This week has yielded loads of exciting news on the Star Trek front, so let’s get into everything that’s happening in the Final Frontier.
New Picard Details
New details regarding the upcoming Captain Picard-based series have yielded some surprising revelations. The series will apparently loosely tie-in to the Kelvin timeline that began with the 2009 film Star Trek — and because of that tie-in, will feature a very different Picard than fans are used to. Alex Kurtzman, who is in charge of all things Star Trek for CBS All Access and who co-wrote 2009’s Star Trek and its sequel, recently told The Hollywood Reporter, “Picard’s life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire.” That dissolution was first mentioned in 2009’s Star Trek when Spock reveals that he was unable to save the Romulans’ homeworld from a destructive supernova. During Star Trek: The Next Generation, Picard’s main goal was establishing peace between the Romulans and the Federation, so it makes sense that the violent end of the Romulan Empire would have a profound effect on him. What makes less sense is the tie-in to the reboot Star Trek films, since…
The Reboot Series Is Dead
The three Star Trek reboot films that began with 2009’s Star Trek were never massive hits, with each movie earning less money at the domestic box office than its predecessor. The latest, 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, earned only $343 million against a budget of $185 million. Since films generally have to earn twice their budget to break even, Beyond likely lost money for Paramount Pictures. And even though a sequel has been in the works for the past two years, it has now reportedly been canceled, marking the likely end of the road for the film franchise. Deadline broke the news as a sidenote in a story about the film’s director, S. J. Clarkson, joining HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones prequel after she recently “became available” due to Star Trek 4‘s cancelation. The future of Star Trek is clearly on the small screen, with the franchise basically taking over CBS’s streaming service, but this still marks a sad and inglorious end to the movie series.
Another Animated Series Is Coming
If the upcoming Star Trek animated series Lower Decks doesn’t excite you, then maybe this news will. In Kurtzman’s talk with THR, he also revealed a new “kids focused” Star Trek animated series is in the works; one that actually may air somewhere other than on CBS All Access (though it will probably air on CBS All Access). “There’s other animated things that we’re building that are an entirely different perspective and an entirely different tone [from Lower Decks],” Kurtzman revealed. “What’s exciting about it is not only looking at each animated series as what’s the different tone, but what’s the different technology we can apply to these things so that visually they’re entirely different?”
So to sum up this week’s Star Trek news: More TV, fewer movies, and a different Picard. A lot of change is happening, for sure, but this is a franchise that’s all about boldly going where no one has gone before.