Doug Jones On Saru’s Family In ‘Star Trek: Short Treks’ And ‘Discovery’ Season Two

Doug Jones’ character Saru quickly became a fan favorite. His outsider status made him intriguing to viewers–carrying on a tradition started by Spock–and we’re finally going to learn more about his early life tomorrow in the Short Treks episode “The Brightest Star,” as well as in an upcoming Discovery season two episode that focuses on Saru. In support of his mini-episode, Jones spoke with Deadline Hollywood and Canada’s Space. Here are some highlights.

Warning: Spoilers for Short Treks and Discovery Season 2 ahead.

His Short Treks episode is a flashback

Well it is a flashback; it’s an origin story of how Saru leaves his primitive society and joins the high-tech society of Starfleet. That’s a huge jump to make, so those questions are answered on how that ever happened.

A curious Saru peers from behind the shadows in “The Brightest Star” trailer.

Kelpiens are long-lived but their numbers are culled periodically

My people are prey on our planet and I think that denotes that there must be a predator species. How does that play out? What’s that relationship? Well, this short film will answer those questions, you’ll get to see all that. This is going back in time to see my roots and my start. So you’ll get to see a younger Saru, maybe in my teenage years. I look very much the same because Kelpien’s live a long time. You’ll see the beauty of my home planet. It looks like a vacation spot. But there’s the dichotomy of this whole situation and it’s slightly disturbing. There’s the beautiful brochure-looking place but at the same time there’s the horrific thing of the culling of our people. When a certain time comes along ever so often, our predator species will collect a few of us. That’s where it’s our time. They take us away to our death. So that’s very disturbing and why does that happen? And does it need to happen? Why is it necessary?

Saru and his fellow Kelpiens farm the seas of Kaminar in “The Brightest Star”

Saru is unique in asking what’s out there

Saru as a teenager is the only Kelpien that seems to have a curiosity that goes beyond everyone else in his village. He’s the one who wants to ask, “Why?” and wants to look at the sky and wonder what else is beyond out there. And ask the question: “There has to be a purpose that’s more than just this? Just farming kelp from the sea and surviving and waiting for our time to die?” There has to be more. So I think that type of question is one that’s relevant to everybody. Whether it’s young teenagers out there that’s wondering what’s ahead for them in this world, we’ve all been through that.

Saru looks to the sky in the trailer for “The Brightest Star”

We’ll meet Saru’s father and sister

The presence of Saru’s sister, Siranna, had been teased back in October at New York Comic Con, but we’re also going to see his father too.

Dad is played by a wonderful actor, Robert [Verlaque], and my sister is played by Hannah Spear, who is a very tall, lanky supermodel-type actress who did a fantastic job. So there’s a family dynamic there that you’ll see. A father/son relationship and a brother/sister relationship that kind of carries over as to why I’ve connected with Sonequa Martin-Green’s character, Michael Burnham, on the regular series as a sister figure because of the world I left behind and how she represents family to me from the starship.

Michael Burnham and Saru share a moment in the Discovery season two trailer.

Saru will be learning a lot from Pike on Discovery

…as you’ve seen in previews for Season 2, Captain Pike from the Enterprise will join us for a time. What’s good about that is that Saru, I feel, has an awful lot to learn. And I would like to learn that from a nurturing captain, one like Captain Georgiou that we lost early on. That was unfortunate, and he misses her, and he wanted to be a first officer under a captain like that. Unfortunately he got Lorca instead. So now, with Captain Pike, he has a chance to find a strong leader in him and a nurturer with a gentle hand and a good sense of humour.

A flustered Saru shakes Captain Pike’s hand in the Discovery season two “first look” trailer


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

Star Trek: Short Treks is available in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV.

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

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Easily the most interesting original character on the show, imo. And Anson Mount is one of the main reasons I’ll be tuning in for a few weeks next year.

I’m surprised that there has not been a article from about John DF Black’s passing. He was a major contributor during TOS’s 1st season as a writer.

Perhaps they don’t know yet? Your comment is how I’m finding out about it.

We know, check out the TM social media accounts. We tend to post things like that on social media.

An entire article about his passing isn’t needed. They talked about it on social media, which is sufficient.

As hard as this may be to believe, some people have little use for social media (I am one such person) so this is the first I’ve read of his passing. Really sorry to be finding this out. RIP Mr. Black.

Re: No use for social media. That’s partly why we keep our Twitter feed in the side bar on our home page. So folks who don’t normally look can see what’s going by on our feed.

And thanks for that. I do have a Twitter account but full disclosure, I RARELY go there for anything. Too much garbage to sift through. I find much of social media to be more irritating than anything else. But then, I am over a certain age. :)

Oh I agree. I have Twitter simply to follow people I’m interested in.

Yes, Matt. Thank you for that. I’m on Facebook, but that’s it. No Twitter for me.

TM is on Facebook (and Instagram) too, we generally cross post things there, but Twitter is our main social media platform.

I do see that y’all use Facebook but I did not see a post regarding Black’s passing on that platform either and was surprised that there was not more coverage. It’s not a big deal just an observation. He was an interesting character behind the scenes and wrote landmark episodes like “The Naked Time.”

For some reason this short hasn’t interested me much but after reading Jones thoughts I am a bit more excited now. This one looks and sounds a lot more ambitious than the last two in the sense we are getting a real story and development of a known character. And its going to be real interesting to see how he left his planet. It sounds like they are still more primitive and not a warp class society, so curious to see how that happens.

After watching it, tuns out my excitement was justified. A well done little story IMO and it did explain how and why he left. I won’t get into spoilers here, but really liked how they did it.

Wait, so they’re called Kelpians because they harvest kelp? If only they harvested comedy.

Kelp-iens. I can’t figure out why they did that, but I love your comment, Jack!


But… The name of the planet does not need to reflect the dominant race on it. Earth – Humans. Qo’nos – Klingons.

Technically, Earth is named Terra, and humans are known as Terrans.

True, but that is not the commonly used term. Like Luna or Sol. I did think about that when writing my post but dismissed it for that reason.

Aka /Chronos/… simply named for a ridiculous line in the ridiculous film The Undiscovered County…

I hope that Saru and Burnham do not become ‘intimate’…

I can’t even mentally imagine how that could happen. (In the physical sense)Are the two species even compatible?

Any news on Short Treks coming to Netflix for those of us in Europe?

Nope. Sorry :-/

You can also find them on Dailymotion.

Thanks much for that, Calastir.

Good tip Calastir! I didn’t even think to check there.

Reminds me of the theme of TMP and V’Ger. As Spock articulates, “Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?”