THE PROMISE OF ‘STAR TREK DISCOVERY:’ A FEMALE LEAD, LGBTQ CHARACTERS, HIGHLIGHT MISSION OF DIVERSITY

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Last month at the San Diego Comic Con, STAR TREK: DISCOVERY showrunner, Bryan Fuller, made some rather large declarations concerning the social science fiction we can expect to see in early January. In front of 6,000 Hall H attendees, Fuller ruminated on the hope found within Gene Roddenberry’s quest, “Fifty years of a promise of planet Earth uniting its citizens under one flag as a species going into the galaxy. Just take a moment and think about that. Two hundred and fifty years into the future. Think about where we are today, think about what’s happening in America, and think about the promise of STAR TREK and what we can all do to get there.” As Roddenberry experienced in 1966, America is once again in a state of tumultuous anxiety and Fuller hopes STAR TREK can provide inspiration for humanity once again.

During a Television Critics Association press event on Wednesday, Bryan Fuller finally revealed a few tidbits about the 2017 All Access program, including a glimpse into that bright future we’re all working towards. As hinted in San Diego, DISCOVERY will be a single arc driven season consisting of thirteen episodes. Each single episode will be a chapter to the novelistic season: complete with a beginning, middle, and end. The show will be set a decade before The Original Series’ USS Enterprise and set apart from the Kelvin timeline we just saw in STAR TREK BEYOND.

The crew of the USS Discovery will consist of seven lead characters. While Fuller did not reveal the names or the actors behind these characters, he did disclose that the primary female lead will not be a Captain, but a Lieutenant Commander. “We’ve seen six series from the Captain’s point of view. To see a character from a different perspective, who has a different relationship to the crew, would give us a richer context.” He also exclaimed that she would be a simple human, a fact that shouldn’t be too surprising since he’s been on the record as proclaiming STAR TREK VOYAGER’s Kathryn Janeway as his favorite Starfleet Captain. The DISCOVERY’s story will be a “woman’s journey” and “in order to understand something completely alien to her, she has to understand herself.”

Back at that Comic Con podium, Fuller proudly reveled in STAR TREK’s motto of infinite diversity in infinite combinations. When discussing the importance of representation, he continued that “Individuality is very important for all of us, and it should be celebrated whenever it can be.” At the TCAs, after being asked if DISCOVERY would have a LGBT crew member, Fuller said, “Absolutely, we’re having a gay character.”

A few more details were eked out for the critics. There will be a myriad of species on display, including reimaginings of classic favorites. However, the question of what styled Klingon forehead was not addressed. It does appear that this crew will have “a few more aliens than you normally do in a STAR TREK cast.” Fuller also evaded questions about Spock’s mother Amanda Grayson, but he did admit that he loved that character. DISCOVERY’s backstory will be rooted in a known STAR TREK event; a fact that committed Fuller to nixing guesses from the crowd of The Romulan War, the Battle of Axanar, and the Kobayashi Maru. Please post your own speculations below because this writer is at a loss, but terribly excited for the next chapter in The Human Adventure.

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