The second season finale of Star Trek: Discovery jumped the show into a new time and place. In a couple of post-finale interviews, series star Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham) talks about what this means for the show.
Happy to see it finally all fit together
As the guest on The Ready Room, Sonequa Martin-Green spoke about the implications of “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2” and how it delivered on the promise they have been giving from the beginning that the show would find a way to fit into Star Trek canon:
We have to have our relationship – us who are telling the story of Trek and those who are receiving it into their hearts – we have to have trust in this relationship. We were very different from the very beginning…we were going to be different in all these ways and we needed the trust of the audience and we have had such an overwhelmingly beautiful and positive response, which we are so grateful for. But part of it is understand that we are going to link up with the canon. We are exploring what we can in the ten years before TOS, but we will link back up to the canon. And for a long time we had to just tell people that, saying, “Trust us, we will answer all of these questions. So to have that last puzzle piece put in place, very, very happy to do that. It was sort of a “see, see you guys?”
She described watching the final scene on board the USS Enterprise and how that fulfilled this promise of canon sync:
It was so palpable. Tears came to my eyes when I saw that moment. And I know everyone would be so happy to see that. It is such a gesture and hug to the audience. Here we are returning to what you remember. We are linking right back up with the canon, which is what we have always said we would do.
Speaking to startrek.com, Martin-Green said more about this concept of syncing the show as it jumped forward to a new era:
Oh my gosh, all of the puzzle pieces fit together, I think, very beautifully. And very comprehensively, very completely, courageously, yet respectfully. I appreciated how everything you’ve seen, especially over season two, but certainly over season one, as well played a part. I love how all these story points came together, all of these people came together, and I love that it was ultimately to save all of sentient life and save the future. I love that even though we’re going to do that and we’re going boldly where nobody has gone before — I mean, can you believe that we are actually doing that? — we’re doing it as a family. We’re going to land 950 years in the future as a real, solidified and unified crew.
Why jumping to the future was the perfect choice for Discovery
On The Ready Room, the Michael Burnham actress talked about what the decision to jump the show into the future means for Discovery:
If feel it is the most genius decision for Star Trek: Discovery. I’m so proud of our producers and writers for doing this, Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise and Jenny Lumet, who did an amazing job writing the finale. Them and the other writers deciding to take us to the future. Now we get to tell our own stories because we are going boldly where no other Star Trek has gone before. But at the same time we still who we are. We are still connected to the canon in the way that we are. We cannot help where we started. We cannot help that I am in the family of Sarek and Amanda and Spock. We will always have that, but now we can take who we are to this future we have never seen before and tell our story and see what the future holds and what has happened with everyone. I just could not believe what an awesome choice it was. I am beaming with pride, because I thought it was the perfect thing for us.
Martin-Green later reiterated that where the show is going is a totally new place and time:
Clearly, we are in the future. And we are in a space that none of us have seen before – literally in a space that no one has seen before – and telling our own stories. I think it is going to be dope.
She also talked about how these changes mean that they are given more of a blank slate when it comes to Star Trek canon:
There have certainly been things we have contributed to the canon, and every time that happens on set we say: “Oh my gosh, this is about to become canon, let’s make sure it’s perfect.” But now, everything will be canon. Every single thing we do will be canon because we have never seen this future. It is the epitome of innovation, which is the very spirit of Star Trek. So, we are honored to do this.
Finding balance for Michael in the 33rd century
In her interview with startrek.com, Martin-Green talked about what she hopes to see for the character of Michael in season 3:
Well, in a perfect world, I’m hoping for a balance; that very same balance we saw Spock find, that Saru’s trying to find, that all the other characters are trying to find.
I’m very excited for it because when you pick up with Michael Burnham, [she’s] this Vulcan-Human. I have this image I have built up, and it is made of diamonds. It’s almost impenetrable, these defenses I’ve put up as I’ve been overcompensating and seeking absolution. [I’m] being driven by shame and guilt and needing to prove myself. That’s where you picked up with me, at the beginning of this show. So, what I love is that you see this outpouring of emotion in season two, because the pendulum has swung the other way. Now I’ve really connected with my humanity like never before. So now it’s time for us to swing, and swing, and swing, and swing until it gets to the middle and we find this balance.
That balance is something I’m going to be working on for some time to come, and that’s what I’m really excited to find. I’m excited for the freedom that is to come for Michael Burnham, as well, now that I’m not driven by shame. All these things have been plucked out and uprooted, so now I have the freedom to be who I am.
Sad to say goodbye to the 23rd-century cast and characters
One of the consequences of the time jump for the show was leaving a number of characters behind. Martin-Green talked about the tearful goodbyes this involved:
We say goodbye to a lot of people. Of course we have to say goodbye to Anson (Mount) and Ethan (Peck) who are Pike and Spock, because we had to link back up with TOS, and of course Rebecca (Romijn, Number One) as well, because she was linked up with TOS as well. But then we had to say goodbye to a lot of people we started out with: Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), Shazad Latif (Tyler), Mia Kirshner (Amanda), James Frain (Sarek) – people who were there from the very beginning. We had to say to Jayne Brook, who was Admiral Cornwell, also Alan Van Sprang who was Leland, also Hannah Spear (Siranna) whose character was able to rise up in that way. And those last moments with Liam (Hughes, Young Spock) and Arista (Arhin, Young Michael) as well. There were so many goodbyes, I could cry talking about it now…We were leaving all these people who have made such a contribution to our show, it was very, very sad.
Watch the full video where Martin-Green goes into detail on the shooting of the finale, the “epic” development the Red Angel suit, feeling like a superhero, the cast coming together as a family and more.
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.