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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.