Fans of the upcoming series Star Trek: Lower Decks are in for a treat — Emmy award winning animation house Titmouse has created an exclusive T-shirt club featuring ten designs inspired by the new series. Starting July 30, fans can sign up for the club for either a full season subscription (for $180) or purchase the shirts weekly for $20. Each shirt will only be available until the next episode airs, and the chance to sign up for the full subscription will only last until episode 2 airs. You can subscribe here.
Series creator and show runner Mike McMahan, CCO of Titmouse Antonio Canobbio and Director, Barry Kelly sat down to talk about these exclusive shirts with StarTrek.com.
StarTrek.com: How did you choose your inspiration from each episode?
Mike McMahan: Every episode has a moment that’s a great synthesis of artist and Trek - we tried to pull from those, and from characters that had fun moments.
Antonio Canobbio: These decisions are made gladiator-style where we fight each other in the Titmouse arena. You compete to the death and the winner, if not too mutilated, gets to pick the best idea.
Barry Kelly: We try to find that little nugget of an idea that sparks a design. Could be a logo in the episode, could be an iconic shot, or just a random prop in the background could make a funny and iconic shirt.
From what you’ve seen of Lower Decks, what do you think fans should be most excited about from this new animated series?
MM: It’s a return to ‘90s era Star Trek style with an animatic, comedic twist. It should feel comforting but new!
AC: Even though Lower Decks is beautiful and respectful to the Star Trek lore, the most exciting thing is how funny it is and how endearing the characters are!
BK: I’m excited for the audience to meet the characters. They’re so great; you’ll want to get to know them more with each episode.
Was there pressure to be working on the first animated Star Trek series in three decades?
MM: Haha, yes. There still is! But that’s why it’s worth doing.
AC: Of course! But we had experts on this show that guided us all along the way. Mike McMahan being one of them and we even met with Michael and Denise Okuda to receive their design wisdom on our version of the LCARS!
BK: Yes. Just because it's animated, doesn’t mean we’re not in canon. The TOS animated series is canon. We’re canon. That’s daunting in itself!
What are some unique considerations that have to be kept in mind when designing Star Trek products?
MM: I’m always about the ship, get that ship in there as much as you can! Or Orions! Oh man, what about the ship and an Orion? Heaven.
What was your process for collaboration on the designs?
AC: As I said earlier, Mano a Mano in an arena. Just kidding.
The hard part is finding the idea, the second challenge is being reminiscent of the show while creating shirts that people can wear with pride because they are simply cool looking.
BK: Design is subjective, so it's always tricky. The artists make sure they’d want to wear whatever we create, which presents a lot of great shirt ideas! but forces us to choose only a few that make it to print.
MM: I try to let the artists geek out and do their thing, and then when I chime in, it’s from the POV of someone who loves geeky shirts. What would I want to wear? I give notes from that angle.
I’m a huge fan of the T-shirt clubs Titmouse has done in the past, plus I love Trek shirts. It seemed like a perfect union to me. It’s a fun way for fans to celebrate the release of new episodes in a tangible, limited edition way. Once these shirts are off the market, nobody is ever going to get one again! Plus when a new episode drops, a new shirt appears as well - that’s just good, clean fun right there!
Star Trek: Lower Decks will stream exclusively in the United States on CBS All Access and in Canada, airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.