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CBS All Access wants to create the next generation of Trekkies with multiple animated Star Trek series

Illustration for article titled CBS All Access wants to create the next generation of Trekkies with multiple animated Star Trek series
Screenshot: CBS

CBS All Access is coming for your children. Alex Kurtzman, the architect of the network’s burgeoning Star Trek universe, just told The Hollywood Reporter that animation will be a key component of the sci-fi franchise’s expansion efforts. The goal, he says, is to breed a new generation of Trekkies.


“I go back to my childhood and Luke Skywalker, the [Star Wars] farm boy who looks out at the twin suns of Tatooine and imagines his future,” he said. “Trek never gave me that. Trek was always fully formed adults, already in Starfleet and people who have decided who they are. And it never was aspirational that way. It’s important to me to find a way to go back and reach younger kids in a way that Trek should and never really has.” (Ahem.)

In the interview, Kurtzman confirmed that there will be a “minimum of two” animated series in his larger Star Trek universe, one of which is the previously announced Star Trek: Lower Decks. Lower Decks, which comes from Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan, will follow a support crew on one of Starfleet’s “least important ships.” He also notes that two upcoming installments in the ongoing shortform Star Trek: Short Treks project will be animated.

While Kurtzman would only commit to one more animated series beyond Lower Decks, it sounds as if there’s a number of projects in development. “There’s other animated things that we’re building that are an entirely different perspective and an entirely different tone [from Lower Decks],” Kurtzman said. “What’s exciting about it is not only looking at each animated series as what’s the different tone, but what’s the different technology we can apply to these things so that visually they’re entirely different?”

Interestingly, Kurtzman added that the potential, kid-focused series “could land elsewhere beyond CBS All Access.”

He continued, “Our goal is to not only expand the definition of Star Trek and what has qualified as traditional Star Trek, but also to tell stories that are both self-contained in a very short period of time that also connect to the larger picture of what we’re doing, not only in Discovery but in the world building of Trek in general. And you get to tell these very intimate, emotional stories that are side stories to characters. So you get the benefit of the experience in and of itself but then when you watch Discovery you’ll see that these were all setting up things in the world of season two.”

Discovery’s second season debuts on January 17. Later this year, it will be joined by a Next Generation reboot starring Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard. Also in development are a “limited series” based on the Wrath Of Khan story and a Discovery spinoff starring Michelle Yeoh from The O.C.’s Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.


Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.