Now that its premiere date has been set, “Star Trek: Discovery” looks to be well on the way to a highly-anticipated kickoff. And as the clock winds down to September more and more bits of information on the series – the new first “Star Trek” TV show in over a decade since 2001’s “Enterprise” – is being revealed to all.

Among these is the answer to one curious question regarding the lead character.

It’s already known that Michael Burnham is the First Officer of the Starship USS Discovery (not the captain, a break from the norm). But the role is also portrayed by Sonequa Martin-Green, a woman. So why does her character have a male first name? The actress has broken her silence on the reason why.

Name question

Now, based on the first released trailer for “Star Trek: Discovery,” it seems confirmed that main character Michael Burnham grew up on the planet Vulcan as a child.

Viewers of the original 1960s series and the 2009 reboot film would know how difficult it would be for a being with emotions to live for a long time with a race that has suppressed emotions and belittled emotional life-forms. This adds to the mystique of the hero’s personality and even origin. Is Michael Burnham human or a Vulcan with an Earthling name? Would that explain the “Michael”?

Sonequa Martin-Green, whose last prominent TV role in “The Walking Dead” saw her character killed off in the latest season finale, sheds some light on the puzzle of her character.

Before her tenure as the First officer on the Discovery, she is serving that same role aboard the USS Shenzhou under Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh). Martin-Green spoke of Michael Burnham’s “divided” nature, saying that along with her voyages into space Burnham is on a journey of self-discovery.

Conflicted character

The show-runners of “Star Trek: Discovery,” Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J.

Berg, were keen on casting an actress with the ability to portray someone with multiple conflicting personality facets like Michael Burnham. Sonequa Martin-Green managed to impress them with a delivery that is a curious middle point between robotic, cold, and emotional. Harbert and Berg have commended the actress for her ability to blend aloofness and warmth in her characterization.

And that seems to be the crux of Martin-Green’s role as First Officer Burnham, plenty of conflict within herself.

She remarks on how her character is easy to relate considering the presence of conflict in all people. So it seems that there will be a lot to discover indeed about the characters and the setting when “Star Trek: Discovery” premieres September 24 on CBS, and then on CBS All Access.

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