This has been a good week for Trek fans, with pictures and news about Star Trek: Discovery being released almost daily.
Today’s news comes courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, which featured a three-page interview with Discovery showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg, who spoke about choices Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) made and what impact those choices have.
“Burnham’s background is that she was the first human to attend the Vulcan Learning Center and Vulcan Science Academy – so she’s spent a lot of time on Vulcan, but she’s human,” said Harberts. “Sarek plays an important role in her life, which has been completely planned until she makes a difficult choice that sends her life on a very different path.
“When we meet her, she’s the first officer on the Starship Shenzhou. Burnham’s choice that we’re alluding to is the 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 USS Discovery, and there we begin what Gretchen and I call our second pilot.”
Harberts went on to explain that Star Trek: Discovery is a “serialized telling of a tale; an exploration of one particular character, Michael Burnham, along the path of discovering what it means to be human and finding her individuality.”
“Those types of stories have been really well told in the Star Trek movies,” Harberts added, “but it’s been hard to do in the television iterations because episodes have been so closed-ended.
“The joy is in the journey. The advantage to [Burnham] not being in charge of the bridge right now is we get to tell stories from a 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.”
As for fans who hated the “Roddenberry rule,” where Starfleet members aren’t allowed to be in conflict with one another, forget about that! “We’re trying to do stories that are complicated, with characters with strong points of view and strong passions,” said Harberts. “People have to make mistakes — mistakes are still going to be made in the future. We’re still going to argue in the future.”
“The rules of Starfleet remain the same,” said Berg. “But while we’re human or alien in various ways, none of us are perfect.
“The thing we’re taking from Roddenberry is how we solve those conflicts,” said Harberts. “So we do have our characters in conflict, we do have them struggling with each other, but it’s about how they find a solution and work through their problems.”