The cast and crew of Star Trek: Discovery took to New York Comic-Con to preview the show's upcoming Season 3, and the far-future they find themselves in after Season 2.
They began the panel with a trailer, which shows what happened to the Discovery and its crew after jumping 930 years into the future at the end of Season 2. The results, suffice it to say, are surprising, the intention of co-showrunner Alex Kurtzman.
"If we don’t deliver you something completely surprising and unexpected, then we have failed," he said.
Despite going so far into the future, Discovery took care to still make sure it's in line with the comprehensive history the franchise has had for over 50 years.
"It’s not like we’re tossing canon out the window," Kurtzman said. "We’re not rewriting it, there’s no timeline adjustment. They’ve absolutely informed everything that has happened in the future. But the future is not what they expected when they get to the other side."
Despite the strange circumstances of their new environment, Sonequa Martin Green, who plays main character Michael Burnham, said that binds them even closer to their Starfleet loyalty.
"One of the definitions of duty is that it’s this binding force," she said. "Duty called for us all to jump to the future. That very act reverberated and bound us together and bound us to everything we believe in. These writers show that fight for identity, both personal and collective. When we jump to this future that’s full of uncertainty, we have to grapple with how that’s going to affect how we see ourselves and how we’re going to navigate this. Sometimes it’s hurtful, but duty calls."
Burnham's dutiful journey this season will be alongside new character Book, played by David Ajala. Book will debut in the season premiere, and Ajala calls their relationship "slightly unorthodox and very exciting."
"We are going to start driving without a roadmap in a very real way," said Mary Wiseman, who plays Ensign Tilly. "We end up in a place we never could have imagined. You have to make big decisions and big moves and take control of your circumstances." Those big decisions will include her stepping into more leadership roles, on her longer journey to eventually becoming captain.
Speaking of captain, the matter of who will take the chair following Anson Mount's fan-favorite turn as Christopher Pike is still up for debate in season 3. Commander Saru (Doug Jones) has occasionally taken the position in the past two seasons, but he and his spiritual sister Michael will be debating whether it will be a permanent role.
"We have to make that decision once the jump is done," Jones said. "We jump to the future to find if there’s a Federation still, if they’ll respect either one of us as captain, if we have to self-govern. How do we deal with all of these changes?"
In spite of those changes, Kurtzman is resolute in his motto to make Discovery, and Trek in general, the ultimate beacon of idealism. That will especially be the case as the ship appears nearly a millennium into a brand-new society. "They become a beacon of what hope means," he said. "We’re looking to say something about the world we live in today reflected in the future."
Kurtzman also announced that the newest iteration of Short Treks, which features Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn reprising their roles as Spock and Number One, respectively, has just dropped on CBS All Access. New episodes will drop the second Thursday of every month through January 2020.
Streaming on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Commander Saru, Anthony Rapp as Lt. Commander Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly, Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler, Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber, Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Mary Chieffo as L'Rell, Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno, Ethan Peck as Spock, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. Season 2 is available in its entirety now.