comScore Captain Burnham Takes Command in 'Star Trek: Discovery' S4
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Captain Burnham Takes Command in the Trailer for Season 4 of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

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The official trailer for season 4 of Paramount+’s Star Trek: Discovery premiered at New York Comic Con this weekend, with Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) finally taking command of the U.S.S. Discovery. It’s a well deserved promotion for Burnham, who has been saving the universe while serving under, let’s say, a tough run of bosses (Saru excepted, of course). And it’s just in time, as the crew face the Anomaly, a planet-consuming force that threatens the existence of, well, everything. But Burnham is more than ready for the challenge, saying in the trailer, “We cannot let fear define us in this moment, … The future remains uncertain, but the captain in me knows anything is possible.”

The season 3 finale saw acting Captain Saru (Doug Jones) taking a sabbatical from Starfleet to spend some time on his home planet Kaminar, and passing the baton to Burnham, who is the first Black woman to sit in the captain’s chair in a live-action Star Trek series. And Burnham’s ascendancy is all the more powerful since we’ve spent the last 3 season watching her rise (and fall) through the ranks of Starfleet to get here.

Before introducing the trailer, Martin-Green said, “I’m really excited about so many things about this season. It’s really hard to say what I’m most excited about. But being in the captain’s chair, being cemented in history, it’s huge,” adding “It’s unspeakable.” Martin-Green was joined by Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Wilson Cruz, David Ajala, Blu del Barrio, and showrunner/executive producer Michelle Paradise at the Star Trek: Discovery panel at New York Comic Con.

Martin-Green also discussed how her character’s promotion changes her dynamic with the rest of the crew, saying “I think every relationship is affected by it. Because all of a sudden, there’s this bit of distance that’s kind of hard to explain. When you take on responsibility for an entire crew on paper, there is automatically a stepping back that has to happen because you have to have a macro vision and a macro perspective, so you can make the best decisions for the whole.”

Season 4 was filmed during the pandemic, which Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets) described saying, “The experience of doing this past season was so strange because we were in the middle of the pandemic. We were really locked down and living in this bubble, … It felt like this small, personal experience and suddenly, to see it like that just makes it feel huge and epic in a way that was hard for us to know that’s what it was while we were doing it.”

The pandemic also had an effect on the story and mood of season 4. “Star Trek looks at what’s happening in the world around us and we look for ways via the show and science fiction to reflect some of those things thematically,” said showrunner Michelle Paradise. “When we came into the season [we asked ourselves] ‘What is happening in the world around us? What are all of us collectively dealing with?’ Uncertainty is one of the big things for us thematically because that was happening very much in the world around us for everyone here. We’re still kind of in that. Looking at: ‘What does that mean for each of our characters individually? What does it mean for our characters in relationship with one another? What does it mean for the Federation and for non-Federation planets? What does it mean as a whole?'”

The panel also dropped new key art for season 4, which features Martin-Green standing before the captain’s chair.

Season 4 of Star Trek: Discovery premieres on November 18 on Paramount+.

(image: Michael Gibson/Paramount+)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.