With Star Trek: Discovery several seasons in and a slew of other television projects in the works, the Star Trek franchise is on the cusp of a pretty interesting era. According to Alex Kurtzman, who is currently overseeing the franchise, the goal is to attract some younger fans to boldly go where no one has gone before. In a recent interview with Deadline's Crew Call podcast, Kurtzman spoke about his five-to-ten year plan for Trek, and how getting younger viewers could be a part of that.
"I went to CBS and I said, 'I think you have a universe here that is very under-utilized, and a fan base that I think is hungry for a lot more.'" Kurtzman revealed. "And I walked them through the plan of what I saw for the next five to ten years of Trek. Part of it was, kind of, premised on the idea that it was going to take time. What I said was, “Don’t expect us to put the first thing out, and suddenly, you know, you’re have 100 million new fans. That’s not gonna happen.” ‘Trek’ has been around for too long for that to happen — but but what we do have is new generations, and what I can tell you is that ‘Trek,’ in general, finds people when they’re about between nine and twelve."
"It’s never reached younger than that; it’s never tried to, and to me that’s a hugely missed opportunity, especially because what you’re really trying to do is influence hearts and minds with really positive messages — messages about who we can be as a species and as people and what our future is." Kurtzman added. "So why not start young, you know? And not for a cynical reason. Not because you know, hey, let some more toys, but because if you really want Star Trek to reach people, then you’ve got to start young."
"And this is where I guess the ‘Star Wars’ influence on me really mattered, because as a kid at four years old, I could imagine myself starting up with a twin suns of Tattooine and wondering what my life was." Kurtzman continued. "‘Trek’ didn’t give me that same thing — it gave me Wesley Crusher, it gave me different characters, but again, those are older characters. But we are definitely seeing just metric proof that the fan base is growing, and it’s growing younger — and yet, we’re keeping our current fans, and that’s great."
With an all-ages Trek animated series in the works at Nickelodeon, it will certainly be interesting to see if and how the franchise gets embraced by a new crop of fans.
What do you think of Kurtzman wanting Trek to be embraced by younger fans? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!