Exclusive: Anthony Rapp Talks About Changes For Stamets In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2

TrekMovie had a chance to speak to some of the cast and crew of Star Trek: Discovery at a press event at San Diego Comic-Con, including actor Anthony Rapp. Our brief chat focused on how at the end of the first season, Rapp’s character, Paul Stamets, found himself at a crossroads, with the loss of his partner and his invention of the spore drive. (Video of the interview is below the transcript)

Stamets is in flux

A lot changed for you at the end of the first season.

I’ll say.

So, is it over for the spore drive, and what does that mean for you and your job onboard the USS Discovery?

I can’t really say too many things, except that I am really grateful that the writers have given me the chance to really deal with the aftermath of everything that happened in season one. Because in season one, there was so much to get done with the war and everything, that there wasn’t much time to really process and deal with what had happened. Now, I get the chance to deal. So, there are some things that are in question about what it means for my future. It’s an exploration, which is really satisfying to get to play.

Do you have a new job? Or are you just being coy?

I’m not being coy, it is a bit in flux.

Stamets and Tilly sharing a moment of math triumph in Star Trek: Discovery season 2 trailer

Earning quiet, character moments

You mentioned quiet moments [at the press conference]. Would you say this season has more of those in-between moments, character moments? 

[Nods yes] I would say definitively, this season has many more of those quiet moments. And I’m really grateful for that. I think that we’ve earned them. I’m hoping, and certainly for us as we are playing them and reading these scripts, they feel very, very meaningful. And I hope that that reaches the audience in the way that we want it to.

A quiet moment in in the mess hall with Stamets, Culber and Tilly that was deleted from season 1, episode 7

Watch the interview

More from SDCC

There will be more exclusive interviews coming up from the Discovery press event. You may also want to check out our full panel report and the 8 things we learned from the press conference.

We have also been covering Star Trek merchandise and other Trek-related activities and panels from SDCC, with more on the way. Click here to see all our SDCC 2018 coverage.

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More quiet moments is definitely a good thing. Season 1 was frequently at its best when it realized that breathing is important. Which didn’t happen often enough.

That, and Michael smiling more. Throw another party :-)

I agree. But I often noticed that when the show did slow down to breath in season 1, many viewers complained about it being boring. I remember enjoying the scene when Burnham got out of bed on the mirror Shenzhou and her narration because I though it very nicely described how dark and heavy life was there. Later, a few online comments complained that the episode dragged there or came to a screeching halt. Glad some of us like breathing.

Really?! People didn’t like that? God, what a spoiled world we live in. Quiet moments like that let the characters sink into what they’re dealing with.

I also agree with Optimistic Doodle, more happy Michael. And more Tilly, I love that little go-getter.

“There’s a big difference between physics and biology, and simply the fact that both obey the quantum laws that govern all particles isn’t enough to sweep that under the rug. From a single cell to a human being, the difference between a living (biologically active) and non-living (biologically inactive) system, like the difference between a human and a cadaver, isn’t about the quantum state of particles. It’s about energy transport. If you stopped the flow of electrical energy in your brain, you’d still be the same, physically; biologically, however, you’d be very, very different. You’d have ceased to exist.

Panspermia is an intriguing and compelling hypothesis… But it is not spores or fungi that seeded life throughout the Universe. When we look at the evolution of life on Earth, fungi, plants, and animals are all latecomers; bacteria and other simplistic, prokaryotic organisms are the seeds from which all the other kingdoms arose. Fungi might be the closest animal relatives among kingdoms in biology, but they are not the seeds of life in the Universe. And despite the fact that fungi form complex underground networks, providing the seeds for the fertile humus that plants thrive in, that web is in no way connected to the cosmic web of matter and dark matter that binds the large-scale structure of the Universe together. Even if they did obey the same mathematical equations (they don’t), there’s not a physical connection there. These are independent systems…

[The spore drive] claims to work on the principle of quantum entanglement, but quantum entanglement does not allow for the instantaneous transfer of information from one place to another…” -Ethan Siegel

I expect the spore drive is necessary for the return of Culber. I am conflicted. I would like Culber back because he’s a stronger character, frankly, than Stamets. But equally I despised the spore drive rubbish.

Do we know which actor is playing Doctor Spock next season?

Actor playing Doctor Spock? No one, because there is no “Doctor” Spock on this show :)

If you mean the actor playing the adult Spock, they didn’t release his name yet.

I’m guessing that was sarcasm.

Lol! Sarcasm?

If “quiet moments” refers to building better characterization, I’m all for it.

The thing I like about the Spore Drive is that – if the showrunners respect canon at all – it will be discontinued by Kirk’s time. To me, Spore Drive is up there with transwarp beaming and super blood. It’s takes all tension out of a dire situation. “We’re in trouble? No problem, let’s just spore drive/transwarp beam out of here!”

Well, thus far they have only respected the canon that was necessary for their story and anything that conflicted with what they wanted to do went straight out the window.

But yes. It’s like giving characters control of time travel. There is no urgency any longer. Example… Kirk and Picard on Veridian III. Looks like they are about to lose the fight with Soren? No problem. Let the Nexus grab them and come back to try again. Or better yet, why not Picard just go back and grab Soren in 10 Forward? Or better still, why not go back further and warn his brother’s family about the fire?

I have thought that about Generations many, many times, ML. What a wasted opportunity that movie was, on so very many levels. Truly a shame for the franchise and the Kirk character.

Of course there are some who believe, I personally choose to not share it but I also see no reason to doubt this viewpoint, that the entire return to Veridian and everything else after that is all some elaborate Nexus fantasy for Picard. :)

Danpaine – There’s nothing stopping the Spore Drive from existing during TNG timeline on a Section 31 ship.

True. Fine point. Still too much of an easy ‘out’ of sticky situations for my tastes, though.

If the show were about Star Trek (the journey), I would believe him. Since practically everything revolves around one character and the insistence upon the audience that they must care about said character, any insight into Rapp’s character is inconsequential. As it stands, his character in the Burnhamverse only serves to prop up “the one”. Too bad.

Quiet moments are important for making characters feel real and complex and multi-dimensional. Can’t wait to see how all that rolls out in Season 2. *goes back to Season 1 marathon*

Bring on the quiet moments!

Quiet is good.

Loud booms are good. (Well, maybe not for my neighbors.)

Variety is REALLY good.