Star Trek: Lower Decks will be set in the same era as Star Trek: The Next Generation, it has been confirmed. A host of new Star Trek projects are currently in development. In addition to the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery season 3, CBS is also working on Star Trek: Picard, with the returning Patrick Stewart in the starring role, and a further series centered around the exploits of Section 31 and the Mirror Universe incarnation of Michelle Yeoh’s Philippa Georgiou. Moving away from live-action fare, a Nickelodeon Star Trek series has also been announced, featuring a group of lawless teens who discover a derelict Starfleet vessel.
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CBS are also set to release a second, adult-orientated animated series called Star Trek: Lower Decks. From the mind of Rick & Morty’s Mike McMahan, the comedy is said to revolve around the ships and officers of Starfleet who don’t enjoy the same high-profile swashbuckling adventures as Kirk, Picard and the other more renowned leaders in the Star Trek franchise. While no official release date is confirmed, Star Trek: Lower Decks will premiere after Star Trek: Picard, suggesting a late 2020 release is likely.
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During Star Trek’s panel for San Diego Comic Con 2019, it was revealed that Star Trek: Lower Decks would be set in 2380. The cartoon’s premise was also confirmed to be 30-minute episodes that focus on a quartet of ensigns aboard an insignificant ship within Starfleet’s roster.
While Star Trek: Lower Decks is certainly taking a more comedic angle on the franchise, it’s significant that the story is set post-Nemesis, as this area of Star Trek history is largely unexplored on screen. One major advantage to being set within this relatively untouched period is that Star Trek: Lower Decks won’t have to adhere to any major events from previous TV shows and movies in the series, and has the freedom to set more or less its own path.
More intriguingly, being set so close to The Next Generation paves the way for Star Trek: Lower Decks to potentially include animated versions of famous characters such as Jean-Luc Picard, Riker and Worf. The driving force behind Star Trek: Lower Decks is the insignificance of the show’s main ship and including cameos from heroic, legendary Starfleet figures could help highlight that comedic juxtaposition even more. An opportunity also presents itself for characters from Star Trek: Voyager to make a return to the franchise, as the cartoon is set around the same time Janeway and co. found their way home.
Many might have assumed that Star Trek: Lower Decks could be written off as a light-hearted comedy with no bearing on the franchise’s overall story, but the show’s place after Star Trek: Nemesis suggests otherwise, and given the events leading up to the 2380s, some major plot points may be addressed.
More: Why So Many Star Trek TV Shows Are Currently In Development
Star Trek: Lower Decks premieres in 2020 on CBS All Access.
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