'Star Trek: Discovery' storyline revealed

You’ve seen the trailer. You’ve read our teases. But what is Star Trek: Discovery really about? And why are there two starships in this show, the U.S.S. Discovery and the Shenzhou?

Showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg don’t want to give away too much of the plot. The CBS All Access drama is heavily serialized with plenty of twists and turns — particularly in the first few episodes — which makes the storyline difficult to discuss.

But here’s some new intel the duo are ready to reveal about the series, which stars Sonequa Martin-Green as a Starfleet First Officer who was the first human to attend the Vulcan Science Academy.

“Burnham [has] spent a lot of time on Vulcan, but she’s human,” Harberts says. “Sarek [Spock’s father, played by James Frain] plays an important role in her life, which has been completely planned until she makes a very difficult choice that sends her life on a very different path. When we meet her, she’s the First Officer on the Starship Shenzhou [captained by Philippa Georgiou, played by Michelle Yeoh]. And Burnham’s choice that we’re alluding to is most difficult choice you can make — it affects her, affects Starfleet, affects the Federation, it affects the entire universe. That choice leads her to a different ship, the Discovery [helmed by Captain Lorca, played by Jason Isaacs] and there we begin what Gretchen and I call our ‘second pilot.‘”

Burham is, of course, the first Trek lead who is not a captain,* so we asked the showrunners what that choice adds to the drama.

“The joy is in the journey,” Berg replied. “The advantage to her not being in charge of the bridge right now is we get to tell stories from a very different point of view. It’s a fresh feeling because we’re not on the bridge all the time. We get access to more parts of the ship.”

Also, the Klingons are heavily involved in the season … and they’re not very friendly.

In addition, we asked the producers which Trek series or film has the biggest influence on the new series.

“There’s a hint of all of them, but in the writers’ room people are so in love with The Original Series and Next Generation, and they talk about the family aspect of those cast members,” Berg said.

Added Harberts: “I think Nicholas Myers’ film are a touchstone, and not just because he’s been on staff with us. His storytelling is complex and intellectual and yet there’s a lot of room for character voices and character work, he’s done such an incredible job with the franchise. In terms of scope and scale, there’s something about Star Trek: The Motion Picture that really speaks to us as well. CBS has allowed us to find a cinematic language that’s wider in scope — our aspect ratio is 2:1 — and it just lends itself to a very lyrical way of telling the story. And just visually speaking, there’s also a little hint in terms of what J.J. Abrams did, a little bit, in terms of some of the visuals.”

Previous: The frustrating longtime guideline that Discovery will ditch.

Previous: First look at a groovy new transporter room

Previous: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green torpedos racist trolls

Previous: First look at Jason Isaacs as Discovery’s Captain Lorca.

Previous: Star Trek: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green breaks her silence on her mysterious character.

Previous: Star Trek: Discovery producers explain the show’s delays.

Previous: Star Trek: Discovery trailer and premiere date.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut Sunday, Sept. 24 (first on CBS, then shifting to CBS All Access streaming service; Netflix internationally). EW has more to come, follow @jameshibberd for the latest.

* Yes I know, Sisko in DS9 was also not technically a captain but that was only because the show was set on a space station and not on a ship; he was still the highest ranking officer, which amounted to the same thing.

Okay…it’s shit like this that makes me believe that Trekkies are NOWHERE NEAR as “progressive” as they like to believe themselves to be. (Also, at the time of this writing this is the most popular comment on the Star Trek Discovery trailer.

I mean really. If ya’ll are so “tolerant” then why is it that you’re getting pissy about a black woman as the lead? Why are ya’ll getting so freaked out over gay relationships, and people of color? 

Hell, if anything Trekkies should be used to this kind of thing, but ever since the trailer dropped all I’ve been seeing is complaining that they show doesn’t revolve around a white dude, or Trekkies being upset that the show’s going to “preach to them.” 

Shouldn’t the Trek fandom be celebrating? 

But they’re not, and I’ll tell you why. 

Because the Trek fandom (like ALL fandoms) only want diversity in a way that still caters to whiteness. Or heterosexuality. Sure, they claim to want diversity and interesting stories, but only if it means that whiteness (or heteronormativity) is still centered. Yeah, they’re cool with a “non white lead” as long as the “non white lead” doesn’t draw attention to the fact that they’re not white. Because a black woman embracing her heritage, her history, and her culture is “too much” for anyone to handle. 

Picard can quote European literature all damn day, but god forbid Sisko mention black history, or civil rights. Kirk and Archer can have all the female interplanetary love interests they want, but having an openly gay man in a loving relationship is “too preachy.”

If ya’ll want to talk about how “progressive” your fandom is (and I’m talking fandom here, not TV show) then the response to having a diverse cast should be “Cool. Nothing new for us.” 

But instead I’m seeing “SJW’s ruined this show” or “It’s gonna ruin Star Trek forever” or worst yet, Trekkies writing essays about how they’re “So totally not bigots, but they just don’t like the idea of being ‘force fed’ diversity”. 

Honestly, I bet people said the exact same shit about Kirk and Uhura’s kiss. It wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Well, ya’ll can trust and believe that people are keeping receipts on this shit.

8

I created most of her [Sasha’s] backstory. Scott Gimple and the other writers and I decided on her being a firefighter. But most everything else—her childhood, adolescence—that stuff has been filled in and fleshed out by me. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Sasha’s relationship with her father. She was raised by a war veteran who had no tolerance for weakness and she was very much a daddy’s girl. She was always striving for his approval and wanting to make him proud. That’s something that she still carries with her, as we all do.

First Star Trek Discovery now Black Panther got some of you really using the “unrealistic “ argument. Just say you hate black people and go like shut up.Sci Fi and superheros movies are not suppose to be real life realistic