Get A Glimpse Of New Animated ‘Star Trek: Short Treks’

Thanks to the preview attached to this month’s short – “Ask Not” – we can offer a brief glimpse at the two different animation styles for the next shorts. This is the first new animated Trek since The Animated Series ended in 1974. The two shorts will be released on December 12.

The Girl Who Made The Stars

As we had assumed, this seems to be about the legend Michael Burnham recounted at the start of the Discovery season two premiere episode, “Brother”:

A thousand centuries ago in Africa, the /Xam Abathwa tribe gathered to share a story. The tale of a girl who dug her hands in the wood ash and threw it into the sky to create the Milky Way. And hidden there, a secret buried among the eternal stars, was a message. An enormous letter in a bottle made of space and time, visible only to those whose hearts were open enough to receive it.

Ephraim and DOT

Ephraim was the name Bryan Fuller had for what became “Ripper” the Tardigrade back when he was going to be a main character early on in the development of Discovery. And DOT is of course a reference to the repair robots (DOT-7 class) featured in the season two finale of Discovery. It looks like this short will show a chance encounter between a mischievous tardigrade and a lonely DOT-7.


Star Trek: Short Treks are available in the USA on CBS All Access. Season 2 is available in Canada via CTV Sci-Fi Channel (formerly known as Space) and Crave. Availability for the second season in other regions has not be announced.

Keep up with all the Short Treks news and reviews at TrekMovie.

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Athus

More precuels and for childrens.. not interested.. good luck

Pick Hard

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out since that comment contributed nothing.

erpa

It contributed more than yours.

J.S.

that’s true

Danpaine

Ditto.

Tiger2

Well you can’t be shocked they are prequel based since all of them minus Calypso have been. But obviously the Picard short will go forward again.

And not sure where you are getting its just for kids just because its animated? The Girl Who Made the Stars sounds like a very mature story line and based around an ancient African tribe. Really excited for that one.

Pixar does with animation consistently what most directors only dream of with live actors. Expand your horizons, open your mind to new possibilities.

Tek

What, pray tell, is a precuel?

My guess is prequel.

A34

See you later Mr Grumpy.

erpa

Actually prequels of prequels now lol

Max

I love how the angle on the Enterprise is the same as it was on the animated series.

Cmd.Bremmon

Agreed, got to love the 1701.

Marja

Yes! I noticed that too :^)

TG47

I was delighted and surprised to have that lookback to TAS. Really made me smile to see the screencap here.

Just wish we’d got the preview on CTV’s Sci-fi channel. Instead it just cut to the next Marvel offering after the credits.

Grid lines on the saucer section? NOT CANON! ; )

odradek

I wish Ephraim was named after Ephraim Lessing, the guy who ripped apart the brother of the man who discovered the tardigrades.

Marja

How did he rip the brother of Johann August Ephraim Goeze’s brother apart? Was Goeze’s brother a dramatist?

[N.B., Lessing was a dramatist and critic]

odradek

No, his brother,Johann Melchior Goeze, was pastor and theologian. He was also foremost a a strict opponent of enlightenment, which Lessing was a representative of. They both had a famous religious dispute called “Fragmentenstreit”. Kind of science versus faith or should religion be based on reason or on unquestioningly following of the bible. Lessing wrote some scripts against him, which were later called “Anti-Goeze”. But in the end Lessing was being prohibited from writing on religious matters by censorship. Lessing thought, then I’ll bring the topic on stage and set it in an other time and an exotic space (somehow like in Star Trek), In that play Lessing modeled the most mischievous character after Goeze, his catchphrase is “The Jew must be burnt”. That pretty much destroyed Goeze’s reputation in Germany of course. I imagine – today Goeze would troll Lessing as a SJW for having women as protagonists in most of his plays and in the rest of the plays minorities as the good guys.

BTW, that play has some bad “Star-Trek-The-Motion-Picture-Stigma” for being too boring and lifeless and the characters seem too cerebral and constructed. It also borrows the Luke and Leia twist from Star Wars.

Marc Henson

I can barely see what the characters look like. I’m interested…but that’s not saying much since I’ve seen so little. Very Disney looking from what I can tell.

Yeah… those eyes are SO Pixar. I can’t say I’m thrilled with the look, actually. Was hoping for something more original, and not a character that looks like every CGI character in every Dreamworks movie ever.

Mathew

Are those nacelle pylons straight? What? What?

No. Or yes. Maybe.

Luke Montgomery

So not interested in cartoons making Trek “cheap.”

Pick Hard

Then why are you even reading this article? Only an idiot reads about things that don’t interest him.

Pick Hard

I will never understand why so many supposed fans act like The Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy all the time. Get a grip.

A34

That made me laugh

ML31

I personally find this concept difficult to grasp. I see articles here on subjects that do not interest me. Like the gaming side or the comic book side. Nearly every time I ignore the article. No way would I go into a gaming article and just say some snarky comment about how I’m not interested in that subject. Obviously those who read and comment are so why rain on their parade? It doesn’t affect me any…

Marja

ML31,
EXACTLY. I reach

Luke Montgomery

It DOES interest me in the sense that Trek interests me and that is precisely why I am commenting. I really hope the cartoons do not lower Trek to being cheap and goofy. That’s my concern. Simple. As for calling me an “idiot,” if you will note, I didn’t say I wan’t interested in Trek or the cartoons, but said I was not interested in cartoons making Trek “cheap.” There’s a distinction that might spur someone to point out that you have a reading comprehension problem. But we’re all fans and I won’t call you an “idiot” even if the shoe fits for not reading more closely before you attack a stranger. online. :)

Marja

Perhaps ML31 and I reacted too quickly because there seem to be a vocal contingent barging into Twitter threads and such to call Discovery fans idiots. I’m feeling a bit defensive these days.

I would echo Phil. There are some beautifully drawn cartoons and Ephraim and Dot could be one of them. And The Girl Who Made the Stars looks more like artful illustrations from children’s books, which is not “cheap” at all.

Tiger2

I don’t have Twitter but definitely stay from the YouTube comments section if you’re a Discovery fan lol. They seem just as brutal on the show as they did first season.

P Technobabble

The problem is it doesn’t require any thought to call someone an idiot. When someone is capable of thinking clearly and intelligently, they could put some real thought into having an actual conversation with you, even in disagreement. But it would seem in the world of trolls, having a mature, human conversation is “stupid,” which, of course, makes you the idiot. I think that kind of logic is rather flawed but I doubt there is one single troll-boy on earth that would be willing (or able) to have a conversation about it. :)

ML31

OK. That’s fair. But even though it appears my comment did not apply to yours I still stand by it as a general thing that I do see here on this site.

Orion

Isn’t it interesting how people who disagree with someone now have to attack them personally instead of focusing on the subject matter. But, tolerance!

albatrosity

Pick Hard you gotta learn at some point or another that expressing an opinion is not an “idiot” thing to do. An “idiot” thing to do is to gripe about people writing comments you disagree with. And guess what – just like you wish these commenters would ignore articles they have no interest in, you very easily could just ignore the comments you disagree with. Posting an opinion is what message boards are for. But getting mad at people for posting an opinion is asinine, and what you’re doing is nothing more than trolling. Say you disagree, that’s fine, but to call someone an idiot is…idiotic. Understood? Thanks.

Gotcha, Comic Book Guy. Your South Park reruns are demanding some attention.

TechNoir

Not sure what you mean by cheap. So far this looks like your average modern TV animation. Far from Filmation these days.

Luke montgomery

I’m not referring to “cheap” in the budget and talent aspects (although, animation is less expensive than live action), I’m referring to how I feel animation cheapens the depth of the realness to the storytelling vs live action. I love Disco. Part of that love is seeing a fantastic world rendered “real” through the actors, sets, makeup and effects. The “reality” of the show(s) that Trek has made make it immersive where you can suppers your disbelief and be swept up in the magic of the story and illusion. It’s hard to have that level of experience with cell-shaded animation where stylized line drawings that look like children’s book illustrations are used to tell the story. I think Trek storytelling being animated is a mistake.

c d

I think the Star Trek multiverses have room for all forms of storytelling, including animation. Especially now, with the ability to make very incredible visuals much more easily than could be done before.
As far as Discovery, the actors, costumes, makeup may have been “real”, but the story content felt very shallow and cartoony.
It is not the medium that matters so much as the message.

TechNoir

Yeah, what cd said.

Boze

Frankly, I found it difficult to suspend my disbelief watching even the live-action Discovery. In fact, I’ve been shaking my head in disbelief for most of the second season. Six months later, some of my neck muscles are still strained. ;)

If the *story* is well-made, the medium isn’t all that important. For example, this 1970s animated short: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4R2nHgfFts
Not only it is animated, but there isn’t one single comprehensible word in it. And yet it conveys the story in an extremely efficient manner. The medium doesn’t matter, as long as the author knows how to work with it.

Tiger2

I’m not as big of a Star Wars fan as I am a Star Trek fan (mostly just watch the movies to those but very little else until the Mandalorian started this week) but so many Star Wars fans who seem totally disappointed with the last crop of movies seems to sing The Clone Wars TV show praises. That show IS made for kids first and foremost and yet fans of all ages seems to suggests that’s the way both the prequels and now the sequel trilogy should’ve been done.

So you’re right, I don’t know where people are getting the idea just because something is animated and even aimed at kids means it ‘cheapens’ the franchise. At least the Star Wars animated shows have done the opposite. This isn’t the 70s anymore, animated stories are very much for adults as they are for kids. Disney makes BILLIONS every year with their animated films and shows because they enthrall adults as well as their children.

Now we don’t know how any of these Trek animated shorts or shows will be like yet but my guess is if noting else the story level will be just as strong (or weak, I guess depending on your view of how Discovery has done it so far and VERY mixed for me as well) as any of the live action shows.

And while I personally will always prefer live action over animation, it is exciting to see Trek take on this format head on and that it’s all canon. So it gives fans another reason to take it more seriously just as Star Wars fans seem to take all the animated shows.

alphantrion

In fact just the opposite, I think cartoon and animation has the potential to expand the universe even more widely than live action. With animation you can get much more creative in your creature or ship designs and can pull those off much easier than in live action. Animation is the medium for creativity I think and if we want Star Trek to be more creative and imaginative animation would do wonders.

TechNoir

I think your fears of animation cheapening or damaging the realism of Star Trek are unwarranted. At least history doesn’t back it up. I mean, what Star Trek property followed the animated Star Trek of the ’70s? Star Trek: The Motion Picture – the biggest, most expensive, most realistic Star Trek ever produced at that point.

So these different takes can quite easily exist within the same time period, or roughly the same time period.

TG47

I absolutely don’t get why folks associate animation with ‘cheap’.

In terms of cost and production time, live action can be ‘cheaper’.

In terms of artistic expression, they are two different media : it’s hard to say one or the other has more inherent merit.

While it’s a more recent phenomenon in the United States, there has been a longstanding tradition of sophisticated and gorgeous animation in Europe and Canada.

That said, I’m beginning to accept that there is a subset of American Trek fandom that has a deeply negative view of animation.

I just wish those of you with this bias would give animated Trek a fair chance, and not try to big foot it.

Mike2

Interesting that we get another Short Treks that features the Enterprise (presumably Pike’s). More fuel for those speculating on plans for a Pike series.

Marja

With all the sets they’ve built and the careful selection and hiring of actors like Mount and Romijn and Peck, I think they’ve been planning that from the get-go … if fan reaction was positive. And it is.

#AllHailPikesEnterprise and [I must add] #FindPrimeLorca !!!

albatrosity

Sorry Marja but they built sets for the Shenzhou too, you aren’t seeing a Shenzhou series though

ML31

Hmm… Too little to even gather an impression.

ADeweyan

Noting that the Short Treks that preceded Discovery Season 2 more or less directly referenced events in that Season, I wonder if the animated Short Treks will reference events in the upcoming animated series.

DIGINON

When the animated Short Treks were first announced I also speculated whether CBS would use them to give us a first introduction to their versions of animated Trek. However, I think Kurtzman or someone else from Secret Hideout said in an interview that the Shorts would have very different animations styles from the animated shows. So they will probably be unrelated.

Tiger2

They both sound interesting but truly excited for The Girl Who Made the Stars. I love its based around real mythology and (at least based off the images shown) has very little to do directly with Star Trek itself. This is why the Short Treks are just a great device to tell stories with. They can literally do anything with them in any format, character, tone and/or time period. The Girl Who Made the Stars looks to be this season’s Calypso.

Marja

So far, The Trouble with Edward is my favorite of all the Short Treks because of its humor, but The Girl Who Made the Stars art looks SO beautiful, I’m really looking forward to it!

Tiger2

TTWE is my favorite this season as well. I watched Ask Not today, liked it but a pretty standard Trek story.

Girls Beyond the Stars just looks and feels so different. I can’t wait to see how it ties to Star Trek.

Michael Hall

Yeah, “Ask Not” turned out to be a bit of a fizzle. But damned if that glimpse of Main Engineering didn’t make it worth it. Just awesome.

Tiger2

I really liked that engineering room. It feels a bit like TNG style with the warp core being vertical. But at least reading other places online it seems to be VERY mixed. Nothing like how most love the bridge. Most stating its just way too big and that it looks too advanced for the period (but it’s Discovery what else is new lol).

But I agree, I like it. It probably is a little TOO big though but the look is so cool. Beats a brewery any day ;). I’m shocked there isn’t 50 posts here arguing over it yet.

TG47

I confess I was somewhat disappointed in ‘Ask Not’.

The principal act was about 7 minutes and seemed rushed. The director could have slowed things down a bit.

Admit Kaur is a good actress, and conveyed an authentically stressed and challenged cadet.

However, the dialogue went so quickly from both Pike and Sidhu that I actually found myself wanting to replay sentences here and there as I was watching it the first time. So, that got in the way of the dramatic tension.

Tiger2

Yeah same. This was suppose to be the big ‘Pike story’ and it felt a bit of a let down. As you said a bit rushed and it was obvious two minutes in what was really happening. Still liked it, but definitely the weakest one for me this season so far.

Marja

Ephraim and Dot looks fun, and the Girl Who Made the Stars looks inspiring! What a beautiful legend. Both seem like great family-oriented Trek, too, which will please parents and kids (who hopefully, might become Trek fans ;^)

Man, I WISH they had called “Ripper” Ephraim. I *hate* the name Ripper, although as a reference to the Tardigrade’s capabilities when threatened, it was accurate. It was also reductive. So very “Landry;” she reduced her world to black and white, and I think that would be a real disadvantage for a Chief of Security.

I love the episode “The Butcher’s Knife…” because it shows us that not everything alien to us should serve us.

Vantheman77

The more Star Trek, the better.

Marja

Animated Trek could also be made for grown folks, with aliens we can only practically see in an animated setting, and space explorer’s weird experiences with some aliens and environments!

I think of the flashback sequences for the veteran in “Disjointed,” for example. Fantastic; beautifully drawn and animated. I am a fan of graphic novels/comics art, and think it would be a terrific opportunity to stage adventures in “strange new worlds”!

There are many talented comics artists out there … probably a number of Trek fans among them!

Matt K

Call me crazy, but I would love to see something like an eighth season of DS9 in animated form. I highly doubt they would ever re-build those sets for live action, but anything can happen in animation.

Tiger2

That would be amazing! Especially seeing how cool the concept art looked in the documentary.

I would settle for an animated DS9 animated Short Trek. That would definitely excite the fanbase too. Right now it feels like anything is possible, at least on the TV end.

Mike2

I love that! A DS9 animated Short Trek would be amazing. And if it featured Captain Nog, it could be a wonderful tribute to Aron Eisenberg.

I Khan Believe it's Not Butter

As long as the stories are as interesting as the original animated series I have no objections.
And yes, for those of you who may not have been born when the animated series aired, it was pretty darn good for its time and way ahead of the saturday morning fare that was on at the time.

And for those who are stuck in the “I don’t like prequels” remember this is fiction, still a far off future setting and it’s a big galaxy with lots of stories to tell.
Also remember Roddenberry once said if some day some one comes along and can do Star Trek better he’d be all for it.
Never did he say it had to be further in the future.
Personally I’d like to see a return to stand alone stories with a beginning, middle and end.
The story arch thing is getting pretty lame and dried up.

ML31

May I suggest the possibility that the reason you feel season long story arcs are “lame and dried up” is mainly because the last two seasons of Discovery have had monumentally lame and dried up story arcs. Other shows seem to have decent season long stories so I am not prepared to say they are “dried up”. It’s just that Discovery has had people of lesser creative talent running their show more than anything else.

JRT!

Really looking forward to the tardigrade one. Love Ripper! And recently got the Eaglemoss figurine of him from a friend of mine who works there.

A34

I love it.

Gary 8.5

For me Animated Short Treks are a great Christmas Present!

Trek in a Cafe

What if the “truth” is in front of us and we don’t even see it… Discovery is/becomes the Section 31 show… and Pike is the promised prequel. Then they don’t have to add an extra show… !

Gary 8.5

Clever idea. But I doubt that they would actually do that.

The animated Enterprise looks great, the simpler shading of the animations gives off a little hint of old plasticsides as well.

Dayxday

Looking forward to this!

Phillip Thorne

From what I can find, “Abathwa” is one name for an aboriginal tribe in southern Africa, and “|Xam” is an extinct language of the region (where the pipe symbol — not a slash — represents a click sound), but the “thousand centuries” has got to be hyperbole on the part of the DSC writer. The only human artifacts that survive over a 100,000-year period are stone tools and cave paintings, and even if oral culture hadn’t completely mutated over such an interval, it wouldn’t have a specific time attached; that’s why folklore has nonspecific phrases like “long ago and far away”. Unless it’s an Abathwa literary-symbolic number, like “seven” or “forty” all over the Bible.

I’m also wondering about “bottle” (stoppered gourd?) and “made of space and time” (all humans have those concepts, but *making a thing* from such intangibles is more of a 20cen post-Einstein SF notion).

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki//Xam_Abathwa
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C7%80Xam_language
http://www.occultopedia.com/a/abatwa.htm

albatrosity

Judging from the stills, I’m impressed! Haven’t watched a new episode of Trek, short or otherwise, since like February though, despite continuing my CBSAA subscription. It’s interesting that the tardigrade was supposed to be a character in the show, that’s quite a revelation