We know little about Doug Jones‘ alien character in Star Trek: Discovery, the alien Lt. Saru who first appeared on-camera in May’s series teaser trailer.
“My people were biologically determined,” says Saru in the teaser, “for one purpose alone: to sense the coming of death.”
What the heck does that mean? Well, today, Discovery producer Aaron Harberts and the man himself, Doug Jones, spoke to Entertainment Weekly and detailed a bit more background on Saru, who hails from a race known as the Kelpians.
From Harberts, with EW‘s James Hibbard elaborating:
What we can tell you that adds the context to that clip where he says he can sense the coming of death is that he comes from a planet where he’s a ‘prey species.’ He’s the first of his kind to make it to Starfleet.
On Saru’s planet, there’s a dominant predator species that constantly imperils another weaker species called Kelpiens. As part of the latter group, Saru has evolved with heightened survival instincts. Such prey species tend to have a cowardly reputation in the Federation, but Saru should not be underestimated.
Jones also revealed a bit more about Saru’s place among the crew of Starfleet officers with which he serves:
[Producers] said Saru is the Spock of the series, he’s the Data of the series — and those are beloved characters that I always connect with whenever I would watch the past incarnations of ‘Star Trek.’
On ‘Falling Skies,’ I played an alien species who came to Earth to help the humans fight back the bad aliens who’d taken over, and I was intelligent, well-spoken, had a lot of answers and science-y smart. Saru is all of those things and then some.
We’ll learn more about Saru and his people when Discovery debuts in September.