Oct 15, 2021
This week on Episode 527 of Priority One: William Shatner returns to earth, NYCC returns and includes some amazing Star Trek announcements, Los Angeles has a new Star Trek destination, and things get spooky in Star Trek Online– Plus our review of the season 2 finale of Lower Decks!
Space. The Final Frontier. And our first captain, James T. Kirk went on an incredible journey. Well, it was William Shatner who did the journey. On Wednesday, October 13th, the 90 year old broke records by joining Blue Origin for their second human space trip! At 10:30AM ET, all systems were a go and the Blue Origin rocket took off. Thankfully, the entire adventure went off without a hitch and upon exiting the pod, Shatner was visibly moved by the entire experience.Photo Via TVLine.com
New York Comic Con returned to in-person events this year with phenomenal panels, incredible cosplay, and–of course–sneak peeks into the future of Star Trek. Our focus this episode is on the Star Trek: Discovery and Prodigy panels that took place over this last weekend. First, Star Trek: Discovery and its upcoming fourth season: this was a riveting panel with a surprising in-depth, yet spoiler-free, look into what we can expect from our intrepid characters.
When asked about the general “theme” of this next season, Wilson Cruz had this to say: “I feel like the stakes that we were living in reads in that trailer...the stakes in the story were really high, but the stakes in which we were making and telling the story were also high. And the theme of the entire season is about uncertainty, and about how we come together to deal with it and walk through uncertainty, to lean on each other as we find a way through it. And we were doing that in life as well, so I'm excited for you to see it.”
Showrunner Michelle Paradise followed up by explaining that in this season, “The Federation isn’t quite back together again….it’s continuing in Season 4.”
For our first non-binary and trans characters, much was left wanting in Season 3. So, will Grey finally be seen? Wilson Cruz had this to say, “we find a way to make sure Grey is seen as promised, and we get to see just how vital he becomes to the story and our mission. And I’m just excited about the fact that we have–finally–an official trans character on the show, in Star Trek, in the universe. And he does an amazing job.”
Now, things got a little spicy in the auditorium when Sonequa Martin-Green and David Ajala were asked if we’d ever learn about what happened between their characters during that fateful year. Here’s what they had to say:
Speaking of characters, if you’ve already watched the trailer–and you should have by now!– you can probably assume this is going to be a high-octane, high-stakes kind of season. How will Tilly be affected? Mary Wiseman had this to say,"that in combination with all the events of the third season similar to the way this pandemic experience, really kind of forced her to reinvestigate herself and her motivations. It kind of spirals her off into this personal journey, actually, which was very fun to play with.”
Sonequa Martin-Green followed with,“I think a lot of us on the ship...I don't think any of us were expecting to have a threat this big soon after jumping to this future. Because that was huge. and then I know for Burnham, it's a lot, it's like 'man, here we are again with a threat of great, of great magnitude." And so of course, these people in this story, being the honorable people they are, their true character comes out at that moment of greatest pressure. It's beautiful stuff that comes out, as hard as it may be.”
But, filming Season 4 during a pandemic was no small feat. When asked about how COVID impacted production, Michelle Paradise had this to say: “Discovery was actually one of the first producitons to go back. WE started back in November, and we were certainly the first show of this size to do it. There aren't enough words to talk about the tremendous, tremendous effort that our entire crew, our entire cast did to make the show this season. I cannot overstate how challenging it was, every step of the way, making sure we could make a show like this while keeping people safe. That being our focus, and then also making a show...it was tremendously challenging, and everyone came together, and worked together, and collaborated, and it was really beautiful to see and very difficult at the same time. The fact that we have this, that we can show you guys, it's really amazing. Our team is just incredible.”
Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 premiers November 18th.Photo Via Heavy.com
Now, moving on to Star Trek Prodigy. Attendees of the panel were given an exclusive early screening of the first episode and an extended clip of HoloJaneway’s introduction to the crew is already online. But moderator Dawn Lewis–who plays Captain Freeman on Lower Decks–opened the panel with an important question: how will Prodigy stay true to the franchise? To which the Brothers Hageman replied, “they start way out in the Delta Quadrant...that was our way in: we wanted a bunch of new characters who knew nothing about Star Trek, just like our young audience. And then slowly (as you saw at the end of the pilot) they meet hologram Janeway, and then with every episode we get closer and closer into the Trekverse. We get to have so much fun taking our time, and introducing everything we love about Star Trek. For me, growing up, Trek was just so aspirational and I feel that, for kids today, not only they need that, I need that.”
Now, what about the style of Prodigy? Why CGI animation? Well, Producer Ben Hibon explained, “we wanted the show to have great scope and this feeling of adventure to be immense and fantastical. But at the same time the characters and their stories are very intimate. So we wanted the freedom to shoot these characters as we would cinematic as possible–to be as engaging with all of us as possible, as we go on this adventure with them.”
Not only did fans get a sneak peek but, we were also surprised to learn of new characters and actors being welcomed into the production. Daveed Diggs will voice Commander Tysess, an Andorian (Diggs is a Grammy and Tony-award winning member of the original Broadway cast of Hamilton). Jameela Jamil will voice Ensign Asencia, a Trill (Jamil is best known for her role in The Good Place), and Jason Alexander will voice Doctor Noum, a Tellarite (of course, we know George Costanza on Seinfeld, and Kurros in the VOY episode “Think Tank,”). And the big reveal…well, we’ll let the Hageman Brothers tell you,"oh wait, there's one other person. There's one small person named 'Captain Chakotay' [CAPTAIN?–Ed.] by Robert Beltran is coming on our show.”
So will we see the Protostar traverse the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, as well as spending time in the Delta? Only time will tell–the series will premiere on October 28.Photo Via StarTrek.com
Well, you may not have been able to attend a Convention this year but, the Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds exhibit opened at Los Angeles’ Skirball Cultural Center on Oct. 7 and runs through Feb. 20, 2022. It features rare props and costumes from the past 55 years of Star Trek, including costumes worn by Patrick Stewart, Leonard Nimoy and Nichelle Nichols. There’s also a phaser from the original series, just one of two known to exist; a model of a Borg cube; and the head of the Gorn that Captain Kirk fought in the 1967 episode “The Arena.” The exhibit combines new Trek and old Trek, featuring both the open-chest Khan tunic worn by Ricardo Montalban in The Wrath of Khan as well as the less-revealing costume Benedict Cumberbatch [aka "RetKhan"–Ed.] wore in Into Darkness.
But the centerpiece of the exhibit is a navigation console operated by Lieutenant Sulu in the original series. The console was badly damaged and missing most of its buttons after 50 years in storage, so the team had the assistance of a group of fans to help restore it.
Visitors at the exhibit will get the chance to act with prop phasers and tricorders in a re-creation of the transporter bay. So if you’re headed to LA between now and February–be sure to swing by and trek out this exhibit.
Here are a few headlines that we didn’t discuss but might interest you.
It was a moment of pure joy and wonder in Season three of Star Trek: Discovery. The crew had finally made it to Starfleet Headquarters, and there was a fleet of future starships waiting to blow their 23rd century minds. Among the rainforest ships and speedy escorts was an imposing neo-Constitution style ship, the Kirk class, now making its debut in Star Trek Online.
The T6 Kirk Temporal Heavy Battlecruiser will be available as part of the Research & Development Pack promotion from October 13. When you purchase and open an R&D pack from the C-Store, you will receive either 10 Lobi Crystals or a Special Requisition Choice Pack - Tier 6 Promotional Ship Choice Pack in addition to the R&D Pack contents.
The Kirk class boasts a 5/3 weapon layout, and features a Commander Engineering/Temporal Operative Specialist Bridge Officer seat and a Lt. Commander Universal/Command Specialist Bridge Officer seat. The “Field-Replicated Buster Pods” Universal Console fires out large, enemy-seeking missiles that deal massive kinetic damage. The starship trait “Risk Is Our Business” grants captains a stacking amount of temporary hit points per foe within 5km. This also works in combination with Threatening Stance, generating a large amount of Threat toward nearby foes when active and further enticing them to attack you.
In other stylish starship news, the remaster project of the Star Trek Online fleet continues, with the Nova family getting a crisp new look. The remaster is a ‘from the ground-up rebuild’ according to Lead Ship and UI Artist Thomas Marrone, who shared the before and after pics in a blog post. The plucky little science ships now have a new screen-accurate ship material, as well as access to all “legendary” starship materials.
It’s been about a week since I’ve claimed the T6 Mirror Gagarin from the “Equal and Opposite” event running in Star Trek Online. I claimed the ship on one of my Tactical Temporal Recruits, who has been most recently flying the Mirror Warship with phaser cannons. But for this ship, because of the 4/4 weapons layout I decided to switch it up and try out the Agony Phaser beams that were also part of the reward from running the event. So far, I’m really enjoying the ship. It’s quite maneuverable: the base turn rate is 12, which can obviously be modified with traits and your skill tree. There’s definitely a tactical lean to this ship with a Commander Tactical station, so I probably would not recommend it for a science build. But the Projected Protomatter console is very interesting. I have noticed that you need to be facing your enemies for this to be very effective. It shoots protomatter at your enemies and causes a good amount of damage.
I’m still experimenting with the build, so I may end up swapping out this console for something else - but I wanted to give it a try. I’ve only just leveled it to Tier 5 last night, so I have not had a chance to try out the Protomatter Precursor trait. But to be honest I tend to stay away from shield-boosting traits, since there are other traits you can slot for increasing damage.
All in all, this is a very solid ship–especially for a ship that they give you for free! We may complain a lot about the ship economy [you don’t say–Ed.], but Star Trek Online gives out at least 2 top-tier ships every year to its players and this ship event was a pleasant surprise. Not to mention it’s a Mirror ship, giving you so many more opportunities for Space Barbie: when you claim this ship it comes with the Gagarin or Shepard skins–so fun to mix and match!