When season four of Star Trek: Discovery arrives later this year a big change for the show (besides the new uniforms) is Michael Burnham in the captain’s chair. Now star Sonequa Martin-Green is talking about getting promoted.
Earning the chair
While out promoting playing LeBron James’ wife in Space Jam: A New Legacy, Sonequa Martin-Green is also fielding some questions about Discovery. In an interview with The Bellisimo Files, the actress spoke about what it meant to her for Michael Burnham to be promoted to captain:
[Becoming captain] was a really big deal, and it was a long time coming. That story was always a journey to the chair, but it’s not something I could just be outright about and say, “It looks like it’s going to happen at this time.” But I think it was earned. And it means a lot to me to be solidified in the franchise’s history as the first black woman as captain and lead of the show. That’s a big deal to be cemented in history in that way and especially right now. So it’s breathtaking, it really does take my breath, it makes me cry. It’s something that I am grateful for and I don’t take it lightly. I also don’t take it too heavily either, but I don’t take it lightly.
Even though the promotion came at the end of season three and she has been Captain Burnham since season four began production late last year, Martin-Green told the hosts of The Talk it still gets her emotional:
I’m still overwhelmed by it. It’s so surreal and I just say, “Jesus, you are Lord and you have shown up and shown out with this.” I can’t quantify it. I can’t really describe what it means to be firmly cemented in this franchise. To be this black woman at the helm of this franchise as captain and knowing what it means – not just on youth, but on adults as well – being able to see themselves but also seeing someone different from them, I could cry again.
Joining Trek’s captains
While happy to now be part of Star Trek’s legacy of captains as show leads, Martin-Green highlighted how her three seasons at a lower rank was worth it (via Den of Geek):
I think that being able to see this woman grow into the captaincy is what’s really special and different of course, than other captains.
She also sees a common thread with Burnham that runs through all of Star Trek captains:
I think something that is a common denominator with the captains in the franchise’s history [is] that sacrificial leadership. It’s so important. You have to be willing to lay your life down. That’s something that is shared across the board with all the captains and with the characters that aren’t captains also.
Getting promoted to captain is just the beginning for Burnham. Earlier this year co-showrunner Alex Kurtzman spoke about how Michael’s new position has “defined” season four, saying, “Every time we broke a story, the question is: how is this affecting Burnham as a captain? And I don’t mean affecting, I mean challenging her.”
Space Jam: A New Legacy opens in theaters on Friday, July 16. Season four of Star Trek: Discovery will debut later this year.
Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek: Discovery at TrekMovie.com.