Showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts are aware of the need to be mindful of canon when producing Star Trek: Discovery.
Because of this, there are things that will not be seen on the show, they said in a new interview with Slate, including Romulans, because the original series Balance of Terror was the Federation’s first face-to-face encounter with them.
But canon can be flexible and it’s up to Berg and Harberts to find where they can adjust it a bit. “Any kind of canon is like scripture,” said Berg. “There’s some interpretation going on. I really find that my favorite creative people can look at those boundaries and say, ‘there’s so much room within to play. Instead of going outside the lines, we can dig deeper within the boundaries that exist.'”
One of those areas of canon includes Spock and his parents. Michael Burnham will appear as a ward of Sarek’s and her presence and how it all works will be explained. “The audience just has to be patient, because typically, if it seems like we’re violating canon, we know,” said Harberts. “We know that people might have knee-jerk reactions to things. But we have a plan.”
Staying true to the past is helped by the writers’ room, which has writers who are also Trek fans themselves. “We negotiate,” said Harberts. “We haggle. We horse-trade. We always ask, ‘How do we serve canon and the story?’ You’ve got to find a way to meet in the middle.”
The Trek writers will also be looking for new places to go in the show. “The trick is to find the dark spots,” said Akiva Goldsman. “To find the places that have not been illuminated by canon. You’re searching for the areas where no one has shined a light. Like any good adaptation, you run into the wall, you bang your head against it, and you try again in a different direction.”