A trailer has been released for a new series of Star Trek: Short Treks. The anthology series consists of episodes between 15 and 18 minutes long based in the universe of Star Trek: Discovery, their events further developing the focal characters and expanding upon the themes introduced in the show.
The first run of four episodes began in October last year, with new episodes streaming monthly on CBS All Access up to the premiere of season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery. The episodes consisted of Sylvia Tilly encountering a stowaway with whom she quickly discovers an emotional kinship; the Discovery’s computer having developed sentience during the thousand years it spent alone after being ordered into a holding pattern, and attains company and affection for a man rescued from an escape pod; the history of Saru, showing how he became the only Kelpien to ever leave his home planet; and the con artist Harry Mudd being captured by bounty hunters and encountering multiple versions of himself.
News of the new Short Treks episodes was revealed along with a plethora of other Star Trek news at San Diego Comic-Con, along with the episode titles of “The Girl Who Made the Stars,” “Children of Mars,” “The Trouble With Edward,” “Ask Not,” “Ephaim and Dot,” and “Q&A.” Not every one of them was shown in the trailer, its featured events focusing on Pike in a prison cell; Spock and Number One stuck in malfunctioning turbolift, and a new iteration of infamous Original Series episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” Also to be featured in the new run of stories are a pair animated episodes, any details of which were not forthcoming, and a teaser for the upcoming Picard series that shows how events led up to it.
The Short Treks tales aren’t just supplemental stories, but have also introduced details that later become important in the ongoing main plotline of the Discovery series. Po, the teenage stowaway Tilly encounters in “Runaway,” returns to play a crucial role in the two-part finale of season 2 in the battle against the Borg-like AI system Control, the friendship the two young women quickly forged being crucial in securing the help of the genius girl. Also, far from “The Brightest Star” merely being Saru’s backstory, season 2 saw the Discovery crew return to his home planet when chasing the signals of the Red Angel, the events of the short providing important context for his people’s attitude towards him.
Although the trailer only showed brief flashes, some information can be gleaned from the details shown. The Spock/Number One episode is set some time in the past, seeing Spock introduce himself as “Ensign,” the lowest rank of commissioned Starfleet crew, and so presumably some time before he advanced to the position of the Enterprise’s Science Officer, his enthusiastic and inquisitive nature displayed also being somewhat at odds with the more reserved character audiences are used to. Captain Pike is presumably imprisoned after taking responsibility for his crew lying about the circumstances of the Discovery’s disappearance at the end of season 2, with the distress call from the USS Bowman (possibly a reference to Vanguard novel Reap the Whirlwind) being a way to re-prove himself as a reliable officer. The Tribbles episode looks to be more of a horror tale than the highly comedic slant of its inspiration, the endless multiplication of the fluffy balls proving deadly rather than humorous. Such is the ever-expanding nature of the Star Trek universe, there is little limit to the stories that can be told within it, and Short Treks looks to continue that tradition.