Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Lower Decks Will Not Break Canon, Despite Discovery & Picard Worries

Star Trek: Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan says the show will not break franchise canon. For fans of the Star Trek franchise, the canon is especially important, as it is the basis for all other Star Trek storylines. Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard have both changed the Star Trek canon universe in their stories, which has fans wondering if this will also happen in Lower Decks. Time travel, alternate universes, and alternate timelines are all key elements in the Star Trek franchise, however many of the shows and films that use these elements have been able to remain true to canon in some way or another.

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McMahan has emphasized that the time period for Lower Decks will be the year 2380, which puts it right in the middle of other Star Trek story lines such as The Next GenerationDeep Space 9 and Voyager. Star Trek: Lower Decks centers around the starship Cerritos and its crew, who primarily deal with second contact missions. By introducing these characters with the specific knowledge of where the show’s timeline is set, it will make any changes to the canon universe impossible for fans to miss.

During the Star Trek Universe Comic-Con@Home panel, Mike McMahan explained that the story is set right after the events of Star Trek Nemesis, with in the Prime timeline. McMahan stated, “We try to fit it into canon so that it doesn’t break anything, but we are trying to do something new with it at the same time.” Mike McMahan is a huge fan of Star Trek canon and understands that without it, Lower Decks could never happen.

For some, canon rules are what defines a franchise, for others canon rules are a series of guidelines that can be changed for narrative convenience in order to tell a story. Due to this varied belief on how canon works, the writers of Picard and Discovery are able to change key canon events in Star Trek history to fit their storylines better. While this trend in changing canon is allowing for more exploration into what the Star Trek universe could be, many fans hope that Lower Decks will remain true to their word and stay in canon.

For fans who love Star Trek, it is important that the writers of the new shows remember what is and isn't canon. The entire franchise is based on the original Star Trek series, which established how the world of Star Trek worked. While a long-running property like Star Trek needs to be willing to evolve in order to remain viable and draw in newcomers, consistency between the various shows and movies should still be a priority. Fortunately, McMahan understands this, and is going to make sure Star Trek: Lower Decks doesn't do anything controversial to break canon.

Source: Star Trek Universe Comic-Con@Home panel