Star Trek Just Secretly Hinted At New Spinoff?

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

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One cold comfort for Star Trek fans who are sad about the surprise cancellations of both Discovery and Lower Decks is that we have the upcoming Starfleet Academy show to look forward to. Unfortunately, we don’t know when that show will be set, who will star in it, and what it will be like, except that it is a youth-focused show about training the next generation of Starfleet cadets. However, the recent Discovery episode “Whistlespeak” dropped some Galaxy-class hints that Starfleet Academy will be a Discovery spinoff starring Tilly and set on a starship.

Starfleet Academy Clues In Discovery Season 5

Don’t worry…I didn’t have to steal the Red Angel suit and travel forward in time to figure out what the Starfleet Academy show is going to be about. Most of these conclusions came from simple deduction (Spock’s ancestor would be proud) based on watching the most recent season of Discovery. Furthermore, everything centers around Tilly, someone whose more prominent role this season is likely no coincidence.

Tilly As The New Lead

Tilly has been the obvious choice to lead a Starfleet Academy show since Discovery surprisingly moved her off the crew roster and into a teaching position at the newly reformed Academy. One of the Paramount+ flagship show’s most beloved characters starts teaching right before a Starfleet Academy show is announced? It’s even latinum that the show will be a Discovery spinoff (Alex Kurtzman has already revealed it would also be set in the 32nd century) with Tilly as the lead.

Mary Wiseman Played It Cool

The idea that Tilly will headline the Starfleet Academy show only got stronger when Cinemablend tried to get Mary Wiseman on the record about appearing in the show. Wiseman jokingly responded, “man, don’t try to get to me,” and “we can be friends or we can be enemies.” As the site notes, this isn’t exactly a denial, and there is a possibility (a strong one, in my opinion) that she is operating under an NDA from Paramount.

A Discovery Spin-Off

Since we already know that Starfleet Academy will be a Discovery spinoff and Wiseman’s sealed lips practically confirm it will feature Tilly, we are left only with the question of what the show will be like. Our first clue came from the Discovery episode “Red Directive,” where Tilly lamented that her students may never understand the importance of being part of a crew. 

Clues In Whistlespeak

In the later episode, “Whistlespeak,” we learn that one of her cadets is pondering leaving Starfleet Academy for a position on a cargo vessel, and Tilly isn’t even sure if she should talk them out of the decision because this isn’t the first one who wants to leave and “we’re not giving the cadets what they need.”

Not Confined To The Academy Itself?

Put it all together, and the premise for the upcoming Starfleet Academy show is clear. Tilly, understanding the cadets’ desire to actually explore the galaxy and believing they won’t understand the Starfleet mission until they can function as a crew, is inevitably going to request a vessel from Starfleet in which she will be acting captain and the cadets will be her crew. Narratively, this lets Paramount have it both ways: they’ll still get the youth-centric show about cadets, but in the fine tradition of Star Trek, those cadets will be exploring the galaxy instead of just kicking it around a fixed location.

The Best New Character To Use

To me, this Starfleet Academy premise has been so obviously laid out that I will be utterly amazed if Paramount does anything different. Of course, we’re talking about a network that canceled two beloved Star Trek shows (one being their streaming flagship show and the other being the cheapest Trek series to produce) and is currently in danger of getting bought out by Sony. In other words, they could still muck things up, but I’m hoping that Tilly and this new show manage to stick the landing in an unforgettable way.

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