The cast and crew of Star Trek: Discovery were in New York this weekend for both New York Comic Con and PaleyFest New York. They dropped some new tidbits about what we can expect from the show’s third season, which includes the spore drive—yes, it’s still up and running!—and a visit to the homeworld of a familiar beloved alien race: the Trill. Plus we now know we can expect “13 or more” episodes this season.
Season 3 of Discovery is going to Trill
On stage at PaleyFest New York, Star Trek franchise helmsman Alex Kurtzman confirmed that Discovery‘s third season will see future versions of Star Trek aliens that we all know and love. If you thought you saw the Trill homeworld in the trailer just released yesterday, you are right! Kurtzman confirmed it, saying, “We are going to Trill this year” and that some of the show’s new characters will have to go there for a very specific reason.
The Trill were introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but their backstory was much more fleshed out thanks to Deep Space Nine’s fan-favorite character Dax (Jadzia and then Ezri), a joined Trill. The show being set 930 years into the future from Discovery season 2 means we may possibly get to see a whole new version of the Trill homeworld. No word on whether any of the Trill symbionts we’ve met in the 24th century will make cameo appearances.
The presence of a known alien race in season three brings up a question that fans have been wondering since season two’s finale: will the writers wipe the slate clean, or will we be seeing future versions of alien species and worlds we already know? Executive Producer Heather Kadin says that the jump into the future gives the writers some breathing room, saying that the advantage of setting the show in the future means “no more bumping up against canon,” and there is “new freedom in blazing new territory.”
TrekMovie spoke with Discovery‘s executive producers on the red carpet before the panel. Michelle Paradise explained that season 3 will be a mix of old and new:
It’s a mix of things. We’re going 930 years into the future, so we’re taking expectations and alliances and enemies and all of those things and putting them in a blender and mixing it all up and seeing what’s going to happen. It’s going to be very interesting, I think.
More spores in season three
The mycelial network was introduced in Discovery‘s first season but has never appeared anywhere else (so far) in the Trek franchise. Kurtzman says the spore drive will remain a big part of the narrative, verifying that the USS Discovery is still the only ship with one, even in the future—and adding that because of that, other people are going to want it.
Showrunner Michelle Paradise confirmed that the Federation will be going through a bit of a rough patch during the time period where the USS Discovery arrives, saying the Federation is challenged, but not gone, in the future. But she added that the show will have Trek’s optimism, and the characters [on Discovery] become the beacon of hope in the future.
13+ episodes for season three
There’s no official word yet on how many episodes we can expect in the third season, but on the red carpet, Kurtzman described the way they can tell a story on TV vs. movies, and used the phrase “13 or more.”
[Discovery] is a movie on the small screen, and we have the benefit of 13 or more episodes to tell deeper stories than you have time to tell in two hours.
Kurtzman, Paradise, and Kadin confirmed that the show’s writers’ room has both familiar and new faces around the table working on season three. Paradise listed them:
There’s us, and Jenny (Lumet). Anne Cofell Saunders. Ken Lin. Alan McElroy. Kirsten Beyer. Brandon Schultz. Erika and Boey, who are going off to do Section 31. Chris Silvestri, Anthony Maranville, Sean Cochran. Kalinda Vasquez, who just joined, who’s phenomenal.
Kurtzman then covered their tracks, since they were being rushed away as we spoke to them:
We probably missed somebody, so whoever that is, I apologize.
Could Discovery make the transition to the silver screen?
We asked Kurtzman if the reunification of the Star Trek franchise could mean that his team will be making movies, and if the movies would now be directly connected to the (multiple) TV series:
Anything’s possible, really. Again, if you’re going to make a movie, you need to tell a story that is really better told on the big screen. So it has to be a very specific kind of story. We don’t want to just jam it in to jam it in. [The story] would have to be something that would inspire us to say, “We really want to tell this story in two hours.”
We’ll have more PaleyFest coverage over the next few days! Upcoming red carpet interviews include Mary Wiseman, Anthony Rapp, and Sonequa Martin-Green.