Lt. Burnham’s Vulcan Connection Revealed!

Lt. Michael Burnham presents as Vulcan

Speculation Surrounding Burnham’s Species

After the new teaser trailer was released showing Sonequa Martin-Green as Lt. Burnham both as an adult and as a child interacting with James Frain’s Sarek, speculation began that her character might be half-vulcan. Clues such as her manner of speaking, poise and the way she interacted with Sarek (Spock’s Father), made many fans wonder if her character might indeed have a little bit of green blood flowing through her veins…

“I don’t see no points on your ears, boy, but you sound like a Vulcan!”

– Leonard McCoy, Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Encounter at Farpoint”

In the case of Lt. Burnham and Discovery, she indeed has inflections at times that sound reminiscent of  a Vulcan’s stony visage, and fans could swear that her ears were slightly pointy. However, Sonequa Martin-Green opened up during an interview with Entertainment Weekly about her character Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burnham on Star Trek: Discovery, and put many of those rumors to rest.

Sonequa Martin-Green Talks About Her Character, Michael Burnham

Sonequa Martin-Green confirmed the fact that her character, in fact, is a full-fledged earthling (that would explain why her “tongue is too human” to learn the Vulcan language). But, why the robes and the Vulcan haircut when she appears as a child in the flashback sequence? Don’t worry, she explains that as well…

Apparently, Burnham will be the first human to graduate from both “The Vulcan Learning Center” when she is a child as well as the “Vulcan Science Academy” as an adult. This means she spent most of her adolescence on Vulcan, surrounded by Vulcans and learning all things Vulcan… which is why at times she reminds us of one of our favorite alien species.

Michael Burnham and Sarek have a long history
Michael Burnham and Sarek have a long history

She also goes on to hint that her character will interact with both Sarek and Amanda Grayson in the series:

“I have an inner war and it’s a journey of self discovery and finding out what it means to be alive, to be human, to be a Starfleet officer, what it means to be a hero.”

“I have the Vulcan conflict in my life from Sarek and Amanda so there’s always going to be that inner conflict with me. But I think it’s relatable because we all have some kind of inner conflict going on — who we are versus who we present ourselves to be. There’s a lot to be discovered.” (Sonequa Martin-Green to Entertainment Weekly, 06/20/2017)

Now that we know her character is a human raised and educated by Vulcans, we can only imagine the inner drama she will have to deal with, being caught between the individual idealisms of the two worlds… And, although she never mentions the name Spock, being as her character is so intertwined with the Sarek family, it’s possible there will be some name-dropping at the very least to please the fans and finalize the connection between Discovery and TOS.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres September 24th on CBS and CBS All Access in the US, Space & CraveTV in Canada, and debuts the 25th on Netflix for the rest of the world.

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About Robert Markin

Robert is an avid lover of all things horror, sci-fi, and paranormal. He's been a Star Trek fan (AKA "Trekkie/Trekker") since he was just a boy. When he's not watching reruns of Star Trek or X-Files, he's researching and writing about them! Robert lives in Chicago, Illinois... Twitter: @ParanormalBob Facebook: