Star Trek: Discovery beamed down to the San Diego Comic-Con yesterday with a panel of cast and creatives which included, Sonequa Martin-Green (Burnham), Jason Isaacs (Lorca), Doug Jones (Saru), Shazad Latif (Tyler), Mary Wiseman (Tilly), Anthony Rapp (Stamets), and James Frain (Sarek). They were joined by executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts, Heather Kadin, and Akiva Goldsman. The panel was moderated Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd).
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When Sonequa Martin-Green first got the role.
Sonequa: got the call while in Bueana Aires. She first screamed then cried when she got the part.
Aaron Harberts on how hard it was to cast the lead role.
Harberts: difficult to cast Burnham. They looked for months, waited for Sonequa to finish The Walking Dead.
Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg knew they had found their lead the moment they saw her.
Kurtzman: we are all huge fans of TOS and take inspiration from that. Always mindful of canon.
It’s 2017. we can’t give you sets like TOS but we are consistent with origins.
Jason Isaacs on playing Lorca.
“He’s not like any of the other people because I’m playing him,” he said. “I’m not trying to look or sound like any previous Captain.”
Rainn Wilson says there was online negativity and backlash about diversity, but this has been part of Trek
Martin-Green: “Star Trek has always been pictorial of diversity and universality and unity. 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.”
Gretchen Berg: Klingons will speak Klingon with subtitles.
“The Klingons have their own pride, interests & talents – it’s a very fascinating culture, Being able to expand upon what’s already been set up & deepen the knowledge of this group [Klingons] has been fantastic.”
Doug Jones on playing Lt. Saru
“As a Kelpien, what you have not seen in any of these trailers is my footwear,” he said. “My feet are actually hooves. I’m six-eight in the show—I’m the tallest character in the show. I’m balancing on the balls of my feet.”
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Harberts discussed how the conflict between the Klingons and Federation will play out and stressed that the actions of individuals can have huge impact. Harberts said of Discovery that ultimately, “It’s a family show, it’s a workplace show, and the science fiction overlays the top.”
Rapp announced that Wilson Cruz will play the love interest of his character, Lt. Paul Stamets.
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James Frain on playing Sarek.
Mentor to Michael. Must raise a fully human. Character fascinating and complex.
Vulcan ideal evolved over centuries. They do have emotions & must deal with them. Humans in his life challenge him.
Martin-Green stated that Sarek and Amanda are Michael Burnham’s surrogate parents while on Vulcan. She also revealed that Burnham’s relationship with Captain Georgiou is also “close.” Martin-Green later added, “We truly are so grateful to be here to be part of this legacy.”
Akiva Goldsman on the conflict in the show.
“Our opportunity is to take our view of conflict today and still search for some resolution that is not dystopian, but utopian.”
Alex Kurtzman on the 15 episode season
“There are big reveals at several points thru the course of the season. I think you’ll find a lot of surprises along the way.”
Mary Wiseman said it endows performances with power knowing how invested in Star Trek fans and her fellow actors are.
Akiva Goldsman on Discovery and Star Trek
“There is something that is a key to the understanding … of the original Roddenberry universe—that is, the attempt to establish family,” Goldsman explained of the new series. “The formation of family and the family you choose is a transcendent value.”