Star Trek: Discovery descended on Madison Square Garden for their official New York Comic Con panel. Thousands of people in the audience eagerly awaited the cast and crew of the newest hit series in the Star Trek franchise. Since the end of Season 1, the show has undergone some pretty massive structural changes. Showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg left and were replaced by executive producer Alex Kurtzman. New cast members Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn and Ethan Peck joined the cast of Season 2 as iconic characters Captain Christopher Pike, Number One and of course, Spock.
While fans already knew the Enterprise would make an appearance under Pike's command, recent key art also seemed to indicate that there would be a Romulan presence as the race's sigil appeared lit in flame in the middle of the Starfleet Delta. That's most of what we know about the storyline of Season 2 as details have been extremely limited.
The panel was moderated by surprise guest Rebecca Romijn and featured appearances by Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Saru), Mary Wiseman (Tilly), Adam Rapp (Paul Stamets), Anson Mount (Christopher Pike), Shazad Latif (Ash Tyler/Voq), Mary Chieffo (L'Rell), Wilson Cruz (Hugh Culber), Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou) and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin.
The panel opend with Alex Kurtxman announcing that writers were about four weeks in to working on the Picard series before launching into an extended trailer for Season 2. Highlights included Michelle Yeoh returning in a very prominent way as Mirror Georgiou. She pops up on the Enterprise dressed once more as her Prime counterpart and appears in scenes on the Enterprise with Captain Pike and Lieutenant Burnham. On the Vulcan side of things, Spock voiceovers that he's seen the same vision, a fiery angel, since childhood and appears at one point to be in a medical bay in torment. Burnham reveals that she has also shared the visions in a scene with Spock's mother, Amanda. There's several serious action scenes, one of which sees the Discovery hit by an asteroid or comet that does serious damage.
There are also glimpses of a new Klingon design inspired by the Season 6 TNG episode "Rightful Heir." According to Mary Chieffo later in the panel, the idea taken from the Kahless story was the Klingons would shave their heads in time of war and grow out their hair when not in active conflict. The story details how Kahless created the first bat'leth by cutting off a piece of his hair and bathing it in the lava of an active volcano.
Alex Kurtzman detailed more on the seven signals that have attracted the attention of the Discovery and the Enterprise and how they'll take part in this season: "Where they came from and who or what sent them is really the drive of Season 2... Are they some kind of path or are they message? We can't really understand them." It does appear that the seven signals will play some part in Spock's mental distress.
As for Anson Mount, he went into some more detail about how his captaincy will differ from Lorca's:
Pike konws that a good leader has frailties and publicly so he's knows his greatest asset is his crew . He's not afraid to admit that he's stumped and he regularly throws the question out to the people aroud him which makes for great bridge scenes.
On Paul Stamets', Anthony Rapp explained that Stamets is still in the grieving process of losing Hugh Culber. "There was no time to really deal with the loss because we were in the middle of trying to save th euniverse. .. So now it's what is next? It's been really, really meaningful and satisfying to tell that part of the story"
Ethan Peck didn't know what he was reading for and that resulted in some pretty interesting revelation: "[I knew] this guy was struggling with emotion and logic and towards the very end of it I found out who it was and I had a panic attack throughout the last meeting with Kurtzman."
As for Saru, Doug Jones detailed a good deal of what the Kelpian is up to this season:
He finds out something about hmself and what it means to be a Kelpian that he did not know and you dont' know and I can't tell you today but this will be altering and challenging for him. He's on a path to evolution as we all are... and we get to go to my home planet ... You get to meet my sister the lovely Sarana... and my planet Kamanar. I"m a prey species there, so who is the predator, we might find that out, too.
Wilson Cruz was extremely enigmatic about Culber's reappearance in Season 2 only saying that "We find him where we left him." This could either mean he's in the Mycelial network or... the morgue.
Sonequa Martin-Green teased the image of the red angel that was so prominent in the trailer:
The big mystery of the season is this red angel and these signals and as you saw the red angel appears to Burnham at a critical moment and what aI find ut is that Spock has also seen this red angel earlier in his life.
Anson Mount was asked about some of the missions he'd take the crew of the Discovery on while in command, and he revealed that initially the ship would chase down the red signals that give off an amount of energy that's beyond any known species' ability to create. That's when they'll encounter the U.S.S. Hiawatha which has come into contact with one of the signals. It's crashed on an asteroid and engineer Tig Notaro is the only survivor.
Michelle Yeoh is still gleeful in her portrayal the erstwhile emperor and even demanded the audience bow to her when Romijn introduced her. "It's much more fun playing Section 31 Georgiou. I get to play the captain because this poor man (Pike) has no idea who I am. There's only a handful of people who know that Emperor Georgiou is in Section 31." It looks as if Starfleet is keeping with canon and surpressing all knowledge of the Mirror Universe.
Finally, Sonequa Martin-Green announced that her husband Kenric Green would appear in Season 2, though she did not say in what capacity.