It’s been months of buildup, but Star Trek: Discovery‘s big day at San Diego Comic-Con has arrived – and the new series took Ballroom 20 at SDCC by storm this afternoon!
The 45-minute panel opened with a brand-new look at the upcoming series, showcasing a trailer full of new footage from Discovery, including our first live look at Jason Isaac’s character (Captain Gabriel Lorca of the USS Discovery), along with our first glimpse of Rainn Wilson’s Harry Mudd.
— Star Trek: Discovery (@StarTrekNetflix) July 22, 2017
After first hitting the Discovery prop, art, and costume gallery earlier in the day, Discovery cast members Sonequa Martin-Green (Burnham), Jason Isaacs (Lorca), Anthony Rapp (Stamets), Doug Jones (Saru), Shazad Latif (Tyler), and Mary Wiseman (Tilly) joined Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd) on stage to discuss the series and answer fan questions submitted prior to the event.
— Jarrod Schooley (@TheBigBengal) July 22, 2017
Also joining the crew are producers Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg, as well as Alex Kurtzman.
Martin-Green reveled that she first got the call confirming she won the role of Michael Burnham while she was traveling in Buenos Aries, describing her reaction as one where she both “screamed, then cried” after learning the news.
— Adam Drosin (@adamdrosin) July 22, 2017
On the changes to, producer Alex Kurtzman reiterated that the production and writing team are “all huge fans of the original series and obviously want to be accurate… we are within canon. It’s a little bit larger… in scale but we are very consistent with our origins.”
Regarding Gabriel Lorca, actor Jason Issacs admitted that his character is probably more “fucked up” than previous captains, and that he’s not trying to either look or sound like some of his Star Trek predecessors in the command chair.
— Marcie (@Marciegee) July 22, 2017
Martin-Green reiterated previous comments about diversity being a central tenant of Star Trek, with Martin-Green saying that if viewers “say they love the legacy of Star Trek but don’t love [the diversity], then you’ve missed it. I encourage you to come on that journey with us.”
— Tracy Brown (@tracycbrown) July 22, 2017
Producer Gretchen Berg said that the Klingon cast will be speaking Klingonese in the snew series, and that “you’ll have to get out your glasses, you will be reading” – meaning lots of subtitles for the warrior race! She continued, “we’ve gone to great lengths to be accurate with our Klingon language.”
She did also go on to say that they don’t want Klingons to be portrayed as “thugs of the universe” and that the team is working to “expand the culture” of the species. “The Klingons have their own pride, interests & talents,” said Berg.
Doug Jones next spoke about his character Lt. Commander Saru, who as a Kelpian stands nearly seven feet tall on set – and has not just an alien face, but wears hooves for feet! (Guess he doesn’t get some of those cool Discovery uniform boots we saw at the costume gallery!)
— TGVIA (@TGVIA) July 22, 2017
Aaron Harberts described the series central storyline as trying to show how conflict can be solved by peace; even though some parties may “make mistakes along the way” – and how in the end, it’s about “understanding each other.”
— 4YE @ SDCC (@4_Y_E) July 22, 2017
Lt. Paul Stamets – a.k.a. actor Anthony Rapp – spoke next, revelaing that “love interest and partner” on the series will be Dr. Hugh Culber, played by actor Wilson Cruz, last seen in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why earlier this year. “I play the first openly gay character in the history of TV Star Trek,” Rapp commented, and “I’m very proud of that – and that he’s a scientist.”
Finally, revealing some backstory on Michael Burnham, Martin-Green detailed that her character’s parents were killed during her childhood, which lead to Sarek (James Frain) taking her up as a surrogate father – and then connected her with Michelle Yeoh’s Capt. Georgiou as she grew older.
Frain spoke about his inheritance of the Sarek role, previously played by both Mark Lenard and Ben Cross (in Trek ’09), finding it to be a “fascinating and complex” role – portraying a Vulcan now forced to raise a fully-human child.
Not to mention Sybok never coming up until ST:V (and then never being mentioned again).
— Claire Little (@isolinearchick) July 22, 2017
So this means that yes, Spock has a human, adopted sister we’ve never heard about — the producers say to “stick with [them],” and that this new family dynamic will be explained in the upcoming series. “You’ll see where it’s going,” says Alex Kurtzman, “but we are staying consistent with canon.”
— Star Trek (@StarTrek) July 22, 2017
Making a surprise announcement on the panel is news that composer Jeff Russo — best known at present for his work on FX’s Fargo and Legion — will be taking over the music for Star Trek: Discovery, and that the team behind the series has already started to put together the show’s title sequence.
Alex Kurtzman continued to implore fans to stick with the series throughout its first year, promising that there will be “big reveals at several points though the course of season… a lot of surprises along the way.”
Martin-Green leaned heavily on the team spirit found in her castmates, staying quite humble as the “lead” of the series:
“It’s always been so important to me that we value the story & the show & each other & realize we are all doing this together." –@SonequaMG
— Star Trek: Discovery (@startrekcbs) July 22, 2017
"It expands beyond us to you-you are a part of this-we are all in this together. That's been the most beautiful thing to see.” –@SonequaMG
— Star Trek: Discovery (@startrekcbs) July 22, 2017
“I promise you that we passionately believe in what we are doing,” said Anthony Rapp. “We want to do something meaningful, and honor what came before [Discovery].”
Stay tuned as we hit the press room at San Diego Comic-Con and speak with the show’s cast and crew!