Brow Beat

Sonequa Martin-Green’s Discovery Character Is Spock’s Sister and Other Star Trek News Out of Comic-Con

Sonequa Martin-Green on the Star Trek: Discovery panel during Comic-Con International 2017 on Saturday.

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

San Diego Comic-Con has been a regular treasure trove of information about Star Trek: Discovery, CBS’ 15-episode Star Trek series that will air in September, with casting announcements, character revelations, and even a new trailer. Here’s the latest we learned about the show, which takes place 10 years before The Original Series.

A new trailer gives us more Klingons, more destruction, and a cameo from Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd.

Details on Discovery’s plot are still a little vague, but the gist of this trailer, as with the last one, is that Starfleet officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) will somehow be involved in reigniting the conflict between Starfleet and the fractured Klingon Empire. Jason Isaacs, who plays the captain of the titular ship Discovery, also gets some screen time in this new trailer, telling Martin-Green, “You helped start a war. Don’t you want to help me end it?”

Rainn Wilson, who guest-stars as The Original Series character Harry Mudd, makes an appearance, too, although the character seems much more sinister than the con man we remember from The Original Series, where he was played by Roger C. Carmel.

Sonequa Martin-Green’s character, Michael Burnham, is revealed as Spock’s adopted sister.

When the first trailer for Star Trek: Discovery was unveiled, one of the biggest mysteries was the relationship between Martin-Green’s human character and Sarek (James Frain), father of the most famous Vulcan of them all, who seemed to take a paternal interest in her. Martin-Green has since elaborated: “I was raised on Vulcan by him and my mother, Amanda” after the death of her character’s parents, she explained during the Star Trek: Discovery panel at Comic-Con.

That makes her an adopted sister to Spock himself, raising the obvious question—why haven’t we heard of her before? All will be explained, promised executive producer Alex Kurtzman, citing the production’s attention to detail and preserving the canon. In all fairness, this wouldn’t be the first time that Spock had a previously unknown sibling suddenly arrive on the scene: Sarek’s other biological son, Spock’s half-brother Sybok, basically came out of nowhere in the much-maligned movie The Final Frontier.

The cast and crew respond to the diversity backlash.

Discovery is continuing Star Trek’s long tradition of breaking down barriers and celebrating diversity, giving us at least two major milestones: our first Star Trek installment led by a woman of color and two openly gay crewmembers on a Star Trek television series. (While The Original Series character Lt. Hikaru Sulu was retroactively—and controversially—revealed to be gay in the new reboot films, and though there have arguably been other explicitly LGBTQ characters in Star Trek over the years, Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz’s characters still represent a major landmark for gay visibilty in the franchise.)

Because the internet can be a sad place full of angry people, a small but vocal group has objected to Discovery’s inclusive casting. George Takei has already addressed some of the criticism levied at the series by invoking Star Trek’s guiding principle, Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, something that Martin-Green echoed at Comic-Con: “Star Trek has always been a pictorial of diversity,” she reportedly said at a press panel. “If you say you love the legacy of Star Trek but you don’t love [the diversity], then you’ve missed it. I encourage you to join us, come on the journey with us.”

Cruz, for his part, spent some time on Monday playing, as he calls it, “Whack-a-Troll.”