The next version of the sprawling Star Trek universe is a forthcoming TV show about the return of Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. That show is co-written by some usual Trek suspects (Alex Kurtzman is in charge, a guy who worked on some of those slick Chris Pine adrenaline flicks) but thoughtful dad-novelist, Michael Chabon is also helping to write that series, too. So, if you’re a grown-up Trekkie, and you’re already bummed about Star Trek: Discovery‘s second season being over, there are good things on the horizon. But what about kids? Discovery is decidedly not the kid-friendly series The Next Generation was, and those slick reboot films are permanently on hold.
Enter Nickelodeon! As previously reported, the famous kids’ network is developing a CG-animated Star Trek. But now, we know what it’s about. According to CBS and Nickelodeon, the animated show will follow a group of “lawless teens who discover a derelict Starfleet ship and use it to search for adventure, meaning, and salvation.” The show’s primary creative talent are Dan and Kevin Hageman, who are guys who worked on the first Lego Movie as well as the Lego Ninjago projects.
Star Trek has a funny track record with teenagers. The most famous Trek teen, was, of course, Wesley Crusher on The Next Generation, who is either the greatest Trek character of all time or the most annoying, depending on who you ask. (We’ll refrain from making the most famous joke people make about Wesley, if only out of respect for the actor, Wil Wheaton.) Then, on Deep Space Nine, you had Jake Sisko, an underrated Trek teen who went on to become a famous novelist as an adult, and hard-hitting space journalist before that. Then, there’s also the famous episode of The Next Generation — “Rascals” — where Picard, Ro, Keiko, and Guinan are all transformed into tweens and have to rescue the ship.
Where will the new Trek cartoon fit relative to these past attempts? It’s not exactly clear. The only Star Trek animated series prior to this was the 1976 cartoon show, which, though occasionally childish, mostly scans as a series aimed at adults who loved the original show in the sixties. Meaning, at this point, with the new Nickelodeon cartoon, Star Trek will go boldly, where it’s never gone before; (theoretically) into the hearts of older kids across the universe.
At this time, there is no release date for the new Star Trek cartoon. The new Captain Picard show hits CBS All-Access in December of 2019.