Tonight, Star Trek: Short Treks: The Brightest Star debuts on CBS All Access. Doug Jones spoke about the forthcoming episode explaining what fans can expect to see. Note: there will definitely be spoilers below.
According to Jones, Saru had to make a big transition from his homeworld to Starfleet. “Well it is a flashback,” he said, referring to The Brightest Star. “It’s an origin story of how Saru leaves his primitive society and joins the high-tech society of Starfleet. That’s a huge jump to make, so those questions are answered on how that ever happened.
“How does this primitive society, how does a member of it break out and make this huge jump from collecting kelp from the sea as his day job to pushing buttons on high-tech equipment and helping lead a starship into exploration and battle? That’s a huge, huge transition to make. When we go back and watch this Short Trek and his backstory, you’ll see Saru as a teenager. Now Kelpiens have a very long lifespan, so how old he really is we don’t even know, but this is sort of the adolescent part of his life. And who can’t relate to those teenage years when you’re growing up in whatever town or city and you grow up in whatever household you grow up in, and our world is very small during that time of life? You wonder what else is out there and [wonder] ‘what will I see, what will I be, what will I do?’ This is a very relatable storyline; you see Saru going through all those things.”
Viewers will get the meet Saru’s family in the episode. “You see the family dynamic that I come from,” said Jones. “You get to meet my sister, Serana, played by Hannah Spear. You get to meet my dad, played by Robert Villacki. So it was just a lovely family dynamic. And you see that leaving that home planet, leaving my society and making the decision to explore…the almost sacrifice, that I had to leave something behind. That pulls at your heartstrings. It pulled at mine, certainly, playing this.”
Although Saru’s home planet is beautiful, life there is unpleasant for the Kelpians. “My people are prey on our planet and I think that denotes that there must be a predator species,” said Jones. “How does that play out? What’s that relationship? Well, this short film will answer those questions, you’ll get to see all that. This is going back in time to see my roots and my start. So you’ll get to see a younger Saru, maybe in my teenage years. I look very much the same because Kelpiens live a long time.
“You’ll see the beauty of my home planet. It looks like a vacation spot. But there’s the dichotomy of this whole situation and it’s slightly disturbing. There’s the beautiful brochure-looking place but at the same time there’s the horrific thing of the culling of our people. When a certain time comes along ever so often, our predator species will collect a few of us. That’s where it’s our time. They take us away to our death. So that’s very disturbing and why does that happen? And does it need to happen? Why is it necessary?”