Many crew members of Star Trek: Discovery beamed down to Comic-Con to give an eager audience in Ballroom 20 a peek at the latest iteration of the iconic sci-fi property. The Starfleet taking the stage included series star Sonequa Martin-Green, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Mary Wiseman, Anthony Rapp, and James Frain alongside executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts, Heather Kadin and Akiva Goldsman.
Moderated by Rainn Wilson, who is set to play original Star Trek character Harry Mudd on the show, the panel launched with new trailer of the CBS All Access series with a heavy emphasis on Martin-Green’s First Officer Michael Burnham. The series takes place 10 years before Captain Kirk’s Star Trek, and Kurtzman talks about how the two series will connect aesthetically.
“It’s about marrying the past with the present,” said Kurtzman. “We are all huge fans of the original series and obviously we want to be accurate — we are within canon.”
A hot topic of the panel was the casting, which caught backlash because it’s not what many fans were used to — even though the basis of Star Trek was based on an idea of open-mindedness.
“Star Trek has always been pictorial of diversity and universality and unity,” said Martin-Green. “If you say you love the legacy of Star Trek, but you don’t love that, then you’ve missed it. I encourage you to come on the journey with us.”
Goldsman adds, “If you love sci-fi, you love something unlike yourself — something other. It’s about accepting each other’s differences, finding common ground, and love. [The backlash] shows what’s happening on the Internet and not on our show.”
On the note of diversity, Rapp plays Lt. Stamets, the first openly gay Star Trek character on TV. “I’m very proud of that and that he’s a scientist,” said Rapp.” I can announce that Wilson Cruz will play my love interest and my partner in the series.”
Klingons will also be making a comeback and will have a considerable focus on their culture. Berg points out that they aren’t just thugs of the universe. “[They] have their own pride, interests and talents — it’s a very fascinating culture. Being able to expand upon what’s already been set up and deepen the knowledge of this group has been fantastic,” she adds. “And they will be speaking Klingon — you’ll have to bring out your glasses to read the subtitles.”
Also joining the team is Fargo and The Night Of composer Jeff Russo.
The 15-episode Star Trek: Discovery will bow Sunday, September 24, with a special broadcast premiere on CBS. The first and second episodes will be available on CBS All Access immediately after the broadcast premiere, with subsequent new episodes released Sundays on All Access.