At San Diego Comic-Con, TrekMovie spoke to co-showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg along with executive producer Heather Kadin about Star Trek: Discovery.
The series is called Discovery for a reason
Gretchen Berg, asked about what allegorical stories from today Discovery will deal with:
I feel like one of the themes we are exploring is universal and is a lesson I feel like as human beings we have to learn over and over again – is you think you know ‘the other,’ but you really don’t. You have to sort of cognitively re-frame or break or deviate from your own point of view to really understand. You have to forget what you knew before.
One of the big steps in that journey is how to understand yourself. You have to understand yourself before you can better see others. The show is called “Discovery” and it is called “Discovery” for a reason, because our characters are on a journey.
Klingons aren’t the Russians anymore
Aaron Harberts chimed in on the subject of allegories to talk about the Klingons, who were originally conceived in the 1960’s as a stand-in for the Soviet Union and gradually evolved into friends by the late 80’s (for Star Trek: The Next Generation) and 90’s (notably in Star Trek VI), as the Cold War ended:
We are also talking about not only war, but something that is really bubbling up in the United States right now, isolationism. Our country has so many different philosophies. Do we extend a hand? Do we shut it down? And that is also two viewpoints that are being expressed. The Klingons are not necessarily the Russians anymore. The Klingons – I think we will see far more in, frankly, people in the United States and different factions in the United States.
And that is not to say they are bad, but what we really wanted to do too is understand two differing points of view and really explore it. And I think when people look at the Klingons – I frankly love what they represent. Not in terms necessarily of all the messaging, but in terms of learning about them and learning why they are who they are and making sure they aren’t just the enemy.
And then finding a way to come together. How do we bring everyone back together? What do we do? What does it take? It is a big challenge for us, but that is what season one is all about.
Burnham’s fall from grace
Heather Kadin also chimed in:
And also we get to explore the importance of acceptance too. Because as Michael Burnham has this fall from grace and there are characters around her that are meeting her after the fact. They are making assumptions an assumption about her based on what they heard as opposed to being able to take her at face value
I think Mary Wiseman’s character [Ensign Tilly who revealed to TrekMovie that she is Burnham’s roommate on the U.S.S. Discovery] plays a huge role in that, in just the eagerness to be a friend and accepting. That is the message that we all need.
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