Trek is taking us back to school
On the heels of the announcement thatStar Trek: Discoverywill be ending its run with its fifth season in 2024, Paramount+ announced the immanent production of a new series:Star Trek: Starfleet Academy.
This series will focus on a group of young cadets facing the trials and tribulations of training to become Starfleet officers, facing brand-new dangers, professionally and personally, which will include, “a new enemy that threatens both the Academy and the Federation itself.”
The concept of exploring the intricacies of Starfleet Academy has long been in development. Following the release ofStar Trek V: The Final Frontier, the initial idea for the sixth film would have been a prequel, finding out how Kirk and Spock had met at the Academy. Something of this idea turned up in the 2009 J.J. AbramsStar Trekreboot. Starfleet Academy would also be featured heavily inThe Next Generationepisode “The First Duty” and the Deep Space Nine two-parter “Homefront” and “Paradise Lost.”
Cadet Kirk (Chris Pine) in JJ Abrams' 2009 Star Trek film
Finally, we would see a far-flung 32ndCentury Academy, following the devastating Burn event, inDiscovery’s “All Is Possible.” In this episode, Lieutenant Sylvia Tilly and Ensign Adira Tal helped a team of Starfleet Cadets on a training mission. At the end of the episode, Tilly leaves The USS Discovery to become an instructor at the Academy.
This storyline seems to be the kick-off point for the newly announced series, as the joint announcement from Alex Kurtzman and Noga Landau states:
“Admission is now open to Starfleet Academy! Explore the galaxy! Captain your destiny! For the first time in over a century, our campus will be re-opened to admit individuals a minimum of 16 Earth years (or species equivalent) who dream of exceeding their physical, mental and spiritual limits, who value friendship, camaraderie, honor and devotion to a cause greater than themselves.”
Kurtzman and Landau will serve as co-showrunners. Gaia Violo, Aaron Baiers, Jenny Lumet, Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth, Frank Siracusa, and John Weber will join them in their executive producer duties. Violo will be penning the first episode.
At this time, it is unknown if Sylvia Tilly will continue as an instructor, as Mary Wiseman has yet to be announced at this time as reprising her role. ButStarfleet Academy’s possible 32ndCentury setting gives hope that even with the ending ofDiscovery,its characters may still pop up within theStar Trekuniverse.
With Discovery and Picard ending their runs, Starfleet Academy will joinStrange New Worlds(renewed for season three),Lower Decks(renewed for season five), andProdigy. Without a doubt,Star Trekwill keep going boldly.
Editors Note: Following the publication of this announcement, Star Trek: Lower Decks' own Tawny Newsome announced in a tweet that she will be joining the writer's room for Starfleet Academy. You can find the tweet below.
Excited to announce I’ve joined the writers room for this 🖖🏾🚀 https://t.co/qGcFOPS53a— Tawny “My Name is Tawny” Newsome (@TrondyNewman) March 30, 2023