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Starfleet Academy is a show about rebuilding the future from a broken past, says Star Trek boss

The series will be optimistic, funny, and speak to where kids are today, says Alex Kurtzman

Star Trek: Discovery
Image credit: Paramount+

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Star Trek fans might have been caught off-guard with the revelation that the upcoming Starfleet Academy series on Paramount+ will be set in the same era as the recently completed Star Trek: Discovery, but according to franchise boss Alex Kurtzman, there’s a very good reason for that particular era being chosen. It’s being done for the kids.

“As the father of a 17-year-old boy, I see what my son is feeling as he looks at the world and to his future. I see the uncertainty; I see all the things we took for granted as given are not certainties for him,” Kurtzman said about the 32nd century setting of the series during an interview with the LA Times. “I see him recognizing he’s inheriting an enormous mess to clean up and it’s going to be on his generation to figure out how to do that, and that’s a lot to ask of a kid. My thinking was, if we set Starfleet Academy in the halcyon days of the Federation where everything was fine, it’s not going to speak to what kids are going through right now.”

Setting the series at a point where the Federation is at its height was “not really going to be authentic,” he continued. “What’ll be authentic is to set it in the timeline where this is the first class back after over 100 years, and they are coming into a world that is only beginning to recover from a cataclysm — which was the Burn, as established on Star Trek: Discovery, where the Federation was greatly diminished. So they’re the first who’ll inherit, who’ll re-inherit, the task of exploration as a primary goal, because there just wasn’t room for that during the Burn — everybody was playing defense.”

Looking ahead to Starfleet Academy, Kurtzman teased that it is “an incredibly optimistic show, an incredibly fun show; it’s a very funny show, and it’s a very emotional show. I think these kids, in different ways, are going to represent what a lot of kids are feeling now.”

Starfleet Academy, which recently announced Holly Hunter as the show’s captain, is expected to debut on Paramount+ in late 2025 or early 2026. Keep track about upcoming Star Trek shows here.

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