On September 8, 2020, the Star Trek franchise will celebrate its 54th birthday. While this isn't typically a number that people make a big deal out of, the people behind Trek are throwing a big (virtual) bash this year. Presumably, this is partly because so many IRL Trek events have been canceled this year, and because fans will celebrate on September 8 no matter which anniversary it is, so why not? Tuesday's Star Trek Day online event will include three hours of new panels celebrating every aspect of the franchise. While a lot of this will be focused on nostalgia, some of these panels will be future-facing, which means updates, and footage for upcoming Trek projects.
Here's a brief rundown about what to expect. If you're clamoring for info about Picard Season 2, Strange New Worlds, or Discovery Season 3, this event is something you can't miss.
According to an official statement from CBS, the Star Trek Day Global Panels "will serve as the global centerpiece of Star Trek Day, and in addition, “Star Trek” updates, announcements and footage will be showcased throughout."
Star Trek Day Panel Schedule
The panels will be hosted by Wil Wheaton and Mica Burton (LeVar Burton's daughter) and will basically run through each TV series one-by-one. The panels run from 3-6:30 p.m. ET. (That's 12-3:30 p.m. for those on the West Coast.) Here's the breakdown.
- Star Trek: Discovery, with series stars Sonequa Martin-Green and David Ajala and co-showrunners and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise. (3 p.m. ET)
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, with series stars Terry Farrell, Alexander Siddig, Armin Shimerman, Nana Visitor, Cirroc Lofton, and executive producer Ira Steven Behr. (3:30 p.m. ET)
- Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, with series stars Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn, and Ethan Peck; executive producers Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers; and co-executive producers Akela Cooper and Davy Perez. (4 p.m. ET)
- Star Trek: The Original Series, with series star George Takei and the CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment, Rod Roddenberry. (4:30 p.m. ET)
- Star Trek: Voyager: 25th Anniversary, with series stars Kate Mulgrew, Robert Picardo, Robert McNeill, Garrett Wang, Tim Russ, and Ethan Phillips. (5 p.m. ET)
- Star Trek: Enterprise, with series stars Scott Bakula, Linda Park, John Billingsley, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, and Connor Trinneer. (5:20 p.m. ET)
- Star Trek: Lower Decks, with voice cast Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noël Wells, and Eugene Cordero and series creator, showrunner, and executive producer Mike McMahan. (5:40 p.m. ET)
- Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: The Next Generation, with legendary cast members Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes. (6:05 p.m. ET)
So, that's eight panels that cover nine different Star Trek shows. The only retrospectives that are "missing" are a panel about the classic Trek films (which seems to be covered by the TOS panel) and the 1973 Animated Series, which, again, seems to be covered by the TOS panel.
Below, you can check out a trailer for the festivities:
What to expect and a few predictions
Discovery Season 3 starts October 15, so it seems likely we'll get a new trailer for the season. Also, considering that two new cast members were just announced, it would make sense that we'd get new interviews from Ian Alexander and Blu del Barrio. We still don't know much about David Ajala's character, Booker, so expect a hint or two from him. Plus, that pesky question about the captaincy of the USS Discovery is still up in the air, so it's possible that Sonequa Martin-Green could speak to that.
The Strange New Worlds panel is third in the line-up. While it's too early for footage, we could get some concept art and new casting announcements. Will a few legacy actors be recast for Pike's Enterprise? Will we get some new characters? What about the Enterprise bridge crew we saw in Discovery Season 2? It seems like this will be the moment these details could be discussed and revealed.
After that, it looks like mostly nostalgia for a while, which is great for hardcore fans. You never know what behind-the-scenes stuff you're going to get from those panels. One wild guess to watch out for: Will Voyager and Deep Space Nine ever get remastered in HD?
Finally, at the very end, for exactly 25-minutes Jonathan Frakes and Sir Patrick Stewart are talking about TNG and Picard. If there was going to be an announcement about any other TNG actors who are returning for Picard Season 2, this seems like when it would happen. Who could return? Crusher? Geordi? Worf? Everybody???
What else is going on?
CBS and the official Star Trek site will run a curated marathon of free episodes. The franchise will also be doubling down on its social justice push with a special hashtag.
According to the press release, "For every person that tweets the hashtag StarTrekUnitedGives (#StarTrekUnitedGives), CBS All Access will donate $1 to organizations who do the real-world work of championing equality, social justice and the pursuit of scientific advancements. Organizations include the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), and the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI)."
This initiative is an outgrowth of the substantial support from the Trek fan community for Black Lives Matter and other social justice movements.
There will also be a bunch of new Star Trek emojis on Twitter, so get ready for Geordi LaForge and Michael Burnham to invade your feed.
Star Trek Day is Tuesday, September 8, 2020.