Star Trek Las Vegas on day 1 was dominated by four straight hours of Star Trek: Discovery.

  • Inside the Star Trek: Discovery’s Writers Room
  • Introducing Star Trek: Discovery
  • Designing the Creatures of Star Trek: Discovery
  • Star Trek: Discovery Comics and Novels Revealed

The actors panel at Star Trek Las Vegas featured members Mary Chieffo (Klingon commander L’Rell), Kenneth Mitchell (Klingon commander Kol), Sam Vartholomeos (U.S.S. Shenzhou Junior Officer Connor), and Wilson Cruz (Chief Medical Officer Hugh Culber).

“The images that you have seen so far are from one house. Today, you just saw the first image of me. So even in the costumes/wardrobe, you’re seeing it starting to venture towards more traditional Klingons — leather, different set of armor. The series will explore 24 houses of Klingon. You’re going to start to explore further Klingons and each of those houses have a different set of physical looks and variations and ideologies.” – Kenneth Mitchell reassuring fans on the look of Klingons in Discovery

“There’s a whole reasoning behind it. The exploration of houses is really fun. You get an exploration of the two houses I’m from.. I really deeply believe we are in line with what has come before but also a new kind of nuance. The language, we are dedicated to it.” -Mary Chieffo also reassuring fan on Klingons in Star Trek: Discovery

“It makes sense, if we speak to each other, we would speak in our native tongue. With Klingon, every word is not familiar. We don’t take it lightly — making sure every word is pronounced correctly. We know we want to be able to really dive in to what’s happening between these two Klingons and not just be overwhelmed with the Klingon.” – Mary Chieffo

The writers panel at Star Trek Las Vegas featured executive producer Akiva Goldsman and writers Ted Sullivan and Kirsten Beyer.

“We have people that are supportive in the Writer’s Room. There is a mutual love and respect for one another in the room. Literally, everyone in the room loves Star Trek. Star Trek has existed for so long that it means different things to different people.”-Ted Sullivan

Storytelling conflicts with the ‘Roddenberry Rule’

“I think the Roddenberry rule is 20/20 hindsight. I think that fundamentally, what we are trying to do is to suggest that the vision of the Federation, which is a Utopian vision of the future so the idea that there is no conflict on the way to Utopia is absurd and wouldn’t be good storytelling.” -Akiva on the Roddenberry rule to storytelling

“Our characters carry their losses with them from episode to episode.”-Akiva

Characters in Discovery

“It’s not just Sonequa’s character that is going on this journey […] We’re going on that journey to how these characters get to where they are” – Ted Sullivan on the importance of each character’s journey to getting where they are

On technobabble and science for Discovery

“Star Trek always tries to be true to science as much as it can” -Kirsten Beyer

“It’s not so much exploring new concepts. It’s making sure that what we are building makes sense.” – Kirsten Beyer

“All of us have a love for science.” – Ted Sullivan on Star Trek, writers and science.

Touched by fate and fire. He is Voq

Discovery’s themes

“The show takes place during a sudden war. This is a group of people who have not necessarily worked together.” -Akiva

“It has allowed us to be thematically deep. We’re trying to be thoughtful and really trying to explore kinds of issues that we think Star Trek has always explored and not be cute about it.” – Akiva Goldsman

“It blows me away and is super exciting. But I have to tell you Star Trek has never been about the ship or the sets or the costumes. It’s about what is the metaphor that they are exploring in the episode.” – Ted Sullivan

“Klingons are the focus… there’s definitely a deep dive into being Vulcan and some old fan favorites, but not with any real penetrated depth” -Akiva Goldsman on the focus of Star Trek: Discovery


“It’s been super fun to take a species that feels well-established and to imagine what a certain period in their history may have produced. It has given us all kind of new ways to talk about and experience Klingons.” – Kirsten Beyer

“The show is often told from both points of view. It is certainly about the Federation but there are significant sections of the narrative that are purely from the Klingon point of view in Klingon. It’s a real piece of the show. It will allow the audience to participate in who is right and who is wrong.” – Akiva Goldsman on Klingon representation in the show

Talking Lt Saru

“He’s the first of his kind. What I find compelling about Saru is what Doug (Jones) has brought to it. Doug has so brought to life this person with this incredible brilliance but also this warmth and compassion and sense of humor and dry wit making the evolution of this character fun to watch” – Kirsten Beyer on the Saru character

“When you cast someone, it changes the story. If you don’t alter your course or adjust based on who the artists are then you’re forcing a square peg into a hole” – Ted Sullivan on how casting changes the story


Designers panel at Star Trek Las Vegas featured Neville Page and Glenn Hetrick.

Redesiging the Klingons

Bryan Fuller’s original vision for the Klingons:  “The Klingons are self-ware estheticians, and I want them to appear less brutish and more conscious.”

“Designing the Klingons – which I realize was dangerous after reading comments online” – Neville Page

“I felt the obligation and the desire to infuse everything I’ve touched — it has purpose and meaning. Here are all the walls of the set, not just the walls that you see. Every single surface. Which is how we addressed the Klingon mandate” – Neville Page

The empire is very big. They don’t all grow up on Kronos. They don’t all live on the same planets and certainly those different planets would have different environments. So how would the cultures have evolved differently?…We tried to come up with cultural axioms for each house so each looks different and they bear a cultural patina like our cultures do here on Earth. – Neville Page

“Every decision has so many layers” – Glenn Hetrick

“Nothing that we’re doing is just doing something cause it looks cool. Every single element of every character has a purpose” -Glenn Hetrick

3D Printing

“Glenn knows how a design will perform, will work on a body. What that does is it allows design and facilation of the design to really be in true harmony.” – Neville Page

“And that’s a huge process. For some of our creatures, we print out their design.”-Glenn Hetrick

It’s all in the detail

“There’s also another step to the process. It’s an almost religious level of devotion to the integrity of Star Trek canon for you guys. We spend a lot of time” -Glenn Hetrick

Page and Hetrick talked about the designs for the Klingon torchbearer, weapons and explained that Discovery’s Klingons are bald because of these heightened senses on the top of their heads. The bald look was also a mandate from Fuller.

Designing Lt Saru

The pair also talked about how they used high-tech equipment and techniques to design Doug Jones’s character Lt Saru.

“He is an absolute warrior when it comes to wearing prosthetics. He’s been doing suit and make-up work for so long so that allows us to do different things with Saru.”-Glenn Hetrick on Doug Jones as Saru


Star Trek: Discovery Comics and Novels Revealed panel at Star Trek Las Vegas featured Mike Johnson, Sarah Gaydos, David Mack, Ed Schlesinger and Kirsten Beyer.


Read more about the comic and novel here


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