Star Trek Las Vegas happened this week, and fans got a whole lot of Star Trek: Discovery right out of the gate on day one of the convention.  Four hours of panels on all things Discovery gave new insight into the show, the costuming, character design, cast, story arcs, and literary companions.  Here are some of the most important take-aways from the Star Trek: Discovery panels.

  • Full-on Klingon.  The show is focusing on Klingons more than any series has before.  Executive producer Akiva Goldman stated “Klingons are definitely the focus,” and “There is a medium deep dive into being Vulcan, and some other old fan favorites, but not with any penetrative depth.” –

  • Kol.  Fans got their first look at Kenneth Mitchell as Commander Kol.  He’s bald, as the Klingons are in this series, but we knew that was coming. 
  • Language.  The Klingons will be speaking Klingon, which we also knew, but the cast went deeper into the subject of language.  Mitchell and his fellow Klingon commander Mary Chieffo (Battle Deck Commander L’Rell) explained that they are studying the language so that they as actors are fluent in it.  Their goal is to be able to fluently speak and read Klingon.  Awesome.  
  • Klingon Society.  All 24 Klingon houses will be ‘explored’ and the loyalties, interworkings and complexities of Klingon society will get a spotlight it hasn’t previously received.  Mitchell said, of the houses and the Klingon’s new look… “The images that you have seen so far are one house led by T’kumla” and “You are going to start to explore further into the Klingons, and each of those houses has a different set of physical looks and variations as well as ideologies.” –  Very interesting.  So, we may see some Klingons that are more familiar to us as well… 
  • Nobody’s the good guy.  Though this show is about the federation, writers are focusing on the ambiguities of war, presenting points of view from all sides.   “One of the driving forces behind this war was to not vilify either side,” Goldman said, reported by,  “It is certainly about the Federation. But there are significant sections of the narrative that are purely from the Klingon point of view, and in Klingon.”
  • Shenzhou Design.  The Shenzhou’s bridge is located at the bottom of the ship’s saucer.  Sam Varthomoleos, who plays Ensign Connor revealed the news during the cast panel.  
  • Literary integration.  For the first time in history, a Star Trek series will be fully integrated with all of it’s companion pieces in real time.  Writer Kristen Beyer will be the liaison between the show, novels, comics and artists.  “Under this system, the outside authors and artists are aware of the show storyline and Discovery writers are likewise aware of what is happening in book and comic storylines.” –

  • Discovery Novels.  David Mack revealed that the first Discovery novel, Desperate Hours, will be released September 26th; two days after the show premieres.  The novel takes place one year before the show starts.  A second book will tackle Discovery’s story a full 10 years before the show starts.  
  • Discovery Comics.  A Discovery comic book, written by Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson will be a mini-series following  T’Kuvma and the Klingons under his command. 
  • Serialization.  Writers Ted Sullivan and Beyer talked about their approach to the new series.  We already know that writers are working outside of what was known as ‘Roddenberry’s Box‘ and able to put characters in direct conflict with each other.  But, they also alluded to a heavily serialized show.   Sullivan said, “We know the outcome, we all know where we end up. So the question is how do we get there?” and Goldman went on to say, “Our characters carry their losses with them from episode to episode. They carry their love, they carry their courage.”

Star Trek: Discovery premieres on CBS All Access September 24th, 2017.


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