Comic-Con is here, and without the two biggest comic book publishers in the world gumming up the works with superhero movie news, it’s a chance for little-known properties, like Star Trek, to take the spotlight.
At the Paramount+ Star Trek panel this morning, moderator and Star Trek: Lower Decks commander Jerry O’Connell led fans through 2 new trailers, Lower Decks season 2 and a new animated series, Star Trek: Prodigy. Our first look at Prodigy, a kids’ animated series that has a distinct Star Wars: Clone Wars vibe thanks to some impressive computer-generated animation, boasts a strong voice cast. The great Kate Mulgrew is back (in hologram form) as Captain Kathryn Janeway, while beloved comedy star Jason Mantzoukas makes his debut (in Pog form) in the Star Trek universe as Jankum Pog—do with that name what you will. Made in collaboration with Nickelodeon and developed by Kevin and Dan Hageman (Trollhunters, Ninjago), Star Trek: Prodigy is the first Star Trek series aimed at a younger audience—though Jerry O’Connell insists it’s not just for kids, and you trust Jerry O’Connell, don’t you? He was a Slider! Here’s the synopsis:
Star Trek: Prodigy will follow a motley crew of young aliens who must figure out how to work together while navigating a greater galaxy, in search for a better future. These six young outcasts know nothing about the ship they have commandeered–a first in the history of the Star Trek franchise–but over the course of their adventures together, they will each be introduced to Starfleet and the ideals it represents.
“Vice Admiral” Janeway, as O’Connell embarrassingly referred to Mulgrew, offered some inspiring words on imparting Star Trek to a younger generation:
I’ve been part of [Star Trek] for upwards of 25 years, and the Hagemans are well aware of the fact that it has changed my life. So when this was proposed to me sometime ago, after a moment’s deliberation, I thought, “What could be better than possibly handing this to the next generation? To a demographic that heretofore has not known anything about Star Trek. The beauty of it. The philosophy of it. The depth of it. The hop and the promise of it. And if there’s any age group that’s going to take this thing and embrace it with a wholeheartedness not seen before, it’s the young kids. They’re going to get it in a way that older people, due to, perhaps, a little life experience, a scintilla cynicism, might not get entirely. But the young ones, five, 10, 15, are going to embrace it with a guilelessness and a readiness, and, i think, an emotional component, that’s gonna make them absolutely adore it.
Star Trek: Prodigy hits Paramount+ this fall.
Returning for season two, Star Trek: Lower Decks continues to fill out the many rooms of the Cerritos with self-referential and self-aware comedy. U.S.S. Cerritos crew members Tawny Newsom, Jack Quid, Eugene Cordero, and Jerry O’Connell are returning to the series. Also, eagle-eared listeners, and Comedy Bang! Bang! fans (who are likely calming down after the Jazz Jazz references made during the panel) might hear Carl Tart’s voice pop in the trailer, which is a big plus to any project. He’s also, apparently, one of the first Tamarians on Star Trek since the original series. Lower Decks season two also has horror legend Jeffrey Combs playing an evil computer. What’s better than that?
Star Trek: Lower Decks premieres on August 12 on Paramount+.
In one of the only positive effects of Comic-Con’s remote setup (of course, outside of hosting a super-spreader event), you can check out the whole Paramount+ panel on YouTube.