as well as the extended universe of books, comics, and video games. This is where Starfleet officers go to train before setting off on an adventure. However, as Kurtzman continued, it looked like the show they were considering would include an element featuring cadets on a ship…
When you’re a kid on a spaceship, you’re still figuring out who you are. When you’re an adult on a spaceship, it assumes you’ve already been through Starfleet Academy, more or less found your identity. And when you’re at the Academy, so much is still on the air. I think it’s a very interesting mirror of the moment we’re in right now.
Cadets being part of a starship crew is something we’ve seen in Star Trek, like Sylvia Tilly on Star Trek: Discovery. And of course, Wil Wheaton’s Wesley Crusher was an “acting ensign” aboard the USS Enterprise-D on Star Trek: The Next Generation. After Kurtzman brought up the Academy show, Wheaton offered himself as a consultant, saying he had stories about “what it’s like to have been a kid on a ship surrounded by adults.” . Kurtzman replied, “I want to hear them all.”
And there are more Academy related things to come in 2022. It was just revealed that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will feature Uhura as a cadet on the USS Enterprise. There are indications that Star Trek: Picard season two will include a storyline where Raffi returns to Starfleet to work at the Academy. A trailer for picard released earlier this year featured a moment with Raffi and Admiral Picard – who also appears to be joining Starfleet – at an event at Starfleet Academy.
What about section 31?
Of note, when asked what was next for Star Trek, Kurtzman brought up the Starfleet Academy series but did not mention the Michelle Yeoh show Section 31, whose development was officially announced in early 2019. A writers room for this show was set up and it was supposed to go into production in 2020, but no longer Earlier this year Kurtzman said that while the COVID production shutdown put those plans on hold, he remained “very optimistic” about the Section 31 project.
Kurtzman’s Star Trek Cat of the Day
Watch Kurtzman’s full Star Trek Day video below (international version available on StarTrek.com).
Star Trek Day
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