‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Star And Showrunner Talk Up “Fun” Season 5 And “Satisfying” Series Conclusion

(Photo: CCXP)

Over the weekend Star Trek: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green and executive producer Michelle Paradise were in São Paulo, Brazil to promote the upcoming fifth and final season at CCXP, the biggest pop culture event in Latin America. In addition to announcing season 5 is coming in April and unveiling a new clip, the pair also offered some more details on what fans can expect. TrekMovie has partnered up with our friends at TrekBrasilis to bring you coverage of CCXP 2023.

More “fun” and more episodic

Michelle Paradise and Sonequa Martin-Green held back-to-back panels at CCXP on Saturday, one on the main Thunder Stage and one on the Omelete Stage. They talked up the upcoming season, including how season 5 is going to be a bit different than previous seasons:

Michelle Paradise: This season will be a lot of action, a lot of adventure, a lot of fun. We will also – as we always do in Star Trek: Discovery – explore meaningful themes as well, the family onboard Discovery, the community, all those sorts of things. We did a bit of a tonal shift this season while still maintaining what Discovery is. And it’s a lot of fun.

Sonequa Martin-Green: It’s going to be a wild ride, y’all.

This shift will also be seen in the structure of the 10-episode season:

Paradise: Season 5 is going to be a wonderful mix. The DNA of Discovery always has those serialized stories over the course of a season. This season the nature of that serialized story allows us to have more episodic adventures. So I think people are really gonna dig it. There are some very cool adventures and some really fun episodes.

Even though they didn’t know it was going to be the final season of the series when it was originally shot, the showrunner did say they still tried to take risks in season 5:

Paradise:  Every season we try to go bigger and better than ever before. We have incredible technology like the AR wall and using that better. This season is our best.

Sonqua Martin-Green and Michelle Paradise at CCXP 2023 (Photo: Cleiby Trevisan/Paramount+ Brasil)

New unique characters

Season 5 will include some new faces with Callum Keith Rennie joining the main cast, playing N’Var Starfleet Captain Rayner. Elias Toufexis and Eve Harlow have recurring roles playing the main adversaries L’ak and Moll. Both Martin-Green and Paradise expounded on what the new actors brought to the season:

Martin-Green: These guys are brilliant so you can definitely expect to see some amazing performances from the three of them. They came into the family, we welcomed them with open arms and they took off running with us as if they had always been there. And you will love what happens with them. I feel like their story is unique. It’s unique to the show. What happens with all the characters actually is quite culminating. I think you will love Callum. I think you’ll love Eve and I think you will love Elias, for sure.

Paradise:  Yeah, they’re really wonderful actors, wonderful characters. I think it’s going to be really fun to see how Burnham responds to these new characters. Elias and Eve pose quite the challenge in terms of the storyline and what their characters are going to do this season. And Callum, he’s wonderful.

Callum Keith Rennie as Rayner (Paramount+)

Additional shooting allowed for a “satisfying” series conclusion

Production on the fifth season had wrapped up before Paramount decided to make it the final season. Both the star and executive producer talked about getting the opportunity to go back into production to turn the season finale into a series finale:

Paradise: We did not know going into Season 5 that it would be our final season. We found out after we were done shooting the season. So thankfully, Paramount+ and CBS Studios gave us the ability to go back and shoot some additional scenes. So really, at that point, it was about wrapping it up in the best way and having it feel wonderful for all of the people who love Star Trek.

Martin-Green: Michelle and the team put together an addendum shoot that Paramount+ and CBS Studios allowed us to do. And so we went back and wrapped it up. When you see it, it is beautifully culminating… I really believe it was satisfying. It really ties up really well.

Both also talked about how wrapping up the show makes them feel…

Paradise: It’s going to be bittersweet. Thank you all for loving the show as much as we do. Thank you for supporting us over all these years. Star Trek fans are the best fans, thank you. And we really didn’t feel like… it’s bittersweet as it is ‘til the end. I feel like you will be–it will feel like a satisfying conclusion. And it’s a heck of a season. It was a lot of fun to do. Every season that we do we want to do it bigger and better and bolder than the season before and I think you’re in for quite a treat with this new season. It’s really a lot of fun. It’s awesome.

Martin-Green: It’s a roller coaster of emotions. It’s bittersweet. It’s sad. It’s shocking. It’s celebratory. We feel a lot of joy and peace… because we can look back on it now in hindsight and see it very clearly. And as grateful as we were going through it, now we can look back and be like, “Look what we did.” I personally feel that God showed up and showed out, for me with being able to have this experience with all of us. We’ll always have it. It’s unforgettable.

Sonqua Martin-Green at CCXP 2023 (Photo: Cleiby Trevisan/Paramount+ Brasil)

ICMYI – New Clip

Paramount+ announced the final season will debut in April around the world, but they have not yet set a specific date.

Discovery seasons one through four are currently streaming exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland, South Korea, Latin America, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and Austria. Seasons two and three are also available on the Pluto TV “Star Trek” channel in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel.

Gustavo Gobbi is an editor with TrekBrasilis.

Keep up with news for the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.

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I can’t wait to see S5 it’s sad that it’s the last season but at least the show has gotten 5 seasons and has been a huge success that ushered in a new era of Trek.

It’s a shame that Paramount is having financial trouble which led to them ending the show (and many other shows too) before it’s time but it’s great that Paramount gave them the chance to film a ending to the show.

The fandom has shown that Discovery has been a big success for Paramount (and no hater of the show can deny that fact no matter how hard they try) and the Trek franchise itself and has been a worthy addition to it.

I hope no doubt that if Gene Roddenberry was alive today he would be proud of the work of the cast/writers Discovery and it’s stories of unity/diversity which is the core value of Trek and Gene’s vision of the franchise.

I think it’s ending because five seasons about what you’re going to get with any streaming show, and they just made that call because they want to leave room for new shows.

As bad as I think DIS is personally (but very happy for all the fans who do like it) I will agree it did help usher in the new era of Trek and I don’t think no one can take that away from it personally. And while this is also divisive I am happy it finally gave us a new era to explore with the 32nd century. It should’ve just started there from the beginning (and with a better show runner) but I digress. I’m hoping SFA just does a better job with it.

I do think Paramount’s money troubles is a big reason why both DIS and PRO got cancelled and probably hindered the plan of having five shows on the air but I think the future is still bright. I have liked more of the new shows than not liked and maybe I will enjoy the final season of the show. We’ll see I guess.

It got cancelled because it sucked and lots of people stopped watching it.

I’m shocked they didn’t cancel it after the third season.

TG1701, the simplest explanation is often true.


I actually quite liked it. It tried to be different. And I appreciate that. I love seeing how different people see Trek. I am not a big fan of Prodigy but I don’t bad-mouth it at every post. It isn’t for me but it is for others. I can respect that.
What I also appreciate is that the show runners listened to fans. Fans didn’t like something… they changed it. ie.: The Klingons; setting it just before Kirk; etc. They tried to appease the fans but Trek fans seem to be getting worse than Star Wars fans.

For Star Wars i feel like they needed to progress the story but instead they got bogged down in retreading the Original Trilogy and nostalgia, they played it safe and everyone lost their darn mind when Luke wasn’t a superhero. I feel the same way about those new Star Trek films they could have done anything but they retold old stories and played it safe, only the first one was kind of like a Star Wars movie so there really isn’t anything in Star Trek to compare it to.

The one thing about the new Star Wars i despised bringing back Han, Luke and Leia as cameos to kill them off. I haven’t watched something that insulting since they killed Kirk in Star Trek Generations. When i saw Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny i was glad they didn’t do that. The character was himself and he wasn’t killed for shock value.

As for Discovery a failed experiment but it was the first Star Trek since Deep Space Nine that wasn’t TNG warmed over. Liked the first two seasons more obviously once they went to 32nd century it was DOA.

Even though Star Trek fans are divided on NuTrek, the vitriol is nothing close to how people feel about the new Star Wars stuff lol.

I was a Star Wars fan way before I was ever a Trek fan and while I like some of the new stuff it breaks my heart how badly that franchise has been mismanaged. ☹️

I can respect that! 😎👍

Thankyou for your astute and insightful observations here, TG1701. “It sucks” is such a shrewd and perceptive observation — yes, yes, very helpful indeed.

I’m not certain of course, but if you’re the same TG1701 I’ve seen on other sites extolling the virtues of Lower Decks (I love it too BTW), I wonder if you’d be kind enough to let us know how many viewers are tuning into that show? It must be a considerably higher number than DSC – no? There’s no way it could be lower – right? We wouldn’t want to be “shocked” it got renewed.

Clearly, you have privileged access to the actual numbers at CBS/Paramount – as I’m certain you wouldn’t simply make random, unsubstantiated claims about a franchise iteration you dislike based on your own personal preferences. You’d never do that.


Bro I’m just messing around! See this is what happens when you don’t put in an emoticon. Some people hate them but think I’m being serious when I don’t use them! 😁

I really do think the show sucks though!

But glad you love Lower Decks! For the record I thought that would be cancelled after it’s first season lol. I’m truly shocked it got this far. No joke.

Take it easy! 😎🖖

 “I thought that would be cancelled after it’s first season lol.”

Prodigy gives a sad wave. :(

I know we got it back, but still…

If season four was a brilliant riff on “The Devil in the Dark,” “Darmok,” and “Emissary,” with some real-world METI and lincos techniques, along with allusions to Close Encounters, Contact, and Arrival, showing how good faith negotiations win out over preemptive strikes, then this season looks like it’s going to be a riff on TNG’s “The Chase,” or one of my favorite Trek games “A Final Unity.”

It’s funny, when the sarcophagus ship designs leaked seven years ago, I thought the show would be a race against Klingons for ancient artifacts, with the Shenzhou having a more prominent role, as Burnham would hail her old ship to seek advice from her mentor, Georgiou. With Rayner as a new captain, I feel like this season will be similar to my initial prediction.

There’s this misconception that DSC is relentlessly serialized, but even since season one, there have been several stand-alone episodes, such as “Lethe,” “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” in season one, a collection of two-parters in season two, and check-ins with myriad planets in seasons three and four. PIC was probably the most serialized Trek show, so far, where it really is pretty hard to divorce episodes from the greater storylines of the season.

Glad we finally have a ballpark for the release date.

Ehhh… while there are indeed episodes that can work as standalones, such as the aforementioned “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”, I’d still say Discovery is heavily serialized on the whole; only Picard is really more serialized, and not by all that much. Being the second-most serialized out of eleven different regular TV shows in the franchise tends to put it more in the on the “serialized” side of the franchise’s episodic-to-serialized continuum chart. That’s not necessarily a criticism, just an observation. I don’t think either storytelling form is inherently “better” than the other; both can be done well, or not so well, and Star Trek has done both forms both well and not so well.

This past summer I finally got caught up on Discovery after being behind on it since right after the first couple episodes (as we had some initial trouble getting what was then called CBS All Access working, go figure). I confess I initially had a difficult time embracing the series, as it felt so different from the rest of Trek, and I admit I found the reimagining of the TOS-era iconography particularly off-putting. I’ve since been able to look past that and appreciate the show for what it is, and I actually generally enjoy it now. I’m looking forward to being current with the show for once, watching the final season as it comes out rather than weeks, months, or years behind.

Part of me wishes this season’s arc were more like last season’s, with an emphasis on resolving misunderstanding through efforts toward communication, rather than the Indiana Jones-esque quest-race it appears we’re getting, as it seems truer to what the show is and more of a proper way for the series to wrap up, but then we obviously know very little about what the season will actually entail, so I’m hopeful my first impressions are wrong, as they have been so often with this show. Mainly I’m just glad the team behind the show got to make some tweaks in reshoots to turn the season finale into a proper series finale; I know there are so many other American TV shows whose creative teams wish they could have had the same opportunity.

Big “if.”

“Lethe” was a great example of how a prequel series could get you to re-interpret what you thought you knew about the Trek universe, and in interesting ways. I wish there had been a lot more of that, honestly.

The *one* episode of DSC I enjoyed. “Lethe” was a darn good episode, imo.

I agree as usual Danpaine. I remember thinking it was just OK the first time I watched it. But when I saw it a second time I was a bit blown away and probably my second favorite episode of season one after Magic Makes the Sanest Man go Mad.

Every season we try to go bigger and better than ever before.

I think that statement might actually be the reason DISCOVERY has been such a mess. “Bigger” is not the way to approach storytelling.

You’re right, and I found this to be an issue with snw season 2, and this issue really was driven home with Picard season 3

The phrases in modern Star Trek that fill me with dread

  1. Bigger & better….
  2. Big swings…..

The preceding posts make a good case for dreading the former; but why the latter? In many cases (though not all) the most beloved episodes in the franchise (e.g. “The City on the Edge of Forever,” “The Inner Light,” “The Visitor”) are wildly off-format, which makes them by definition “big swings.”

What also helped those is they did it episode by episode, not by entire seasons.

Now of course DS9 did take the biggest swing of all by serializing the show and creating a multi season war arc which had never been done in Trek before or since. And while even that was considered very divisive at the time it has made DS9 iconic in its own right today because it was a beautifully written show with amazing character arcs and stories. It wasn’t perfect but close enough IMO.

And then we have DIS that just feels like a hodge podge mess season after season. I’m actually glad it ended the Klingon war after the first season. I think it would’ve just been a bigger mess the longer it went judging by every season so far.

But for me even DS9’s Dominion War arc is best evaluated on an episode-by-episode basis. There was obviously “In the Pale Moonlight” and other brilliant high points, but a fair amount of filler, too. Overall, in terms of the baseball metaphor, I’d say they batted a double.

In the end — literally — serialization is tough, because no matter how good you are, you’re only as good as your finale. Over the Nineties and Aughts HBO’s prestige dramas and others like BREAKING BAD made it look almost easy, but those were produced by really brilliant people who yet were not burdened by the issues facing franchise genre television, which brings its own set of challenges. To this day some of the best-regarded episodes of the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA reboot were standalones, while the most disappointing were those that resolved long-running arcs in ways that the audience didn’t find believable or meaningful or consistent with the mythos that had been established.

After five years of the experiment I’m not at all certain that the Trek format was really suitable for serialized storytelling in any case. The original template was a ‘60s action adventure series whose episodes only very occasionally referenced each other, and one of the show’s greatest strengths (especially in its first year) was its variety in subject matter and tone — the “anthology with continuing characters” as Roddenberry had originally envisioned it. Of course, you could just as easily argue that serialized Trek hasn’t been an unqualified success because the wrong people have been in charge, and you could just as easily be right.

I certainly will agree that the best episodes, DS9 included were the standalone stories. I even point out that as serialized as DIS is the stories people at least liked seem to be its more standalone episodes even if it was far too few of really strong ones.

I really did love the how DS9 and later ENT serialized their seasons BUT they were never truly serialized the way BSG was (and the irony with that show is that the studio demanded more standalone stories in the later seasons because it felt the serialized approach was keeping new viewers away). DS9 really didn’t become truly serialized the way we think of it today until the war started at the end of the fifth season and even in the last two they still had lots of standalone stories like ‘You are Cordially Invited’, ‘Far Beyond the Stars’, ‘Bada Bing, Bada Bang’ and ‘Take me out to the Holosuite’.

Again that’s why DS9 is such an amazing show because it had a full blown war in its last two seasons but still managed to create a lot of diverse and fun stories. But it helps when you have 26 episodes a season and not 10. But I hate to think how bad DIS would be if they gave it MORE episodes lol. I think that would be worse for it and not better like the classic shows.

It’s also why I think fans took to LDS and SNW more quickly because they went back to the more episodic nature even though both shows had some serialization, just much smaller compared to DIS and PIC.

The SNW approach of character arcs encompassing standalone episodes may be the best compromise, I think.

“Take Me Out to the Holosuite.” Now there’s a perfect example of a big swing — I’ll give them that — and a big miss.

What I love “Take me out to the Holosuite.” It’s one of my favorite episodes that season. It is crazy both that episode and Bada Bing Bada Bang aired in the final season as a war in the Alpha quadrant raged on. And both holodeck episodes as well. Again, it really goes to how diverse these shows used to really feel although LDS and SNW is doing more of that again.

To each, his own. I could tell you why I disliked it, intensely, but in the spirit of IDIC I’ll just say I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🖖

Fair enough, that’s how I handle DIS lol.

God, I hated that episode. For baseball-related reasons.

I’d call that one a broken bat, myself. Or a classic example of the ‘infield die rule.’

When it comes to novices and baseball on the tube, you can’t really best WKRP with Les Nesman frightened out in right field praying that they not hit it towards him. That feels so genuine it hurts. I can remember that exact sensation, from the pit o’ stomach pain to the visible trembling, even though I later worked super-hard and got very very good at catching, throwing and hitting by age 10 (tho pitching was always very hit ‘n’ miss – I threw one good curveball in my whole life, and it broke so hard that it hit our main pitcher in the knee — he was catching me during warmups as a kind of joke — and took him out for a couple of games.)

TAKE ME OUT doesn’t have swagger and it needs swagger, or something extra or unusual, because that joie de vivre helped make BADDA BING into something special, for me at least.

I should hate INTER ARMA DA VIDA or whatever it is called, because it is a blow-by-blow ripoff of LeCarre’s THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, but it is done so well IMO that I just eat it up like candy. Moore has a real talent for riffing on something and doing it so well you can barely bitch about it afterward — read Diane Duane’s MY ENEMY MY ALLY and compare it with his Romulan traitor ep, the one that got him on staff after THE BONDING got his foot in the door — and see if I’m not right.

Don’t have the Duane novel available for a comparison, but Moore’s “The Defector” was one of the first episodes to really get my hopes up that TNG was finally, *finally* hitting its stride.

Yep, I remember that back when I kept my homemade VHS tapes organized, I actually took TNG tapes out of the GEN’L SF category and put them in with STAR TREK TOS eps, but it didn’t happen til the middle of s3, when they finally seemed to be firing on all thrusters (probably because they were so under the gun timewise that they couldn’t rewrite the earlier drafts to death.)

Maybe, but that kind of undersells what Michael Piller brought to that third season, which wound up changing everything while, in a way, fundamentally changing very little. For as Piller admitted himself in many interviews, he had been a regular viewer of TNG before coming onboard, and in its family-friendliness liked it just fine as it was. Other producers chafed under Roddenberry’s no-conflict rule, and did mostly horrible work until they quit in frustration. Piller in no way revolutionized the show; he just found creative ways to color within the lines and accentuate the things he already liked while giving new talent like Moore mentorship and a chance to shine. Much like Nick Meyer he turned out to be the right person at the right time, for a franchise that’s had more lives than most cats.

agreed,great episode. I thought TNG was dead in the water after S2 but something magical happened during S3 and that is probably why we are on this site now. For a while TNG was carrying the franchise all by itself – but growing it too.

I still think TNG is regarded as the most successful Star Trek show 35+ years later.

Discovery took a big swing when they made Tilly a First officer. 🙄

The thing is about the episodes you reference tho is that while they were way off from the norm, they didn’t mess with the underlying mythology of Trek. When the currently producers of DIS talk about big swings, esp in the first 2 seasons, they almost always break canon as a result.

Sad but very true.

Add to that…
“Cautiously optimistic”
“Orc Klingons”
“Space Hitler”

Yep! First season it wanted be GOT in space and fell on its face with so many ridiculous soap opera plot twists, Orc Klingons and the show feeling like it should be set in another universe and I don’t just mean the mirror universe.

Second season it was this big and convoluted timey whimey time travel story and just became a generic Terminator plot twist and with lots of leaps in logic and plotholes to boot.

Season three was the biggest of all going to the 32nd century and the fall of the Federation. It should’ve been spectacular but became dull with a lame villain and an even lamer crying Kelpian kid who helped cripple the galaxy. Ugh

Season four actually felt the most Trek-y with a very cool TMP vibe (and I’m far from a TMP fan lol) and could’ve been very inspiring but instead was a tedious melodramatic bore.

The show starts off promising but then ends dramatically awful.

Your last line is key here. I can rewatch the start of almost every season of nuTrek, even a few episodes of Picard Season 2. But no no no, I will not get past the third episode… then I will start skipping, and then… figure out something else to watch.

I liked S4 because it reminded me of TMP. I thought it was successful minus a few “when I was a kid” moments in the middle of an emergency. It had roddenberryesque themes and a science fiction mystery.

I think these are all spot-on critiques.

I still want to go back and rewatch the first half of season 2, I have fond memories of that bit.

I don’t have much hope for season 5. The “adventure” focus is welcome and had me hoping initially, but the clip they released of Book and Burnham fighting those cloaking creatures just made me cringe. Made me remember all the very bleh “focus-on-action” that DIS has always unnecessarily pursued.

In my mind, I don’t believe I am opposed to action in my Trek (the DS9 Klingon/Cardassian/Dominion/war stuff was always strong; ST: First Contact is one of my favs; I like Beyond; and SNW and LDS both have fun action). But somehow, DIS just makes me squirm with their approach. I don’t know what it is, maybe it is the larger budget giving them more freedom for action and more CGI (and more stupid background flame shooters), but their action always seems to be action for action’s sake and not particularly grounded in character or story, and not even really adding to the mood of episodes because it is too frequent/extensive/pointless or something like that.

What about Picard season 1 being like the Mass Effect story. Or the incest Romulans. Or Disco season 3 with the kid who cried destroying the federation and the Burn, and the ridiculous Orion syndicate over the top villains. Emerald chain. Or Picard dying and becoming a robot in season 1 of Picard. I literally could nitpick the Kurtzman shows all night long.

What i appreciate in the new shows is the inclusion and the good female characters. Especially on Strange New Worlds and Discovery. the scripts aren’t the best though. I know some people don’t think things like gay or trans/nonbinary characters matter, or more women in leadership roles or black characters in prominence but they do. Beyond time for Star Trek to reflect actual reality. Why it took decades and not being on network television to get there is a black mark on the franchise.

Yeah…all those sucked too. ;)

And I do agree it is great to see so many women/Queer/trans/POC characters and especially so many female leaders right now with Freeman, Seven, Burnham and Janeway (again lol). It’s funny Pike is the only (current) straight white male captain. Some people will call it ‘woke’, true Star Trek fans calls it progress. ;)

It seems like they have stopped trying to hype the cat and turn it into a viral thing.

This show needs more Linus the Lizard.

Where is my universal translator when I need it?

I’m hoping they finally admit that Grudge is not a queen, and is really just a cat.

Looking forward to some outstanding VFX again in Star Trek that we typically get with discovery — after the average looking SNW effects, and the embarrassingly bad Picard season 3 VFX.

Too each their own, of course, but for me those other shows are far better since they also include good characterization, strong acting, and solid plots. VFX only goes so far, as Discovery 3 and 4 proved.

What ‘outstanding VFX’ are you referring to? Granted, I’ve only seen a few minutes of DSC since giving up after s2, but those clips looked at least as horrendous as the ship VFX that have sucked in all of these contemporary TREK streams, plus they were just plain stupid in concept (turbolift system that looks like BILL&TED’s timetravel tunnels?) Except for the tardigrade, I don’t recall any quality VFX on DSC, eh-ver. And it isn’t on the VFX vendors, all of which have demonstrated an ability to deliver excellence AND visual credibility for other series — this ‘look’ they’ve inflicted on space in Trek must be mandated by the creatives, and they deserve considerable ire for this ‘space murk.’

(as to any current Trek series having somehow won VFX awards … all I can say is, BABE beat APOLLO 13 for the VFX Oscar, SILENT RUNNING wasn’t even nominated while LOGAN’S RUN and Dino’s KONG both won special Oscars … there is no accounting for tastes.)

I was just talking with the ASHOKA cinematographers and one of them mentioned about how when working on a show with a genuine legacy, you don’t change up for the sake of being cool or trendy; you do it when the story mandates such a change. The other AHSOKA cinematographer told me she went back and looked up the camera department records from 1976 to see how the lighting was done on the gunport scenes (blew me away that such records were preserved!), which shows you the level of commitment some professionals have for preserving continuity and visual integrity.

That’s why all the Star Wars live action shows were horribly dull and uninspired. What a complete and utter waste of time, money and energy making them.

I loved Obi Wan and the first two seasons of Mando. To each his own.

I had high hopes for Kenobi – but wow… it really could have been a 2-hour TV movie instead. So much useless stuff in there. Seemed like they were trying to stretch out the story to last 6 episodes. I stopped watching Mando after the first couple of season 2 – found it very repetitive and dull. I didn’t bother watching any of the other Star Wars series. The other 2 left a bad taste in my mouth.

100% Kenobi should have just been a movie. I’ll say again though – Andor is a very different beast. I was not very invested at first, then by the time they did their second mini arc I was all in.

A friend of mine gave up on Andor after the first episode. He felt that it was nothing more than a collection of old Star Wars tropes that could have been written by an AI.
I have watched the full season but, like you, I was not impressed with the early episodes. With some of them, it felt like nothing had happened when an episode was over. The show picked up a bit in the second part but the whole prison arc was just stalling for time (in my opinion) and could have been much shorter without losing anything.
I have only seen some early episodes of Mando but if people are raving about Andor much better than all the other Star Wars live action shows then maybe I haven’t really missed much.

Andor is amazing though. Took me by surprise.

Those turbo lift sequences managed the fair trick of outdoing the zombified brainless walking Spock in technical illiteracy, and I daresay the bill for them was a lot higher.

I’m pretty much with you on the look of the space sequences on modern Trek. (Some of the SNW stuff is okay, at least to the extent of being more photorealistic than the opening credits, which are just dreadful.) But in all fairness, vfx continuity in the STAR WARS universe is a different animal, as Lucas established a timeless ‘futuro-grunge’ aesthetic in the first film that’s been carried over to just about everything that’s followed (with the notable exception of SOLO, which I think is actually one of the things that killed it with audiences). Trek, intending to be at least a kinda plausible depiction of a human future, has had to meet those expectations while also being respectful of what came before, which is a lot more challenging.

I think that when SW and ST are doing the vfx correctly, you could intercut footage from them and it would still look like the same universe a lot of the time. Take the E-e shots above Earth in FIRST CONTACT … they have the same harsh key light as you see in most original trilogy and ROGUE ONE space shots. Somebody should probably cut together a faux ST/SW space battle using shots that dovetail this way (come to think of it, I bet there are probably tons of those on youtube already … maybe there is a star destroyer vs refit vs old Galactica battle going on out there somewhere …

Amazing all the things Lucas preserved including every piece of film, but the originals languish and were never restored. No restored protection negative of the pre 97 edit was ever created. Even the so called originals shots were redone in the 1990s and recomposited. Even the live action photography was artificially sharpened and degrained. Which goes against the original intent where Lucas intentionally softened the image Taylor was shooting, and something he adamantly disagreed with.

I will say at least the 1997 restoration for creating the Special Edition was well done. Good colors, sound and audio. Every version since has been crap.

I’m also not happy with the George Lucas cut of THX 1138 and all its cgi, or the current restoration of American Graffiti on 4K neither look like film. Too much tinkering and DNR. I don’t think there is a single catalog Lucasfilm release that looks as it should. Except maybe the Disney trilogy releases because care was shown in the transfer of those to home video. Even the mostly excellent Indiana Jones films restorations they felt the need to use digital manipulation on the optical effects. Which is something Paramount also did on the Star Trek films, as well as not having original theatrical audio.

My grand nephew is about to turn six, so we thought to introduce him to STAR WARS by playing him the original THX-approved laser disc boxed set over my pretty decent home theater. No CGI enhancements or “Greedo shot first,” thank you very much. Being a non-purist I don’t much care about the first but do find the second to be pretty execrable and dishonest, and in any case it gave me a little kick to be able to show him the same version of the film I got to see at 19, that few people of his own age will ever get to see.

I wish I’d kept those discs, but once we moved up to Oregon, we found acquiring working laserdisc players even more difficult than in Nor- or SoCal. We kept a huge set of laserdiscs containing all the imagery in The Louvre up till around 2010, but then even gave up the ghost on that and let them go, figuring we could probably find all that stuff online at similar or better rez.

I finally saw THX all the way through a year or so back (about the 18th try!) and really loved it — except for the very obvious cg fixes/embellishments. It’s like GL no longer understands that there is intrinsic value in analog charm/funk.

Knowing there is a version of THX with CGI is just depressing.

There’s a special edition of HARDWARE WARS too, but I don’t know if they paint out the wires or not.

!! that would defeat the point… I hope not…

I read someplace that they replaced the actual hardware with CG renderings but if true I don’t ever want to see it. I did actually see the original recently, for the first time in many years, and I was actually pretty disappointed with it.

Made me wish I had a complete version of FOOD WARS, a short I did after hearing about HARDWARE WARS during my senior year of high school. It featured a Doritos chip for the star destroyer, a Ritz for the FALCON, and an olive impaled on a toothpick with crackers on the end for TIE fighters. Empty spray bottles filled with colored water inside actually worked pretty well for laser beams .. until they hit the starfield background and dripped down. Blew up a cheese ball with a firecracker for the death star, but the the cheese hit the lens so the shot didn’t work.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the same folks also did a parody of APOCALYPSE NOW that actually captured the dreamy surrealism while also being pretty funny. (“Is my method. . . acting. . . unsound?” “I don’t see any acting at all, sir.”)

Is that the one where the Kurtz character accidentally eats a fly? I’ve never seen it, but I have seen Ernie’s THE HINDENBURGER, which was short and funny and to the point.

When I was in high school, I took a filmmaking class from one of the main contributors to SUPER-8 FILMAKER magazine, Denis Dugan (no related to the guy from ROCKFORD and MOONLIGHTING.) He was a serious pal of filmmaking guru Lenny Lipton (the guy who wrote PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON), and they shot a parody of the opening of THE GODFATHER that was so terrific I wish it was up someplace. I think they did it for a Toronto film festival. All I remember (besides the fact that it was very VERY dark, a nod to Gordon Willis’ style) is that a guy goes to Joe Don Super8-0 and sobs about how some unscrupulous man put his daughter in a 16mm movie! There were also endless movies of LIpton in Cuba with Castro that were shot in 3D super-8 … cigar rings blown into the camera as I recall …

We were supposed to do a short film project that was in the style of another filmmaker, and then the rest of us would guess what filmmaker that was. I tried for Antonioni, but everybody yelled, peckinpah (I hadn’t even seen a Sam P movie yet!)

3 VFX Emmy Nominations and 1 win.

Nuff said…

read my paragraph 2 above, I anticipated your response.

Well, if we’re going with opinions on a fan website or the Emmys I’ll go with what their industry peers voted for.

But I do know you brought this up before and you are also an expert in this area. So I do respect your opinion, but personally, I like the special effects on Discovery a lot except for the clouds/lighting in space, but that’s more of an artistic choice versus a VFX problem

I think he’s made it clear that it’s the artistic choices he has an issue with, as opposed to FX problems, since he’s liked other work produced by the same facility.

I’d had mixed feelings about the “Discovery” visuals overall, but it was when I saw the first spore jump that my heart really sank. The rotating outer ring is not only implausible but totally undermines the scale, and far from implying some exotic warping of space the spin/drop action just looks. . . dumb.

I don’t disagree with either of these points.

The spinning ring really seems like something out of EXPLORERS, where you see the ship corkscrew into hyperspace. I think there’s a way to do that kind of effect and have it not look as ridiculous, but you’d have to streak the model while it is rotating before doing the jump. I tried to do it with a series of still 35mm images, each done on time exposure, but it never even looked good enough to refilm with my movie camera (this was almost 40 years ago.)

Before the advent of CGI it’s very likely that the spinning ring wouldn’t have been considered as part of the spore jump effect. It would be very complicated to achieve with a mention-controlled miniature, and there are lots of potential mechanical issues that could derail it. Well, think about it: if a spinning outer disc is problematic for a miniature, how well would you expect it to work on a full-scale spacecraft? That’s why the effect looks so wonky: the audience instinctively knows they’re seeing something that’s fundamentally impractical.

And yet articulated ship miniatures like that beauty in 2010 can be spectacular. It’s a real shame the models in SUPERNOVA and RED PLANET aren’t a: better photographed and b: not replaced by inferior CG so often because I recall them having articulated rotating sections too.

I still think the best untried way to do a warp jump is via the zoom lens/dolly trick the warp shot, as seen on Brody in JAWS when the kid’s raft goes up in blood. Also known as a ‘zolly’ and you could easily do the shot with enough depth of field, but it would suggest something is happening since the perspective changes, and if you went to a reverse angle and did the shot in reverse zooming in and dollying bck instead of zooming back and dollying in), you’d get a similar sense of displacement going the other way. Then cap that with your animation/VFX stuff.

I like the spinning sections in 2010 just fine as they’re totally in-line with the ship’s means of generating artificial gravity. That’s believable. (I also appreciated the variation of that look in THE MARTIAN, which I thought was great.) The spinning ring in DSC does nothing in and of itself other than destroy the sense of scale.

The rebooted “Battlestar Galactica” also did a variation of the ‘zolly’ in the miniseries pilot before an FTL jump which made the characters look like they were being twisted inside-out (prior to the first jump one of them even laments “I hate this part”). Unfortunately the effect was dropped from the series proper.

I think the zolly used for interiors on warp shots dates back to … wait for it … SPACE RANGERS. I have actually got the series on dvd (mainly just for the BANSHEES episode, which was really pretty good) and I remember them doing some kind of weird shot of Clint Howard’s face as they hit hyperspace. But to me, it is a halfway solution if you’re not matching that look on the exteriors.

Did you ever see the leaked bsg pilot script that had Moore saying the space battles were going to be done with split-screens? I don’t recall them actually doing it in the series, but I remember reading something about that way before I actually saw the pilot.

Would really love to thrift-find a copy of the score, just for the percussion music in the space battle scenes, very RISING SUN sounding as I recall.

No, never saw that. I’ve been watching some random BSG clips on YT of late and am starting to think it’s time for a rewatch, as I haven’t really screened the show in a decade. Mixed feelings that I have for some creative decisions made late in the show’s run, including the finale, when BSG was on its game it was as good as anything — and I do mean *anything* — on American television.

I dunno, Babe’s VFX are pretty damned good.

It was pretty damn impressive at the time, for sure.

Yeah, but academy voters mistook a lot of APOLLO13’s vfx for just being stock footage from the real thing, but I don’t think even the splashdown is stock, and certainly nothing before it is.

Reminds me of how Arthur Clarke made fun of the academy for not giving 2001 a makeup award for its apes, saying he figured they probably thought they WERE real apes.

The ape suits in 2001 still manage to work (and hiring mimes was another inspired Kubrick idea). But if scientific realism wasn’t your sole criteria I think you can make a decent case that PLANET OF THE APES also did a very credible job that possibly required more finesse.

Back then it was a special award, so they could have given two of them (shoot, they gave undeserving awards to LOGAN’S RUN and KING KONG the same year!), plus I keep an asterisk next to the APES award in my mind owing to the various reports about stuff getting stolen from the 2001 stages that may have facilitated problem-solving on the APES film. I think this is brought up even in the Dan Richter (Moon Watcher) book.

I actually rewatch the first APES more often than I do 2001 in recent years, and I love it — mainly for Heston’s Taylor — but I do love it.

I’m probably not as down on the LR stuff as you are. A few optical composites combining live-action crowds with the fake-looking model city work okay, Carousel is beautiful if dumb, and Yuricich’s mattes of overgrown Washington work well enough. (I still can’t believe that film hasn’t been remade — get a solid director to just film the damned book this time with a decent cast and some now very-achievable visuals on a modest budget and you’d have a good shot at a real hit.)

I was unaware of the possible pilfering of the 2001 ape costumes. Fascinating, if true.

When I saw LOGAN in the theater, I remember my grandfather running two friends and I over to the Century 21 at ridiculously unsafe speeds — he had a ”62 Ford Galaxie, in which he would apply what he called ‘the 390 zoom’ in which the 300 HP would push you back in your seat like a rocket taking off horizontally — but that we still got there late so I ‘missed’ the opening camera move into the domed city, which would have tipped me off to how bad the fx were gonna look and proves that no matter how fancy your snorkel camera is, if you’re not photographing something well designed and putting enough light in to carry depth of field, the shot will be a fiasco.

It was the first movie where the ‘postage stamp’ look of matte lines on live-action totally distracted me from the story, especially during the shots in the tube cars. Both of my friends, Steve Homer and either Floyd Oshita or Jeff Park, were SF fans and model rocket enthusiasts, and I remember a couple times where we uttered what amounted to ‘group groans’ when things looked wrong, so I think it kind of built up over the course of the movie.

I did and still do think that the Yuricich paintings were often excellent, but the city model shots just came off to me like a Japanese movie — the kind where (and I think either John Dykstra or Richard Edlund first said this not long after) thousands of hours are spent building miniatures that are then rendered pointless by how they’re filmed. Also, though I was already a member of the Jerry Goldsmith of the month club, I did not like much of this score, specifically the electronics. Oddly enough, I acted in a short film for a friend (he posts here sometimes as Vokar) a few years later — a condensation of BEYOND THE TIME BARRIER — who used the ‘good stuff’ from this score and so I now think more of that short than I do LOGAN (probably because this is a rarity of rarities, a Goldsmith I have never owned on any format.)

I agree about surprise over the no remake happening yet. Pretty sure just about every genre-affiliated filmmaker has been linked to LOGAN at some point, I remember Joe Kosinski had it on his radar, probably during the same period when he was thinking he would get to remake THE BLACK HOLE (the latter rendered pointless by INTERSTELLAR, which got right everything TBH got wrong and then some.)

If MGM still has the rights, that may be the real problem, because MGM has got all sorts of internal problems. I tried to deal with them over a span of 18 months to produce three or four articles on the last Bond movie, and absolutely nothing came of all that effort. I later found out from the DP that he had never gotten any request for an interview with me, because MGM PR was never in the loop on the film, they were just saying they were, everything went through Eon (and perhaps Sony too?) It contributed to my losing one locked-in new outlet over an editing article plus a regular outlet, which wound up running a story by somebody else who got more interviews than I ever asked for, all conducted during the long stretch of time when MGM kept saying no interviews were being conducted yet. Between this and their non-performance on potential CREED articles, MGM is the only company that I will now not even try to cover, and for somebody in the poorhouse to say that they will turn down an assignment indicates just in what little esteem I hold them.

I once met LR co-author William F. Nolan at some sort of SF gathering here in San Diego, and wound up having a long conversation where he expressed his frustration that it hadn’t yet been properly remade. (We were later joined by some other minor luminaries including Dennis Etchison, who I vividly recall expressed his loathing for Harlan Ellison.) Not that “Logan’s Run” is great literature or anything, but it’s exactly the kind of high octane novel like “The Godfather” that in the right hands can make a great movie.

Was Nolan concerned about lack of fidelity in the various script tries? (I don’t think I have ever read either of the books — or are there three? — but I remember reading something, perhaps in CFQ, about sanctuary being real and on Mars.)

I remember George Pal really wanted to do it, but perhaps his track record worked against his getting it in the 70s (Ellison wrote that touching yet self-loathing epitaph-essay about Pal, admitting he didn’t step up to write something for him and the project, a WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE remake, I think, didn’t go ahead because of that.)

I would be concerned that the source material was rooted in some degree of New Wave/60s thinking that might not translate for contemporary mainstream audiences, but then again, maybe that would be a breakthrough and wakeup call for audiences (not that studios are in the business of delivering such a message.) I remember Ellison saying back in the 80s that his adaptation of Spinrad’s very rooted-in-60s BUG JACK BARRON was going to sidestep all the race stuff because it was no longer germane, but then when I finally read the script recently (his revised version for publication that was done in the 21st century), it did look like race was definitely still a factor.

Yeah, it’ll do.

Outstanding VFX? On Discovery? I think not. Flashy perhaps, but zero substance. A blurry, badly lit, badly filmed mess.

That’s fine, but your opinion does not coincide with the industry peers that voted it an Emmy and nominated it three times. And that’s perfectly okay

Star Trek ALWAYS gets nominated for VFX Emmy’s, even Voyager and Enterprise were nominated.

I was so surprised when I read the other Ronald Moore’s book about trek fx and how VOYAGER was in the running all the time. Thought it looked like a damn cartoon myself.

I thought the CGI had some teething problems in seasons 1-4 as they phased out models, but the standards was still high IMO, with Foundation Imaging stepping up its game to match Digital Muse eventually.

Nine Emmy nods for Voyager VFX, three wins. The most impressive one was 1999 where Dark Frontier, Timeless, and Thirty Days were all duking it out the award (vs What You Leave Behind and an episode of Total Recall 2070). Rather than splitting the vote, Dark Frontier took the win. I think DS9 was overlooked for a lot of awards during its run, but not in that case.

…because the VFX are so often of that high a standard. Yes, these shows get their peers’ attention because of Trek’s reputation, but they get nods because they remain impressed. Considering how many other big budget VFX-heavy shows there are now, that’s quite an achievement.

I just don’t see that at all.

I hate Discovery because it’s horribly written and sappy but at the same time I kinda love it because it has a lot of other redeeming qualities. Can’t wait for new episodes.

Yeah whatever. The show is just awful. And after dismal season after dismal season, especially the last two, it’s not a shock why it was cancelled.

The frustrating thing about this show is every year they really did take the story line into interesting and unique directions, more so than any other modern show and always went big; but that was probably its downfall because they just never had the talent to pull it off by the end. Sooo many weird decisions and ridiculous plots.

I’m only watching season 5 because the show has finally been put out its misery and maybe I will be surprised and we get a great season. I am really hoping that’s the case. But fool me four times….

I’m excited we’ll get more LDS and PRO next year at least.

It all comes down to Michelle Paradise. Every interview I have seen with her is basically her demonstrating her complete ignorance of the most basic elements and history of Star Trek. She turned DIS into what SHE wanted.

Many fans had complaints about DIS during its first year, before Paradise came on board. In any case, can you provide some specifics about what she said re the history of Trek that was so clueless?

Kurtzman has been a Disco co-showrunner since season 2 and he hired Paradise, so Kurtzman deserves most of your scorn. Me? I’m just grateful for the epic pathos of that season about The Saddest Boy in the Whole Galaxy. He was rather sad.

It’s kind of the same problem Picard had too. Always started out interestingly enough but they never truly wrapped up a single story line. Not even S3.

What does God need with a spore ship?


That show needs to end. It’s just bad andneeds to be put out of it’s misery. We deserve better that this awful mess,.

Someone needed to take it out back and shoot it already.

As a lifelong Trekker I really tried to get into this show but couldn’t. The writing? Characters? A mutineer Captain that whispers and cry’s too much? None of the above? All the above? I don’t know. I just know it’s the first Star Trek that I would forget was on and had to force myself to watch it.

Why did I continue to watch? Because I’m a Trekker.

Me, too. Watched because I’m a completist. Did sort of enjoy season 2 because of Pike & Co, but the plot still doesn’t make sense. I appreciate that if not for Discovery we wouldn’t have the other new shows that I do like (LDS, PRO, SNW), but I will be glad for it to be over, hopefully freeing up funding for other new shows like Legacy or something else based in the 25th century.

Anyone know if Captain Rayner is a Vulcan or a Romulan?

There is a part of me that hopes the ship (and crew) goes out with a bang (ala USS Odyssey).

I’m also hoping they can resolve the whole Calypso question, but I don’t expect that they will. And that they cancel the Starfleet Academy show in favor of Legacy.

Re: Rayner and the Odyssey; why in the name of all that is holy would you want that!? 🤭

Agreed on the Calypso question, would be nice for them to put a bow on that, one way or another, maybe leaving Zora and Discovery hidden for another thousand years… We’ll see.

I imagine given how long ago in this era reunification took place that he could very well be both.

I’ll be watching Fallout in April. Loved the games, and looking forward to the TV adaptation. Can’t be bothered to watch Disco on first run.

I’m really excited to finally see Callum Keith Rennie in the Trek universe. Been a fan of his since back in the Due South days, and he’s great in many Canadian indie films like Hard Core Logo and Double Happiness, plus Battlestar Galactica’s reboot.

Awww. I’ve really enjoyed Discovery. It is disappointing that they didn’t them let them know S5 was the final season beforehand. I imagine the final episode is going to feel a bit rushed. I’m grateful to Discovery for ushering in this new era of Trek. The only season that I found to be truly weak was S3, which isn’t too bad considering the Star Trek’s track record. Gonna miss ya Disco!