Since the Star Trek: The Original Series was aired in 1966, there have been subsequent additions to the franchise in the form of series and movies set at different times. Each addition to the franchise adds a piece to the narrative, before and after Captain James Tiberius Kirk’s adventures and his crew onboard the USS Enterprise in the 23rd century.
The new Star Trek: Short Treks started as a spin-off of the Star Trek Discovery and came in 10 to 20-minute episodes that further highlight the Discovery characters. The Short Trek series is creating stories that the viewers had no idea they needed.
One uniting character of hardcore Trekkies is the desire to finally piece together all their favorite adventures in some chronological order to historically understand the future. (This statement only makes sense in Star Trek) This fascination has inspired many spin-offs, sequels, and prequels in an attempt to fill in the gaps.
The new Short Treks episodes are quite intriguing and well worth your time. They oscillate between live-action and animation, so there is something for your preferred genre. Besides boosting interest in the Discovery, the Short Treks have been used as teasers for ongoing and upcoming installments in the Star Trek franchise.
They began when Star Trek: Discovery took its hiatus after the second season. The network announced that there would be six new installments of the Short Treks that would premier before Star Trek: Picard in 2020.
Invitations were sent to new writers, actors, and directors to produce 15-minute episodes that explore what they feel might have been overlooked over the years in the different stories. The second episode of the first season Calypso, for instance, is the story of Craft from Alcor IV, who the Discovery abandoned. While the story is not fully exhausted, it captures a point in history and events beyond the main story.
The Short Treks provides the background stories for some of the main characters in Star Trek: Discovery. Captain Pike, played by Anson Mount, Number One, played by Rebecca Romijn, and Spock, played by Ethan Peck, all have short treks based on their lives that help the fan get to know a little more about their characters.
Short Trek episodes are hilarious, eccentric, and emotional with outstanding visual effects. The episode ‘The Brightest Star’ already won a Golden Reels award in the Best Live Action Under 35min category. They are definitely worth your time, which is why we have provided an episode guide below to help you navigate through them.
Star Trek: Short Treks Episode Guide
Season 1, Episode 1: Runaway
This Short Trek episode examines Sylvia Tilly from the Star Trek Discovery. Although she faces many challenges that come her way head-on, she also hesitates to step up to be the lead when needed.
She pursues the captain position when she connects with Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po, a stowaway fleeing her home planet, not ready for coronation into a queen. Sylvia Tilly and Po are a great reminder of how courageous and generous we become when we open up and share our troubles with others.
We recommend that you watch this episode after having watched Star Trek: Discovery season one. It will resonate better after you have watched episode 5.
Season 1, Episode 2: Calypso
Written by Michael Chabon, Calypso is a favorite for many. The character does not tie to any of the existing characters in Starfleet. The episode stars Aldis Hodge as Craft. The episode tells Craft’s story on his recovery aboard a ship and the relationship he has with the computer system that has become sentimental.
The A.I system Zora, which is voiced by Annabelle Wallis, starts to fall in love with Craft. It is an emotional episode that most fans hoped would have lasted longer. Zora Lets Craft goes from the ship because he does not belong to the ship. We hope that Zora and Craft could have their spin-off and see where the story takes us.
This is a beautiful story that you could watch over. You can watch this episode anytime.
Season 1, Episode 3: The Brightest Star
Saru, played by Doug Jones, is such a great addition to the Trek ensemble. Not much is known about Saru’s past, but in this episode, Saru takes us to his home planet Kaminar. Here, we learn how Saru made contact with a ship from the pre-warp planet. We get to see how Philippa Georgiou decided to bring the first Kelpian aboard to join the Starfleet.
We recommend watching this episode after watching Star Trek: Discovery season one and before watching season 2 episode 6.
Season 1: Episode 4: The Escape Artist
Star Trek: Discovery has introduced new characters from the past, played by new actors, which is fantastic if you ask me. In this episode, Harry Mudd has brought chaos to the Discovery, and through a series of hilarious, wild events, Paul Stamets must convince everyone aboard the ship that they are stuck in a time loop that they need to break out of.
We recommend you watch this after watching Star Trek: Discovery episode 5: Choose your pain.
Season 2, Episode 1: Q & A
In season 2, we get the pleasure of watching the interaction between Spock and Number one. We all know that they have a history together, but we do not see them together in the previous series.
We get entertained while still learning about Spock, played by Ethan Speck. This episode is especially intriguing for fans of Star Trek: The Original Series.
The episode is set on the space ship where Spock’s day does not go as planned. He is stuck inside with Number One, played by Rebecca Romijn. In a quest to pass the time, Number One decided to ask Spock a series of questions and learn more about him. However, in true Spock’s fashion, he ends up being the one interviewing her.
We recommend you watch this episode after concluding Discovery Season 2.
Season 2, Episode 2: The Trouble with Edward
You know there had to be an episode of tribbles somewhere in here. This episode does not disappoint. The visual of the tribble take over, coupled with H. Jon Benjamin’s comic relief, is timeless. The delivery of this one is exceptional.
We recommend you watch this episode anytime; there is nothing you need to catch up on.
Season 2, Episode 3: Ask Not
In this episode, we get to watch Anson Mount as Captain Pike. It is a great showcase of how Captain Pike leads and shows some of his skills when he was on Discovery.
This episode also showcases what the original Series would have made into a full episode if Pike would have been among the show’s main characters.
You can watch this episode at any time, as this is not an episode that needs content from the Series. However, you might want to watch it after you get an impression of Pike from the Series. Pike is introduced in Discovery Season 2.
Season 2, Episode 4: Ephraim and Dot
This is the first animated episode of the Short Trek. The style used in this episode is similar to that used in 1973, in the sense that the scenes with the characters from the Original Series are quite similar in this episode.
The episode gives us flashbacks through the Enterprise’s history and some of the pivotal points in Trek history, which is one of the most fun installments.
We recommend you watch this episode after watching season 1, episode 4 of Star Trek: Discovery.
Season 2, Episode 5: The Girl Who Made the Stars
This is the second animated episode of the Short Treks. The tale has a different style which provides a different outlook on Michael Burnham’s past. It is a story about the Night Beast that terrorizes a village into a paralyzing fear of the dark. However, a young girl faces the monster and proves to the villagers that they can be granted a new light by facing their fears.
This episode gives the viewer insight into Michael Burnham’s life before connecting with Spock and Sarek.
We recommend watching this episode after watching Star Trek: Discovery season 2 episode 14, where Michael Burnham is caught up in her feelings about her family.
Season 2 Episode 6: Children of Mars
This episode is set on First Contact Day. This mostly silent production follows two rival girls who take out their parents’ frustrations on each other. Lil, played by Sadie Monroe, and Kima, played by Ilamaria Ebrahimtic, are both executed beautifully.
The episode is quite heartbreaking, especially after the girls are separated in the hall.
We recommend you watch this episode before Star Trek: Picard. This does not mean that you lose anything if you watch it before, but it packs a punch when Picard returns to the screen.