Star Trek: Discovery trailer breakdown & analysis


The first Star Trek: Discovery trailer has arrived and, while we’re still reserving judgment until we’ve seen an episode of this thing, the promo has some excited moments to look forward to. We’re breaking down each and every one of them to discuss!

Here’s everything we learned in the new Discovery trailer…

This has got to be Vulcan, right?

Now that we have a better look at the planet from the promo photo CBS released earlier today, we’re leaning even more heavily towards it being Vulcan. The desert, mountainous landscape matches up with what we’ve seen from the planet before. And it looks like that is an electrical sandstorm in the distance. As the trailer goes on, it becomes clear that Vulcan is going to play a major part in the new series (or at least the first episode).

A look at the Starship Shenzhou.

Georgiou is the captain of the Starship Shenzhou. Is that the Shenzou we see coming through the clouds? And, if so, did these two only go on this desert walk so that Georgiou could give Burnham a performance review? Because that’s weird.

Burnham and Georgiou know each other well.

“It’s hard to imagine you’ve served under me for seven years,” Georgiou tells Burnham as they trek across a desert planet. The line is a little too exposition-y for my liking, but it does do what exposition does best: gives us information.

We learn from their conversation that Burnham and Georgiou know each other well and seem to think highly of each other. Georgiou tells Burnham: “I think it’s time we talked about you have your own command.”

These uniforms look great.

That’s pretty much all I have to say about that. As we’ve noted elsewhere, they’re very similar to the blue jumpsuits seen in Enterprise, with a splash of Star Trek Beyond thrown in for good measure.

Sarek has some words of wisdom.

“Great unifiers are few and far between, but they do come. Often such leaders will need a profound cause for their followers to rally around,” Sarek apparently tells Burnham (unless his hologram is talking to someone else and this is tricksy editing). If Sarek and Burnham are BFFs, this presents some interesting questions about her character…

Burnham seemingly grew up on Vulcan.

Was Burnham raised on Vulcan? Because that what it looks like from the trailer and that is… pretty awesome. It’s a Star Trek landmark to have multi-species characters struggle with their identities (i.e. Worf, Spock, Seven, etc.), but I’m not sure if we’ve ever had a human main character who grew up on another world.

“You will never learn Vulcan. Your tongue is too human,” Sarek tells baby Burnham. What a dick… but probably in character.

Also, if Burnham was raised on Vulcan and knows Sarek, does that mean she was raised alongside Spock? Will there be flashbacks?! Did Amanda Grayson have friends back on Earth who sent their kid to hang out on Vulcan during the summers or something? Because, if I were a kid in the Star Trek universe, that would pretty much be my dream summer vacation. Wait… could we get an I Chaya cameo? … At least give me a shout-out.

The Shenzhou finds a mysterious object.

Oh! This is where the “discovery” part comes in, isn’t it? In the trailer, the Shenzhou finds an “object of unknown origin.” Based on the comments “we’ve come all this way” and “what have you done out there on the edge of Federation space?”, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is pretty far away from Earth or Vulcan. Basically: it’s rural space.

Also, from Sarek’s tone, I wonder if this mission is strictly sanctioned or if the Shenzhou has gone off on a slightly rogue mission. This might explain Georgiou’s earlier comments about Burnham being ready for command: i.e. Georgiou doesn’t think her command status will survive this one.

The Klingons are up to something.

I can’t tell if this is just, like, a normal Klingon ritual or if the Klingons are up to something. (Frankly, I feel like maybe they’re channeling Apocalypse here or something…) Is this the Klingon Ceremony of the Bumpy Heads? Is this how they go from smooth foreheads to bumpy foreheads. (Because I’m not buying that augment virus explanation.)

Whatever the case, it seems to lead to the Shenzhou engaging the Klingons in attack. What does this have to do with the mysterious object? Do the Klingons already have it or do they want it?

Also, that is Chris Obi as T’Kuvma in the second photo above. However you make feel about the Klingons’ controversial new look, you have to admit: he looks pretty cool. (But maybe that’s just my American Gods love talking. Obi plays Anubis in the Starz series.)

Starfleet doesn’t fire first.

I love this quote from Georgiou (because I prefer Star Trek when there is a minimal of firing in general). I’m not sure how I feel about Burnham’s rebuttal that “we have to.” Also, I’m kind of worried about Michelle Yeoh, given that there is another actor (Jason Isaacs) playing a captain on this show. (Admittedly, he is playing the captain of the Discovery, not the Shenzhou, but still…)

Is this the Andorian homeworld?

We’re getting some Andorian vibes from this shot (or maybe we’re still just trying to make sense of that photo Bryan Fuller tweeted all those months ago). Given that Andoria is located in a neighboring system to Vulcan and that the two civilizations often clashed, we wouldn’t be surprised if Andoria showed up in Discovery.

So many new alien friends!

We’ve got a lot of new alien faces in the Discovery trailer. The most prominent? Lt. Saru (Doug Jones), a science officer who tells Burnham he can “sense death.” Yikes.

Let the Human-Klingon battle begin.

In the final shots of the trailer, Burnham seems to be battling a Klingon (potentially T’Kuvma?) on the unidentified object the Shenzhou found on the edge of Federation space. This is a cool moment, but also lends to the general battle-friendly vibe of this trailer — which was one of the main complaints of the Star Trek reboot films. As cool as this show looks, I’m not sure how much it feels like Star Trek. But, hey, I’m open to being convinced once I’ve seen more.

Read more about Star Trek: Discovery here.



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