Star Trek: Discovery update – Klingons, Vulcans, Kelpiens, humans

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The galaxy in the Star Trek prequel Discovery becomes a bit more clear after watching the CBS All Access show’s Comic-Con trailer and absorbing some revelations from the panel.

“The Klingon Empire has been in disarray for generations.” — Sarek of Vulcan

Discovery apparently explores the aftermath of a disastrous encounter with the Klingon Empire (or, at least, elements of it unlike what we’ve seen before, who have been “waiting for someone worthy” of their attention before striking out).

Family and duty

Sonequa Martin-Green’s character, Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burnham, is actually Spock’s adopted sister, raised by the half-Vulcan officer’s parents Sarek (James Frain) and Amanda.

What this means for the larger continuity is unclear, but the production/writing crew promised that it would all fall under the existing canon of the original Star Trek universe.

We know Spock had a full-Vulcan half-brother, Sybok, and that Sarek also took in a Romulan war refugee, Saavik, and raised her while Spock sponsored her admission to Starfleet. (The trailer hints that Burnham’s adoption by Sarek was a deliverance from violence of some kind.)

Burnham’s career path will be a part of the show as well as her Vulcan upbringing, as we follow for the first time a Trek series with a non-captain main character.

New frontiers …

Anthony Rapp (the scientist Lt. Stamets) and Wilson Cruz (Dr. Culber) will play the 50-year-old TV franchise’s first on-screen same-sex couple. (Not counting Sulu and his partner in 2016’s Star Trek Beyond film and Dax’s host-swapping in Deep Space Nine.)

Odd walks and ends …
  • Doug Jones’ Kelpien Lt. Saru has hooves. In costume he stands 6 feet 8 inches tall and and has to balance on the balls of his feet while walking.
  • Jeff Russo (Fargo, Legion) has composed the Discovery theme.
  • Also: “You’re mad.” “I’m Mudd.” Rainn Wilson is going to be very interesting as the classic series’ recurring roguish character.
  • We’ve got some looks at the proto-Original Series hardware like phasers and communicators over the last week or so, and the trailer shows off lots of Starfleet ships that are very much in line with what we’ve seen in the prequel Enterprise as well as the big-screen Kelvin timeline’s Star Trek Beyond, which followed up on some of that.

It’s clear this series will at least try to honor its past while charting out a new future for sci-fi social commentary.

Star Trek: Discovery premiers Sept. 24 on CBS and lives on the network’s All Access over-the-top channel.

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