Star Trek: Discovery Executive Producer Akiva Goldsman explained how Burnham’s fall from grace is important to the show.
“Burnham doesn’t fit into the Starfleet picture right now,” he said. “She’s a convicted mutineer and that does not a member of Starfleet make you. One of the things Bryan [Fuller] and Alex [Kurtzman] wanted was to see the world of Star Trek through the eyes of somebody who isn’t a captain.
“Our first year is about who this terrible moment leads her to become. The version of herself we met and she knew is shattered by the end of episode two. [It’s about] who she will become as a result of the loss of innocence, the loss of her view of herself, the loss of a simpler and less war-torn Federation.”
Will Burnham fit in with the Discovery crew? “Star Trek has always been about family,” said Goldsman. “The bridge crew is a family. I think it’s what we were drawn to and you can see it articulated already in the first couple of episodes. Lorca was put into Burnham’s life for a reason. We are challenged at the places we are most vulnerable and Burnham couldn’t be more vulnerable than now when it comes to trusting herself or others.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter