Star Trek: Lower Decks Cancellation Is Worse Than Discovery, Here’s Why

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

star trek: lower decks

Recently, Star Trek fans got some very mixed news: Strange New Worlds has been renewed for a fourth season, but Star Trek: Lower Decks has been canceled, with its upcoming fifth season being the last. Given that Star Trek: Discovery was also surprisingly canceled after five seasons, it’s impossible not to compare the two shows. However, the unfortunate truth is that the Lower Decks cancellation is much worse than Discovery’s cancellation because there will be no opportunity to write and direct additional scenes to close out the series.

Discovery Vs. Lower Decks

star trek discovery

Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Discovery couldn’t be any more tonally different if they tried. The former is an animated show offering a humorous look at what happens in the titular decks while the bridge officers are acting out adventures reminiscent of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Meanwhile, Discovery is a live-action show that has been very serious in exploring both the past and future of the franchise (its original setting was about a decade before The Original Series before a time jump sent the show into the 32nd century).

Neither Series Got A Heads Up

Unfortunately, Star Trek: Lower Decks now has something very big in common with Star Trek: Discovery, and that is that each show was unceremoniously canceled after five seasons. To make matters worse, even the showrunners of each series didn’t find out about the cancellation until it was too late (Discovery had already shot its scenes, and the fifth season of Lower Decks is now deep into post-production). That means that these seasons weren’t originally written as final seasons and that fans shouldn’t expect a large amount of closure for their favorite characters.

Discovery Had The Chance To Craft A Proper Farewell

star trek discovery

With such a major similarity in mind, why am I saying that the cancellation of Star Trek: Lower Decks is worse than the cancellation of Star Trek: Discovery? Simple: Discovery showrunner Michelle Paradise confirmed that after Paramount canceled her show, the cast and crew were allowed to go back and shoot some additional scenes. This allowed the writers to craft something that would ideally feel more like a proper sendoff for everyone’s favorite characters while also giving the tight-knit cast a chance to properly say goodbye to one another.

Lower Decks Won’t Get The Same Opportunity

star trek: lower decks

Sadly, Star Trek: Lower Decks can’t expect the same treatment that Star Trek: Discovery got for the simple reason that it is animated. Season five is already firmly in post-production, and there is no real opportunity to go back in and add additional scenes to help wrap the series up. The result will be inevitably disappointing, with the end of season five setting up a season six that may never come.

The Fight To Save Lower Decks

star trek lower decks

Of course, Star Trek fans have been fighting to keep their favorite shows on the air since The Original Series, and Lower Decks is no exception. Right now, there are various fan campaigns and social media movements encouraging other streaming services to pick up Lower Decks so that the adventures can continue. While no such streamer ended up saving Star Trek: Discovery, Netflix did pick up the animated Prodigy, so there’s a chance that Boimler, Mariner, and the rest of our favorite animated lower deckers will have a sixth season somewhere other than Paramount+.

Here’s Hoping There’s More Lower Decks To Come

From a fanboy POV, I’m certainly going to miss Star Trek: Lower Decks more than Star Trek: Discovery. Captain Burnham’s final season has been very fun so far, but Discovery feels like a show that is always trying to be a completely different series each season. Comparatively, Lower Decks has enjoyed a cohesive vision from the very beginning, so here’s hoping that showrunner Mike McMahan finds a new home for the freshest Star Trek show we’ve had in decades.

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