Star Trek On-line’s newest new content material Age of Discovery is now reside, however that is greater than only a main up to date for the MMORPG. It additionally marks a serious milestone for the Star Trek franchise.
Age of Discovery begins within the yr 2256, simply after the Battle on the Binary Stars. The brand new enlargement pits gamers once more J’Ula, the matriarch of Home Mo’Kai and sister of T’Kuvma, the Klingon spiritual chief who tried to unite the Klingon Empire towards the Federation within the first season of Star Trek: Discovery.
However this isn’t the primary time that Star Trek: Discovery followers have met J’Ula. She was featured in IDW Publishing’s first Star Trek: Discovery comedian guide collection The Mild of Kahless, making Age of Discovery a continuation of that story and the primary main crossover between Star Trek comics and Star Trek On-line.
To mark this momentous event, ComicBook.com spoke with Mild of Kahless co-author and Star Trek comics veteran Mike Johnson and Star Trek On-line’s lead producer Al Rivera about how this crossover got here to be, what this new, extra collaborative period for Star Trek’s expanded media franchise means for creators and followers, and extra.
ComicBook.com: So how lengthy has this crossover been within the works?
Al Rivera: On Star Trek On-line, we’re all the time in search of characters and tales, and unfinished tales to hook into. That is principally the kind of tales we like to inform on Star Trek On-line. And Discovery is a reasonably tight story. Mike and I have been simply chatting about it. It is difficult to seek out corners and locations as a result of it is such a serialized tight story. And so I used to be speaking with John Van Citters from CBS about a few of the tales we have been proposing, and we needed to introduce a brand new antagonist — I will not say villain — to our recreation from Home Mo’Kai which is identical home as L’Rell. And Home Mo’Kai is a matriarchy. So we needed a feminine and we have been simply making someone up.
After which John Van Citters at CBS prompt we should always take J’Ula from Mike Johnson’s Discovery comedian, which was superior and superb. I hadn’t even thought-about it. I used to be acquainted with the comics, however I assumed perhaps their story was nonetheless gonna proceed within the comics slightly bit, and I did not even contemplate us taking it as a result of we have been gonna do some very various things together with her character.
So he stated we might have that, that is nice. I stated OK I will not battle them about it. And so we reached out with Mike, and I talked with Mike extensively… We have recognized about it for 3 or 4 months or so. Is that about proper, Mike?
Mike Johnson: Yeah, and my response was simply amazement and pleasure at seeing a personality that Kirsten Beyer, and I created for the comics out of the blue taking over new life in a brand new medium was unimaginable and I feel kudos to Al and the On-line workforce for being open and all the time on the lookout for new avenues to discover story-wise. And I feel in contrast to a whole lot of video games which are actually targeted on the motion, whether or not it is a first individual shooter or whether or not it is a sports activities staff or one thing, STO actually emphasizes story and character. That is to not say they do not have motion. They’ve nice ship motion. They’ve nice floor fight. You are undoubtedly going to get all of the motion you need. However there’s an actual emphasis on story and embracing the legacy of Star Trek storytelling. So when Al reached out and stated, “Hey, we’re thinking of using one of the characters from the comics in the games, specifically J’Ula,” who’s T’Kuvma’s sister that we launched within the comedian, it was implausible. It was a dream come true.
Has that kind of come full circle now? Has J’Ula’s look in Star Trek On-line created the chance for extra tales for her within the comics?
MJ: I used to be simply actually blown away by the story they got here up with for J’Ula within the recreation that basically felt like a really cool extension of how we had launched her within the comedian. We talked about having extra of a relationship between the comics and the sport, the place they will feed off of one another. I feel general within the structured franchise proper now, there’s an effort to ensure every part weaves collectively and that there is a chance to take issues from one medium, be it the present or the sport or the novels or the comics, and let the creators in every medium have the chance to inform tales in their very own medium however then feed again in. So it is a actually cool circle and I feel undoubtedly, talking personally simply as a fan of the sport, it will be superior to do comics based mostly on the tales and characters which have come up within the recreation.
AR: I am going to add to that, that once we meet with Alex Kurtzman, he is principally type of taken this underneath his wing, saying that he needs to combine all the totally different mediums for Star Trek storytelling. And, so he is actually been very useful so far as ensuring to ask “What is it that we need to make Star Trek Online better?” And so it is one thing new, one thing we’ve not achieved earlier than. We have such a chance, Mike and I, and Ed Schlesinger [Gallery Books editor working on the Star Trek: Discovery novels].
So at [the Star Trek Las Vegas convention] and afterward, the three of us received to speaking about how can we share our tales, our concepts and even simply as a lot as little Easter eggs throughout the totally different mediums to actually leverage one another. So, it is going to be a very, actually thrilling time for Star Trek and Star Trek: Discovery and hopefully for all different Star Treks which are rumored coming down over the subsequent few years. I am wanting ahead to seeing additionally what may occur with Picard and the place we each can leverage these tales. As a result of that really takes place very near Star Trek On-line’s timeline.
MJ: For me as a fan it is one of the thrilling occasions for Star Trek. I really feel just like the franchise is in nice palms with Alex Kurtzman and CBS is keen to see Star Trek develop and increase past what we’re conversant in, what we have had up to now. I simply really feel like there’s a lot cool stuff even that hasn’t been introduced. It is coming. And once more, to Al’s level, Alex could be very inclusive the place he needs to see all the opposite avenues of storytelling, be it comics, novels or video games, create this cohesive universe. So nice alternative and a good time to be a Star Trek fan.
AR: Yeah, it’s extremely collaborative. As a matter of reality, CBS was simply right here yesterday sharing some info for us and alternatives for us, what we might leverage in us pitching our tales to them and then seeing alternatives for us. So the truth that we obtained to all meet at Star Trek Las Vegas and I had learn all of the comics, and I had met Mike beforehand at a earlier CBS assembly and had learn all of the comics that he had written about J’Ula and the Discovery Klingons, T’Kuvma’s prequel storyline.
However then I acquired to talk with him afterward, and so I acquired to pitch him “That is what we’re considering of doing,” and he told me some background which is exactly what I wanted, some of who J’Ula really is and what her motivations are, her feelings towards her brother, just generally what her character motivations were and said “Oh, hey. Okay, that is nice. I can change our story this manner so it is extra true to her character on this means.”
We have been engaged on Star Trek On-line approaching 9 years, and that is the primary time we have actually been capable of do one thing like this. So sure, Mike’s proper. Nice time to be a Star Trek fan.
What are you able to say about the place J’Ula is when it comes to mindset once we meet her in Age of Discovery? Once we left off in Mild of Kahless, she had that final assembly with T’Kuvma and they didn’t half on nice phrases.
MJ: So only a actual temporary recap that J’Ula was T’Kuvma’s older sister, and she was actually the one who initially was impressed to comply with the methods of Kahless and reunite the Klingon empire. However as she grew older the realities of politics and society led her down a special path, and she finally ends up being not as idealistic as T’Kuvma. He comes again and does not acknowledge the sister he knew. So, sure, they ended on dangerous phrases, however I feel in the identical means that she lit a spark in him when he was youthful, I feel in a approach, him coming again as the brand new chief of the Klingons, lit a bit of little bit of a spark in her. So one of many issues that makes her a cool character is that she’s not only a villain, however she’s a dwelling, respiration character with slightly little bit of a posh happening inside about her personal position within the Klingon empire.
AR: So, the Star Trek On-line: Age of Discovery storyline, whenever you begin a brand new character within the Discovery period, it takes place simply after the Battle of the Binary Stars, between the Battle of the Binary Stars and when Michael Burnham finally ends up on Discovery with a six-month hole. So our story sort of begins in there.
And so, T’Kuvma’s lifeless and the Klingon Homes are sort of divided. It is combined on who needs to unite, however the person homes are nonetheless making an attempt to carve up items of the Federation. We see Home D’Gor takes over Starbase 1 and that is kinda the factor that Cornwell tells L’Rell, says “They’re not really uniting.” So we’re type of in that timeline the place it is scattered.
J’Ula has taken management of Home of Mo’Kai, so we’re working somewhat bit from the comics at this level. She’s taken management of Home of Mo’Kai. She has her fleet and Home Mo’Kai is a clandestine home. They’re sort of a bit of…I do not know for those who wanna name them spies, slightly sneaky, just a little stealthy. They’re just a little clandestine, I assume is one of the best phrase. They usually know one thing that the Federation is as much as as most of the Klingon do. They know slightly bit about that the Glenn and the Discovery are engaged on one thing. They usually wanna know what it’s, and so principally they’re making an attempt to get that information. They’re making an attempt to get that info. And a pair recent, younger captains within the federation are prime choosing to tackle, to attempt to see if they will get that. In order that’s principally your introduction. They lay the lure so that you can attempt and get the knowledge she wants and that is the place we meet her.
And she or he’ll be principally your foil for fairly some time for a lot of tales for the foreseeable future for some time. She’s not a one time character. We will see rather a lot about her and see her develop, and to be at first type of rejecting T’Kuvma like she did within the comics, however there is a spark, there’s an ideology there that is in her that she will’t actually ignore. And it is about watching that develop. All our Star Trek adversaries in Star Trek On-line, we do not wish to make two-dimensional villains that you simply simply blow up on the finish, proper? This can be a character with numerous depth, and we’ll see the place her character goes.
Might you broaden a bit on how Age of Discovery matches into the general story, and recreation path, of Star Trek On-line? As you sort of hinted at there, this isn’t a one-shot episode. It is going to be a number of elements, however then it additionally takes place greater than a century forward of the primary story of Star Trek On-line. So is there a time journey element? Will this be one thing separate from the primary storyline? Are you able to shed any mild on that?
AR: Properly, I do know Star Trek On-line is arising on 9 years previous, and we have got a whole lot of content material and our prime content material takes place within the years 2409 and 2410, so we’re not gonna be constructing an entire new recreation that takes place simply within the Discovery period. At present, proper now, you’ll be able to play it beginning off in The Unique Collection period, and have that have. Star Trek On-line represents all eras and all the multiverse, and all of Star Trek. So that is one other beginning experiencing alternative for gamers to start out within the Discovery period.
Sooner or later, you may be merged with the fashionable 2409 timeline inside the story. And successfully what we’ll have is 2 story arcs at present deliberate for Star Trek On-line which might be Discovery-based story arcs. You will have one which takes place in 2256 throughout principally the entire yr that takes place with Discovery. After which the story will proceed in 2409 with the separate arc that may type of occur in parallel. So, yeah, there’s some kind of time journey alternatives right here. Additionally, people who find themselves not Discovery characters can play in simulation, like they want to take a look at the historic data, we’ll say. Sort of hand-wave somewhat bit in order that approach they will perceive the menace that is occurring in 2409 for them.
And sure, we’ll proceed. For the foreseeable future, we might be bringing Discovery to the forefront of Star Trek On-line so lots of our tales and the path will probably be taking can be reflective of Discovery in our present period.
Star Trek Discovery marks the primary time for each Star Trek On-line and IDW’s comics line that there has truly been a Star Trek tv present presently ongoing to construct from. How has that affected the artistic course of and the storytelling course of for you as you provide you with new comedian e-book tales and new content material for Star Trek On-line?
MJ: The actual hero of the entire course of is Kirsten Beyer, who’s writing on the present and is actually on the core. She was the one that basically formed the Picard collection and made it a actuality. Kirsten isn’t just a tremendous author herself however she has been a Star Trek novelist so she understands how totally different mediums can work along side the bigger franchise. So given the truth that she’s on the present proper now, and additionally as a result of Alex Kurtzman could be very keen about what we’re doing, it provides it a really shut relationship with the present.
For lots of licensed properties if you do not have that connection to the primary present, you will get issues that do not fairly line up, or do not feel like they’re written in the identical voice or spirit of the primary present, however since Kirsten and I write the comics collectively it is a very finely woven partnership and storytelling type. So I do know what’s arising within the present so we do our greatest to not contradict something. And however, Kirsten will know if you provide you with an concept for the comics that contradict the present, or that the present truly needs to do itself which has occurred a few occasions the place it was, “Well, we can’t do that with the comics because we might be seeing it in the show, but here’s another story we can tell in the comics.”
So it is only a actually nice working relationship and I feel that the truth that we knew we have been going to be doing the comics and the novels earlier than the present even aired, whereas we develop it even, that basically helped to provide the runway to have the ability to create tales which might be going to tie-in. And I ought to give a shoutout right here to the novels by David Mack and James Swallow that are unbelievable and followers of the present ought to undoubtedly search these out. In addition to the comics. Do not forget the comics. Yeah, it has been an awesome course of.
AR: For us, it has been a very very, very totally different expertise than we have had prior to now. We have had 50 years of Star Trek to attract upon. Myself and most of the builders right here have seen all of Star Trek a number of, a number of occasions. We all know it in and out. And there are tons of assets on-line of people that’ve dissected issues and taken actually shut screenshots and evaluated various things. There are many assets to leverage. CBS has checked in on us every so often however they’ve type of discovered that we actually know what we’re doing and they examine in on our storyline and principally have stated, “Yeah, that sounds great, just keep going with that.” And we have been very profitable and they have been very proud of that.
That’s given us lots of alternative in 50 years of Trek. It’s like, “Hey, we will take this storyline, these characters from Enterprise, perhaps we will join them to those characters in TNG, and each of them have been threads that by no means utterly completed. Plenty of Star Trek has been episodic and not serialized. However now with Discovery, it is utterly totally different. The method has been utterly totally different and it has been an incredible problem to attempt to discover the locations the place we will type of slot in.
However it’s additionally been an enormous alternative as a result of now we’re working immediately with the showrunners and they will say, “Yeah, this is what we’re going to do.” You’ll be able to ask, “Can we have this?” “No, you can’t have this because we’re doing something else.” “Oh darn, wish we had this,” proper? “Oh, OK, great. What’s the story behind that?” “Well, we’re not going to touch this anymore, but this is the backstory behind this. You can take that.”
We have by no means had that sort of collaboration earlier than, however on the similar time, it is also actually difficult as a result of it is like laying down the tracks whereas the practice’s nonetheless coming as a result of this present continues to be being written, nonetheless being developed, and so there are some issues, like “Well, we’re not quite sure what we’re gonna do with this ship.” So we have now to type of keep palms off of that for slightly bit, or “Oh, this is going to change and so you’ll have to change that.” “OK.”
We have needed to be much more vigilant, however we’re getting a lot extra help and collaboration. It has been very thrilling. We signed Mary Wiseman to voice Tilly in our recreation, and that is the primary time that they requested to evaluate the script. We stated, “Oh! OK!” And we despatched them the script and I used to be actually, actually completely satisfied that they solely requested to vary one line. However I used to be actually pleased with our author, actually capturing her. That was incredible.
Kirsten Beyer reviewed the script for Tilly for Star Trek On-line. That is superb. That is superb. That is by no means occurred earlier than. And that basically makes us really feel very particular and very validated, and additionally very proud that just one line wanted to be modified and that is one thing we did not even find out about — “Oh, do not do that line as a result of it contradicts one thing arising with Season Two.” The half with Kirsten, It is actually surreal.
You’ve each talked about the upcoming present that may convey again Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard. It’s also going to be the primary new Star Trek canon to happen after Star Trek: Nemesis within the prime timeline, apart from what we find out about Romulus being destroyed from the 2009 Star Trek film. Have you ever began contemplating what that would imply in your respective work sooner or later? I think about its one thing totally different for every of you because the comics have been principally set in the course of the eras of the tv collection whereas Star Trek On-line already takes place post-Nemesis.
MJ: On the comics aspect, all I can say is that if there are comics that tie into the Picard present, I name dibs on writing that. That is all I can say.
AR: Like I stated, CBS simply got here right here yesterday and John Van Citters who’s type of the coordinator of all Star Trek third get together. And I do not know for those who’ve gotten to speak to him these days, Mike, however he advised us somewhat bit about when he met with Kirsten and just a little bit about Picard, which could be very, very early. It is like simply getting began, proper? About precisely what they will do. He did point out that there might be numerous alternatives for Star Trek On-line for us to leverage that present, a pair extra in order that was even in Discovery only for us particularly.
MJ: I get nervous even saying the phrase “Picard” proper now. CBS will come after me.
AR: It is so early within the course of however it’s so distant that it isn’t even one thing that we will plan for within the slightest or something. It is early. And, yeah, we’d be capable of leverage some alternatives there. The entire thing might change, I do not know. However I am assured that we’ll be working very intently with them, however proper now we’re simply actually targeted on Discovery. I do not even know when the Picard collection is gonna be popping out. I do not assume they even know.
Supposedly, from what Patrick Stewart stated at Star Trek Las Vegas, Picard takes place 20 years after Nemesis, and that is very near Star Trek On-line timeline, in order that’s very thrilling that we might have some alternatives for crossovers there if that is attainable. It definitely does supply some challenges that they could do issues in a different way than we’ve got completed, however we’ll simply should see how that goes. And we’ll be scrappy. We will modify.
Along with Mary Wiseman voicing Tilly, Rekha Sharma will even be voicing Ellen Landry in a future episode of Age of Discovery. Are you able to say something about what her position within the story will probably be?
AR: Little or no. That is future launch that I do not even actually wanna concentrate on. I actually need to give attention to our upcoming fall launch of Age of Discovery, and we nonetheless even have an anniversary after that, however a while after that Rekha Sharma shall be becoming a member of us as Landry, and what I can say is just that we needed to only give her just a little historical past. Landry is a really hardened and not your typical Starfleet Officer. She’s type of a jerk, and that is not likely what you’d anticipate from a senior Starfleet Officer. even at conflict time. She’s not variety in any respect. And so we simply need to discover that. What led her to grow to be so hardened? We needed to elucidate a bit of little bit of what introduced her to be this type of person who she is. And I am actually enthusiastic about that story. It is going be a two-part, probably multi-part story that may proceed later sooner or later.
It was additionally introduced that the story content material in Star Trek On-line going again to its oldest missions is being reworked for when Age of Discovery releases. Are you able to inform me a bit about that course of and what it means for gamers?
AR: Nicely principally Star Trek On-line’s arising on being 9 years previous and has loads of previous content material in it. And our newer content material is simply means higher, proper? It’s simply that we have spent extra time on it, we have invested extra within the tales, invested extra within the cutscenes, we have invested extra within the actors. And I acquired uninterested in saying, every time somebody performed Star Trek On-line new for the primary time, I stated, “Oh, what are you playing?” “Oh, I’m playing this episode now.” “OK,” and I used to be like, “Just wait until you get to this. Just wait until you get to the endgame.” And I used to be like you already know what, we will not simply maintain saying, “New players, wait until you get to the good stuff.” So we simply need to simply type of convey the standard bar up.
We’ve loads of content material in Star Trek On-line. We pulled out lots of previous stuff. We pulled out stuff that did not look good or did not play nicely, wasn’t as much as par. However I nonetheless tried to maintain the integrity of our story arc. A whole lot of it’s nonetheless out there if yow will discover it. A few of it’s simply not going to be obtainable whereas we, we name it, remaster it, to erase the entire bit and convey it again as much as high quality. And in order that stuff will come again however will not be out there for some time.
There’s an entire arc that really has Leonard Nimoy in it, and the Devidian arc, we return into The Unique Collection period. It simply does not maintain up. A few of that stuff that we launched 9 years in the past, it is simply previous. The standard’s not there, however it’s a very good story arc. So we’re simply going to make that higher. We pulled it out for now.
We just lately revamped all of Deep Area 9, and it is actually show-accurate. There’s a lot of good new stuff in Star Trek On-line. We need to get our new gamers to see our new stuff as shortly as potential as a result of they deserve a very good Star Trek expertise. And that is the wonderful thing about a web-based recreation is that you could maintain enhancing it, proper? We’re not finished. We’re by no means accomplished. That is principally the motivation, ensuring that new gamers can are available on this Discovery expertise and see this model new, superb Discovery content material. We don’t need afterward to dump them off to nine-year-old content material. We need to have them all the time see excessive constancy stuff.
Mike, all the at present ongoing Star Trek comedian e-book tales are coming to their pure conclusions in December. Are you able to supply any hints or teases about what’s to return in 2019?
MJ: We’re undoubtedly planning on doing extra Star Trek: Discovery books. In reality, I am about prepared to start out scripting the subsequent one within the subsequent week. The plan is for it to be one other 40-page annual just like the Stamets story that we did, which acquired an excellent response. So it is good to have the ability to inform a single story with double the web page size of the typical concern.
And I can inform you that the plan proper now’s to inform the story that includes the entire Discovery crew as we all know and love them, and it is going to be extra of a up to date story when it comes to the current time of Discovery and not a lot a flashback like our different ones have been. In order that’s type of the teaser for the subsequent one.
After which, since they’re making season two proper now, we’re determining what the subsequent four-issue miniseries could possibly be after that. So, I feel we’re in all probability gonna stick with the plan of doing four-issue miniseries and annuals quite than simply an ongoing month-to-month as a result of that may be very onerous to tie into the present in a method that might make the comedian value it. So what we’ll do is we’ll do the annuals and four-issue miniseries and then we’ll acquire them into commerce paperbacks. So, very excited to maintain going. It is a huge galaxy and I do not assume Discovery’s going away any time quickly.
Star Trek On-line: Age of Discovery launches at the moment on PC, with console launches quickly to comply with.
Star Trek: Discovery – Age of Kahless, that includes the primary look of J’Ula, is now on sale as a graphic novel.
The primary season of Star Trek: Discovery may be streamed now on CBS All Entry.
Star Trek: Discovery Season Two is at present in manufacturing and will premiere on CBS All Entry on January 17, 2019.