Star Trek Discovery NYCC panel show us Burnham’s confidence as captain

SSonequa Martin-Green (Captain Michael Burnham) introduced the gleaming new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 during the series’ New York Comic-Con panel, a live event held at the Javits Center last weekend.

The thrilling Season 4 trailer shows the Discovery crew dealing with a devastating gravitational anomaly with the potential destructive ability to impact people across the universe, Federation and non-Federation alike, and how involved the Federation could become in handling the scourge.

Watch for yourselves below:

Another exciting takeaway from the new Discovery trailer is how awesomely comfortable Sonequa Martin-Green looks taking on the captain’s chair, especially during such a pivotal crisis for her crew.

“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,” Martin-Green said during the panel, according to SYFY Wire. “It’s unspeakable.”

Martin-Green was joined by Star Trek: Discovery cast members Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), David Ajala (Cleveland Booker), Blu del Barrio (Adira), as well as showrunner and executive producer Michelle Paradise, and was moderated by SYFY Wire’s Karama Horne.

The panelists discussed how Burnham’s captaincy is impacting the crew, with Martin-Green reflecting on her newfound responsibility, having led the Discovery crew in taking back their ship from Osyraa and helping safeguard the Federation in the previous season. The end of season 3 saw her settling in as Discovery’s well-earned captain.

Saru (Doug Jones) departed Discovery at the end of the third season, taking a sabbatical to return to his home planet of Kaminar along with Su’Kal, the young Kelpian he rescued from a derelict science ship, taking him back to Kaminar to help him build a life. J

ones’ popular character—a Kelpian who rose above the subservient existence expected from his species—was assured to come back in some capacity by co-showrunner Paradise, who told TVLine that “he’s definitely back in action for Season 4.”

Like most Star Trek shows (and there are a lot of them!), Discovery was no exception to how much the pandemic affected getting the production wrapped up by the deadline.

In fact, many were skeptical that Star Trek: Discovery would be able to stick to their rumored Fall 2021 premiere date, but sure enough, the fourth season is scheduled to begin airing on Paramount+ on November 18. Rapp talked about how surreal it was looking at the completed footage after the challenges of filming during COVID-10

“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,” Rapp said via SYFY Wire. “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.”

Paradise added insight into the themes being explored during Discovery’s fourth season and how the series will reflect the difficult times we’re living in.

“One of the things we do–and it’s baked into the DNA of Star Trek… is that Star Trek looks at what’s happening in the world around us,” explained Paradise, according to “And we look for ways via the show, via science fiction, to reflect some of those things thematically. [For] season four, Uncertainty is one of the big things for us thematically… because that was happening very much in the world around us… And so 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, for non-Federation planets?”

Wilson Cruz expounded upon the theme of uncertainty to be explored in Season 4: “I feel like the stakes that we were living in breathes in that trailer. The stakes in the story were really high, but the stakes in which we were making and telling the story were also high. And the theme of the entire season is about uncertainty and about how we come together to deal with it and walk through uncertainty and lean on each other as we find a way through it. And we were doing that in life as well.

In the released trailer, fans of The Man in the High Castle will recognize Chelah Horsdal, who will portray the new Federation president (woohoo!), who Cruz described as “she just slipped right in and became part of the family.” One thing’s for sure, the new Federation president doesn’t seem to be a fan of Burnham’s leadership style, commenting, “Your acts of bravery are huge swings of the pendulum, and there is a very fine line between a pendulum and a wrecking ball,” at one point in the S4 trailer. The two of them will provide some intriguing tension, to be sure.

You can read more of what each of the crew members during their panel said here.

Star Trek: Discovery returns Thursday, Nov. 18 on Paramount+, with subsequent episodes dropping weekly.