After last night’s climactic finale which brought the first season of Star Trek: Discovery to a close, the production team behind the series took a spin around the media universe to discuss everything about the final moments “Will You Take My Hand?,” and what that surprise may mean for Season 2 when the show returns next year.
The episode concluded ended with the arrival of one of the most iconic space vessels in history, the Constitution-class USS Enterprise, under the command of Captain Pike, revamped and visually updated to fit to the Star Trek: Discovery aesthetic.
As producer Alex Kurtzman revealed first on After Trek, the entire series has been building to this moment.
Kurtzman elaborated in an interview with Rotten Tomatoes today, hinting towards what already-known story points may come out of this fateful meeting of Federation vessels in Season 2.
The whole season was reverse-engineered from an ending that we had when we broke the season. When you’re breaking a season of television, along the way, you hit a certain point where you realize that you need to start thinking about what’s going to happen in season 2.
Having the Enterprise show up in season 2 was the result of a lot of things. Obviously, the fans have a lot of questions about how we tie into canon, how Burnham and her half-brother’s relationship will play out, and those are all questions that we know an answer to.
More on the Enterprise from Kurtzman, to Entertainment Weekly, noting that “the show is still called ‘Discovery’… not ‘Enterprise,'” but also hinting towards what we’ll actually see when the show — and the Enterprise — returns next season, intimating that we’ll see some sort of hybrid between TOS and Discovery aesthetics on the inside of the ship as well.
People have a lot of questions about how we’re adhering to canon. The arrival of the Enterprise suggests they’re going to begin to get answers. Those answers will not come immediately, they will trickle out over the course of the season.
Here’s what I can tell you: The show is still called Discovery. The show is not called Enterprise. So figuring out a way for the Enterprise to work in that framework is the task of our story-breaking for season 2 right now.
Obviously, they’re going to be wondering who’s on board the Enterprise. I think there will be some surprises there. We will maintain consistency with canon, but there will be surprises.
Here’s what I’ll say: We have to stay consistent design-wise with the Enterprise, obviously we can’t mess around with that. That being said, the technology and the look of the Discovery is so far past TOS merely as a function of the time in which these [shows were made].
Our goal is to be interpretive in a way that feels it’s protective of what the Enterprise would look like if, in theory, if we were to build any Enterprise sets. But if we built it like it looked in The Original Series, there would be a massive visual disconnect.
Figuring out a way to bridge that gap would theoretically be the work of a production designer — were there to be any designs like that.
Producer Aaron Harberts also addressed the subject, first with Inverse, where he tried to tamp down any fan anxiety the new look of the Enterprise that might be growing online.
There were so many questions as to how we were going to reconcile Discovery with canon, and we wanted to rip that band-aid off and have our crew encounter the Enterprise. We wanted to put the fans minds’ at ease that Discovery truly does have a place in this timeline.
One thing I have learned is that I haven’t seen Star Trek fans be able to agree on anything. Some Star Trek fans are going to love the new design and some are going to hate it. But what people need to realize is that we’ve got visual artists, production designers, and our visual effects people, that are fans on staff.
I just hope peoples’ ire or emotions don’t get in the way of enjoying the show. You have to embrace where you’re at now.
Harberts also confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the arrival of Star Trek‘s most famous ship was not part of former showrunner Bryan Fuller’s contributions to the series:
Bryan wasn’t involved with this part. It definitely came later in the evolution. As we were charting out this season and what we wanted to do next season, we thought, ‘Let’s tell this story now.’
Kurtzman elaborated on the Spock-Burnham relationship — or lack thereof — with Entertainment Weekly, and what the arrival of Spock’s current Starfleet posting may mean for next year.
It was always the plan [not to answer that this season]. At Comic-Con fans asked about why Spock has never spoken of Michael Burnham and I said, “Please trust us, we understand that bill is due, and you’ll get that answer.”
When it comes to the topic of actually casting one more version of Trek‘s most famous Vulcan, the producers had this to say about the idea.
Kurtzman, to Variety:
[The] promise of the Enterprise holds the answers to a lot of those questions, including Spock’s relationship with his half-sister who he’s never mentioned. Which does not necessarily mean you’re going to see Spock, just that we owe an answer to that question.”
Harberts, to IGN:
You know, that is an iconic character, and two very gifted actors have portrayed him. And if one were to do it, one would have to do it correctly, and it would have to fit into… the tone of our show, and more importantly, would really have to fit in nicely with whatever journey Michael Burnham is going on.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, however, Harberts seems to draw a fairly firm line that there’s no current plans to get a third person under the pointed ears right now.
We certainly aren’t confirming that we’re even going to introduce Spock and we certainly are not casting that role, either. We live a lot in memory and flashback. The center of our show is always Michael Burnham.
[W]e realize how incredible Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto’s performances were and what [Star Trek movie director] J.J. Abrams and the original series were able to pull off with that character.
Finding another actor that could even come close to what Leonard Nimoy did with the original portrayal, we’d never want to go down that road.
We’ll find out what the team decides to do as Star Trek: Discovery moves into Season 2, projected to arrive in early 2019.