Doug Jones Says Saru Is Not Ready (Yet) To Be Made Captain On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

When the first season of Star Trek: Discovery wrapped up it had Doug Jones’ Saru still in command of the USS Discovery as acting captain, but the ship was on its way to Vulcan to pick up an as yet unnamed new captain. Who this new captain might be is something we explored in detail in a previous article, but one of the possibilities was that somehow the situation will change and Saru could remain in command.

Doug Jones at the 2018 Oscars

If you are a fan hoping for that long shot possibility, Doug Jones may offer some disappointment. In a new interview with ScreenRant the actor says he is not ready to see Saru take the big chair:

“I think the character of Saru, I mean he very much wants to be captain. He’s been on that deck for so long in the command track and as the first of his species to have gone through Starfleet Academy and have come out as a high ranking officer on a Starship, he’s the first of his kind to ever even come close to this, so he’s got a lot to prove and he’s got a lot to say. But, me personally, as Doug Jones the fan of Star Trek, I think the dynamic of that character works very well as a first officer; as second fiddle to a captain. And that’s me personally.”

When Saru was initially introduced in the pilot of Discovery, he was still a lieutenant commander and chief science officer of the USS Shenzhou under the command of Captain Phillipa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). After the destruction of that ship he was transferred to the USS Discovery and as of the season finale Saru had only held the rank of commander and position of first officer for less than a year. So, it is true there is more for him to explore before becoming the commanding officer of a starship.

Saru was a Lt. Commander at the beginning of the series

While Jones feels Saru needs to spend some more time as first officer, he still notes the character has ambition. He talked to ScreenRant more about his thoughts on Saru’s path in the second season:

“I think [Saru will have] the captain’s chair one day. Early on, we’re only about to start filming season 2, there’s still a lot of room ahead of us. So I think for now, he still has more to learn in the leadership department and the courage department under a captain who’s been there and done that a lot, a seasoned captain.”

Who that new captain is remains a mystery. And as Michael Burnham has been restored to the rank of commander, it will be interesting to see if the sort of sibling rivalry between the two returns for the second season, because she has her eye on the big chair too.

(Acting) Captain Saru in the Season One finale


Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on the Space Channel and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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I think he’s ready. Kirk got the chair early in his career and things worked out pretty well. The captain of the Titanic had decades of experience. How’d that work out? Go for it!

You’re comparing tide pods and condoms.

That was hilarious. Well played!

Holy hell did I get drunk last night…

Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters. #DarkUniverse

It’s because he’s Kelpian! God damn racist show runners! The Captain doesn’t have to be a human! It’s time Star Trek had an alien Captain as the lead! Whether that’s an Andorian, Vulcan, Klingon etc! #kelpianlivesmatter #klm

How can you be racist to a race that doesn’t exist? Lol


I’m baffled how Saru is in command of anyone. People would be requesting transfers out from under him on a daily basis.

Racist Bigot.

I’m not a racist bigot. I’m THE racist bigot.

If Saru was captain, there wont be any exploring strange new worlds, he will sense the coming of death on every world they come across.
unless he sends the red shirts down and also captains don’t go on away missions so he wont have to worry about that.

I’m joking really, I think saru is one of the best characters.

The problem is, captains get things done by taking risks and often ignoring their gut sense of danger. A ship under Saru would always take the safe option, the safe assignments. The safe path. It would be a great ship to serve on if you wanted to collect your Starfleet pension but not if you want to gain any kind of distinction.

All the interesting problem-solving and conflict-resolution would be done by other ships. Sure, they’d also have much higher mortality rates but that’s how it works. Saru’s ship would, over time, become crewed by the most timid Starfleet had to offer (everyone else would request transfers off).

You didn’t watch the Mirror Arc did you? Saru showed daring, will, the ability to rise above fear, to command his ship and crew commendably in a crisis. It was Saru who said “We will not accept a no win scenario”, on top of that he maintained his poise while speaking to someone he knew literally wanted to eat him. Even responding with snark & sarcasm. He broke L’Rell, a feat no one else could manage.

I was going to say you can hamfistedly change how a character behaves and call it a “character arc” if you want, but you wouldn’t be fooling anyone. Based on your comment, though, I guess I’m wrong…

Clearly you didn’t bother watching or you’d not be making moronic comments like that.

Trek has a long history of sacrificing character development for the needs of the plot. Discovery is proudly carrying on the tradition.

The captain MUST be White!

Why are there no black Kelpians?

Shilliam Wanter,

Final warning for trolling

– The Management

comments to

No Shuttle Pod #47 on April 7th? – Dangit!

I think Saru developed into a commendable commanding officer by the end of the first season. I’m racking my brains trying to think of which previously-mentioned Star Trek character they’re going to have as captain instead of him. I don’t think my Captain Scotty theory holds water.

This is pre-tos, Scotty is possibly still in the Academy.

Possibly yes. But iirc, Scotty’s age is never given in TOS so there’s no reason he couldn’t be on the Enterprise 10 years previously. I don’t think an engineer was shown in The Cage – and if Scotty did have a stint as captain of Discovery it would explain why Scotty was such a natural commander when he had to take command of the Enterprise in TOS. Maybe Scotty did something horrific while in command of the disco and he was demoted or retired back to the rank of Lt.Cdr and his former position of chief engineer on the Enterprise? And Scotty is the only engineer in Star Trek ever to advance to the rank of captain (or maybe he was re-promoted to the rank of captain???). But seriously, I know it’s not going to be Scotty. But inkeeping with the reference-heavy nature of DSC it’s likely that the new captain will be someone we’ve heard of. Probably Number One. Or T’Pau. Or Soval (which would be awesome and satisfy my ENT fetish). Or maybe even Sarek (they’re going to Vulcan for the new captain, remember). Or Counselor McKennah. Or Yeoman Colt. Remember also that just because we *haven’t* seen something in Trek before (or after) DSC doesn’t mean it didn’t happen! :)

NO NO not Saru as the Captain. Just does not seem right at all

Captain Burnham might be cliche, but i like it. A captain who was found guilty of mutiny as a first officer.

Oh god no. At least Lorca and Saru had/have some kind of charisma.

Yeah Burnham is terrible (and no it’s not because she’s black or a woman, she’s just a crap actress and character)