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'Star Trek' brings first looks, reunion surprises & more for 'Picard,' 'Discovery' at NYCC 2022
"We could still make a movie."
Let's fly! Three of the many series, crews, and captains of Star Trek recently converged due to some manner of temporal anomaly. Our scientists believe that the anomaly was caused by New York Comic Con 2022, where Paramount+ held an enormous "Star Trek Universe" panel.
Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Discovery, and Star Trek: Prodigy were all represented, and the news was flowing at Warp 9. The emotions were running even faster, because a certain reunion and some surprise reveals laid the audience flat.
SYFY WIRE was there, and we did not violate the prime directive.
Star Trek: Discovery
Executive producer Alex Kurtzman came out first, followed by producers Rod Roddenberry and Michelle Paradise, and cast members Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets) and Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber). Sonequa Martin-Green (Captain Michael Burnham) joined the panel virtually, sitting in her on-set Captain’s chair.
She introduced a first look at Season 5, which you can watch right here:
Never a dull moment! The Discovery crew is back, and thankfully Book (David Ajala), Tilly (Mary Wiseman), Kovich (David Cronenberg) and the rest of the recurring gang are there as well.
As for the vibe of Season 5, Green was sure to speak to the recent passing of Nichelle Nichols. “Sitting in this chair with Nichelle’s passing, Nichelle Nichols… it’s profound. I hope my parents are proud and I hope I make my children proud. It’s a joy to stand with these people and to sit in this chair," she said.
Who are some of the newcomers in Season 5? One is Captain Rayner, played by Battlestar Galactica alum Callum Keith Rennie. He is promised to have an interesting dynamic with Burnham. There are also a pair of new "couriers" named L’ak and Moll, played by Elias Toufexis and Eve Harlow.
As for the season in general, Cruz said, "We're on an adventure, truly an adventure... Culber is asking big questions again." Both Cruz and Green believe that Season 5 is their best season yet.
Take a look at Rennie's new character here:
In terms of Burnham's relationship with Book, Green said it was complicated, like the old Facebook status. "You see this conflict between mission and love, between duty and romance. How do they fit in? That line between professional and personal is really fascinating."
As for Stamets and Culber, Rapp says that the two are in a good place, and that Stamets is trying to figure out a "new path of scientific exploration."
Kurtzman said that there will another season-long arc, but that the show is still about "watching our characters evolve together... their evolution as a family," adding that the title of the series is not an accident. All of the characters are on their own missions of discovery. He spoke of Burnham in the captain's chair, and said that there's a difference between attaining it and actually doing the job. As he said, "Learning what it means to be a captain is an ever-evolving process."
Take a look at the show's new duo of couriers here:
Roddenberry spoke to the legacy of IDIC, or "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations." Cruz has always been proud to be involved with such a diverse show, saying, "It should look like the world we live in."
When a fan asked about the possibility of a musical episode, Cruz remarked, "We've only been asking about it for five years." Kurtzman didn't phaser the notion down; he just said, "anything's possible."
Star Trek: Discovery will return for Season 5 in 2023 on Paramount+.
Star Trek: Prodigy
Kurtzman and Roddenberry remained and were joined by series creators Kevin and Dan Hageman, director Ben Hibon, and cast members Brett Gray (Dal), Jameela Jamil (Ensign Asencia), and Kate Mulgrew (Admiral Kathryn Janeway).
They played a new trailer for the mid-season premiere (and beyond), and you can watch it right here:
"Who are these kids?" asks the real Admiral Janeway. And yes, you did see the Borg. They'll be in the show, as will the Romulans and the Klingons. Dal will also learn where he came from.
"I can say that it's going to be epic, and there may be more questions than answers," Gray said.
Jamil is at the start of her journey in Trek, and couldn't be more excited. "I've been watching Star Trek since I was four years old..." she said, adding that when the call came, she "...wrote a screaming yes, in caps lock."
One thing that this series does best is that it passes Trek from one generation to another. This is something that Mulgrew noted right at the beginning, with Roddenberry adding that it isn't solely a kid's show. "This is Star Trek through and through," he said.
"It never ceases to amaze me how thrilled and satisfied I am by this," Mulgrew said of her renaissance as Janeway, before going on to celebrate the genius of the brother Hageman.
When it comes to what stories can be told by the show in terms of canon, Kurtzman said that "some of it is era-specific." As for returning characters, the panel talked about how Admiral Janeway needed a foil. He will be none other than Admiral Jellico, played by a returning Ronny Cox. Jellico notably appeared as Captain Jellico in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Take a look at the animated Admiral Jellico here:
The panel also promised that some "really wild, fun, legendary characters" would be coming back. One fan asked about Janeway coming to live-action, which is something that Mulgrew is definitely interested in. What did Kurtzman have to say? "Things have been talked about. There might be an idea in play. I would love it to happen."
Here's hoping, because there's coffee in that nebula!
Star Trek: Prodigy will resume on Oct. 7 on Paramount+.
Star Trek: Picard
Kurtzman and Roddenberry hung back once again before they were joined by showrunner Terry Matalas, and cast members Patrick Stewart (Picard), Jonathan Frakes (Riker), Gates McFadden (Crusher), Marina Sirtis (Troi), LeVar Burton (LaForge), Michael Dorn (Worf), and Brent Spiner (Data/Altan Soong/???). It was a full-on Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion.
They shared a teaser for Season 3, which you can see right here:
That's right, you definitely saw him. The (possibly) holographic Professor Moriarty (Daniel Davis) is back. Also, Worf is a pacifist... and Spiner is returning as Data's brother, Lore.
The big new antagonist is Vadic, a "classic Star Trek villain" according to Matalas, who is played by Amanda Plummer. Matalas added that she has a significant reason to be upset with Picard. Spiner said Lore's return is "complicated" but couldn't really say anything else. Stewart was asked about what it was like to work with Davis again, and what the new Picard/Moriarty dynamic is. Matalas didn't let him answer, but Stewart did say that Moriarty is "both entertaining and threatening."
On Worf, Dorn said, "There's a lot of things I wanted to keep, and a lot of things I wanted to change about the character." Sirtis simply said "Troi's back" and then added that she "has some wonderful stuff" with her Imzadi, Riker. Frakes talked about Riker and Picard, saying that they were like brothers. It's not gonna be all sunny though: "We have differences of opinion," he said, and Matalas interjected that it could be a tactical disagreement.
Burton is happy that Matalas has righted a "wrong" from the previous show. "Geordi is not only married, he has two daughters," he said. Both of LaForge's daughters followed him into Starfleet; one is named Sydney (as she is in the TNG season finale) and the other is played by Burton's real-life daughter. As for Dr. Crusher, McFadden joked, "She's been very sexually frustrated." That aside, she said that Beverly has been involved in a "new Doctors Without Borders thing" and that she has been "working hard, trying to do good work... and she's being hunted."
Take a look at Amanda Plummer's new character right here:
"It was an incredible honor," Matalas said, of being allowed to write for all of these characters. He was glad he was able to "bring them to the conversation" in terms of the actors deciding where they'd like to go, and he promised satisfying arcs all around.
"The show has earned the return of every character," Kurtzman said, talking about how they've held back on bringing everyone back until now. Matalas wanted to make "that movie that he never got to see" in terms of a final TNG movie, and he pitched Kurtzman on doing it as a 10-episode, televised blow-out.
Though Stewart was hesitant to do a big reunion, he had to admit that it worked. It was familiar, but still "original" which was all that he ever wanted the series to be.
The fans in the audience were very emotional, and that was before Burton sang the Reading Rainbow theme song. Almost every fan question came through tears, but Sirtis had the best reaction: "If you cry, you get a hug. That's my job, I'm a counselor." She also said that she'd like to reclaim Karl Urban (Dr. McCoy in the Kelvin-verse movies) from The Boys.
Is this truly the last run for this crew? Spiner joked that they aren't dead, and Stewart spoke to both the fans and any executives who may have been listening:
"We could still make a movie."
Star Trek: Picard will boldly stream on Paramount+ on Feb. 16, 2023.
The human adventure is just beginning. Click here for more of SYFY WIRE's continuing coverage of New York Comic Con 2022.
Looking for more sci-fi TV? Check out shows like Resident Alien, Brave New World, Project Blue Book, Eureka, Heroes, Intergalactic, and more streaming now on Peacock.