Star Trek Discovery Season 3 opened the franchise’s panel at New York Comic-Con 2019, with showrunner Michelle Paradise, and executive producers Heather Kadin and Alex Kurtzman appearing on-stage, alongside a number of members from its cast. The panel delivered a new trailer (below) for the third season, as well as some fresh info on what fans can expect.
The trailer shows Burnham in the future, with multiple changes in her look to mark the passing of time. Book, Saru, and Tilly also appear, and the crew of the Discovery are marked as being “930 years from home” where “their fight begins.” Book says, “Do you believe in ghosts? That patch on your shirt [referring to the Starfleet patch]… That hope is you, Burnham.” There’s a look at some action sequences, along with a question being asked: “Where will you go?” The answer, it seems, is “Wherever the answers are.”
They were joined by Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays Michael Burnham, Saru actor Doug Jones, Mary Wiseman, who is Tilly, and Anthony Rapp, who portrays Stamets, and David Ajala, aka Book. Wilson Cruz, who plays a new character in the show, also featured.
Following the trailer, Martin-Green said, “Everything is handled with such courage and respect and gentleness. What’s interesting now is that in the very title of our show, it’s all about discovery. You get to be on that journey with us.”
“It’s super exciting, we are married to canon. We honor and respect all of that. We are looking for ways to push the show and push our characters,” added Michelle Paradise. “We know going 930 years into the future, the audience has high expectations for what that might look like, what that might feel like. Every episode feeling like a mini-movie.”
Heather Kadin noted that the new season is also welcoming to newcomers. “You didn’t have to know canon to go into the show. You can just come in and you don’t need to know what came before. You as the audience will experience the newness as the cast experiences it for the first time.”
Picking up on these comments, Kurtzman said the show reflects the world, which is why it’s so interesting and enduring. “One of the great joys of this is everything you know about Trek, and you put it in a blender,” he explained. “Trek is a mirror that holds itself up to the world as it is.
“Many of the things that we long for, hope and passion and empathy, those things seem to be wanting more and more. Trek is always the anchor to bring you back to what’s possible. We’re looking to have something to say about the world as it is now, reflected in the future that we present on screen.”
Ajala offered more details on his character, Book, who is introduced in the first episode through a slightly unorthodox interaction with Burnham. “Getting to share that journey with Burnham is great. You’ll be seeing this journey through Book’s eyes and Burnham’s eyes.”
Wilson Cruz’s Culber and Anthony Rapp’s character, Stamets, have been friends since they were young and are now coming together for Discovery. “It’s been quite a wild ride,” Cruz said. “We’ve spanned life and death, have been through a lot. What he’s discovered is that this presents an opportunity for him. This trip into the future is a clean slate. For him, for their relationship. And to live up to his potential. Part of that is being a better partner, a better doctor, being there for his crew and their friends in this uncharted and unknowable future. That’s what Season 3 is about for me.”
Rapp added: “I think Stamets is tougher to please than I am. He’s really good at boundaries. It’s cool that we’re in the future, but they’re also really allowing on a personal level, what it’s like to leave everyone behind. Saying goodbye to everything.”
Mary Wiseman provided the perspective on her character, Tilly. “She does a lot of work for these people as an ensign. This moment in our narrative, we are going to start driving without a roadmap. We jump to the future, it’s a leap of faith, where you have to make big decisions and a big move. This season she will step more into her power in the ways that she can. It’s not a time to wilt or step back. It’s time to move forward. I think you’re going to see why she has gravitated towards these people and why they have gravitated toward her.”
Previously, Kurtzman said the crew was going 1000 years into the future, but as noted above it’s actually 930. Kurtzman said, “If we don’t give you something that is completely surprising, we feel we have failed. There are no timeline adjustments, Canon has informed what happens.”
Saru has now moved past adolescence in Season 3, according to Doug Jones. “[Season 2] I think that was very reflective for me, [of] fear in general. I think that’s a lesson for people who deal with fear and anxiety–what we fear might not be real. It might be made up. He’s had to step up as acting captain a couple of times in this series. It’s discussed between [Saru and Burnham] already [who will be captain]. Will they respect either of us as captain? Will we self govern?
“[Saru and Burnham are] kind of like chosen brother and sister, and go through all the evolution that brother and sister go through. In season 2 we become so close. The evolution continues in Season 3 as well. How do we all deal with all of those changes? We all help guide each other through all of those changes.”
“One of the things that’s most fascinating to me is that one of the definitions of duty is that it is this binding force,” said Martin-Green. “Duty called for us to go to the future. We fight for the present and we fight for the future. That act bound us together and bound us to everything we believe in Starfleet. What these writers do is show that fight for identity, the fight for personal and collective identity. You’ve seen all these revolutions in each person.
“Nothing can compare to all of the genius that has come before us, it’s about what our writers are willing to explore. The ugly truths of fighting for this utopian future, what that duty does to you when we jump to this future that’s full of uncertainty, how we’re going to navigate this. Sometimes it’s ugly, but duty calls.”
Season 3 of Discovery will debut in 2020 on CBS All Access in the US. Thus far, the show has been available to watch on Netflix in other territories,
As detailed during SDCC 2019 and shown since Season 3 Star Trek Discovery will take the characters on a “radical jump 1000 years into the future,” which will have big implications, according to creator Alex Kurtzman. There will be “things you recognize, things you don’t recognize,” he said. “We get to honor canon, but shake it up quite a bit. It’s still Star Trek, and it will always be Star Trek the way Roddenberry wanted it.”
He added: “They (the discovery crew) choose each other for eternity and leave their families behind. People you’ve met will take center stage, there will be a ton of new characters. The thing that defines Trek is that it’s always about the little, always about the humans, the interspecial interaction. Our focus is on what does it mean and what does it do for the characters?”
In addition to Star Trek Discovery Season 3, there are a number of other TV shows on the way for Trekkies. Among them is a Discovery spin-off that stars Michele Yeoh as Terran Emperor and Section 31 agent Philippa Georgiou. There’s also a teen-orientated show called Starfleet Academy. If that wasn’t enough, an animated Star Trek comedy show called Lower Decks in development from Rick and Morty’s Mike McMahan.
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