TrekMovie’s crew was in attendance of today’s Star Trek: Discovery panel at Comic-Con in San Diego and we reported out a few highlights earlier in the day. We can now report in more detail on what was said during the panel.
Cast members Sonequa Martin-Green (Burnham), Doug Jones (Saru), Shazad Latif (Tyler), Mary Wiseman (Tilly), Anthony Rapp (Stamets), Wilson Cruz (Culber), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell) and Anson Mount (Pike) were there for the Discovery panel. Executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin joined them. The panel was moderated by guest star Tig Notaro, who will appear as Chief Engineer Reno in Season 2.
UPDATE: Video of panel now available
“Short Treks” To Tide Fans Over Until Season 2 In January 2019
Executive producer Alex Kurtzman announced that there will be 4 mini-episodes of 10-15 minutes while we wait for Season 2 in early 2019. They know fans are eager to get more Trek content. He spoke of the long turnaround for the visual effects and post production (8 months) as one of the reasons why Season 2 won’t be until January and not this Fall. So instead this fall we’ll get a new Short Trek each month leading up to the January 2019 premiere of Season 2. Kurtzman says “there’s a lot of surprises coming up.”
The Hollywood Reporter got a few more details than the panel initially provided. Rainn Wilson will return as Harry Mudd, he will also direct his episode. Aldis Hodge (Leverage) will play a new character named Craft, who finds himself the only human on board a deserted ship. Another will explore Saru’s backstory as the first Kelpien to join Starfleet, and the final episode will be about Tilly’s journey aboard the USS Discovery and her friendship with an unlikely partner.
Season 2 “guaranteed” to answer canon questions
One of the hottest topics about Star Trek: Discovery has been how it fits within the canon of Star Trek. The producers have said many times it is part of the prime timeline and at SDCC on Friday, Kurtzman elaborated on how the second season is guaranteed to answer questions about the fit with canon:
We know we owe you a lot of answers how Discovery connects to canon, and you will get a lot of those answers this season. Guaranteed. You’re just not going to get them the way you expect them. A lot of what the first season was about was about the crew finding each other, and coming together, and forming the foundation of a family. Now they really are a family. And so much of what’s will happen over the course of season 2 is going to test them constantly. And they’re even going to have to make choices between their real family and their starship family. So a lot of family pain is going to be a major part of it. As you may have seen in the trailer, there are these mysterious signals that appear. The signals are very significant, and form a lot of the investigative trail of why the Enterprise is here, and where they’re heading. And it will lead to a lot of surprises.
The introduction of the USS Enterprise and Captain Pike has raised the obvious question about how Discovery will deal with Spock. one of the most important characters in the franchise. Spock’s name was mentioned twice in the trailer which kicked off the panel (and is now available online), however it appears he isn’t on board the USS Enterprise, but he is somehow linked with the mystery that brought Pike on board.
While we haven’t seen him yet, Kurtzman confirmed that will change, saying “Yes, you will be seeing Spock this season.” Of course, that in-and-of-itself doesn’t mean we’ll see an adult Spock. We know a young Spock will appear in flashbacks thanks to Jonathan Frakes dropping a tease a few months ago.
Number One confirmed, to be played by Rebecca Romijn
One of the next questions that pops to people’s minds is, if we Pike, will see his first officer, known as Number One, who was originally played by Majel Barrett.
Anson Mount, the new captain Pike, teased the crowd by saying:
We’re going to get to meet the original Number One, originally played by Majel Barett Roddenberry, she was also the voice of the computer on the ship, our new Number One, I can’t tell you who it is, but her initials are, Rebecca Romijn.
Romijn was actually at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, but she was doing press for the DC animated film The Death of Superman.
While she couldn’t attend the panel, Romijn sent out a tweet talking about how she was honored to be playing Number One. The tweet shows her hands holding a USS Enterprise badge, and it appears she is in costume in a USS Enterprise command gold uniform.
Just call me “Number One!” Honored to play such an iconic character in #StarTrek Canon originally played by the First Lady of Star Trek, Majel Barrett-Roddeberry! #StarTrekDiscovery pic.twitter.com/rdpWOxBYAk
— Rebecca Romijn (@RebeccaRomijn) July 20, 2018
L’Rell is dealing with the Klingon patriarchy
L’Rell actress Mary Chieffo spoke about where L’Rell is in Season 2:
She is trying to be the best chancellor she can be of this very patriarchal Klingon Empire. And there are male Klingons who maybe aren’t so happy with that, but she’s doing her best to uphold T’Kuvma’s mission. And with that also comes a fun new Chancellor esthetic which I’m a huge fan of. I hope you guys will be too. And I think there’s a lot of L’Rell that was shrouded in mystery in the first season, because the audience didn’t know so much of what my plan was … I’m really excited for the fans to be able to see more of her side of the story, and some of the secrets she’s been harboring for everyone including Tyler, and I think there are a lot to be learned from this.
Culmets is back, but how?
As we’ve heard a few times recently, we know Culber isn’t totally gone from Stamets’ life. We just don’t know in what way yet. But Wilson Cruz excitedly confirmed for the room:
I’ll be back, I won’t be telling you how. But you know, we’re still reveling in the fact that this gay love has not only saved the world, but the universe. All of the universes. So you’re welcome.
Tilly’s ambition faces challenges
Mary Wiseman was asked about the eager newly commissioned ensign Tilly’s plan to get to command a starship.
She’s going to keep trying to be a captain, keep working toward that goal, and she’s gonna not do great for a while… She’s gonna face obstacles and you know, not do a great job…
Saru goes home
Doug Jones spoke about playing Saru:
In the 30 some years of my career, wearing all kinds of different prosthetic makeups, and all sorts of characters and creatures from fantasyland to animal-land, and whatever else, this has been a true joy for me because I get to be a Kelpien, which has never been seen in a Star Trek universe before, and I get to develop this species from the ground up. So, it’s been a true joy for me.
Paying a visit to Saru’s homeworld:
We also get to visit Saru’s home planet this year. Season 1 set him up as the prey species; who is the predator? All these questions might come into play when we go to my home planet.
Mount is one of us
Anson Mount who is new to the cast this season proclaimed his love for Star Trek: The Original Series.
I grew up with it in syndication. By the time I was ten I’d seen every episode of Star Trek. And that was one of our go-to make believe games, playing Star Trek. And so, every day, every day, we’re going to do episode 6, and I still, every day I walk on that set, and I have to pinch myself. It is so surreal to be on Star Trek. Me? Wow.
He also said he enjoyed working with Rebecca Romijn as his Number One. He also spoke about meeting Jeffrey Hunter’s son Chris who was in attendance of the panel. Chris said that he thinks he father would have approved of the casting.
More Season 2 bits
Anthony Rapp teased the crowd saying: “There’s fun stuff about red shirts this year.”
Rapp praised guest star Tig Notaro’s work: “Wait til you hear Tig do some space talk. With flashing lights and darkness.”
Kurtzman, when asked about easter eggs, said: “Yes, there definitely will be. Obviously, we’re syncing up to canon here, so you’ll see quite a few.”
Tilly, at some point, will have to crawl her way “out of a sticky cocoon.” Notaro mentioned watching her film the scene.
An audience member asked Kurtzman if we are going to see Federation Lorca, and his answer was a noncommittal “Uh … maybe.”
More Discovery to come
There was a special press event following the big Hall H panel that TrekMovie also attended, so keep checking TrekMovie for an overview of the press event and exclusive video interviews.
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.