This is a big year for fans of Star Trek. As the latest film, Star Trek Beyond, makes its way into theaters, the franchise as a whole is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The impassioned following the property has acquired over the past five decades is regularly cited as a main reason why Trek has endured in pop culture for so long, and Paramount and CBS are making sure that all those who have stuck with the brand through thick and thin are appreciated in 2016. The special fan event held this past May was only the beginning of their plans.
The world premiere of Beyond will take place during a first-of-its-kind outdoor IMAX screening during San Diego Comic-Con 2016, where hundreds of lucky fans will be able to see the movie early. But with such a monumental milestone to commemorate, Star Trek's presence at SDCC will go (ahem) beyond the film's debut. The Final Frontier will be taking over the famous Hall H for a panel to reflect upon its legacy.
According to TV Line, Bryan Fuller will moderate Star Trek: Celebrating 50 Years on Saturday, July 23 from 2 - 3 p.m. The Q&A session will feature Trek actors William Shatner, Scott Bakula, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, and Jeri Ryan. Details on what to expect are scarce, but no doubt it will involve everyone looking back on their time with the various incarnations of Star Trek and the impact it had on their lives and careers.
That Fuller is involved is big news for Trekkers. He is serving as executive producer of an all-new Star Trek television series that will debut on CBS (and stream on CBS All-Access) in 2017. Fuller has briefly discussed his ideas for the show and casting, but indicated that more specifics would be made available around SDCC. It would appear that CBS is saving some major reveals for this particular panel, allowing fans to get excited about the future while also reminiscing about the past. It wouldn't be out of the question to expect announcements about the cast and possibly new character names. The series is aiming to start production in September, so these pieces have to come together soon.
It will be interesting to see how the latest Trek series shapes up. Fuller has mentioned he intends to honor the spirit of its predecessors - a sentiment echoed by the makers of Star Trek Beyond. There are those who feel that the property is better served on the small screen and are looking forward to fresh adventures with a brand new crew. Fuller has had success in the past, particularly on NBC's Hannibal, so he's a proven show runner capable of delivering a high-quality product. If the movies of the Kelvin Timeline are on thin ice with the fan base, this project could be Star Trek's ticket to continued prosperity.
In the meantime, fans will have plenty to look forward to a couple of weeks from now (as of this writing) when famous faces of Star Trek gather for what is sure to be an unforgettable panel. With so many eras of the franchise represented, there's bound to be a plethora of fun and entertaining stories as people come together to celebrate one of the longest running touchstones in popular culture.
Star Trek debuts on CBS in January 2017. It will stream exclusively through CBS All Access thereafter.
Source: TV Line