Star Trek: Alex Kurtzman on the Future of 'Short Treks'

There may be more Star Trek: Short Treks on the horizon and they may expand beyond the realm of Star Trek: Discovery.

The first four Star Trek: Short Treks episodes were used as lead-ins to the second season of Star Trek: Discovery. At the TCA Winter 2019 Press Tour, Star Trek producer Alex Kurtzman said he hopes to continue with them and that they may be applied to upcoming series outside of Discovery.

“I'd love to expand beyond,” Kurtzman tells ComicBook.com. “I mean, Discovery has been the foundation. [The first season of Short Treks] was a test. We wanted to see if they worked, and they ended up working really well. And so, the idea that we can apply those to all of our shows. Maybe we'll do one before Picard. Maybe we'll do one before Section 31. Maybe we'll do one before the animated, just so that we can start getting audiences talking and thinking about what we're doing, and setting up mysteries. That's the other really fun thing about those is we get to set up these mysteries that play out over the course of the season.”

Kurtzman already announced plans for two animated episodes of Star Trek: Short Treks. One will be directed by Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino, who scored all three of the Kelvin timeline Star Trek movies. The other animated Short Trek will be directed by Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Olatunde Osunsanmi. Each short will feature a distinct animation style, which will also be different from what’s being used for the upcoming animated comedy series Star Trek: Lower Decks.

Star Trek: Short Treks is a series of short films, each about 15 minutes long. The episodes so far mostly focused on characters from Star Trek: Discovery. They debuted monthly on CBS All Access in the United States and on Space and Crave in Canada. They became available on Netflix in regions where the streaming service carries Star Trek: Discovery just before Discovery's second season premiere.

If you haven’t seen Short Treks yet, here are the synopses for all four episodes:

  • “Runaway” – Onboard the U.S.S. Discovery, Ensign Tilly (Mary Wiseman) encounters an unexpected visitor in need of help. However, this unlikely pair may have more in common than meets the eye. Written by Jenny Lumet and Alex Kurtzman. Directed by Maja Vrvilo.
  • “Calypso” – After waking up in an unfamiliar sickbay, Craft (Aldis Hodge) finds himself on board a deserted ship, and his only companion and hope for survival is an A.I. computer interface. Teleplay by Michael Chabon. Story by Sean Cochran and Michael Chabon. Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi.
  • “The Brightest Star” – Before he was the first Kelpien to join Starfleet, Saru (Doug Jones) lived a simple life on his home planet of Kaminar with his father and sister. Young Saru, full of ingenuity and a level of curiosity uncommon among his people, yearns to find out what lies beyond his village, leading him on an unexpected path. Written by Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt. Directed by Douglas Aarniokoski.
  • “The Escape Artist” – Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson), back to his old tricks of stealing and double-dealing, finds himself in a precarious position aboard a hostile ship – just in time to try out his latest con. Written by Michael McMahan. Directed by Rainn Wilson.
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The first four episodes of Star Trek: Short Treks are streaming now.

New Star Trek: Discovery episodes become available to stream Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS All Access.