Although Star Trek: Discovery will soon end with season five, a new live-action StarTrek series will arrive to replace it. After years of rumors, Paramount+ has officially announced a series order for Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. This show will follow an all-new class of Starfleet cadets. And we’ll get to see students coming of age in one of the most legendary places in the galaxy. Alex Kurtzman and Noga Landau will serve as co-showrunners. Gaia Violo wrote the series pilot. The series will begin production in 2024.

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy Series Casts Its New Cadets

new star trek starfleet academy cadet casting
K. Brooks/David Muller/Yellowbelly

In the latest piece of casting news for Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, the series has found its three new cadets. Kerrice Brooks (My Old Ass), Bella Shepard (Wolf Pack) and George Hawkins (Tell Me Everything) will play the newest cadets in the Star Trek universe. Right now, we don’t know any more about their individual characters than that. But since the series is all about “a new class of Starfleet cadets as they come of age in one of the most legendary places in the galaxy,” we bet they’ll be very important. We can’t wait to learn more about these Starfleet Academy characters soon.

Paul Giamatti Joins Starfleet Academy as the Series’ Villain

Paul Giamatti has also come aboard the cast of Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. Giamatti will play Starfleet Academy‘s villain. A release shares, “Giamatti will play the season’s villain, a man with an ominous past connected to one of our cadets.” Very ominous indeed.

Giamatti will be a recurring guest star.

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy Casts Holly Hunter as Its Captain

In an exciting turn of events, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy revealed that it has cast Holly Hunter as the captain and chancellor of Starfleet Academy. A release reiterates that, “The series will follow the adventures of a new class of Starfleet cadets as they come of age in one of the most legendary places in the galaxy.”

Co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Noga Landau share, “It feels like we’ve spent our entire lives watching Holly Hunter be a stone-cold genius. To have her extraordinary authenticity, fearlessness, sense of humor, and across the board brilliance leading the charge on STARFLEET ACADEMY is a gift to all of us, and to the enduring legacy of STAR TREK.”

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy Synopsis

You can read the official description of the new Star Trek: Starfleet Academy series right here:

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy will introduce us to a young group of cadets who come together to pursue a common dream of hope and optimism. Under the watchful and demanding eyes of their instructors, they will discover what it takes to become Starfleet officers as they navigate blossoming friendships, explosive rivalries, first loves and a new enemy that threatens both the Academy and the Federation itself.

Starfleet Academy recruitment announcement, getting ready for a whole new class.

Paramount+ also released a special “recruitment announcement” from the legendary institution itself:

Admission is now open to Starfleet Academy! Explore the galaxy! Captain your destiny! For the first time in over a century, our campus will be re-opened to admit individuals a minimum of 16 Earth years (or species equivalent) who dream of exceeding their physical, mental and spiritual limits, who value friendship, camaraderie, honor and devotion to a cause greater than themselves.

The coursework will be rigorous, the instructors among the brightest lights in their respective fields, and those accepted will live and study side-by-side with the most diverse population of students ever admitted. Today we encourage all who share our dreams, goals and values to join a new generation of visionary cadets as they take their first steps toward creating a bright future for us all. Apply today! Ex Astris, Scientia!”

Starfleet Academy, as seen in the Star Trek Online game.

The mention of the Academy opening up for “the first time in over a century” suggests the new Star Trek: Starfleet Academy series will be a spinoff of Discovery. We learned in recent seasons that because of a terrible galactic incident, the Federation was reduced to just a few worlds by the 32nd century. But by the end of Discovery season three, Starfleet began the climb back, and the Academy reopened.

Recently, Doug Jones seemed to confirm this, noting of a possible Star Trek return, “It would be a character by character, case by case, kind of a thing. Just as an actor in general, if I’m presented with a story I want to help tell, a character that I would really love to play, you know, it’s a case by case thing. So yeah, never say never, yes. And if Saru were to be invited back to another, let’s say Starfleet Academy, that’s the right timeline for him, he could do. I’m absolutely game to do so.”

Many fans crossed their fingers and hoped that Starfleet Academy might take place in the post-Picard timeline. We would have loved to see characters from The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager as instructors. But it seems more likely we’ll see characters from Discovery instead. We do also hope the new Star Trek series won’t be completely Earthbound. It would be amazing to see cadets training on starships, as we did in The Wrath of Khan.

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy Release Date

Speaking to Collider, Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman shared Starfleet Academy is  “halfway through the writers room now” and preparing to film this summer. He additionally noted, “It could end up not airing until 2026. We don’t know. But by starting [shooting in late summer], just building the sets alone is a massive endeavor, then six months of shooting, then six to eight months of post.” The publication additionally notes, “While he confirmed they ‘haven’t started casting the kids,’ it sounds like some of the adult roles have already been filled.”

A recent article from Variety additionally notes that “this summer, the first Star Trek YA series, Starfleet Academy, will start production on the largest single set ever created for Star Trek on TV.” The article also describes “plans for the series’ central academic atrium, a sprawling, two-story structure that will include a mess hall, amphitheater, trees, catwalks, multiple classrooms and a striking view of the Golden Gate Bridge in a single, contiguous space. To fit it all, they plan to use every inch of Pinewood Toronto’s 45,900 square foot soundstage, the largest in Canada.” But rest assured, the article notes, there will be starships. Although since Starfleet Academy “is set in the 32nd century, an era so far into the future Kurtzman and his team need to invent much of its design language.”

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy will likely debut on Paramount+ sometime in 2024 or 2025, but we guess 2026 is also on the table.

Originally published on March 30, 2023.

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