This past weekend was the first in-person San Diego Comic-Con since 2019, and attendees delighted in many exciting panels, including a splashy Hall H presentation from the folks behind Star Trek. Fans have been eager for new content since Star Trek: Strange New Worlds wrapped up its season 1 finale a few weeks ago, and Paramount+ did not keep them waiting.
The main panel took place Saturday afternoon and was moderated by Picard director and actress Lea Thompson. It was billed as a “Star Trek Universe” event and covered all franchise tentpoles. Here are the highlights and things you need to know:
Star Trek: Picard
At the panel’s start, we got more details about the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard. The trailer was more of a teaser. It was missing the dramatic shots of ships and planets and instead featured many of the characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation, making their return in what is set to be a very emotional season.
Season 3 of Picard stars Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, LeVar Burton back in the role of Geordi La Forge, Jeri Ryan as the liberated Borg Seven of Nine, Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker, Michael Dorn as Worf, Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi, Jonathan Frakes as William Riker, and Gates McFadden as Beverly Crusher.
Brent Spiner will be back too but wasn’t in the clip shown at SDCC. Alex Kurtzman told the audience that the actor would return as an “old new character.” If you’ve followed Spiner’s Star Trek career over the past three decades, this isn’t totally surprising or unusual. He’s portrayed the iconic Data, Lore, B-4, and a whole bunch of Soongs.
— Star Trek (@StarTrek) July 23, 2022
Spiffy new character posters were showcased along with the clip. Worf’s poster and appearance seemed to elicit the most reaction from the audience. The Klingon was silver-haired and had a large weapon on his back in the teaser. Showrunner Terry Matalas said on Twitter that the weapon was called a Kur’leth and new to Star Trek. It was designed by Dan Curry, the creator of the famed Bat’leth.
— Terry Matalas (@TerryMatalas) July 24, 2022
Additionally, season 3 of Picard will face a singular villain that’s a woman. We don’t have details yet on who they are, but we’ll likely find out more information as the air date gets closer. Kurtzman compared the foe’s that of Khan in Wrath of Khan.
“But I think one of the things that we love most about Wrath of Khan is the mind games between Kirk and Khan and the one-upmanship. That has been a real North Star for us this season. The villain that we created—we do have a singular villain this season. I won’t say too much other than that she is amazing.” – Alex Kurtzman at SDCC, transcribed by TrekMovie.com.
The final season of Picard will premiere in 2023. It was filmed back to back with season 2 of the show. Explore where Star Trek: Picard season two left this fan-favorite crew!
Lower Decks – Premiere, DS9–eriffic, and SNW crossover
The third season of Star Trek: Lower Decks officially has a premiere date of August 25. The 10-episode animated series will air weekly into the fall and only be available on Paramount+ in the US. At the panel, fans got a brand new trailer and new character posters for Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome), Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid), D’vana Tendi (Noël Wells), and Eugene Cordero’s Sam Rutherford.
The trailer makes it clear that the USS Cerritos crew will visit some locations near and dear to Deep Space 9 fans. This will be the first Trek of any type to return to the station since the series ended in June of 1999. The lack of DS9 content, while the Trek universe has been expanding, has been a bit of a sore point for fans of the series that followed Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) and the other crew.
First, there’s the exterior shot of Sisko’s Creole Kitchen. If you watched DS9, you might recall that Ben Sisko’s dad, Joseph Sisko (Brock Peters), owned the New Orleans restaurant. The creole eatery was in the French Quarter of NOLA and was a favorite of Aron Eisenberg’s Nog. It was heavily featured in DS9 episodes “Homefront” and “Paradise Lost.”
Second, there’s the space station itself. The last part of the new trailer features stunning animation of Deep Space 9 – including, as the trailer amusingly points out, awe-inspiring pylons. The DS9 instrumental theme plays as the Cerritos circles the station in homage to the show’s opening credits.
As if the locations in Lower Decks weren’t enough for DS9 fans, the show goes a step further. At least one of the stars from the show will reprise their role in the animated series. A one-eyed Martok (John Garman Hertzler Jr.) is featured. Martok was a Klingon general and later chancellor close with both Sisko and Worf.
Lower Decks showrunner Mike McMahan told the audience and fellow panelists that the parody series was actually going to go into the station and even walk around the Promenade. It’s not a stretch to assume there might be more familiar faces besides Martok on tap to appear.
In a surprise that’s been long teased by SNW EP Alex Kurtzman and rumored otherwise on the internet, Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks will have a crossover episode. Star Trek legend Jonathan Frakes will direct the part live-action and part animated episode. Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid popped into the Strange New panel to break the news that they will appear on Pike’s USS Enterprise sometime in Season 2. Newsome and Quaid will appear as their live-action characters for the first time ever. And according to the panel, we’ll see some SNW characters in their 2D form.
Co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers said that the crossover came about partly due to a screenwriting connection from The Boys, which also stars Jack Quaid.
“All of us are huge Lower Decks fans on the writing staff of Strange New Worlds. And one of our writers—David Reed—also works on The Boys. And he was just chatting with Jack and was like, “Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if we did a crossover?” And he was like, “Yeah, that’d be great!” And we were in the room and just started talking about it, and then we were like, “What if we could get more than one person from Lower Decks on our show?” … The crazy thing is we had this whole discussion about it, and then I got a call from Alex, completely separately… And he says, “I think you guys should think about doing a crossover with Lower Decks. And I was like, “I’ve got some good news for you.” Then it sort of just wrote itself.” Henry Alonso Myers (via TrekMovie.com)
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
The debut season of Strange New Worlds ended this month, so it was too early for a trailer or teaser for the next season. However, the cast of the acclaimed show dropped some knowledge about season 2.
Anson Mount, who plays Captain Christopher Pike of the USS Enterprise, addressed the memes about his hair that have powered many Twitter threads.
“I will relay that question to my hair, and he will get back to you. He’s number one on the call sheet… The hair is due in large part to our resident hair guru, Daniel Losco, and the entire hair department. Yeah, the hair memes have been fantastic.” – Anson Mount at SDCC (via TrekMovie.com)
The story of Spock’s dyslexia started in Star Trek: Discovery’s “Light and Shadows,” It will be revisited in the next season of SNW. And we’ll see Spock “wrestle with his human side much more.” according to Ethan Peck, who plays the third iteration of the half-human half-Vulcan character.
Paul Wesley will return as James T. Kirk. At the end of season 1, in the episode “A Quality of Mercy,” we met the character for the first time in a temporal Bizzaro world. The terrible future won’t burden season 2’s Kirk, and the character will have “more levity.”
It’s an exciting time to be a Star Trek fan, and we’ll continue to cover all the upcoming series here at The Cosmic Circus. Please join the conversation and share your thoughts with us on Twitter @MyCosmicCircus.