Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from the first two episodes Star Trek: Discovery. Proceed at your own risk.
The first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery have officially aired (whether you watched them on the CBS All Access app or internationally on Netflix). They presented a contained story that ended in the death of a key character — Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh). Her death came at the hands of the Klingons, who had set a trap for Georgiou’s crew, the U.S.S. Shenzhou. The leader of the Klingons, T’Kuvma, was also killed, as was a Federation Admiral. The episode ended with First Officer Michael Burnham being court-martialed for mutiny and the Klingon/Federation war launching into full force.
The trailer below picks up sometime after the events of the first two episodes. Burnham is in prison and the war is raging. Somehow, Burnham gets recruited by Captain Gabriel Lorca and joins the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery. Let’s break down where Star Trek: Discovery is headed this season.
Welcome to the War
The first shot in this trailer shows Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) in what seems to be a prison transfer. A women tells her the death toll of the war, which Burnham corrects, down to the exact number. This scene is reminiscent of two other sci-fi franchises: Star Wars Rogue One and Battlestar Galactica. In Rogue One, adult Jyn Erso is first seen on a prison transfer. She is rescued by the Rebellion in order to find her father. In this trailer, Captain Lorca recruits Burnham, in order to help win the war. The similarities here are very clear. In Battlestar Galactica, President Roslin keeps track of how many survivors there are aboard the convoy. While Roslin’s numbers are tracking lives saved, Burnham is tracking lives lost. Also during the trailer, a Federation officer tells Lorca that this entire war is Burnham’s fault. Since Burnham is counting the death toll, she must feel that fault as well.
All Aboard the Discovery
We didn’t meet Lorca (Jason Isaacs) in the first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, but we definitely meet him here. Despite Burnham being tried and found guilty of mutiny, Lorca wants her on board his ship. His crew does not seem thrilled, especially Saru, who survived the destruction of the Shenzhou. Why does Lorca want her? “I have something on deck that requires every trained mind available.” Apparently the Discovery has discovered something — something so important Lorca is willing to bring someone as dangerous as Burnham on board.
A Mysterious Substance
As the trailer progresses, Burnham starts to notice an unusual substance. In one scene it looks like small, gel orbs. In another scene, it looks like an atrium full of plants. In the canon of Star Trek, ships discover new life forms and technologies all the time. Will this substance change how we view Star Trek? Does it have to do with terraforming (a process explored in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan)? Does it have to do with shapeshifting matter, as it did with Odo and the Founders on Deep Space 9? Is it the “space fungi” Anthony Rapp was referring to during press at San Diego Comic-Con? Whatever it is, Lorca is willing to have Burnham’s presence on his ship to study its capabilities. He even says in the trailer, “Imagine the possibilities,” does he mean, the possibilities of the substance? Could it help them win the war?
According to tradition, dying in battle is a Klingon‘s greatest honor. Now that T’Kuvma is dead, other Klingons are taking up his cause to unite the 24 houses. Some will even hail him as Kahless, the spiritual leader of Kronos, reborn. In the trailer, you can see a new Klingon leader — a female named L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) and Kol (Kenneth Mitchell) the leader of House Kor. They must take up T’Kuvma’s cause now that he is dead. They must find T’Kuvma’s Klingon Bird of Prey Sarcophagus ship, because that is also visible in the trailer.
If you’ve ever seen The Office, you may have recognized actor Rainn Wilson right away. He’s playing Harry Mudd on Discovery. Like Sarek, Mudd is a classic Star Trek character. He first appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series in an episode titled “Mudd’s Women” and then again in “I, Mudd.” In the trailer, Mudd is antagonizing the Federation, asking them if they ever think of the little people. We assume he’s talking about the bystanders, the casualties of war. It’s hard to say what role he’ll be playing in the series, but on ST: TOS he was a smuggler, a gambler, and an all around trashy guy. Definitely not someone to be trusted.
Whether you’re curious about the space fungi, learn why Lorca puts his trust in Burnham, or want more Klingons, it looks like Star Trek: Discovery has a lot of adventure in store for the rest of the season.
Star Trek: Discovery uploads new episodes to CBS All Access Sundays at 8:30EST/5:30PST.