What the Spock is going on with ‘Star Trek’?

Sam Ashurst

If you think Star Wars has problems following Solo’s box office crash and burn, wait until you get a load of Trek.

Seemingly attempting a ‘throw everything into the warp core and see what teleports’ approach to franchise development, Star Trek appears to have more projects in the works than there are twinkles in the sky.

Here’s a handful of the most significant projects, which all have their own issues.

Star Trek: Discovery – season 2

Discovery seems to be going through a bit of a radical evolution for season 2, if the first trailer’s to be believed. Season one felt like Game Of Thrones, season two looks like The Orville.

Season 1 attempted to blaze its own trail, by not relying on franchise characters and boldly redesigning the series’ most iconic villains, the Klingons. For season two, Captain Christopher Pike will appear, as will Spock.

The Klingons will also get another redesign.

Make of that what you will, but one thing’s for sure – Discovery will need a stronger impact than season one if it wants to carry on exploring the galaxy. Let’s see if a shift from serious to silly does the job.

Short Treks

Intriguingly, Discovery will get its own spin-off series before season two returns. Short Treks sound like they’re going to work in a similar way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s One-Shots, by expanding the main universe with a series of 10-15 minute short films.

“There is no shortage of compelling stories to tell in the Star Trek universe that inspire, entertain and either challenge our preconceived ideas or affirm long-held beliefs, and we are excited to broaden the universe already with Short Treks,” Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman said. “Each episode will deliver closed-ended stories while revealing clues about what’s to come in future Star Trek: Discovery episodes. They’ll also introduce audiences to new characters who may inhabit the larger world of Star Trek.”

It seems pretty ambitious to expand a universe that doesn’t have a particularly massive audience yet, especially when you factor in all the other Star Trek plates currently spinning.

Especially as some of those plates already seem broken…

Star Trek 4

Woah boy. The first female-directed Star Trek film in the franchise’s history has got off to a bad start. Key stars Chris Pine (Kirk) and Chris Hemsworth (Kirk’s dad) have walked away from the negotiating table following Paramount’s request they both take pay-cuts for the third follow-up to JJ Abrams’ 2009 reboot.

Unfortunately, that throws everyone else’s deals up into the air – as Paramount were prioritising Hemsworth and Pine (the movie was set to revolve around a time travel plot involving the pair), so they hadn’t yet locked down any of the Enterprise crew. And if they follow their Captain’s lead, the movie’s sunk.

What we’re saying is, don’t expect to see a trailer any time soon.

Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek

Speaking of projects you shouldn’t expect trailers for – Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek is probably the weirdest entry on this list.

QT has shared a plot outline with Paramount, and they’re into it – so it’s currently being developed alongside everything else. The problem is, it’s probably not a straight sequel to JJ’s universe (even if it sounds like JJ will be producing it), as it sounds like it’s about a Next Generation storyline.

“I think one of the best episodes of Star Trek ever written was for Next Generation. And I like Next Generation,” Tarantino said, talking about the episode ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’.

“There was that episode [‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’], which is the one where… it was actually written by a fan, frankly, who had been working on the show, and they said, ‘Well, you should write an episode’. And he wrote this episode that was fantastic.”

The question is, will Tarantino direct it?

“I don’t think he’s got time,” Simon Pegg has said. “I don’t think Quentin is going to direct it, because he’s got in his California movie [Once Upon A Time In Hollywood] to do and then I think [he’s] only doing one more film after that.”

So, yeah, Borg knows what’s going on with this one.

Still, Patrick Stewart’s up for it. “One of my dreams is to work with Tarantino. I admire his work so much, and to be in a Tarantino film would give me so much satisfaction,” Stewart said.

Speaking of Jean-Luc…

Untitled Picard project

Oh yeah, there’s also an official Picard TV series in development, which is set to catch-up with the Captain after the events of Star Trek: The next Generation and the various movies.

Stewart himself announced the news. “I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course,” Stewart said. “It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.”

The CBS All Access series “will tell the story of the next chapter of Picard’s life.”

Which is great and all that – but what is that show? Will Picard still be a Captain, or will he lounging around an office somewhere contemplating his memoirs? Will he used as a bridge to introduce the next, next generation of characters, or will the show be centred around him alone?

Feels like a very tricky thing to get right. Star Trek: The Next Generation is frequently cited as the best Trek series of them all, so here’s hoping they have a very solid plan in place. You know, unlike everything else on this list.

Starfleet Academy

Yes, there’s another new Trek show in development, with the Starfleet Academy TV series said to be overseen by creators Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz, who have previously created Gossip Girl, the Dynasty reboot, and Marvel’s Runaways.

As you can probably guess, it’ll be about teenagers training to go boldly into space, and with Savage and Schwartz in charge, expect melodrama, love triangles and messy break-ups – you know, exactly what the target demographic is craving.

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