Star Trek: Discovery showrunner, Alex Kurtzman, has unveiled plans for further Short Trek episodes. Based around the cast and characters of Star Trek: Discovery, the first series of Short Trek episodes were released on CBS All Access in the run up to Discovery's second season and provided additional context and background to the franchise's fictional world. Each episode clocked in at under the 20-minute mark and featured a variety of figures from the main series, including Harry Mudd, Sylvia Tilly and a younger Saru.
In addition to the already-announced Star Trek: Discovery season 3, Kurtzman and CBS have a variety of other projects in the works. Patrick Stewart is returning in Star Trek: Picard, a Section 31 spinoff is set to film after Discovery's third season and two separate animated shows are also confirmed. It also has been suggested that the new Enterprise crew starring Anson Mount as Pike and Ethan Peck as Spock will make a return in some form, although it's not currently clear whether that will be via an existing project, or an entirely new one. Finally, two animated Short Trek episodes were announced back in January after the positive reception to the first batch of episodes.
In an interview with Deadline (via TrekCore), Alex Kurtzman has now confirmed that an additional four live-action Short Trek episodes are set to be developed, intended to air sometime near the release of Star Trek: Discovery season 3. The showrunner also provides some additional details regarding the two animated Short Trek installments. Kurtzman states:
"It’s not just the shows, we have the Short Treks too. We’re doing six more of them. Two of them are animated [and] unlike the two animated shows. What I love about the Short Treks is that they are an experimental training ground, a place to experiment with different things - directors who we’ve never worked with before, tones we’ve never tried before. Michael Giacchino is doing one of the animated shorts; Olatunde Osunsanmi is doing another one in the animated shorts and he’s our main director on Discovery, and again, different animation styles, totally different tones. Aimed at kids, I would say, more than adults, those two."
While the first series of Short Trek proved popular with fans, there was some initial uncertainty over how relevant they would prove to be to the overall story of Star Trek: Discovery, however this question was answered in the flagship show's season 2 finale, which featured the return of Po, a character that initially appeared in the debut Short Trek adventure, "Runaway." Because of this, the upcoming collection is sure to have an even bigger audience, with more Star Trek: Discovery fans tuning in to avoid missing any potentially important plot details that will come to fruition later on.
Kurtzman's comments regarding the two animated Short Trek episodes being aimed at a younger audience also provide additional clarification on what many had suspected since the announcement of a Star Trek Nickelodeon series - that the franchise is looking to expand its audience and reach a newer generation of fans.
Star Trek: Discovery season 3 is currently without a release date. More news as it arrives.