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Star Trek, learning from Star Wars' mistakes, to opt for distinct tones, strategic releases with new TV shows

Brent Spiner as Data in Star Trek: Insurrection
Photo: Getty Images

If there is one thing that binds all modern humans, it’s our collective desire for More Content. As such, it seemed only natural to keep our maws stuffed with the stuff, as Lucasfilm demonstrated with its abundance of Star Wars films, spin-offs, TV shows, and animated projects. “No more Star Wars,” we soon cried, our bellies bloated with midichlorians, leading Disney CEO Bob Iger to admit they offered “a little too much, too fast.” Now, the Star Trek franchise, no longer content to play second fiddle, is determined to learn from their mistakes.

We’ve reported on a number of new Star Trek projects as of late, including two new movies—one that’s reportedly being directed by S.J. Clarkson and another from Quentin Tarantinoa Next Generation sequel starring Patrick Stewart, and a series of Discovery spin-off shorts. At the helm of the franchise’s TV game is Alex Kurtzman, who recently signed a five-year deal with CBS to develop a new line of live-action and animated Star Trek series. Don’t expect them all to drop at once, though. In a new interview with TrekMovie, Kurtzman and Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Heather Kadin spoke about the team’s efforts to curb audience fatigue.


“It’ll never be that clean,” Kadin replied when asked about a year-round plan for content. “Because also I think we want people to be excited for it to come, and not burning out.” Kurtzman added, “You have a good meal and then decide to take a walk before you have your dessert. That’s how to look at it.”

They’re also planning to adopt a strategy that’s recently served the Marvel universe well. “I think the one thing we can say which is more general is that it’s been a real conscious effort that every project we do have its own voice and occupy its own space. I don’t mean its own space in canon, I mean its own tonal vision,” Kadin said. “Because you shouldn’t tune in to Discovery and wonder if you flipped the channel, that it was Picard. They should feel different, they should have different messages coming from different people.”

“As viewers, we want to make sure you’re getting a different experience every time you watch a different Trek show,” said Kurtzman.

Star Trek: Discovery will return in January on CBS All Access. The Next Generation sequel will likely follow (at a reasonable pace, of course), as a writers’ room is already in place. Just, please, get Akiva Goldsman out of there.


[via /Film]

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Randall Colburn

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.