The Star Trek Universe beamed back into Comic Con@Home this year, with a focus on the animated side of the Trek franchise during panels moderated by Star Trek: Lower Decks star Jerry O’Connell. Not only did we get an exciting look at the upcoming second season of Star Trek: Lower Decks, but fans were treated to a first look at Star Trek: Prodigy and got the chance to meet the intrepid crew leading the show — and catch up with the incredible Kate Mulgrew, who’ll be reprising her role as Kathryn Janeway in the series.
The panel was packed with great anecdotes, fun teases about the upcoming shows (including a surprise appearance from Strange New Worlds cast members Rebecca Romijn and Ethan Peck), and two action packed trailers.
Here’s everything we learned from today’s Star Trek Universe panel.
Prodigy may be the younger Star Trek sibling, but don’t underestimate it
“We knew that people were going to look at our show like, ‘Oh, this is a little brother or the little sister of the Star Trek Universe.’ And we wanted to be that little brother or little sister that smacks the bigger sibling and says, ‘Don’t underestimate us.’” - Dan Hageman, Executive Producer of Star Trek: Prodigy
It’s geared to kids, but intended for everybody
“You just tell a good story from a place of heart, people who we can relate to. So we never really view it from a place of ‘it’s for kids.’ It’s really for everybody. I think when you go from the perspective of ‘these are characters who don’t know Starfleet,’ all of a sudden you’re talking to kids. You’re also talking to people who have been curious about Star Trek, but are afraid to jump into Star Trek. It’s a great entry point.” - Dan Hageman
It centers on a group of rebellious kids
“...what I like about this show is we get to play a group of rebellious kids who aren’t really necessarily part of Starfleet, who are, in many ways, causing trouble and mischief.” - Jason Mantzoukas, Jankom Pog
Despite her appearance, Rok-Tahk is a “cute little eight year old”
“It’s really fun playing Rok-Tahk, because I get to, you know, people… they think it’s this big rock monster but really it’s just this cute little eight year old. So it’s been really fun because I got to… I get to just be myself.” - Rylee Alazraqui, Rok-Tahk
Jankom Pog is an inherently contradictory engineer
“What has been a blast about doing this character is… Jankom Pog is inherently contradictory. So he’s deeply argumentative, deeply aggressive. He’s a very confrontational character. So [it’s] an absolute blast to play as a full of bluff and bluster kind of character… he’s the engineer. He’s the mechanic. He’s always trying to fix what’s wrong, always trying to make things work and, frustratingly, to a greater or less degree, is not always successful.” - Mantzoukas
Zero is a Medusan
“Zero isn’t a robot. Zero is a Medusan. They are a genderless, non-corporeal entity - a light source, essentially - and they are in a containment suit because if anyone ever saw them, they would go mad.” - Angus Imrie, Zero
You may not always understand what Murf is saying...
“Murf is sort of — it’s this blob, it’s this sentient blob that’s kind of like Rok-Tahk’s familiar, or a lieutenant or sidekick or something. So it understands what’s going on, but you don’t always understand what Murf is saying, and that, I think, is going to evolve as the series evolves.” - Dee Bradley Baker, Murf
On the return of Janeway
“She’s Janeway at her best. She’s there to help this motley crew… get this defunct ship working. And she does. She is the essential Captain Janeway. She’s full of, I think, warmth. She’s going to help these kids. She’s determined to help them get off this very, very dangerous and dark planet and into a much better place. A different galaxy. So she brings to bear on this task all of her skills and most of them are deeply human.” - Kate Mulgrew, Captain Kathryn Janeway
Bringing Trek to the next generation
“I’ve been a part of it for upwards of 25 years and the Hagemans are well aware of the fact that it has changed my life. So when this was proposed to me sometime ago, after a moment’s deliberation, I thought ‘what could be better than possibly handing this to the next generation?’ To a demographic that heretofore has not known anything about Star Trek. The beauty of it. The philosophy of it. The hope and the promise of it. And if there’s any age group that’s going to take this thing and embrace it with a whole-heartedness not seen before, it’s the young kids.” - Mulgrew
The Star Trek fandom has been incredibly welcoming
“The welcome that we got from the show was unbelievable. Watching it and knowing that it came out was exciting to just see it all come together, and seeing the opening credits and all that stuff was amazing, and people loving it.” - Eugene Cordero, Sam Rutherford
Your cosplay and fan art do not go unnoticed
“People were great about it, you know. It was really cool to see people— there were some people already cosplaying as us and making fan art. [...] The fans were just so amazing right out of the gate, and I couldn’t be more grateful.” - Jack Quaid, Brad Boimler
Mariner shines a light on her working relationship with Captain Freeman
“So [Mariner and Captain Freeman] do end up working together, and in season two you’re going to see some more of them attempting to work together. It’s strange because Mariner, a lot of her — she defines herself through rebellion. So when that rebellion is taken away it’s like, how do you function?” - Tawny Newsome, Beckett Mariner
Season two offers a mix of serious Trek and silly Trek
“We left a lot of bills to pay with characters, and with what was going on in the world. You know, we just keep at it. We were saying this earlier but there is a really great mix of serious Trek and silly Trek. Because if you’re on a Starfleet ship, you don’t know if you’re going to encounter the Jem’Hadar or a guy who traps you in a game, you know what I mean? You’ll see some familiar faces, you’ll see a lot of new stuff. The Cerritos goes through some real rigamarole. I’m just excited for August.” - Mike McMahan, Creator/Executive Producer of Star Trek: Lower Decks
The Pakleds are back for season two
“I’ve gotten this cleared… the Pakleds, we kind of treated a little bit like how the Klingons were in TOS or maybe the Romulans were in TNG, you know, kind of a big bad force that’s been growing, that’s out there that has to be dealt with. But remember, the Cerritos isn’t necessarily in charge of the big missions. So every once in a while, because they did encounter the Pakleds first, they do get involved in some stuff. But you’ll see the Titan kind of having to deal with more Pakled stuff.” - McMahan
Star Trek: Lower Decks streams exclusively in the United States and Latin America on Paramount+, on Amazon Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, India and more, and in Canada, airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.
Star Trek: Prodigy will stream exclusively on Paramount+ in the United States, and will air on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and stream on Crave in Canada.