Ever since its first trailer was released online, a lot of speculation has been going on regarding the ongoing storyline of “Star Trek: Discovery,” the latest TV series in the larger “Star Trek” franchise. One only needs a bare minimum knowledge of past shows to know that the subtitle is a reference to the starship that the main cast is based around on. Past series “Deep Space Nine,” “Voyager” and “Enterprise” follow that pattern.

However as more information was disclosed on the backstory of the main character Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), there was a bit of confusion. She was stated in initial blurbs to be the First Officer of the titular USS Discovery. So why is she serving that post in another starship, the USS Shenzhou? The show-runners have the answer.

Unusual backstory

Executive producers Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts certainly don’t want to spoil every single detail of “Star Wars: Discovery.” However, they are pretty amenable to dropping a few hints or so regarding the locations the characters move around in.

Much of the mystery is centered on the lead character played by Sonequa Martin-Green. The root of all the questions regarding Michael Burnham is her unique childhood from the viewpoint of a human in the “Star Trek” universe.

In the previews already shown, Burnham is stated to be the first human child to attend the Vulcan Science Academy. That is of course on the planet Vulcan, home of the elf-eared aliens who have been humanity’s guide to integrating with the larger galaxy, but also a race of coldly logical people who think very low of emotional displays.

Harberts places emphasis on Burnham’s existential crisis at a young age, living in Vulcan under the care of Ambassador Sarek (James Frain) who is himself the father of a half-human son, famous “Trek” character Spock.

Life-changing choice

Aaron Harberts went on to chart the path of Sonequa Martin-Green’s character that is said to have had a well-planned-out life until she makes a certain life-changing decision.

This is touted as one of the reasons why, despite starting out as First Officer to Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) on the starship Shenzhou, Michael Burnham ultimately gets transferred to the USS Discovery, now serving under Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs). This is what Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg term to be the “second pilot” phase of “Star Trek: Discovery.”

Much discussion has been made on the claim that Martin-Green’s Burnham is the first “Star Trek” leader who is not a commanding officer; Commander Ben Sisko (Avery Brooks) of “Deep Space Nine” is not a Captain either but was in charge of a space station.

The fact that the character will not be sitting on a command chair is the selling point for “Discovery” according to the show-runners. And they will find out more when the series starts airing on CBS All Access this September.

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