Continuing our detailed coverage of the Star Trek Universe panel at San Diego Comic-Con, this time focused on Short Treks. Yesterday we reported some highlights along with the new Short Treks trailer, but there were more details about the upcoming second season for the series focused on mini standalone stories, which is now expanding beyond tie-ins to Star Trek: Discovery. There also may have been a hint about another possible show to join the growing Star Trek Universe.
Expanding the ‘Short Treks’ experiment
Executive producer Alex Kurtzman started off the section of the panel on Short Treks by giving some background on how the 4-episode first season of the series of mini-episodes came to life:
The Short Treks that we did last season was an interesting experiment because we knew we weren’t going to be able to drop [season two of] Discovery right away and we wanted to buy ourselves some time to get the season right, particularly because the visual effects take so long. It takes around eight months to really render those visual effects. So, we built these Short Treks — which was like a really interesting experiment in that we got to tell stories that you otherwise wouldn’t get to tell in the main body of the story and focus on characters that you wouldn’t necessarily get to see in an episode. They were these kinds of wonderful little meals, but the reveal was that some of them connected to the storytelling in season two. They seemed like they were independent, but they really worked. So, we are going to do that again.
6 new ‘Short Treks’ coming, including ‘Picard’ prequel
After the trailer for Short Treks was shown (which you can see below), Kurtzman outlined the upcoming season of six episodes:
So some of the Short Treks will involve Spock, Number One and Pike, and then there will three new stories. Two of them are animated and they won’t be in the style of either of our new animated shows (Star Trek: Lower Decks and the Nickelodeon Trek series), they are actually quite different. One will be directed by Michael Giacchino, who scored the [J.J. Abrams] Trek movies. One of them will be directed by ‘Tunde [producer/director Olatunde Osunsanmi], who is our main director on Discovery, in a totally different style. And the last one will be a Picard teaser. It will give you a sense of what happened to Jean-Luc fifteen years before we enter the series. Everything connects, yet there are fun stand-alone stories, as you can see from the trailer.
Pike, Spock and Number One return for ‘Short Treks,’ and maybe more?
As noted by Kurtzman – and is apparent from the trailer – half of the Short Treks season will focus on the USS Enterprise’s Captain Pike (Anson Mount), Number One (Rebecca Romijn) and Spock (Ethan Peck). While it wasn’t fully laid out, from what was said at the panel and from looking at the trailer, one of these episodes will focus on Pike in a prison, and the third will feature Pike and guest star H. Jon Benjamin (Archer, Bob’s Burgers) along with a lot of tribbles.
Kurtzman did offer a little flavor about one of those three, saying:
Spock and Number One stuck in an elevator is going to be quite interesting, and it is also written by Michael Chabon who did (Short Treks season one) ”Calypso” and is our Picard showrunner.
Actors Ethan Peck (Spock) and Rebecca Romijn (Number One) were surprise guests who joined the panel briefly after the discussion of Short Treks had started. Romijn noted that Anson Mount (Pike) extended an apology for not coming as he “really wanted” to attend but had a wedding to go to.
Ethan Peck was asked by the moderator about the opportunity to continue his time with the franchise going from season two of Discovery into Short Treks and he said:
It’s layer upon layer of surreality. It’s so insane. It’s just like rarified life experience. I’m living the dream. It’s fantastic.
Romijn also expressed a lot of enthusiasm for the opportunity:
I’m thrilled to be a part of this universe and part of the Star Trek family. It’s pinch-me-moment after pinch-me-moment. Walking on the Enterprise for the first time? I mean, it’s mindblowing.
During the earlier Discovery portion of the panel, Kurtzman talked about bringing these characters back for Short Treks:
We cannot overstate how critical to the overall tone Captain Pike, Number One and Spock were last season [of Discovery]. We would have brought them with us, but that would have broken canon, So we are very excited about doing the Short Treks.
Pike, Spock and the USS Enterprise were well received parts of the second season of Discovery, and they even inspired a popular petition. Kurtzman acknowledged this and made it clear the idea of giving the Enterprise crew their own show is on their radar:
There is speculation about Pike and Spock and Number One getting their own show. So, I guess the question for you guys is do you want them to get their own show? [crowd roars with a positive affirmation] Okay, we will think about it… [with a smile].
Watch the SDCC trailer for ‘Short Treks’
In case you missed it, here is the trailer again.
More from Peck and Romijn on ‘Short Treks’
Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn took a little time out from SDCC for a CBS video interview talking about how they learned they were returning to Star Trek for Short Treks. They were informed shortly after shooting ended for season two of Discovery, and their work on Short Treks took place in May 2019.
More SDCC 2019
Check out the rest of our San Diego Comic-Con 2019 coverage, and stay tuned to TrekMovie for more from the Star Trek Universe panel and beyond.