Friday’s Comic-Con@Home Paramount+ Peak Animation panel brought the first footage from the upcoming animated kids series Star Trek: Prodigy. The teaser trailer was brief but offered a good look at the animation style as well as the opportunity to hear the characters for the first time.
Based on official announcements and commentary from the cast and crew, we can get a sense of how the show is being set up, as most if not all of this footage appears to come from the pilot episode. The following analysis also includes some educated speculation and contains potential spoilers.
Dreaming of escape
Star Trek: Prodigy begins on a “bleak mining planet,” which we assume is controlled by a new race called the Vau N’Akat. The series will be set in the Delta Quadrant so (presumably) this mining planet is also in the Delta Quadrant. According to Kate Mulgrew, the setup for the show finds a group of kids “incarcerated” on “an obscure planet in an uncharted part of the galaxy.” It’s not known what they are mining on this planet but from the crystalline structures, dilithium is a good bet.
The trailer opens with Dal (Brett Gray), who has been described as the central character in Prodigy. We see Dal along with two very large people toiling away on this mining planet.
The planet is controlled by an unnamed character, who is the father of Gwyn (more on her later). It is likely her father’s voice at the start of the trailer menacingly saying, “No one shall escape.” We can also see aggressive guard robots keeping an eye on Dal and the other prison laborers.
As the shot focuses on Dal, he can be heard saying, “I’m getting out of here, to a better life.”
We can also see more shots of the mining operation on this harsh planet.
And we can see that there is a shield around the mining operation, a bit like the one at Star Trek’s most famous prison, Rura Penthe.
Saving each other
Star Trek: Prodigy will “follow a motley crew of young aliens who must figure out how to work together while navigating a greater galaxy, in search for a better future.” In the middle part of the teaser trailer, we meet the five other aliens who will join Dal and his plan to escape the mining planet.
Zero (Angus Imrie), a Medusan—a genderless, energy-based lifeform in a special suit—telling Dal, “You’re the only one who still thinks he can [escape].”
Rok-Tahk (Rylee Alazraqui)—a Brikarian—asks, “What will happen if they catch us?”
Rok-Tahk’s fearful comment is cut with a shot of the guard robots chasing after someone or something.
Jankom Pog (Jason Mantzoukas)—a Tellarite—says with mirth, “Like it or not, you’re stuck with me.”
Murf (Dee Bradley Baker)—an “indestructible blob” and a “sidekick” to Rok-Tahk—squeals in delight.
Gwyn (Ella Purnell)—a 17-year-old Vau N’Akat and daughter of the man who controls the mining planet—tells Dal, “I tried to save you.”
Dal responds, “And now we can save each other.”
Their ticket out
The main setting of Prodigy is a Starfleet ship which the kids commandeer. This ship is found crashed on the mining planet, and the rest of the trailer shows parts of the discovery and escape.
Dal looks up in awe—presumably at the ship—with Rok-Tahk behind him.
We get a glimpse of the ship as we hear Gwyn say, “What is all of this?”
The classic Star Trek theme is heard while Dal looks on with astonishment as the Starfleet ship powers up… he then looks out the window/viewscreen.
We pan back to see the crashed Starfleet ship named USS Protostar. The ship’s designation is NX-76884, with the “NX” indicating it is an experimental ship, possibly explaining why it is in the Delta Quadrant just a few years after the end Star Trek: Voyager. Dal can be heard describing the ship as “our ticket out of here.”
Dal rides a lift through the center of the ship
The USS Protostar blasts free of the rubble and escapes the planet.
A message from Janeway
The official description of the show also notes: “These six young outcasts know nothing about the ship they have commandeered.” To help them understand the ship—and the ways of Starfleet—they will have an “Emergency Training Hologram” as their guide, in the form of Captain Kathryn Janeway.
We don’t see hologram Janeway in this teaser, but at the end of the trailer we now hear her (voiced by Kate Mulgrew), saying, “We’ve only just begun.”
The trailer ends on a lighter note with Dal—who will be working closely with, and be trained by hologram Janeway—on the bridge saying, “There are a lot more stars than I thought.”
It’s all in the cards
In addition to the shots and dialogue in the trailer, there are a series of title cards that also tell the story…
A promising start
This teaser trailer definitely teases the show, giving us a good idea of how it will look plus a lot of hints about the premise and a sense of the tone, but there is much more to learn. We can probably expect a more extensive trailer for before the show launches, quite possibly on Star Trek Day, September 8th. That next update will likely also give us a firm release date, but sometime around October 2021 (when the second season of Star Trek: Lower Decks wraps up) is a good bet.
Keep up with all the news and analysis for Star Trek: Prodigy.