Sonequa Martin-Green Talks ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season Two Character (and Spock) Possibilities

In a new interview with Deadline, Star Trek: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green spoke enthusiastically about working on the second season, which began production last month, while doing her best to avoid any spoilers. The actress indicated there would be more time in season two to focus on the characters, now that the Klingon war story has wrapped up.

We’ve been talking a lot gearing up for Season 2, about that story we’re going to tell, and how we’re going to continue, and how we’re going to jump off, because the war chapter has come to a close. What happens now? What happens now that the war is over? Because a lot of what happened to Michael Burnham and all the characters wasn’t able to be delved into because there just wasn’t time, because we were dealing with this war. Wrestling with all of these things, it’s like you have to sort of put it aside because of the immediacy of the moment. I’m thrilled to see what happens when the chips fall and things are done now. Now what are we going to do? How are we going to look at ourselves in the mirror? How are we going to look at each other?

Sonequa Martin-Green at CBS Upfront event in New York on Wednesday

Of course one of the biggest questions about the second season is if it will see the appearance of Spock. It is known that he serves on board the USS Enterprise under Captain Pike, who will be featured in the second season (played by Anson Mount). And we know that Michael Burnham will visit what appear to be Spock’s quarters on the Enterprise. When Deadline asked if Burnham will face her adoptive brother, the actress gave the following tantalizing response:

You know, Aaron Harberts, he said after the finale, on After Trek, that Season 2 was going to be about that line between science and faith. He also said that there’s going to be a lot of family dynamic. It is the Enterprise in that shot. We all know who is on the Enterprise. You see Sarek and Burnham look at each other, and there you have it.

Make of that what you will.

Martin-Green also discussed why Spock never mentioned his adoptive sister Michael Before, reminding that Alex Kurtzman has promised “There will be an explanation.” She also delved into how the show ties into the canon of Star Trek, saying:

That’s what happens when you come into this time period where you’re couched between two iterations. There’s a lot of those things where you can only go so far, or you have to find loops or whatever, as it surfaces in the story. We are so canon-specific and canon-compliant, and the moments where we are not, there is a reason for it.

Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham on board the USS Enterprise, as seen from Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 production start promo

More Disco Bits: Captain Pike actor loves his memes, retro Disco, and more

Here are a few more links and tweets for the week to keep you up to speed on all things Discovery.

Mount’s memes of the week

Isaacs still trolling as evil Captain Lorca

My favorite documented alien. #EraserheadLives #BestWithGarlic #StarTrekDiscovery

A post shared by Jason Isaacs (@therealjasonisaacs) on

Fan art of the week: USS Discovery reimagined as ’60s design

Articles of interest

IndieWire: ‘Star Trek Discovery’: How They Designed the Mirror Universe and the Klingon World: Interview with production designer Tamara Deverell.

Current Affairs: THE DISMAL FRONTIER: What is Star Trek without the socialism?

Ex Astris Scientia: Database of Star Trek: Discovery Federation Ship Classes.

 


Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space 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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Danpaine

Very cautiously hopeful, after reading her comments. I just really wish they’d leave Spock out of it. They keep saying ‘there will be explanations.’ Looking forward to seeing if said explanations are believable and if they really surface.

I know I’m dating myself, but I like the Discovery fan art much better than the real thing.

Here’s to hoping season two delivers, big time. Season one left me pretty uninspired.

El Chup

Agree on all counts. Whenshe said they try to be canon compliant I had to laugh. You’d think they’d learn their lesson by now that nobody buys that line.

Danpaine

I really had to read that line of hers twice. Canon-compliant? Seriously?

Isabella

Depends on how they define canon.

The revived series of Will and grace, season 9 is canon yet it clashes with the series 8 finale, the old series finale. So the writers just removed the final episode from canon.
The same thing with Rosanne.

The writers of discovery may be using a different version of canon to the rest of us, which will be eventually explained. So it may perfectly be in sync with their version of canon, which is different to our version of canon.

Byron 1701

In other words, they’re just making it up as they go along :p

Radroz

In other words, that’s the exact definition of “writers.”

ML31

In other words, they will ignore canon where it flies in the face of something they want to do.

Curious Cadet

they will ignore canon where it flies in the face of something they want to do.
–ML31

Exactly where have they ignored canon (other than art direction)?

And to that point, when did that ever stop any previous episode or film installment of Trek?

ML31

Puh-lease. This question has been answered ad nauseum. If you still feel the need to ask after it being answered over and over for months then there really is no need to go into it again.

Curious Cadet

This question has been answered ad nauseum.
–ML31

Except this is how it’s usually answered. I’ve yet to see a clear violation of canon stated, other than the general complaint that it doesn’t look like like it was built for a 1960s TV series.

ML31

No, that is NOT how it is usually answered. These things have been pointed out for months. The producers know and claim the issues will be worked out in the future. If a newbie asked I’d probably suck it up and type a bunch out again. But you are a regular. You have seen all the answers to that question already. If you are still asking there is no point to continuing as it seems you are only interested in starting an argument.

PS… Nobody wants it to look like it was built for 1960’s TV. Most just want it to look like it belongs in the established world they say they are a part of. That’s a tired and worthless argument, too.

Curious Cadet

The producers know and claim the issues will be worked out in the future
–ML31

But that’s just it, isn’t it? People’s interpretations of what the Producer’s are claiming. And it all hinges on visual canon, not strict story and character canon. Again, I have not seen any canon violations that can’t be cleverly reconciled, other than art direction choices, and the Producers are not likely referencing those changes. People keep claiming this, but what they really mean is that they don’t like the art direction and they think the producers are promising to explain why it looks different within the visual canon they expect. And that’s not what they’re saying at all.

Disinvited

Perhaps this:

http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/

will help? That site contains transcriptions of the onscreen dialogs from all the Trek episodes and movies from which its canon is derived.

For example, if you type the following in Google’s search box

“four hundred” “STAR TREK” site:www.chakoteya.net

Google will retrieve transcripts for STAR TREK that contains the phrase “four hundred”.

Marja

I really wish they had never said it in the first place. Because I really like the show, and see so many comments complaining about canon violations.

Look at TOS. Then the TOS films. Look at Next Gen. Violations of ‘canon’ right and left. IT CHANGED AS STAR TREK EVOLVED.

Boring discussion, but fans will be fans. I’ll enjoy my opinion and y’all enjoy yours.

Curious Cadet

@Marja — I’m with you. So far, I don’t really see any major conflicts with canon, other than the visual reboot which seems to top the complaints. But it would have been better had they simply not addressed it, and let the fans fight among themselves (as usual ;-).

Holden

I think the difference is that, with the other ones, canon evolved as the franchise moved forward in time . . . kinda like real life. But DISC decided to go backwards, which presents a different set of canon questions than shows like TNG and DS9 that actually moved forward.

I just wish they would’ve set DISC in the future and not the past. Would have avoided so many of these “boring” debates and yet still giving us effectively the promising same Trek show.

ML31

And again, if the show were better than it was the canon talk would decrease quite a bit. I think fans mostly want a good Trek show. The show was mediocre at best and because of that it opens itself up to canon talk.

Isabella

Your not wrong the 60s design is so much better.

Only explanations that works is alternate timeline, parallel dimension or it’s all fake because it’s an alien illusion.

Danpaine

Agreed, Isabella.

ML31

I’m mostly on board with that as well.

James

It fits with the Kelvin timeline perfectly well. It shares many of the design cues. For me, nothing is Canon unless it’s on screen. Writing staff can say this show is Prime, but until it’s shown to be on screen, it’s a mystery. It’s near impossible to reconcile this show with TOS, there are discrepancies that go way beyond mere window dressing. Looking forward to season 2!

Curious Cadet

@James — curious which canon discrepancies you think go way beyond mere window dressing?

Isabella

Yes it’s a lot closer to the kelvin timeline than the prime. Maybe it’s the original kelvin timeline before the time travel of Nero and Spock.
Even the Klingons of Discovery look vast more like those in into darkness than Prime versions.

Great! It IS the Kelvin timeline before Nero’s intervention. It really is. Ask Leonard Nimoy. And since you are at peace with that assessment, we can now move along from this tiresome debate about canon. DIscovery is canon because it is on screen. TOS is canon because it is on screen. The Kelvin movies are canon because they are on screen. Deal with it.

Isabella

People are allowed to state their opinion and views and there is nothing you can do about it.

If people want to talk about canon or set designs or anything else they wish to write about they are free to do so.

No one forced you to comment.
If you don’t want to write about canon thats perfectly fine. But you have no right to try and shut down other people views and opinions as along as they are not violating the terms and conditions of the website.

I surely don’t want to shut down other people’s views. I only wish some of them didn’t feel compelled to say the same things over and over again.

If thinking Discovery is the Kelvin timeline minus Nero does the trick, go for it! Embrace it! You don’t need the producers to tell you that. You can make up your own mind.

My understanding is that you can’t shut down my views about your views, by the same principle that gives you the right to repeat your views ad nauseam. :-)

Isabella

Your comment was trying to get me to stop saying my opinion. There is a difference between critiquing an opinion or view and trying to stop it being expressed.

Anyone can comment how ever they like, but there is no need to target the person making the point.

Why can’t people repeat themselves?

If someone decides to keep posting the same thing as long as it is not offensive or violating the terms of the website or trolling, what’s the problem?

Load of people repeat themselves on this website.

HN4

Nothing from the 60s looks better. FACT!

GQMF

Agree. Please leave Spock out of this. Flesh out Pike’s Number One instead!

Curious Cadet

@GQMF — Agreed. Let’s use this opportunity to find out more about Number One. However, they’ve opened the door to Michael being Spock’s foster sister, and since we’re getting Sarek’s and Amanda’s perspective, it would be nice to see how she fits in with Spock’s (and to a lesser extent his half-brother Sybok, and for that matter shedding more on their estranged relationship (unless of course you don’t consider Sybok canon ;-).

Corylea

I agree; I hope Discovery never shows us Spock. I adore Spock, but no one can play him like Mr. Nimoy, and I don’t want the show messing with my fond memories of the real one.

DataMat

I feel underwhelmed by Discovery too; Maybe I am getting too old at nearly 26?

Discovery needs to find it’s own identity and niche, like TNG did, like DS9. TNG was adventure of the week stories with an over arcing universe of outside villains. DS9 delved into the deeper mythology/religious aspects of a universe largely established by TNG.

I loved season one. I don’t get the hate at all and I’m pumped for season two, Spock or no Spock. Things have to move on guys and they are with STD brilliantly.

Marja

Agreed. I look forward to it.

Markm

Looking forward to it also. I wish they would give an air date. $50 says November and we will get a few episodes (probably 3 or so). Then a wait till January. Just an educated estimate.

Marja

I thought I saw “October” somewhere, in my many travels on the Interwebz. Sorry I can’t give a source.

November, with a winter hiatus again, is a pretty good bet.

They just started filming in mid-April, so they’re not ready to set a date. Often timetables slip as they start filming a new season, so they don’t want to commit to anything.

We expect they’ll give a release timeframe and a trailer at San Diego Comic-Con this year. Similar to last year.

Mirror Galt

Are Discovery personnel contractually obligated to say “iteration” in every interview? Anyhow, who’s excited to see our Disco writers tackle that line between science and faith? What could possibly go wrong? As long as they remember that there are no shortcuts on the path to righteousness … not even one.

G66

Agreed. Why even go there? Perhaps they will do episodes dealing with when something happens that a person or people of faith might consider a miracle or act of God and is scientifically unexplainable (even though scientifically explainable could still be an act of God) but makes a person of science that can’t or refuses to understand why people have faith question his lack of faith/belief. Or maybe someone losing then regaining his/her faith. If done right it could be compelling but I’m not confident these current writers can pull it off without pushing one side or the other.

Isabella

What are the chances that “There will be an explanation” or “… a reason for it” discovery will be like shows like Lost or battlestar and just end up explaning nothing.

Marja

Read some canonista fanfic or something, Isabella. It may ease your misery.

Isabella

What misery?

It’s people like you who are miserable. Going around negativity targeting people who make comments you don’t like.

AdAstraPerAspera

People like Marja and myself are baffled at how people like you can whine and complain about a television show endlessly?

Do you not have anything better to do? Is there not something else productive that you can fill your time with? Is this really how you want people to look at you: as a militant fangirl who cant accept anything new?

Isabella

You know it only takes people seconds to comment on this website? It’s not something that time consuming. If it’s time consuming for you, your doing it wrong and that’s your problem not mine.

The actual problem is with people like you and Marja who don’t want to hear different opinions or views to you their own.
Your not just defenders of discovery because you like the show, that would be one thing.
Instead you target belittle and bully people who dare to criticize the show.

When you have to attack the person making the statement rather than the statement itself, you admit that you have no way of dealing with the statement.
Personal attacks are always what people who cannot intellectual respond engage in.

ML31

“When you have to attack the person making the statement rather than the statement itself, you admit that you have no way of dealing with the statement.”

That is a standard MO for a few people who cannot deal with differing opinions. It used to bother me a great deal. Now I just accept it and move on.

dynamichael

Spock never mentioned he had a half-brother, either, until they were taken hostage by him…

Curious Cadet

@dynamichael — indeed, and I would love it if they take this prequel opportunity to tell us more about him.

The River Temarc

Spock never even mentioned his *parents* — his famous parents — until they showed up on the Enterprise in “Journey to Babel.” This despite the fact he and Kirk visited Vulcan *for his wedding* earlier in the season.

A reluctance to talk about family has been a hallmark of the Spock character from the very beginning, and DISCO is 100% consistent with that.

TokyoGaijin

SPOCK: “Technically, you would be correct, I do not have a brother.”
KIRK: “There, there, ya’see?”
SPOCK: “I have a half-brother.”
KIRK: ….”I gotta sit down.”
SPOCK: “And an adoptive sister.”
KIRK: “Luckily, SHE isn’t here to take us hostage. Who is she?”
SPOCK: “Michael Burhnam.”
KIRK: “Awe, shit! HER?! You’re kidding…. y’know what, forget it! Go over there and electrocute yourself on the forcefield, Spock.”

…How I imagine that conversation would go if Spock mentioned Burnham in STV…

Frank Mondana

There wasn’t all this hand-wringing when Trek 5 revealed a (half)brother to Spock. The sister question is taking on the kind of zeal usually reserved for theological argument over the Bible. I’ve been around since TOS and some of these recent arguments over Trek canon(a word usually used in theology) just seem way too over the top. Every previous series and film have committed the sin of canon discrepancy and even massive changes to the Roddenberry Rules. Hell, TOS made a huge deal over the Prime Directive then threw it out with wild abandon. TNG changed the looks of known aliens, especially the Romulans, just as TMP changed the Klingons. These changes happened because the money was there to improve on the past. Even Trek Technology was overdone and got plot-amnesia long before the Kelvinverse films made the transporter even more fantasy based. TOS cured aging and disease. Other times it has kept people in suspension for decades and even swapped dimensions and alternate realities. Why does anyone with this tech bother mining by hand anymore? Just beam out what you need since scanning tech can pick out a flea from 10 or so A.U. Just because the words “Heisenberg Compensator” were used doesn’t make overcoming uncertainty a certainty. The transporter itself has always leaned more into fantasy than sci-fi. Remember that it has to occur at the quantum level to work. A few particles put back in the wrong place might find a freshly beamed Kirk thinking he’s a mollusk. I drone on because there’s too much angst in fandom over crap that should fall into the suspension of disbelief. Trek is a fun space opera that, like all good sci-fi, can touch on issues within society to make people think and ponder stuff without becoming a drunken brawl.… Read more »

James

There was a big fuss regarding Sybok. Fans hated it and Roddenberry even said the film wasn’t Canon!

Markm

James,

There was some uproar about it. Pretty tepid. But the movie disappointed so badly that it wasn’t the first topic of discussion. Gene Roddenberry protested a little about it, but he still cashed his check.

He didn’t like Star Trek 2 either.

Marja

I remember fussing about it. Then I said, “Oh, right, Shatner. Nevermind” and moved on.

AdAstraPerAspera

At least you moved on, Marja. Most of the haters on here can’t do that.

Byron 1701

Well, I apologise if I’m treading on toes here, but canon in the theological sense is also a reference to a text. In Rod(denberry) we trust ;)
The biggest change, as you say, happened with TOS to TMP, particularly with the Klingons and that never seemed to need an explanation until DS9’s Trials and Tribbleations.
I think the recent example of Rogue One to be a good one regarding visual canon. The production team did a *brilliant* job of recreating the look of 1977 Star Wars universe tech without negatively impacting on storytelling. Do the same with TOS era tech and invent an in-canon reason why technology took a back step… I don’t know, like a 3rd World War…?! I know, I know, there’s the “Enterprise” problem, but we do have a Romulan War get out clause. Or, set it post-Voyager and there’s no problem, sky’s the limit!

Curious Cadet

@Byron 1701 — Berman’s group made a huge mistake in fan pandering with episodes like Trials and Tribbleations, by hanging a mirror on the visual discrepancies. It was a fun, nostalgic trip down memory lane, the same with Scotty’s no “A, B, C or D” comment in Relics, and then “In A Mirror Darkly”. They doubled down with the Augments story arc in ENT, by providing an explanation for a problem they created in DS9. Now these things are canon. Star Wars worked because it has a more timeless look to it. And frankly, Star Wars had a lot of more sophisticated scifi that came after TOS, built on a higher budget, with better materials, and was less dependent on the look of the era in which it was produced. The Star Wars team had the benefit of Space 1999 and 2001 ASO before it. I’ve been watching some Space 1999 on Tubi and mand, other than the bell-bottoms and platform shoes, that show stands the test of time visually. Star Wars used a lot of those same designers. As a result, not much has to be changed to tell a story in a realistic looking environment. Add to that, this is the continuing story with the same actors from the previous films, so dramatic visual reboots wouldn’t be appropriate. And again, they aren’t really needed the way TOS needs them. TFA is relying 100% on nostalgia. DISC is not. The gamble with DISC is alienating that die-hard geek base who have spent the last 50 years learning technical manuals like the real Captain Kirk is going to call them someday to help him get through the chompers. I’m happy they’ve rebooted the look of this era. I’m not looking for a trip down memory lane, and it helps place… Read more »

Byron 1701

Cracking post, thanks for the reply. Didn’t know that re: the Space 1999 designers but makes sense, did you see the fantastic documentary on the making of Star Wars https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quRtCcieNm8 ?

It’s a shame I can’t convey what my mind’s eye sees when I say that I wish they’d just be loyal to the general idea of what came before but still be futuristic… The best I can do is say TOS but sleeker, if that makes sense…

Future technology should always seem like magic to us.

ML31

Byron, I think I see what you are getting at and I have been saying it for some time. They can still modernize or update the look so long as it still invokes the feel of the already established look and feel of the era they claim to be in. From what I have seen of their version of Pike’s Enterprise, it seems like they could have done it if they wanted to. They just didn’t want to. They gambled their show would be so good people wouldn’t be complaining about it. Their gamble failed.

Byron 1701

Regarding the nostalgia element of Trials & Tribbleations, Relics and In A Mirror Darkly, I guess the Berman crew didn’t think that they’d ever set a future series in the 23rd Century pilot interlude…

Marja

I agree, Curious. There are a few things in “Star Wars” that seem dated to me [that creaky ol’ Death Star trope, for one] but they had the luxury of designing the universe from the ground up, not having to rely on a piss-poor TV budget and crank out a 52-minute show every week for 26 weeks. TOS did the best they could, and I certainly applaud the ship and set designers for the time in which, and the budget with which, they produced compelling and futuristic dramascapes. But I certainly have no wish to return to those good ol’ days of teeny weeny mini-dresses with matching velour panties, or PJs-type uniforms for the men, or toggle switches, or jellybean colored buttons. I do like the leather uniform boots, that’s just me tho. When I want to reminisce about the lavender walls and the green or blue backgrounds, I watch some TOS in all its Brought to You In Living Color! When I want to see the gleaming white ships, or Nimoy Spock smirking quietly, or Shat Kirk and De Bones bantering, or Nichols Uhura communicating like a Boss, I watch TOS and recall the days of the 1960s when I was growing up, a kid worried about the war, assassinations and civil rights, and so much more. Star Trek answered some of my questions and set some examples about how to be in this bad ol’ world. I love it for that, and I have loved it for 50 years. But I don’t want to see TOS lovingly reproduced. I mean, it’s nice, and you can watch Star Trek Continues for that, they do a bang-up job. Or re-watch TOS. But please, just because the producers of DISCO foolishly decided to lock themselves into a prequel time period [a… Read more »

Markm

Agreed!

ML31

The thing is, the concept of the unmentioned adoptive sister is not really the problem. At least for me it isn’t. It was ill advised but I don’t see it as a canon violation as precedent was indeed set in TFF. For me the bigger problem is the quality of the show. The show was sub par so it is easier to pick apart the more obvious canon issues. If the show was better (and this has been said before) there would be less discussion about them.

Luke Montgomery

Can’t wait to see Spock! 🖖🏾 Love that fan-made version of the Discovery. It’s better than the real design used on the show itself. Excited for season 2

Tillsy

Canon compliant?!?! Look, I can give Discovery a break for pretty much everything… it is 2018 not 1960 after all. Everything. Even the Discovery computer being even smarter than TNG computers. But their repeated use of site-to-site transporters than won’t be invented for another 100 years…. that unravels the whole thing like noodles :(

Markm

Tillsy,

I have been pretty easy on complaining about discovery, but that is a fair point. The tech is futuristic as is. They didn’t have to go there. Good point.

Curious Cadet

@markm — site-to-site was definitely possible, as stated in Day of the Dove. It doesn’t make any sense that it wouldn’t, given that it was somehow safer to transport someone to an unknown planet without a receiving platform, but not within a ship which dimensions are exactingly understood.

That said, I thought it overused, but I never had a problem with it being in conflict with canon.

“A Piece of the Action” has site to site transport.
It is not really a *new* technology. It is just a beam in and a beam out with buffering, but not materializing on the pad. You may think for some reason it was less used in the 23rd century because of risks, or even just following procedures established during the less reliable era of transporters.

Fred Javelina

That was between two sites on a planet. Intraship beaming (as in Day of the Dove) was the stated problem as the transporter wasn’t designed to focus in the other direction. The idea of ‘beaming directly to sickbay’ might have embedded you in a wall. But that was one episode, and we have many others showing it to work just fine, so maybe Day of the Dove is just a canon glitch or a plot MacGuffin.

Curious Cadet

@Fred — the devil is in the details in “Day of the Dove”. You’re inferring a lot of extra information by saying:

the stated problem as the transporter wasn’t designed to focus in the other direction.

All that is said about it is this exchange:

KIRK: Spock. Intra-ship beaming from one section to another. It’s possible.
SPOCK: It has rarely been done because of the danger involved. Pinpoint accuracy is required. If the transportee should materialise inside a solid object, a deck or wall …
SCOTT: Even if it could work, she may be leading you into a trap!

So really all that is said, is that it is rarely done. We have no idea why. Spock could be referring exclusively to Constitution class starships because of their construction. And while Scotty sounds like he’s doubtful, he’s also behving erratically, having previously admitted being under control of the entity, and (an admitted exaggerator) definitely looking for any argument to dissuade Kirk. Once again, as with most excellent writers, they say as little as possible to convey the idea, so as not to limit themselves in the future. And keep in mind that immediately after discussing how dangerous this is, Kirk is allowed to put the controls on automatic and beam himself! So clearly, once they took a look at the situation on their own ship, they decided it wasn’t so dangerous after all.

Curious Cadet

@Tillsy —

But their repeated use of site-to-site transporters than won’t be invented for another 100 years….

Unfortunately no. The first instance of site-to-site beaming was used in Chosen Realm episode of ENT — a hundred years earlier than DISC. And Kirk and Spock clearly confirm it’s been done by TOS. So, widely used? Maybe not. But definitely invented and in use for over 200 years before the TNG era.

patrick

Why is the lack of mention of Burnham’s existence an issue? No one knew about Sybok until Sybok appeared in Trek V… Never a peep, yet there he was. So Vulcans don’t talk much about their family. That’s canon.

AdAstraPerAspera

Because Trek fans love to complain and are unable to accept any form of deviation from their own expectations and are obsessed with canon (while ignoring the fact that canon has been violated multiple times in the past).

DonDonP1

Cool! That 1960s version of “Discovey” is as awesome as “Discovery’s” version of “Enterprise” NCC-1701.

kmart

Made me think (not in a good way) of the historical document exteriors glimpsed in GALAXY QUEST.

Gregs

Whenever I watch anything Star Trek I Look at it as an artists representation of an event in the whole timeline. Complaining about Discovery’s visuals not being cannon is like having a problem with Daniel Day-Lewis playing Abraham Lincoln. You have to use your imagination folks. Mr. Lincoln wasn’t available to star as himself. Whoever is in charge of casting has a huge responsibility. But I hope they do recast Spock. Can’t do much worse than Quinto.

JAGT

No, the analogy doesn’t quite work. The example you mentioned is an artist’s impression of historical fact/a historical person. And since it’s historical, we’re easy to let our willing suspension of disbelief fill in the gaps: We know from photographs what Lincoln looked like, we know that he was born in Kentucky, spent his youth in Indiana, worked in Illinois etc. – but of course we also know that he’s been dead for well over a century. So we watch this actor, we know his name is Daniel Day-Lewis, and we applaud him for basically being “the next best thing” to put it bluntly.
And even in such a case, this suspension of disbelief knows its limits – imagine if someone was to portray Lincoln as speaking with a thick Brooklin accent. People would at least say: “But why?”
Discovery, on the other hand, is an artist’s (i.e. a committee-like group of artists) representation of another artist’s (=group of artists) work. And if the liberties taken here are too great, what you get would be akin to someone unveiling his version of Picasso’s Guernica – albeit pretending that it is still Picasso’s painting – only this time around it’s all blue! Because it “looks nicer” and maybe because Picasso’s “blue period” – at least the term – is known through pop culture, so “why not throw it in there?”
Not saying that that’s the exact route that Discovery is taking, but I hope the analogy served to clarify why some people tend to get upset about design changes and the like.

Isabella

Excellently explained.

JAGT

It’s “Brooklyn” of course. I don’t know what crossed my mind there. While linguists can be a bit peculiar in their naming of accents and dialects, usually choosing historic spellings of the places they’re named after, the same doesn’t apply here.

Curious Cadet

@JAGT — while I agree the original analogy was flawed, you still can’t compare DISC to historical docudramas. History is just that. Depicting it differently than it unfolded is contrary to the actual record. Star Trek is fiction. It always has been fiction, and probably always will be. Therefore, any visual representation of that fiction is a product of the time it was created in, the budget constraints, and materials available, not to mention what the audience of the time would find acceptable.

Suggesting that the visual representation of original fiction is somehow as concrete as that of an historical event is giving a fictional story, that takes place 300 years in the future, way too much relative weight. Again, trying to relate this to Picasso, an historical figure with a well understood artistic expression, is also distorting the narrative. As long as Trek is fiction, the visual interpretation is fair game to the generation that produces it, even as it bears no resemblance to a visual presentation of similar content over 50 years ago. What ties one iteration to another are the characters, and the stories, and to a lesser degree the general universe in which it takes place. Stipulating original design elements as if they were historical facts within that universe, makes no sense.

JAGT

you still can’t compare DISC to historical docudramas

But that’s what I said! A work of art, a fictional universe, an art-universe, an “artificial universe” – that’s basically just different ways of putting it. And I wasn’t talking about the historical figure Picasso, but rather a specific work by that historical figure.

Curious Cadet

@JAGT — “but rather a specific work by that historical figure.” Yes, but that’s a known historical work of art. Representing it differently and trying to pass it off as the same work is a very different proposition from taking the fictional idea of Star Trek and telling new stories with new technology. The analogy with a historical static work of art doesn’t really work, because they aren’t merely duplicating the original work of art with different colors, they’re creating a whole new work of art in the style of the original, with modern interpretations. Nobody thinks it’s an original Picasso — but they recognize the style of Picasso. Is it better or worse than the original? Well like all art, it’s in the eye of the beholder. It all depends on what the artist says with those tools, and the message they convey. You’re also conflating the look of Star Trek in any given incarnation, with the art itself. Movies and TV shows are a part of the era and culture they’re created within, both look and language, and the result of the collaboration of many artists. Again, the message of Star Trek, as conveyed by the story and characters is not the look of the show. Modern artists use the tools at their disposal to make the message of their art more accessible to an audience. Nothing illustrates this better than modern Shakespeare productions. Most Shakespeare is not performed in period costumes, in an outdoor arena lit by torches. Many productions use modern dress, and modern technology to convey the message in a more identifiable way. Many plays are edited to eliminate moments that were applicable to the time they were performed, and offensive language is often omitted. Some even rewrite the story entirely in modern English, or… Read more »

Curious Cadet

In a more Apples-to-apples comparison — imagine if Star Trek had been created during the silent movie era in the early 1900s — I’m thinking of Méliès “A Trip to the Moon” here. If the same look were applied to Star Trek, and we were asked to accept that look from 1902 was canon, much less the concepts of space and science, and had to be adhered to in all modern productions, audiences would laugh at the efforts. The look of TOS is far more subtle, but it’s equally unacceptable by modern standards. If the Méliès movie were made today, most of the story and characters could easily be retained even as the look of the film was completely redesigned. And that’s Star Trek. It’s not about the way the sets looked in the 1960s, it’s about the story and message being conveyed.

ML31

JAGT, that is a very well done explanation of why many are bothered with the look and feel of the STD Trek universe. The thing is, I get it, you get it, a number of others will get it. But those who blindly defend STD no matter what will never get it or admit to understanding where we are coming from with this viewpoint.

Mirror Galt

There was a recent commenter on this site who was insisting only the intolerant and bigoted could dare object to Discovery. The above link “Current Affairs: THE DISMAL FRONTIER” serves as a perceptive rejoinder. The analysis, written by a leftist woman, lays bare the odious infamy of Disco. “Every other episode of Discovery contains a pointless murder… This is a hellishly depressing portrayal of diversity: a world where everyone, regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, is permitted to embody the same old oppressive roles and has a roughly equal chance of being brutally murdered in space. This constant slaughter is not only evidence of Discovery’s utterly tedious and conventional fascination with violence, but also of the extent to which it views its characters as disposable plot elements… Discovery is only interested in Burnham and maybe four other characters; everyone else is window dressing, spectators at the feast. This doesn’t read like an egalitarian socialist society; even narratively, a handful of people matter much more than everyone else. Burnham, the main character, matters most of all. She’s not simply the protagonist, but the axis around which the entire plot revolves. Everyone in Discovery agrees: since Burnham killed the Klingon messiah (more on THAT nonsense in a bit), the war is entirely her fault, which is a little bit like saying Franz Ferdinand’s assassin is solely responsible for WWI. And because the war is Burnham’s fault, she’s the Only One Who Can Stop It. She’s also the only one who can figure out a puzzle or blow up a ship or swordfight an enemy or whatever else the plot requires this week. It doesn’t matter that she frequently makes bad choices because she’s emotionally overwhelmed; no matter what happens to Burnham, she’s on deck next week for another exhausting mission… The Discovery… Read more »

AdAstraPerAspera

The irony is that you, Galt, are intolerant and bigoted. Your inane snark contains rampant sexism because you have spent considerable time belittling the female members of the show’s production staff- often referring to Gretchen J. Berg as “Gretchy”, reducing her to a childish name and invalidating her. You did something similiar to the lead production designer. Any male on the staff gets a free pass from you from this belittling and name calling…. besides Aaron Harberts, a gay man. Coincidence? I think not.

Even this flowerly little diatribe (which is an absolute crock of BS, by the way) contains anti-female subtext. Why is it important to refer to somebody as a “leftist woman”? What does their gender have to do with anything? It was clearly meant in a derogatory fashion- displaying to everyone once more that you are intolerant of women.

Malaka Poutsis

The thing I don’t get, is why she thinks she’s acting on Star Trek. There hasn’t been a Star Trek series since Enterprise ended.

JAGT

Don’t be an instigator. There’s justified criticism and there’s mindless snark.

AdAstraPerAspera

What a mature, well thought out response. Congratulations.

Is the bandwagon comfortable enough for you? Would you like a pillow?

kmart

Don’t you mean, since Enterprise BEGAN? (or since DS9 ended.)

LJ (was LJ)

I enjoyed season one, for what it was, but felt everything was rushed. Two seasons’ worth of story in 15 episodes. That being said, I also feel most Trek series are guilty of wasting opportunities. TNG with the Romulans (we’re back!), the Borg, and – worst of all, in my view, The Chase ( that could and should have been the premise for an entire show, yet it was squandered in 43 minutes); VOY should have been BSG; ENT needed to shed phasers, transporters and the rest.

With DSC I feel Sonequa is wasted. Instead of this new character of Burnham, imagine an existing character going through the story of descent, discovery, and redemption. Giving her the agency she always deserved. Burnham should have been Uhura. Just set the series a few years later, to account for Uhura’s age in TOS. And lose the Sarek family angle. Sonequa would have been a great Nyota Uhura.

skyjedi

They need to create a canon reason for Michael being Spock’s sister. Why? they just pretended Sybok never happened and he was never mentioned again after star trek V.

kmart

Can you think of any reason Sybok would come up in TUC?

Michael

*Spockibilities

Kevin Lee

I couldn’t have enjoyed the Current Affairs article more.

ML31

“We are so canon-specific and canon-compliant, and the moments where we are not, there is a reason for it.”

This sort of thing is said over and over. And they keep pushing the reason for it back. “We’ll tell you later…” is the standard response. It feels like they don’t really have an answer.