Star Trek can’t fall into the crossover trap that the Arrowerse.
Star Trek has a huge season coming up for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. This season will resolve several standing plotlines, like the arrest of Una Chin-Riley, the departure of La’an Noonien Singh, and just how Captain Christoper Pike get his hair to be so quaffed. Well, ok, the last one won’t likely be answered, but the rest of them will be.
Those aren’t the only big hooks for the new season, however, as the show will have a crossover episode with Lower Decks, that will see the characters and actors appear in live-action for the first time. It’s a big episode and it’s getting fans hyped.
Akiva Goldsman, the show’s co-showrunner, is very excited about the crossover and hopes to do more, telling ComicBook.com;
"I think our rule is always it can’t just be fanservice – which is not to say that we don’t love servicing fans, but there also has to be a real storytelling get. Of which I think there are many."
And while crossovers are great, they’re better in moderation.
Star Trek needs to be disciplined toward restricting crossovers with active properties
Star Trek has done crossovers before and they’ve always been kept in moderation. Voyager, for instance, had two crossovers with Deep Space Nine that I can remember off the top of my head. The first was the Voyager pilot where the titular ship disembarked from the space station to start the series, and a later Deep Space Nine episode that saw the Doctor’s actor, Rober Picardo, arrive on DS9 as Lewis Zimmerman to work with Julian Bashir.
Those were roughly two years apart, and that would be really all the crossover that Voyager would do with active series. They’d bring on past stars, sure, but most of the appearances were from characters of finished shows like George Takei appearing as Hikaru Sulu.
These episodes worked, due to how rare they were.
Yet, if you were to look at shows from the CW’s Arrowverse, you’d see that they did crossovers twice a season, at least. They drove the gimmick into the ground to the point that it lost its luster after a while.
If Trek follows the same concept, then these unique things that get fans excited, like the Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks crossover, won’t have the same effect. That crossover will do big numbers, but if you abuse the gimmick of doing crossovers, you’re going to get to the point of diminishing returns on the concept, and therefore hurting possible ratings in the future.
Being strict with the number of crossovers you do will only make sure that when they do happen, they’re events that people tune into.