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A Star Trek Musical and More at Star Trek Universe Panel - San Diego Comic-Con 2023

Jul 24, 2023

At San Diego Comic-Con 2023, I attended my first Star Trek Hall H panel - an interesting affair due to the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. I was not expecting to see any actors from our favorite new Star Trek series like Strange New Worlds, but I did expect to hear from a director or producer. However, the panel began with one moderator - Scott Mantz (Film Critic, Variety) - and he remained the single person on stage sharing new footage from upcoming Star Trek series. 


Scott began by explaining his Star Trek super-fandom which began at the age of five, then went on to warn us that this would be a content-heavy panel. Indeed it was! Much of this content you can see now, so I’ll share with you what we learned, and any links to content you can view right now.


The excitement levels of the crowd started on a high with a beautifully edited sequence that mixed all the matching scenes from The Original Series, The Next Generation, Star Trek (2009), and all the other Star Trek series through Strange New Worlds. All the Captains said “their thing”, the various Star Trek ships all jumped to warp, kissing scenes, friendship scenes, and more. This 3-minute sequence made us all tear up! 


As the panel waxed on, however, I felt the crowd’s excitement begin to wane as we realized that we were only going to view content, and not hear directly from current Star Trek creators and producers like Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller, and Kirsten Beyer. This was unlike any Hall H panel I’d ever attended, and certainly a small let-down. 


Let’s go over all the footage we saw, and then I’ll share my thoughts on the entire experience.


Star Trek Discovery


Season 5 of Star Trek Discovery is currently scheduled for an early 2024 release on Paramount+, and we were able to view the first 5 minutes of footage. You can too! 



The new clip features Captain Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and season five’s newest cast members Callum Keith Rennie as Rayner, Elias Toufexis as L’ak and Eve Harlow as Moll. This fifth and final season will find Captain Burnham and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery uncovering a mystery that will send them on an epic adventure across the galaxy to find an ancient power whose very existence has been deliberately hidden for centuries. Sounds a bit like INDIANA JONES, don’t you think?


Star Trek: Lower Decks


Star Trek: Lower Decks is an animated series boasting a tongue-in-cheek commentary of lower deck officers on a low-ranking ship in Starfleet - the opposite of the high-stakes flagship Enterprise featured in many Star Trek series and films! Scott Mantz announced that season 4 will premiere with two episodes on Thursday, September 7, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and Paramount+ international markets exclusively on the service. 


In season four, an unknown force is destroying starships and threatening galactic peace. Luckily, the crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos isn’t important enough for stuff like that! Instead, Ensigns Mariner (Tawny Newsome), Boimler (Jack Quaid), Tendi (Noël Wells), and Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) are keeping up with their Starfleet duties, avoiding malevolent computers and getting stuck in a couple caves – all while encountering new and classic aliens along the way. Here is the trailer:



Strange New Worlds


Season 2 of Strange New Worlds is airing on Paramount+, and Star Trek fans, including me, love the series. Therefore, those of us musical-loving fans freaked out when Mantz confirmed that the series would get the first Star Trek Musical episode in the franchise’s history!!! Want to see a trailer???



The special musical episode “Subspace Rhapsody” will feature 10 original songs, plus a “Subspace Rhapsody” version of the series’ main title, with music and lyrics by Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo) and Tom Polce (Letters to Cleo, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). The episode will stream on Thursday, August 3. Please click HERE to pre-save the “Subspace Rhapsody” soundtrack on all available digital music streaming platforms.


In season two of STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, confronts increasingly dangerous stakes, explores uncharted territories and encounters new life and civilizations.  The series stars Anson Mount as Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Una Chin-Riley, Ethan Peck as Spock, and Jess Bush as Christine Chapel.


After all this fun footage, Scott Mantz led the panel to its’ crescendo: a screening of the much-anticipated Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Lower Decks crossover episode, “Those Old Scientists”. I always enjoy watching an episode in a room full of thousands of fans. It’s an opportunity to experience our favorite geek content together, and feel special because you are the first. 


But this experience was lessened when Mantz announced that this episode would stream on Paramount+ within the hour! We weren’t expecting it until next week, 7/27, so to hear that our 5-day special preview was cut down to an hour hurt a tiny bit - especially for those that had waited hours to be in Hall H. Want to watch that episode right now? Head to Paramount+.


In general, the Star Trek panel definitely made the news and shared lots of new content, but will it be a panel I’ll remember in my top 5 favorites? Most certainly not. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to fully embrace my burgeoning Star Trek fandom by attending a mind-blowing Hall H Star Trek panel. To the future - Engage!