OF ‘STAR TREK: DISCOVERY’ ON CBS
How do you think, in its second season, “Star Trek: Discovery” is advancing the franchise overall?
It takes it further because we are going further with the representation. We are continuing to be a mirror to society, and we have this franchise that has always been built on innovation, and we are continuing to do that. We are continuing to show people that are different from us be in these positions that people can relate to.
We are not just seeing them represented. We are seeing them as these best versions of themselves, and then we can see the best versions of ourselves while we look at them ... so, it’s not just about seeing people of color. It’s not just about seeing a black woman as the lead. It’s not just about seeing an Asian female captain. It’s about seeing these people be wellrounded and strong and sacrificial and integral to the group, and that’s the representation that changes people’s beliefs. And can, therefore, change the world.
How do you see your “Discovery” character, Michael Burnham, representing traditional elements of “Star Trek”?
The conflict between logic and emotion is a very, very interesting one, and we explore faith and science and how they relate to each other in Season 2. And I can see an interesting parallel there.
What’s really powerful to me, or one of the things that’s powerful to me, about Michael Burnham is her tenacity. Michael had an upbringing that was real trauma, but (that she has) overcompensated and succeeded in spite of. There’s the constant yearning to find the true balance between logic and emotion. It’s a different fight than Spock’s because he is – in his very DNA – half-Vulcan and (Michael is) not, so it’s interesting to live in a life where your natural tendency has to be denied.