Paul Giamatti Joins Anticipated Star Trek Series

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

Paramount has kept most of the details of the upcoming Starfleet Academy show under wraps, leaving fans to furiously speculate over cast announcements. When Holly Hunter was announced as the show’s captain and academy chancellor, the fandom wondered if she would have a worthy villain to square off against. Now, we have a surprising answer: Paul Giamatti is officially joining this new Star Trek series as its primary bad guy.

Paul Giamatti Joins Star Trek As The Next Big Villain

That said, details on what Paul Giamatti’s character will be like are minimal, though we know that he will have a connection to an unnamed cadet on this Star Trek spinoff. That may or may not be connected to his character having an “ominous past” that will be explored more thoroughly throughout the first season. Fortunately, there is nothing ominous about how this Academy Award-winning actor joined this famous franchise.

Praise From The Showrunners

Co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Noga Landau had nothing but good things to say about casting Paul Giamatti: “Sometimes you’re lucky enough to discover that one of the greatest actors alive is also a huge Star Trek fan,” they said, “and meeting Paul was one of those miraculous moments for us.” Praising both his enthusiasm and his energy, they said, “The sheer delight with which he dove in on Starfleet Academy is only surpassed by the gratitude we feel about him joining our incredible cast.”

It Will Be Awhile Before We See Him

Unfortunately, it will be a hot minute before we discover what Holly Hunter or Paul Giamatti’s characters are like on Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. Production on the new show won’t begin until this summer, and the series does not yet have a release date. That means that fans hoping to get an idea of what the new show might be like have had to glean details from the most recent season of Discovery.

Ties To Star Trek: Discovery

In that show, Tilly became an instructor at the academy, though actress Mary Wiseman has played exceedingly coy regarding whether she will be on the new show. Regardless of whether Wiseman will join Holly Hunter in battling Paul Giamatti, Tilly’s previous comments in the final season about cadets not getting what they need from the traditional Starfleet Academy experience is likely setting up this new Star Trek series. 

She previously said the cadets need to understand what it means to be part of a crew, and the fact that Holly Hunter is both captain and chancellor implies that the show (as we previously predicted) will have cadets learning on a starship and not just at the academy proper.

This would also help set up Giamatti’s character as someone who could periodically flit in and out of the show on his own vessel, just as previous antagonist Gul Dukat did on Deep Space Nine.

A Villain That Threatens The Entire Federation

Those are some big shoes to fill, but it sounds like Paul Giamatti may prove to be an even scarier Star Trek antagonist than Dukat: after all, he is most likely the villain that the upcoming show describes as threatening “both the Academy and the Federation itself.”

It’s a bit of a long shot, but we hope he also manages to channel some of the fun, neurotic energy from his famous Sideways character. After all, who’s to say he can’t be a major galactic antagonist and still have strong thoughts on whether the Kanar on Cardassia is even worse than the Merlot on Earth?

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