Did Star Trek: Discovery Just Lay The Groundwork For A New Spinoff?

Tilly in Star Trek: Discovery
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Warning! The following contains spoilers from the Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 episode “All Is Possible.” Read at your own risk!

Star Trek: Discovery threw a shocker into its latest episode as Lieutenant Sylvia Tilly decided to leave the Discovery crew. Tilly once thought being captain was her biggest dream, but after a period of unease, coupled with a harrowing volunteer mission with a group of young cadets, she found her true calling. With Tilly now taking a position at the Starfleet Academy, I have to wonder if the Paramount+ series just laid the groundwork for yet another Trek spinoff. 

Earlier this year, Alex Kurtzman unleashed some teasy info about another Star Trek franchise entry being in development, with a focus on life within Starfleet Academy. Kurtzman hasn’t offered up much more information beyond that by way of confirming the project exists, so it’s pretty open-ended exactly what the new project may be. A key point of speculation is what era the series might take place during, so if my hunch that Star Trek: Discovery’s Season 4 episode served as a door-behind-the-backdoor pilot for it, then the answer would be in the 32nd century. More importantly, it seems as though Mary Wiseman, one of the original cast members of Discovery, could be a part of the series.

Of course, this is only speculation, and there’s no official indication that Star Trek: Discovery intentionally blazed the path for a future Starfleet Academy series. With that said, Mary Wiseman would only be the latest alumni of Discovery to help spearhead a new spinoff if this is the case. Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijn went on to helm Strange New Worlds after their Season 2 stint, and Michelle Yeoh is integral to the impending Section 31 spinoff, which is still in development. In any case, the precedent for organic expansion is there, which is what makes Tilly’s new job so intriguing. 

One exciting thing about the possibility of Mary Wiseman spearheading a Starfleet Academy series is that it would share a common timeline with Star Trek: Discovery. Having two ongoing Trek shows taking place within the same time frame would make it much easier to handle crossovers compared to others. To that end, it would provide more opportunities to expand the lore of the 32nd century, centering around a fractured universe trying to rebuild and unify after the catastrophic “Burn.” 

Star Trek: Discovery fans will miss Sylvia Tilly on the bridge, regardless of if she’s leaving the franchise for good, or merely going to a spinoff. Though we'll have some time to cope with this unexpected exit, as Mary Wiseman confirmed to Inverse that Tilly would return before the end of the season, which is great news. The Discovery crew is already juggling enough this season on top of trying to figure out how to respond to the devastating gravitational anomaly, so the last thing they needed was Tilly completely dropping off the map and being unavailable when such a galaxy-wide threat could happen.

Star Trek: Discovery streams on Paramount+ on Thursdays. Season 4 is one of the series’ best yet, so those that haven’t caught up yet, certainly need to do so heading into the holiday TV and movie season.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.