Captain's Log, Stardate 2021. Okay, you caught us; 2021 is not a Stardate, but it's an important year for fans of Star Trek because yet another show has been added to its already impressive enterprise (see what we did there?). Star Trek: Prodigy is the latest in a long line of shows that keeps the space franchise front and center in the zeitgeist, but where does it fit into the Star Trek universe? Is Star Trek: Prodigy canon?
Is 'Star Trek: Prodigy' canon?
This is always a touchy subject for both fans and creators of a show. No one wants to mess up a franchise, a timeline, or character development, which is why fans of Star Trek will be pleased to know that Star Trek: Prodigy is canon. While participating in the Star Trek Universe Comic-Con@Home panel in July 2021, as reported by Comic Book Resources, director Ben Hibon said he wanted to make sure everyone understood how this new animated show fit into the Star Trek canon.
"It's not designed just for kids, it's just designed for lovers of animation, for lovers of sci-fi," Ben fold fans during the panel. "The ambition of the show is that, you know, kids should watch it with their parents and vise versa. And so we wanted to really make sure it has that kind of visual impact, and also because Prodigy is canon. We wanted this series and this story to just fit within that incredibly rich universe that comes, you know, before and after."
Who are the stars of 'Star Trek: Prodigy'?
We're going to hear at least one familiar Star Trek voice, and it's that of Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) from Star Trek: Voyager, who will be making an appearance as a hologram, guiding the young crew of the Protostar.
During the same Star Trek Comic-Con panel, showrunner Dan Hageman acknowledged that some fans might be tempted to write off the show (which is animated and has younger stars) as some sort of younger sibling to the other shows in the franchise. But, he said, "[W]e wanted to be that little brother or little sister that smacks the bigger sibling and says, 'Don't underestimate us.'"
So, what are we waiting for? Let's meet the newest stars in the Star Trek universe, warp speed, please.
Brett Gray (Netflix's On My Block) was not familiar with Star Trek, but that didn't stop him from landing the role of Dal, the ship's captain. For this part, he chose to approach the character with fresh eyes. In an interview with The Illuminerdi, Brett said, "So the first day we were recording on set, I did a captain’s log and I did it super wrong," but he soon found his footing, and pointed out the show also teaches people about the importance of finding your crew, and yourself.
The show also stars Ella Purnell (Netflix's Army of the Dead), as Gwyn, a 17 year-old Vau N'Akat whose one dream is to explore the galaxy. While speaking with Trek Movie about her relationship to Star Trek, Ella said it came from her stepdad. She would come downstairs while he was watching and think, "The graphics are terrible." Fortunately they've come a long way, as will Ella's character Gwyn, who learns that "kindness and love and respect are a greater asset" for a leader.
Rounding out the main cast is Rylee Alazraqui as Rok-Tahk, a shy 8-year-old Brikar who loves animals. Much like her cast mates, Rylee had zero knowledge of Star Trek. In a chat with Screen Rant, she mentioned watching one of the Star Trek movies after she got the part, but couldn't recall which one. Regarding her character, Rylee told Trek Movie that "she just needs to stand up for herself and she’s learning how to take on more challenges by herself instead of leaning against everyone else."
Star Trek: Prodigy premieres on Oct. 28, 2021, with new episodes streaming Thursdays on Paramount Plus.