Star Trek Discovery to Have Female Lead

Discovery’s Female Lead

It’s official.  CBS and Bryan Fuller have confirmed that Star Trek: Discovery will be lead by a female.  But there’s a catch!  The lead character is human female; but she is not a captain. Rather, she will be a Lieutenant Commander – “with caveats”.

Fuller stated “the story that is fascinating for me is, we’ve seen six series from captain’s points of view…”.  He followed up by saying “to see different characters from different perspectives, we thought it would give us different contexts.”  It most certainly will.  Every Star Trek series has focused around either a captain or a commander (in DS9, Sisko started off as a commander and was promoted to captain).

“In order to understand something that is so completely alien from her, she must first understand herself,” Fuller said. “That’s part of our journey on this planet to get along, and that’s part of our journey in this first season.”

We don’t yet know anything about who will act the main lead as she hasn’t been cast yet.  Bryan stated “we don’t know what level of diversity she will be” which may suggest that the specific ethnicity of the leading character hasn’t been defined in the story.

Set 10 Years Before Kirk’s Mission

Star Trek Discovery is set 10 years before Captain Kirk's 5-year mission
Star Trek Discovery is set 10 years before Captain Kirk’s 5-year mission

Bryan Fuller also confirmed that Star Trek: Discovery will take place 10 years before Captain Kirk’s 5-year mission.  This is a lot closer to the original series than most fans had thought.  It also explains why the USS Discovery seems familiar to the time period.

There’s a lot of Trek history in and around that timeframe.  When asked if he was open to familiar characters that we know of in that time, Fuller responded by saying “absolutely”. But he then followed up saying that first season will focus on new characters.

What’s Star Trek Discovery About?

Download the 3D USS Discovery app for your Android and move the Discovery around using your fingers
Download the 3D USS Discovery app for your Android and move the NCC-1031 around using your fingers

Well, we still really don’t know.  What we do know is that there’s an incident or event in Star Trek history that had been talked about in either the shows or the movies (update: it’s referenced in Star Trek: The Original Series) but had not been explored.  Its in this setting that Star Trek Discovery will exist.  It’s not the Kobiyashi Maru, it’s not set during, nor is it about the Romulan War (though Bryan Fuller hinted that this was close), and Section 31 isn’t the focus of the show.  In fact, the most juicy tidbit of details that we have is that Amanda Grayson (Spock’s mother) will “maybe” fit into the Star Trek Discovery story, but not be a central part of show.  “She’s not a central part of the show, but we love that character,”

Oh, and did we mention it’ll be during the Klingon Wars?

While there will be a 13-episode season long story arc, Star Trek: Discover will also feature closed-end stories with each weekly chapter.  As a long time Star Trek fan, episodic shows meant that social issues and stories could be dealt with and often resolved within a single episode.  No need to catch up with previous episodes – just start wherever, watch and enjoy.  Fuller stated that “each episode is a chapter, within each chapter will be a beginning, middle & end.”

We also know that Star Trek Discovery is slated to be a combo of lighter tones and darker tones.  Fuller says there may be slightly more graphic content and language. Standards not as strict for CBS All Access and Fuller is going to play a bit with that aspect of the Star Trek formula.  This Star Trek fan hopes he doesn’t take the darker tones too far as Trek has always been about optimism and an enlightened future.

Star Trek Discovery Casting

CBS also confirmed that casting for the new Star Trek series is still under way.  That means if Discovery is set to start filming in September, they need to get moving as September starts in just a few weeks.

What we do know is that Star Trek Discovery will feature and see a lot more aliens in cast than in past shows.  Fuller says that the series will uphold tradition of diverse cast, as has each previous incarnation of Star Trek.

New Aliens, Updates to Old Favorites

USS Discovery - Captain AAA
Just who or what is this unknown creature?

There will be new aliens, more aliens on the crew, and some thoughtful tweaks and changes to alien species we’ve seen before.  No word on which specific species of aliens Bryan was talking about, though it’s highly likely that we’ll see Klingons given the Klingon Wars.

Star Trek Series’ First Gay Character

Sulu was a master at fencing - and enhancing light sparkle from his skin
Sulu; master of fencing, lord of sweat shimmer

While Star Trek Beyond brought Sulu out of the closet, no openly gay character has ever been a mainstay of any Star Trek series.  “Absolutely we’re having a gay character”, said Bryan Fuller when asked if Star Trek: Discovery would feature an LGBTQ crew character.  No mention of which character it’ll be, or if it’ll be the leading female role.

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About Cassius Adams

Cassius Adams is the creator of and is a content contributor. He has been a Star Trek fan for nearly three decades. Cassius discovered his passion for the franchise early into TNG's run, and nourished that passion throughout DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, and the movies. Cassius can be reached by emailing or you can follow him on Twitter at @supercass