On Sunday the cast and creatives from Star Trek: Discovery held a panel at PaleyFest Los Angeles (see our recap). While there, TrekMovie had a chance to talk with actor Doug Jones about the changes Saru has gone through during the second season and what they mean for his fut.
Following Saru going through vahar’ai, how are you as an actor performing differently? Do you see the new Saru as a different character?
This has been a tough one for me, as I didn’t know this was coming. The writers surprised me with this evolution. So, I had so defined Saru as a fear-based species who has overcome it and is very prim, very proper, very respectful of authority, all those things. Now that I have no fear, that did change things up a little, but I didn’t want to make it overt. I want to play him still as a gentleman. He is still refined, he has manners. I don’t want him to lose that. That is part of his charm to me.
Is there a dark side to the new Saru, maybe a dangerous side?
A lot of fans have been speculating about this, saying, “I wonder what’s happening, what’s he capable of now?” Darker? No. But without fear—think of it, if any of us had no fear whatsoever, we’d have to keep ourselves in check, wouldn’t we? And me standing up to Captain Pike, like I did in an earlier episode, and last week I stood up to Captain Leland of Section 31, telling him: “You mess with my family, I mess with you” kind of a moment. Those are moments that Saru would not have had before. So that’s an evolution that’s okay, because he is doing it for the right reasons.
What can you tell us about the final four episodes?
From my perspective, when I read the scripts and when I played in them and saw where we were headed and where the story was going all I could do is [agape and mouthing “Oh my god!”]. Right? That’s all I can say.
With Anson Mount not part of season three, are you ready as an actor, and is Saru ready as a character to step into the captain’s chair? Or are we expecting another captain?
I have no idea, honestly. We knew that Captain Pike—played beautifully by Anson Mount, I think he is such a gorgeous job with that role—we knew that was going to be temporary because we borrowed him from the Enterprise. So, that can’t go on forever, we knew that. But now what happens with the open captain’s chair when he goes back to the Enterprise. It’s anyone’s guess because Michael Burnham also has Commander status again, and Saru has Commander status, but I am first officer. But she has been the one to save the day all the time, and Saru is well aware of that. And Michael Burnham and Saru have been through an awful lot this year. We have an understanding and respect and our brother/sister-type surrogate relationship is even deeper than ever before. So, we both want to see the other succeed. So, I am not going to elbow her out for the captain’s chair if I feel she deserves it, and she is not going to do that to me either. So, it’s anyone’s guess as to who gets the captain’s chair next. I don’t know.
What would you like to explore with Saru in season three?
I would like Saru to find a balance with his newfound freedom. Because he is like a teenager now, who is exploring out of the house for the first time. No fear. “Woah!” So, I want to see him hone that in the right, respectful direction. I also wouldn’t mind him finding love along the way, whatever species that looks like or whatever form that comes in. Because I may or may not be able to get back to my home planet again. We don’t know. If I had a love life, would it be with another Kelpien or would it be with another species? Let’s see what works.
Are we going to get an update on your home planet after your revolution? Are the Kelpiens eating all the Ba’ul?
No, no, because we are part of the new Balance now. We are finding a peaceful solution for the Ba’ul and Kelpien relationship. I believe we will circle back for a second to find out what happened there. I think we’re fine.
Watch the full video interview with Doug Jones
More from PaleyFest LA
In case you missed it, click here to see our previous reports and interviews from PaleyFest. And we have more from the red carpet coming, so stay tuned.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.