Published On: Thu, Oct 11th, 2018

Spock's ‘Highly Emotional Relationship’ in Star Trek: Discovery

Plus, life without Lorca, the Red Angel mystery of Season 2, and more.

Star Trek: Discovery is ramping up towards Season 2, which it was revealed at New York Comic-Con last week will debut on January 17, 2019. And the NYCC panel featured the complete cast of the show, including of course series star Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays Michael Burnham. IGN caught up with the actress after the panel for a quick chat about what to expect from Season 2, including how Michael feels about her adopted brother Spock (Ethan Peck), what the deal is with that mysterious Red Angel teased in the trailers for the season, what the arrival of Captain Pike (Anson Mount) on the ship means for the Disco crew, and much more.

Read on for the full chat!

Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham

Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham

For the Love of Spock

We met Michael’s adopted mother and father last year — Amanda and Sarek — but while her brother Spock was mentioned, he was never actually seen. Of course, with the USS Enterprise rendezvousing with the Discovery at the end of Season 1, the arrival of Spock (and his recasting yet again) seemed inevitable in Season 2.

Martin-Green, while careful to avoid spoilers for the new season, did say that we can expect a complex brother-sister dynamic between the two when they finally come face to face.

“I will say … that it is not a simple relationship,” said the actress. “It is a very complicated relationship. It’s a highly emotional relationship. And it will take some work.”

Interestingly, Martin-Green sees another brother-sister relationship on the show, only this one is between her character and Doug Jones’ Saru.

“Yes, very much so, [they’re] surrogate siblings for each other,” she said. “I have certainly attached myself, as Burnham, I’ve attached myself to Saru in such a new and beautiful way. We’ve known each other for a really long time now at this point. He was already on the Shenzhou when I came on, directly from Vulcan. I surpassed him in ranking, and so that was a sore subject, and a, you know, a point of contention between us. We have always competed against each other, but we’ve always brought out the best of each other. And there have been times when it’s been a bit spiteful, and it’s been a bit… a bit harsh here and there. But what we have ultimately found, and what you will see play out in Season 2, is that the bond is really deep. It’s really deep, it’s very true, and it’s innervating in itself. And so we come to realize just how important we are to each other, and what our roles are in each other’s lives, and we’re completely dependent on each other. And it’s a beautiful thing.”

The Red Angel

We know from the trailers for the new season that Starfleet is mobilizing around a mysterious phenomenon called the Red Angel, which is somehow tied to seven extremely powerful signals that have appeared across the galaxy. Connected to this phenomenon in some way is Spock, and Michael Burnham, who have had visions of… well, a Red Angel.

“The Red Angel appears to Michael Burnham at a very, very critical moment,” said the actress. “You can see from the trailer that we just released that it looks like a life or death moment. And I see this angel and I say that it gives me comfort and lets me know that everything is going to be okay. And then what I find out later is that Spock has also seen this same Red Angel, but when he was a child.”

Exit Theatre Mode

Indeed, judging by Spock’s bearded appearance and the first Season 2 trailer’s hints that Spock has disappeared in some way, it seems that the angel has triggered something in everyone’s favorite Vulcan. “Spock is linked to these signals, and he needs help,” Michael says in that first trailer.

“And so it’s a huge mystery,” continues Martin-Green, “And it’s one of the big themes of Season 2, finding out what this angel is, where this angel came from, what it wants, what it needs, what it’s doing. All those questions.”

Captain Pike on the Bridge!

Spock isn’t the only Enterprise crew member intersecting with the Discovery team this season. Anson Mount (Inhumans) plays Captain Christopher Pike, who was the skipper of the USS Enterprise in the very first Star Trek pilot episode, “The Cage.” Discovery is set roughly around the same time period as that episode, and we now know that Pike wound up taking temporary leave of the Enterprise in order to command the Discovery during this Red Angel incident. And the ship, after all, is in need of a captain since it turned out last season that Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) was an evil doppelganger from the Mirror Universe!

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Captain Pike

“Well, I think that Burnham is ready to have a more Starfleet-like experience with a captain,” laughs Martin-Green. “We all have a little PTSD from Lorca and what he did, and all his illicit behavior, so it’s good to return to normalcy. It’s good to return to principle, and it’s good to return to what Starfleet really is, where your captain is someone you really do look to, that leads you and guides you. And he has such a kindness, such a genuine … such a genuine quality to him. And as [Mount] said in the panel, he’s willing to admit when he’s wrong, and he understands the true strength of a mastermind. And so it’s moving us, and healing us at the same time.”

Go Captain Pike! Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 will debut on January 17, 2019, but in the meantime be sure to also check out our interview with Mary Wiseman about her character Ensign Tilly’s new Short Treks episode “Runaway,” or check out IGN’s full NYCC panel report.

Talk to Executive Editor Scott Collura on Twitter at @ScottCollura, or listen to his Star Trek podcast, Transporter Room 3. Or do both!

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Spock's ‘Highly Emotional Relationship’ in Star Trek: Discovery