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Star Trek: Discovery Showrunner Shares Details On Michael Burnham’s Past

Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery

Gretchen J. Berg, the showrunner for CBS’ Star Trek: Discovery, talked to Entertainment Weekly about the background of Sonequa Martin-Green‘s character.

Martin-Green plays Michael Burnham who will become first officer on the Starship Discovery. But, first, she has an interesting and complex backstory that involves another Starship and Spock’s father.

Berg told the magazine:

Burnham [has] spent a lot of time on Vulcan, but she’s human. Sarek [Spock’s father, played by James Frain] plays an important role in her life, which has been completely planned until she makes a very difficult choice that sends her life on a very different path. When we meet her, she’s the First Officer on the Starship Shenzhou [captained by Philippa Georgiou, played by Michelle Yeoh]. And Burnham’s choice that we’re alluding to is most difficult choice you can make — it affects her, affects Starfleet, affects the Federation, it affects the entire universe. That choice leads her to a different ship, the Discovery [helmed by Captain Lorca, played by Jason Isaacs] and there we begin what Gretchen and I call our ‘second pilot.’

The joy is in the journey. The advantage to her not being in charge of the bridge right now is we get to tell stories from a very different point of view. It’s a fresh feeling because we’re not on the bridge all the time. We get access to more parts of the ship.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres in October 2017.