Jones will play Lt. Saru, a Starfleet Science Officer and a new alien species to the Star Trek universe, while Rapp will portray Lt. Stamets, an astromycologist, fungus expert and Starfleet Science Officer aboard the Starship Discovery. Sources confirm that Stamets is the gay character previously teased by former showrunner Bryan Fuller.
The castings follow last week’s news that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Michelle Yeoh is also joining the ensemble as Starfleet captain Captain Georgiou aboard the Starship Shenzhou (not to be confused with the previously announced female lead character.)
At the Television Critics Association press tour in August, Fuller said the new series’ 13-episode first season would “bridge the gap between Enterprise and the original series” and would deal with an incident in Starfleet history “that had been talked about but never fully explored. [We’re telling] that story through a character who is on a journey that is going to teach her how to get along with others in the galaxy.”
In September, CBS announced that the reboot, originally slated to debut in January, would instead bow in May. (The premiere will air on CBS network before moving exclusively to CBS All Access.) Fuller then stepped down from the showrunner position in October and was replaced by EPs Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg.