If you remember at the end of the last season of Star Trek: Discovery, the crew and the USS Discovery were jettisoned centuries into the future after surviving a battle with Control. The bold move by showrunner Alex Kurtzman essentially removed all the immediate ties and constraints to the original Star Trek universe that the show had struggled to be faithful to since its inception. I applauded the decision and after I interviewed Doug Jones on the red carpet of The Saturn Awards a few days ago, I’m not alone in that feeling
Jones plays Saru, a Kelpian Starfleet Science Officer who has gone from Lieutenant Commander to acting Captain on the Discovery. He endured a few significant changes last year including reconnecting with his sister, Siranna (Hannah Spear), who we first met in the Star Trek: Short Trek episode “The Brightest Star”, and removing fear as his foundation for action in this past season’s “An Obol for Charon” episode. When I interviewed him, he had just flown in from the Discovery set in Toronto to attend the Saturn Awards. After revealing that production is a third of the way through season 3, he expressed his excitement for this season and teased a couple of possible storylines.
“We jumped to the future at the end of season 2. This is a big deal. We’ve boldly gone where no Star Trek series has gone before…So we’re gonna see what happens in the future. What condition is the Federation in? We’re gonna find out when we land. What happens to me and my rank? I’m a Commander, but I’m also acting Captain of the ship because we lost all our captains now. I take the ship and so, do I get to keep the Captain’s chair? Do I have to give it away to another Federation/ Starfleet captain in the future? We’re gonna find out all that when we get there.”
The threat ganglia on the back of my neck started to vibrate as Jones spoke about these possible storylines. The condition of the United Federation of Planets is one that has been the talk of the offseason on message boards and social media. Will there even be a UFP or will it be under a new name or will there be multiple federations? It’s all in play at this point.
The past seasons have also teased the intriguing storyline: Who will captain the USS Discovery? We had a captain change early on in the first season and then Captain Pike (Anson Mount) transferred over from the USS Enterprise in the second season to assume the mantle. It’s been the belief of many fans that the show is prepping for Sonequa Martin-Green’s Michael Burnham to become captain. Will it be this season? We shall see
Jones went on to say that he is “excited” about the freedom the writers will have this season and for the “new chapter” they are going to add to the Star Trek canon. He also reminded me that Saru is a Kelpian and the “first of my kind in any Star Trek series or film”. Perhaps, the writers will have even more freedom to create and explore Saru and his species in Season 3 for just that reason. The show has been creating the canon for the Kelpians since its inception so there is a more black canvas than other species like the Klingons or humans. Jones also delivers a beautiful explanation for why he loves Star Trek and what it symbolized for him in his life. You don’t want to miss that! Watch the video above to watch my full interview with the great Doug Jones.