In a new interview with Inverse, Star Trek: Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan spoke about the new series, explaining just where it will fit within the Star Trek canon.
“Within Lower Decks,” he said, “there is a proper in-canon Star Trek show. It takes place during the TNG era. It’s on a ship that feels like it’s always existed there and the bridge crew is dealing with big, never before seen Starfleet Star Trek type stories. So every episode has a thing like that happening in it. And then, on top of that, we’ve got A stories and B stories that are emotionally driven from the point of view of the lower deckers on the ships. So it was an area of storytelling that people had covered every once in a while on Star Trek, but never built a show around.”
Lower Decks is for established fans as well as those new to the franchise. “It was important to me that if you know everything about Star Trek and you watch this show then it fits into canon and doesn’t break Star Trek,” said McMahan. “In fact, it grows it. And if you know nothing about Star Trek, then all of the canon in Lower Decks feels like mythological, broad understandable sci-fi stuff. So you can still enjoy Lower Decks even if it’s your first Star Trek show.”
So when do fans get to see Lower Decks? “I can’t give you a specific answer on when that’s coming out,” said McMahan, “but we’re still working on it and we’re on track for when we have planned, which is this year. Animation is kind of uniquely suited for this moment. We didn’t shut down production. Safely recording the cast was really our biggest challenge because we don’t want them leaving their houses. So getting remote setups and stuff was something we had to solve, but it seems like we have.”