The future looks busy for Star Trek on CBS All Access, and the upcoming explosion of new shows could bring multiple versions of the Enterprise to TV. When CBS entered the streaming game with their own in-house platform, Star Trek was comfortably their most lucrative franchise, and sure enough, Star Trek: Discovery became the flagship show of the CBS All Access service. The world of Star Trek is now expanding in a multitude of directions. In addition to season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery, fans can look forward to Star Trek: Picard season 2, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Prodigy. A Section 31 spin-off is also confirmed to be in the works.
Gene Roddenberry’s world is stacked with beautiful and/or deadly spacecraft, but the most famous vessel in Star Trek lore will always be the U.S.S. Enterprise. Captained by James T. Kirk in the original 1960s Star Trek series, the Enterprise is synonymous with the franchise and has been reborn and redesigned across various generations on the big and small screen. With the future of Star Trek at the movies currently unknown, the most recent depiction of the Enterprise came in Star Trek: Discovery season 2, led by Anson Mount’s Pike and Ethan Peck’s Spock. Fans reacted positively to witnessing the classic Enterprise bridge’s modern sheen, but there could be more action to come for the fabled Starfleet ship.
Set in a future where Starfleet is essentially no more, it’s unlikely that the Enterprise will feature in Star Trek: Discovery‘s upcoming third season, but the ship viewers met in season 2 will return in Strange New Worlds, a spin-off based around Pike, Spock and Number One. Naturally, the Pike-era Enterprise will be the hub of this new series, and the legendary ship will undoubtedly play a major part in the episodic stories. However, an Enterprise appearance might’ve also been set up for Star Trek: Picard.
In Una McCormack’s The Last Best Hope (a canon prequel novel to Star Trek: Picard) Worf is revealed to be the current captain of the Enterprise, and in the TV series itself, Worf is mentioned as a loyal ally to Jean-Luc alongside Riker and Geordi La Forge. Jonathan Frakes already reprised his role as Riker in season 1 and La Forge is heavily rumored to appear in the second – it’s surely only a matter of time until Worf enters the fray, and due to his current position, the latest incarnation of the Enterprise would likely come with him. Star Trek: Picard season 1 ended with Patrick Stewart’s character launching into the unknown with his new crew. Given the wealth of cameos and returns in Star Trek: Picard thus far, there’s only so long the series can ignore Michael Dorn’s famous Klingon.
As well as the classic Enterprise in Strange New Worlds and the possible debut of Worf’s Enterprise-E in Star Trek: Picard, a third iteration of the iconic ship could warp onto screens in animated form thanks to Star Trek: Lower Decks. The upcoming comedy series is set in 2380, right at the end of Jean-Luc Picard’s tenure as captain of the Enterprise. The first season of Lower Decks is confirmed to feature some familiar characters in cameo roles (although exactly who remains unknown) and this leaves the door open for the Enterprise’s appearance shortly after the events of Star Trek Nemesis.
On one hand, it’s possible that CBS won’t wish to bleed the Enterprise dry by introducing the vessel into 3 of their 4 current shows, instead keeping the ship exclusive to Strange New Worlds. With that said, a more up-to-date Enterprise in season 2 of Star Trek: Picard would look completely different to Pike’s, and would fit the narrative seamlessly due to its captain’s history with Picard. As a series focusing more on the not-so-glamorous side of Starfleet, Lower Decks is least likely to feature an Enterprise, but the temptation to include an animated render of the ship might prove too great, giving Star Trek‘s TV slate three different eras of the Enterprise to explore.