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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Team Tease Forthcoming ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ of the Star Trek Universe

When showrunner Michelle Paradise and co-creator Alex Kurtzman sat down to begin planning what would ultimately become the final season of “Star Trek: Discovery” they had one big goal: “Bigger and bolder,” of course, Paradise said.

They didn’t originally know the program would be coming to an end, but they still wanted to take some big swings when it came to keeping the story fresh for Season 5 — and that means compelling villains.

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“They’re kind of like the Bonnie and Clyde of the ‘Star Trek’ universe,” Kurtzman said to IndieWire about the new baddies that fans will meet in the premiere episode. “But like all great villains, they have a sympathetic story. You know the old adage: The villain is the hero of their own story. That’s very true for them, and I think ultimately you’ll love them as much as you’ll see them as the villain.”

While speaking to IndieWire ahead of a Season 5 premiere screening at SXSW for fans, Kurtzman and Paradise were looking forward to what may be next for the Trek universe, but had some thoughts about what creatively worked so well with “Discovery.”

The duo highlighted the jump to the 32nd century as a real creative payoff for the story. “It totally freed us up from canon,” Kurtman said. “In the first two seasons we were kind of boxed in to playing catchup to a timeline that already had a lot of rules established. [The jump meant] we were now able to write our own rules. It was kind of like putting the old ‘Star Trek’ in a blender, where all of the old allies are now enemies and all the enemies are now allies and everything was different.”

It also means the 32nd century is still under-explored, and fertile ground for potential new Trek properties, like possibly the forthcoming “Starfleet Academy,” which is to begin shooting in late summer. (There’s also “Star Trek: Section 31,” starring Michelle Yeoh, in the works, though Yeoh’s character went back in time to her 23rd Century setting on “Discovery,” thanks to the Guardian of Forever.)

In his Season 5 review, IndieWire’s Christian Blauvelt noted the final installments have a celebratory feel that keeps the adventure light. “The final run of 10 episodes to close out this series that served as the flagship of the whole “Star Trek” streaming era since it launched in 2017 hits the ground running with a fun, “Indiana Jones”-inspired chase plot that doesn’t require you to open Memory Alpha to remember what came before.”

For Paradise, the moments she’s most proud of on “Discovery” will ring true for any fan of “Star Trek” — no matter what series. “The things that I’m most proud of [are] when the audience members, when we go to events and say, ‘I saw Tilly, I saw Adira, and I saw myself in them and because I could see that I knew that I could achieve something else.’ And that’s happened with all of our characters on the show.”

Between that and, you know, kicking off a whole streaming universe — not a bad legacy for the USS Discovery.

Presented in partnership with Paramount+. From the Mountain to Rainey St, fans can step into Paramount+’s The Lodge at SXSW 2024 to experience immersive activations inspired by their favorite films and shows including Halo, Star Trek: Discovery, Lawmen: Bass Reeves, and many more. SXSW badge holders are also invited to The Trailblazing Journey to the Fifth and Final Season Featured Panel Session, ahead of the Star Trek: Discovery final season premiere on April 4, exclusively on Paramount+.

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