Starfleet Academy Will Take Star Trek Into New Territory — But When Is It Set?
Is this a Discovery sequel or something else entirely?
Starting in 2024, a new live-action Star Trek series will take the franchise to a place it’s never quite gone before. Star Trek: Starfleet Academy promises to explore the Trek timeline through the experiences of cadets who have just started their careers. On March 30, Paramount and CBS officially announced that the series is proceeding under the guidance of showrunner Noga Landau.
But for longtime Trekkies, the new show brings with it a huge question: Will Starfleet Academy be a Discovery sequel or will it be set in a different timeline?
What is Starfleet Academy?
The idea for a Star Trek show just focused on Starfleet Academy has been kicking around for several years. In fact, the idea of doing a Starfleet Academy movie dates back to the 1990s, when producer Harve Bennett pitched a concept called Star Trek: The First Adventure. His version would have recast Kirk, Spock, and the classic crew and put them in Starfleet Academy. In 2009, the J.J. Abrams reboot did exactly that, with a portion of that movie taking place at Starfleet Academy on Earth — in San Francisco, to be precise.
The location of the new Starfleet Academy series is unclear. In the press release, we’re told the following: “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.”
This could mean the show takes place on Earth at the old Starfleet Academy in San Francisco. Or maybe not...
Starfleet Academy timeline speculation
So, when in the wide canon of Trek does this new show take place? The 23rd Century era of Kirk? The 24th Century of TNG, Voyager, and DS9? In the 25th Century of the Picard Season 3? Based on the press release, it seems the timeline could be the 32nd Century of Discovery. In a message from showrunner Noga Landau, we get a clue that could mean a lot of things (emphasis added):
“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 detail about “for the first time in over a century,” certainly suggests a 3190-ish timeframe for the series. In the Discovery Season 4 episode “All Is Possible,” we learned that Starfleet Academy was re-opening following the events of the Burn, which had shut down the academy for about a century. Both Tilly and Kovich were seemingly involved with the relaunch of the Starfleet Academy by the end of Season 4, which may suggest they could appear in the Starfleet Academy series. In fact, it’s possible that in 2024 Discovery Season 5 could set up the Starfleet Academy series directly.
That said, Paramount has not confirmed the timeline for Starfleet Academy just yet. We don’t know for sure if this detail confirms the show will occur right after Discovery. Who knows? There could be other points in Starfleet’s history where the academy was closed for all sorts of other reasons!
Starfleet Academy release date and cast info
As of now, all we know is the show is happening. It starts production in 2024, which makes a 2025 release date possible. As of this time, no cast members have been confirmed for Starfleet Academy.