“Star Trek” showrunner Alex Kurtzman wasn’t able to attend the Star Trek Day 2021 celebration held on September 8 because he was shooting on location in Spain. However, he did Zoom in for a quick interview with host Wil Wheaton. During that interview, Kurtzman shared details about the future of the Trekverse.
Among the things Kurtzman shared were some spoilers about the upcoming “Starfleet Academy” series, which is in the early stages of development.
Exploring What it’s Like to Grow Up in Space
Rumors about the existence of a show based in the Trekverse’s Starfleet Academy have been circulating for quite some time. However, those rumors were only recently confirmed. In an interview with “The New York Times” in August, Kurtzman revealed that his new contract with CBS Entertainment included the development of the “Starfleet Academy” series. At the time, he only revealed a few details about the show, the most notable being that it would be targeted at a younger audience than previous Trek shows.
During his Star Trek Day interview, Kurtzman expanded on the concept of the show.
“I know there’s been a lot of conversation about ‘Starfleet Academy,’ which we are very excited about… There’s this new generation that’s going to come and it’s going to inherit the problems of the old generation, and what are they going to do to make the world better, to solve it? How are we going to avoid the mistakes of our elders? You know, and how are we going to learn from the wisdom of our elders? That’s a really wonderful thing to consider when you think about something like ‘Starfleet Academy.'”
Kurtzman continued, saying that Wheaton, who portrayed one of the only kids regularly depicted in a Trek series, is “uniquely” qualified to understand the purpose of “Starfleet Academy.” Kurtzman then revealed that the goal of the series is to explore what it’s like for kids to grow up in space.
“When you’re a kid on a starship, you’re still really figuring out who you are… You know, when you’re an adult on a starship, it presumes that you’ve actually gone through Starfleet Academy that you have, you know, found your identity more or less. And when you’re in the Academy, so much is still up in the air. And I think that that’s, again, a very interesting mirror to the moment.”
Kurtzman did not clarify the intended audience for “Starfleet Academy.” However, given the description he gave, it sounds like it will be for young adults. Probably an audience older than the target viewer for “Star Trek: Prodigy,” but younger than the target viewer for “Star Trek: Lower Decks.”
Wheaton Wants to Consult
After hearing the concept behind “Starfleet Academy,” Wheaton made Kurtzman an offer.
“I will very presumptuously offer myself as a consultant. If you ever need to talk to someone about what it is like to have been a child on a starship, surrounded by adults. Because I have thoughts!”
Wesley Crusher was the only teenager who regularly appeared in the “Star Trek” universe. Though Molly O’Brien, Alexander Rozhenko, and Naomi Wildman were also series regulars, they were much younger than Wesley in most of his appearances. Alexander did come back as a young adult in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” but viewers missed his teenage years. So, Wheaton does have a unique perspective to share with the writer’s room on “Starfleet Academy.”
Kurtzman replied that he was very interested in hearing all of Wheaton’s input for the series.
As Kurtzman alluded to, “Star Trek” has always been made for adults, focusing on adults. There are a few storylines here and there that address the experiences of children and teens whose parents served in Starfleet. However, there has never been an entire series, or even an entire story arc, based on the experiences of the teenagers who grew up on these starships and followed their parents into the service.
Though the updates are exciting, for sure, “Starfleet Academy” is still in the very early stages of development. That means it will be at least a year, probably more, until the show even starts production. But it’s something to look forward to!
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