The live-action Starfleet Academy will follow cadets who dream of becoming Starfleet Officers.
As the final season of Picard plays out, and with Discovery‘s final season announced, thoughts naturally turn to the future of the Star Trek franchise. Animations Lower Decks and Prodigy are both recommissioned, but what about live-action?
Prequel Strange New Worlds has received a third season, before the second airs, but it looked like the last show standing. However, such concerns are now laid to rest with Paramount+ confirming a Starfleet Academy series.
Series’ co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Noga Landau heralded the project with the following announcement:
“Admission is now open to Starfleet Academy! Explore the galaxy! Captain your destiny! For the first time in over a century, our campus will be re-opened to admit individuals a minimum of 16 Earth years (or species equivalent) who dream of exceeding their physical, mental and spiritual limits, who value friendship, camaraderie, honor and devotion to a cause greater than themselves.
The coursework will be rigorous, the instructors among the brightest lights in their respective fields, and those accepted will live and study side-by-side with the most diverse population of students ever admitted.
Today we encourage all who share our dreams, goals and values to join a new generation of visionary cadets as they take their first steps toward creating a bright future for us all. Apply today!
Ex Astris, Scientia!”
While further details are scant, we’re told that the series will “… introduce a young group of cadets who come together to pursue a common dream of hope and optimism. Under the watchful and demanding eyes of their instructors, they will discover what it takes to become Starfleet officers as they navigate blossoming friendships, explosive rivalries, first loves and a new enemy that threatens both the Academy and the Federation itself.”
The show is not yet pegged anywhere in the Star Trek timeline. However, given the reference to the academy opening its doors again, we guess it takes place after Discovery Season 5. We expect the show to go into production during 2024.
Interestingly, another of the show’s creatives is a familiar name. Tawny Newsome, who voices Ensign Beckett Marnier on Lower Decks, has confirmed her position on the show’s writing team via Twitter.
Excited to announce I’ve joined the writers room for this 🖖🏾🚀 https://t.co/qGcFOPS53a
— Tawny “My Name is Tawny” Newsome (@TrondyNewman) March 30, 2023
The idea of following characters at the Starfleet Academy has a lengthy heritage. We caught glimpses of training way back in Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan. That movie began with Saavik grappling with the impossibility of the Kobayashi Maru simulation – the no-win scenario. Later, producer Harve Bennett was keen on the idea of a prequel film to follow Kirk and pals through their time there, although it never came to fruition.
Mentioned at various points during The Next Generation, it was Wesley Crusher’s objective to gain a place at the academy. When he did, the Enterprise visited for the fifth season episode ‘The First Duty’. This was where we learned of Jean-Luc Picard’s troubled time there and his relationship with the irascible head groundskeeper Boothby.
More recently, in Discovery‘s fourth season, Silvia Tilly took on a role training a new generation of cadets. We’d imagine there’s a fair chance we’ll see her and some of her protégés in the new show.
In the wider Star Trek oeuvre, the San Francisco location as been the focus of a comic series, novels and a computer game.