With "Star Trek Discovery" serving as the next chapter in the "Star Trek" franchise, fans are going to be handed a story with the potential to give us new insight into the world. Sure, new aliens are probably going to be introduced, but we’re looking forward to seeing how old pieces of the universe will be rearranged to tell a new and interesting story.
The most important pieces would be the characters. Many classic players, including Sarek of Vulcan and Harry Mudd, are confirmed for the show. But what about some beloved faces from "The Next Generation," "The Original Series" and "Star Trek Enterprise?" Read the list below to check out how they could be incorporated into the new series, and what they would be up to 10 years before the original adventures of Kirk and Spock.
15 YOUNG SPOCK
While it’s true that we’re getting plenty of young Spock in the Kelvin Universe films, the opportunity to see Spock as an eager Lieutenant in the Prime Universe is just too good to pass up. Since it seems "Discovery" is taking the time to set up a very different era in Starfleet, despite the fact it only takes 10 years prior to "The Original Series," it would be incredibly fascinating to see how a younger Spock would fit into that world. Add in the fact that Sarek will be in the series and you have a recipe for fantastic personal drama. After all, Spock and his father were at constant odds for most of the franchise. By going back to the point where there argument was most heated, the writers and actors could really tug at the audience’s heartstrings.
While it would be a bit too much for him to be serving on the USS Discovery, perhaps he could be assigned to another ship such as the USS Shenzhou.
14 CAPTAIN ROBERT APRIL
The first captain of the original USS Enterprise, Robert April has never been seen on screen with the exception of "The Animated Series" episode “The Counter-Clock Incident.” He commanded the ship from 2245 to 2250, so with "Star Trek Discovery" taking place in 2255, he won’t be in control of the ship. Instead, he’ll most likely be a commodore at Starfleet Command that issues orders to the captains of our various Starfleet vessels.
While it’s true that if they have to have a commodore or an admiral on the show, any old name would do, but Robert April has kind of been a fleeting figure in the canon. It’s widely accepted that he was the first captain of the Enterprise before Christopher Pike, but it’s never actually been confirmed in any live-action material. This would be a great chance to give the fans what they want and flesh out an iconic character who’s never had a chance to shine.
13 CAPTAIN PIKE
It’s been established that Christopher Pike was given command of the USS Enterprise sometime prior to 2254. That year, the Enterprise went on a mission to Rigel VII where Pike and an away team were attacked by Kalar warriors that resulted in heavy losses. Following that attack, Captain Pike began to question himself and his ability to command (these events took place in "Star Trek: The Cage," the first pilot episode of "The Original Series"). "Star Trek Discovery" takes place the following year, which means that Captain Pike is still in command of the Enterprise. How great would it be to have an episode with a freshly world weary Pike, still struggling with the losses his crew faced on Rigel VII?
Such an appearance would go a long way to showing new sides to his character and bringing audiences back to the original version depicted on screen. Pike in the Kelvin timeline was a far more warm father-figure to Kirk, whereas here he can be a cold Starfleet captain that is beginning to hate his job… which would be a very atypical captain to see in Star Trek.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Dax character is that it’s lived many lives over several centuries, as it's actually a symbiont that bonds with other people. Jadzia and Ezri Dax on "Deep Space Nine" have had experiences from so many lifetimes that a single one is mostly just a phase of existence. Some of that experience came out to hilarious effect in the "Deep Space Nine" episode “Trials and Tribble-ations,” where Jadzia acts as the audience surrogate by professing her love for the 23rd Century. She’s having a ton of nostalgia for the time, which means her host during the time period definitely had a lot of fun.
It’s possible Dax would be in the Emony host at the time, as Jadzia hinted that she had a love affair with a young Leonard McCoy before he became a doctor. While it’s not confirmed how long Emony lived, we could totally see characters running into a certain older ex-Olympic gymnast.
11 GARTH OF IZAR
A highly decorated Starfleet officer that had become a legend by 2268, Garth Izar is something of a fan favorite. He was a star pupil at the academy and eventually became famous for winning a huge victory at the Battle of Axanar in 2251 – just four years before "Star Trek Discovery." That means he was at the height of his game during the time of his new show – a living legend in Starfleet that was lauded for his tactical prowess to the point where the events of Axanar became required viewing at Starfleet Academy.
However, Garth suffered an accident that left him badly injured. He was nursed back to health by the beings of Antos IV, who told him how to use cellular metamorphosis to heal himself. He subsequently went insane, but we have no idea when these events happened. They were chronicled in a fan film, but it’s been under legal dispute for quite some time. Perhaps one of the reasons Paramount has been unwilling to let up on it is because the events of that story will somehow play into "Discovery."
10 AMBASSADOR SOVAL
"Star Trek Enterprise" was an incredibly underrated series full of characters that really grew over the course of four seasons. One of those memorable characters was Vulcan’s ambassador to Earth, Soval. At first, he was a constant judgmental pain in the side of Admiral Forrest and the crew of the Enterprise, but over the course of the show, he began to really appreciate humans. During the fourth season, he became an outright alley of Captain Archer, joining them on a few adventures that paved the way for the birth of the Federation of Planets.
Because Vulcans have a long lifespan (which is the reason why we got Sarek in "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), a much older Soval can definitely appear in "Star Trek Discovery" as an elder statesman on a diplomatic mission. Perhaps he could even be portrayed as Sarek’s mentor… which would certainly be a sight to see.
T’Pol was one of the standout main character of "Star Trek Enterprise." While she was initially unhappy (as much as a Vulcan can be, at least) to join the crew of the NX-01 on their mission to explore space, she had a monumental journey of self-discovery. She grew closer to the crew of the NX-01 Enterprise, became a drug addict for a few months, fell in love with Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker and eventually embraced her emotions. It’s a shame we couldn’t see what they had in store for her in later seasons of the show.
The good news is that with her longer lifespan, there’s no reason why she couldn’t show up at some point. Jolene Blalock, the actress who portrayed T'Pol still does acting from time to time, so she could still put on her trademark wig and ears. We’d love to see what her role in the Federation is, whether it be a senior member of Starfleet or a diplomat.
With the exception of Worf, has there ever been a Klingon as iconic as Kor? In the episode "Errand of Mercy," Kor squared off in a game of wits with Captain Kirk during the brief Federation-Klingon War. While the war was ultimately stopped by the Organians, Kor clearly was a cunning warrior with an illustrious past of battle victories. Some of that was touched on in "Deep Space Nine," where Kor had many adventures with Worf and even participated in battles during the Dominion War.
How awesome would it be to see Kor as a young warrior out to make a name for himself? We know for a fact that "Discovery" will follow three ships and that one of them is a Klingon vessel. We’d love to see Kor as a gunnery officer on one of them, eager to take on the Federation. He can slowly get his strategic mind over the course of the season, eventually becoming the ruthless Klingon we all know and love.
7 DOCTOR DAYSTROM
The Albert Einstein of his day, Richard Daystrom was considered an intellectual prodigy in the Federation. At the age of 24 in 2243, he invented the duotronic computer system which became widespread in all Starfleet ships. It’s safe to say all the Federation starships in the new show will be using these inventions, which means Daystrom might just be a rockstar of his time.
The problem is that Daystrom eventually grew resentful of all the scientists who built upon his work while he failed to invent anything new. Decades later, This led to him to creating the M-5 computer with an artificial intelligence, which didn’t end so well. How cool would it be to see Daystrom’s starting to lose his mind as the world leaves him behind? There’s plenty of potential for a story with Daystrom competing with a another scientist, only to lose horribly and have his career take a major blow.
6 MATT DECKER
Oh, poor Matt Decker. We only saw him for a short time during "The Original Series" episode “The Doomsday Machine,” but actor William Windom left no piece of scenery un-chewed. After losing his crew to a planet-destroying weapon, he became a vengeful madman bent on eliminating the weapon no matter the cost. Eventually, he sacrificed himself to help end the creature's reign of terror.
While Decker may have become a pretty crazy guy (which really seems to be a thing with Starfleet brass of that era), he had to have been a competent officer to be able to rise to the rank of commodore. We’d love to see Decker as a lieutenant-commander or even as a full commander as the first officer of a starship. While the main character is the first officer of the Discovery, it’s possible Decker could be serving on the ship as a member of the bridge crew or as the first officer of the USS Shenzhou.
5 DOCTOR PHLOX
Phlox was a standout character in "Star Trek Enterprise." From his polyamorous marriages, to his menagerie of creatures in sickbay, to his charming optimism that came out in a massive C.G.I. smile, Phlox had a perspective that was so uniquely "Star Trek" that you couldn’t help but love him. He had a way of seeing the best in everyone, which made his fellow ship mates want to live up to their best selves. It’s been said that Denobulans (his species) have long lifespans, so there’s no reason why he can’t show up at some point in "Discovery."
How cool would it be to see Phlox as the head of Starfleet Medical? We could see him leading scientific advances by discovering new creatures and harvesting their bodily functions to heal others. It would be fantastic to see what he’s been up to since the founding of the Federation, as we can totally see his wealth of compassion being a guiding star in the organization.
4 THE SHELIAK
This may seem like an obscure reference, but bear with us on this one. The Sheliak appeared in the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode “The Ensigns of Command” and were generally portrayed as a very impatient species that really, really didn’t like humanoid lifeforms. In fact, they had no problem with wiping out an entire colony of them just to set down their own digs. Luckily, Captain Jean-Luc Picard managed to outwit them using overly explicit legalese with an old document signed between them and the Federation: The Treaty of Armens.
And when was this treaty signed? 2255 – the same year "Star Trek Discovery" takes place. It’d be really interesting to see a first contact go absolutely terribly, to the point where a crazy treaty is all that stands between the Federation and war with a xenophobic alien race. Plus, modern special effects could really make the Sheliak look cool.
3 AMBASSADOR GRAL
The Tellarites were an incredibly underused race in "Star Trek" canon. We never see them serving aboard Federation starships and they’re rarely mentioned in dialogue despite the fact they were one of the founding members of the Federation. They were first introduced in the classic "Original Series" episode “Journey To Babel,” before pretty much disappearing until "Enterprise" brought them back. One of the standout characters in that regard was Ambassador Gral. It was established just before his first appearance that Tellarites love to argue, to the point where it’s considered a sport on their home planet. With that in mind, Gral lived up to the hype and gave Captain Archer more than a few zingers to contend with.
We’d love to see what he’s been up to (or really just any Tellarites in general) since the founding of the Federation. Perhaps Gral is now a member of the Federation council.
2 SAMUEL T. COGLEY
"The Original Series" episode “Court Martial” is a classic hour of television. One of the biggest reasons it works so well is that Kirk is forced to turn to an absolutely crazy lawyer to defend him, and that man is Sam Cogley. If you haven’t seen the episode, Cogley is an overly theatrical man who loves to string everyone along in the courtroom so he can dramatically make a point. He also has completely shunned computers, instead embracing a filing and data storage system that consists entirely of books. If that seems pretty nuts today, imagine how strange it’ll look in over 250 years from now.
But the simple fact of the matter is Cogley is a damn good lawyer. He manages to help get Kirk exonerated from murder charges… and then decides to defend the guy who framed him to begin with. It’d be great to see a young Cogley just entering a law practice only to see him fall out of love with computers.
Perhaps the best recurring character in the history of Star Trek outside of "Deep Space Nine’s" Elim Garak, Thy’lek Shran was a highlight of "Star Trek Enterprise." Almost every episode he joined was a winner, expanding the world in ways we never thought we’d see. His relationship with Captain Archer especially grew from adversarial to brothers in arms by the end of the series, and we lament the fact we’ll never see the plans to have him become a series regular in season 5 of "Enterprise" realized.
Though the "Enterprise" finale “These Are The Voyages…” established the fact that Shran faked his death a few years prior to the signing of the Federation charter, we’d like to think maybe he came back into service as a high-ranking Andorian diplomat. His distaste for politics would be a refreshing change of pace and, frankly, we’re just dying to see if he still calls any human he meets “pinkskin.”
Be sure to tell us in the comments which "Star Trek" characters you want to see show up in "Discovery."