As the Marvel Cinematic Universe has worked so hard to teach us, one of the most fun parts about operating a fictional franchise within one large, shared narrative is having characters from different projects crossover with one another. With three live-action series and two animated series running concurrently in various stages of production, there’s more Star Trek than ever. And yet somehow we’re not getting any the kinds of crossovers so many series make possible. At least one series lead — Sonequa Martin-Green of Star Trek: Discovery — wants that to change.
Metro UK recently got the chance to talk to Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays Captain Michael Burnham on Star Trek: Discovery. Among other things, Martin-Green was asked about possibly getting to do some crossover episodes with stars of other Trek series like Picard or Deep Space Nine. “I am very much in support of crossover episodes and us getting an opportunity to work with some of the people whose shoulders we stand on,” Martin-Green responded.
One of the obvious obstacles to having all the different Star Trek series crossover with one another is time. All five current series take place at different points in the timeline. The earliest is Strange New Worlds, set in the decade before that of the original series. The latest is Discovery, whose last two seasons took place in the 32nd century. Then in descending order — from the most distant in the future to the closest to the present — come Picard, Prodigy, and Lower Decks.
Of course, in a franchise like Star Trek in which time travel plays such a crucial role, timeline differences may be obstacles but they’re not even close to insurmountable. After all, operating almost a century apart didn’t stop arguably one of the most famous Trek crossovers of all — the one and only meeting between William Shatner’s James T. Kirk and Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard in 1994’s Star Trek: Generations.
Before now, the most Star Trek series that have ever run concurrently was two, starting with Deep Space Nine premiering during The Next Generation‘s final season. TNG called it quits before Voyager premiered, and Voyager likewise made its final trip to Earth four months before the beginning of Enterprise. So, when it comes to crossovers between concurrently running series, they’ve been few and far between. DS9‘s premiere two-parter “Emissary” featured Patrick Stewart as a guest star and before TNG‘s final season was over Alexander Siddig made an appearance as Doctor Bashir on TNG in “Birthright, Part I.” Otherwise, most crossovers of this type offered little more than fan-service cameos. For example, in DS9‘s “Through the Looking Glass,” Voyager‘s Tim Russ had a cameo as a Mirror Universe version of Tuvok, but his presence had little impact on the story.
One thing is for sure: there are more crossovers on the way. On a recent episode of the aftershow The Ready Room, Alex Kurtzman admitted to Wil Wheaton that a Star Trek Universe crossover was “inevitable.” We don’t know for sure exactly what Kurtzman and co. have in mind, of course, but smart money says it’ll involve the Temporal War. Mentioned in both Enterprise and Discovery, the event was heavily referenced in season 3 of the more recent series, and seems like a pretty obvious way to get all of these series’ characters to operate in concert.