It was a star-studded panel of Star Trek Discovery actors, showrunners, and more. Present on the panel were actor and moderator Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd), actors Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca), Doug Jones (Lt. Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Stamets), Shazad Latif (Tyler), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Tilly), and James Frain (Sarek, Spock’s father). You can read all about their characters on our site. From the production side, Alex Kurtzman, Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts, Heather Kadin and Akiva Goldsman, all Star Trek Discovery executive producers.
Surprise Visit by Cast, Crew, and Writers
Before the day even got started, many of the Discovery cast and crew surprised fans by making an unannounced appearance at the Star Trek Discovery exhibit. Fans, who had been waiting in line for hours, were treated to an up-close look at actors Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Jason Isaacs, James Frain, and showrunners and writers Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman, Aaron Harberts, Gretchen J. Berg, and Ted Sullivan.
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And of course it wouldn’t be a visit without making a stop at the Captain’s chair, also on display at the exhibit.
Fans Waited Hours for Panel
Fans waited hours to get into Ballroom 20 and were treated to a bunch of new details about the upcoming series, behind the scenes details, and much more.
After starting the panel with a new Star Trek Discovery trailer, the cast quickly went into question and answers. Rainn Wilson kept the audience entertained while he moderated the panel, as did actor Doug Jones who got up out of his chair to act our his character’s way of walking.
Early in the panel, there were a number of references to recent criticism over the amount of diversity being presented in Star Trek Discovery. Two of the main characters are women of colour, one of which is the series protagonist, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). Martin-Green addressed the points Wilson raised by saying “if you say you love the legacy of Star Trek but not diversity, then you’ve missed the point“. This comment echos one she made previously when addressing racist detractors.
Panel Reveals New Details
We also learned that the Klingons, who will be a mainstay of at least the first season of the series, will be speaking in their native Klingon language. Subtitling will be used. “We’ve gone to great lengths to be accurate with language” noted one panelist. The Klingon language is a fully-formed language.
Additionally, we learned a bit more about Commander Burnham’s upbringing. We learned, for example, that her parents were killed when she was young. Her surrogate father Sarek, and human mother, Amanda raised her. This means that she’s one of Spock’s siblings. The showrunners were quick to point out that there are reasons we’ve never heard of this character through Spock before, and that all will be answered as the show progresses.
Actor Doug Jones, who plays Lieutenant Saru will have hooves for feet. Already standing a statuesque 6’4″ tall, the hooves bring his character’s up to a whopping 6’8″ – the tallest character on the series.
Love Interests, Tidbits
We’ve previously heard that Anthony Rapp’s character, Lieutenant Paul Stamets, will be the first openly-gay character of any Star Trek series. Today we learned that his love interest will be played by actor Wilson Cruz. No word on Cruz’ character’s name yet.
Other tidbits of information include that Jeff Russo will compose the music for the series. Alex Kurtzman made note that there will be big reveals over several points in the season, and many surprises along the way.
Star Trek Discovery airs this September 24th on CBS All Access (USA), Space/CraveTV (Canada), and on Netflix (Rest of World).