Will Tilly Be the Main Character on the New ‘Starfleet Academy’ Show?

Mary Wiseman as Tilly on “Star Trek: Discovery”

Paramount Mary Wiseman as Tilly on “Star Trek: Discovery”

Since the show’s third season, the crew on “Star Trek: Discovery” has been operating in the future. Meaning that they are well beyond the future of Captain James T. Kirk (the 23rd Century) or Jean-Luc Picard (the 24th Century). Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and her team of explorers and scientists are in the 32nd Century. The rules in this era are very different from Kirk and Picard’s day. 

For one thing, the Federation is a shadow of what it used to be. When Burnham arrived in the 32nd Century (the episode “That Hope Is You, Part 1”), she learned that Starfleet was also no longer the galactic power that it was in the 23rd Century. She quickly realized that her role would be to help pick up the pieces of the Federation and help bring it back to where it was.

Starfleet Is a Mess in the 33rd Century

Discovery Jumps to 32nd Century Earth | Star Trek Discovery "People of Earth"The starship Discovery is greeted by the Earth Defense Force upon arriving home. #StarTrekDiscovery Season 3 Episode 3 "People of Earth"2020-10-30T20:15:02Z

Burnham found out that this task was beyond even her abilities, as even the Vulcans (now aligned with the Romulans) left the Federation. The Vulcans were charter members of the organization. That’s sort of like Great Britain leaving NATO after helping to form it back in 1949. She’d have to work really hard on her diplomatic skills to get everything moving in the right direction again. 

Aside from the lack of ships or dilithium was the complete breakdown of a training infrastructure. Starfleet Command had been on Earth for Kirk (William Shatner) and Picard (Patrick Stewart). Still, for Burnham, the central hub for the organization was a starbase deep in space, hidden by a massive cloaking device. This all was revealed in the third-season episode “Die Trying.”

Fast forward to last week’s episode (“All Is Possible”), when viewers learn that Starfleet has resuscitated Starfleet Academy, though on a very small scale. Lieutenant Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) was chosen to work with a team of young cadets on a training mission, which went awry. Tilly planned to guide the youngsters around on a shuttlecraft and give them a few pointers but wound up acting as nursemaid and scout leader as the ship crashed on an ice moon.

Tilly shared that she wanted to leave “Discovery” and continue working with the Academy and cadets. This is not the first time Tilly has mentioned her love of the Academy. In the Season 3 episode “People of Earth,” Tilly and other DISCO crew visited the spot in San Francisco where the Academy used to stand. She reminisced on where she used to study and spend her days before joining the Discovery. Tilly also told Michael that the Academy was where she “belonged.”

In a quiet moment, Kovich (David Cronenberg) even sells Tilly on the idea of teaching at the Academy during “All Is Possible.”

“The opening is there… anytime,“ Kovich tells Tilly.

Long-Time Coming for Starfleet Academy

Alex Kurtzman On More Star Trek Now Than Ever | Star Trek Day 2021 | Paramount+Star Trek Day 2021 co-host Wil Wheaton chats with Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman about the series' current era, which includes five shows in production at once, as well as what he sees for the future of the Star Trek Universe. Stream full episodes of every series in the Star Trek Universe on Paramount+: bit.ly/3DJAcjR Like…2021-09-09T01:06:56Z

As noted by ComicBook.com’s Jamie Lovett, the idea for a “Starfleet Academy” show is “largely unexplored.” However, it has been featured “in other media, including Starfleet Academy novels, comics, and video games.”

One of the first ideas for a “Starfleet Academy” story was by Harve Bennett, the producer of the “Star Trek” films, II through V. He commissioned screenwriter David Loughery to pen the script for “Star Trek: The First Adventure,” which would have been the story of how Kirk, Spock, and McCoy met at the academy. 

Though this idea was abandoned in favor of “Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country,” J.J. Abrams is said to have used some of those concepts when he created “Star Trek (2009),” as Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) met and did not hit it off. 

In 2018, Variety reported that there would be a “Starfleet Academy” show, which would be run by Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz. Both Savage and Schwartz were known for their Marvel show “Runaways” and “Looking for Alaska.” They have not been associated with any Trek properties for some time. 

Trek boss Alex Kurtzman told Wil Wheaton on his “Star Trek Day 2021” interview that they “are very excited about” the “Starfleet Academy” show. 

Could Mary Wiseman be the star of a “Starfleet Academy” show?

The Ready Room | Mary Wiseman On Tilly's Big Decision | Paramount+This week in The Ready Room, Star Trek: Discovery star Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly) patches in to speak with host Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) about "All Is Possible" (Season 4, Episode 4). In a very heartfelt conversation, Wil connects with Mary on the scene that most affected him, dips into what's next…2021-12-09T15:00:07Z

Now that Tilly has hugged her friends and said goodbye, she might be just the person to be the face of the new Starfleet Academy in the 33rd Century. Tilly is an established character on “Discovery” and could be the anchor of a new show, which would stream on the “Paramount+” network. 

There are a lot of opinions on this subject.

Decider says that Tilly will be back. “Despite appearances, Tilly will still be around, and Wiseman is still a series regular,” writes Alex Zalben. This aligns with what Wiseman said to SlashFilm:

“What I’ve been told I can say is that you will see Tilly later in the season.” 

Tilly will Stay ‘Close’

Lt Sylvia Tilly Leaves Discovery – Star Trek DiscoveryTilly Leaves to teach at Starfleet Academy. #StarTrekDiscovery #StarTrek Season 4 Episode 42021-12-09T09:49:34Z

But “Discovery” showrunner Michelle Paradise shared an intriguing clue with writer Keisha Hatchett

“She is definitely still in the world,” Paradise told Hatchett in a recent interview. “I expect that we will see her again, for sure. We didn’t send her far, far away. We’re keeping her close.”

”Close” might mean the U.S.S. Discovery-A or it could be working at Starfleet Academy. 

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