Buy’ ngop*, Star Trek purists! When Discovery, the newest chapter in the sci-fi franchise, debuts this fall, it will feature Klingons speaking Klingon — and not primarily English — with subtitles. (* That’s Klingon for “Good news!”)
“It was very important for us to have the Klingons speak Klingon, and there will be subtitles,” executive producer Gretchen J. Berg told the crowd at the show’s Comic-Con panel on Saturday. She reasoned that the first season’s main story — which includes a major conflict between the Klingons and Starfleet — dictated the decision.
“They have their own pride. They have their own interests and talent. It’s a very fascinating culture,” she added.
The panel featured stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Mary Wiseman, Anthony Rapp and James Frain as well as executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Aaron Harberts, Heather Kadin, Akiva Goldsman and Berg. Rainn Wilson (The Office), who will appear in the series as intergalactic criminal Harry Mudd, served as moderator.
The long-awaited next chapter in Gene Roddenberry’s franchise — which premieres Sunday, Sept. 24 at 8:30/7:30c, on both CBS and its streaming arm CBS All Access — provided plenty of fodder for interstellar discussion. Highlights included:
* A new trailer packed with fresh footage (posted above) that features lots of cool space battles; a closer look at Discovery‘s new-look Klingons; and Martin-Green’s character, First Officer Michael Burnham, being imprisoned (??) and facing off with Wilson’s mischievous Harry Mudd.
* Martin-Green revealed that her character was raised on Vulcan by Frain’s Sarek, whom she called Burnham’s “surrogate dad.” And after Sarek commits Michael to the care of Han Bo (played by Michelle Yeoh), “I grow tremendously through her tutelage,” Martin-Green said, calling the relationship between the two women “very similar to mother and daughter.”
* And if that makes you scratch your head about why we’ve never heard Spock mention his father’s other “kid,” “just be patient with us,” Kurtzman asked fans, assuring the audience that the story would be consistent with the franchise’s canon.
* Rapp, who plays the openly gay officer Lt. Stamets, announced that his love interest would be played by Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life, 13 Reasons Why), “and we’re both officers on the ship,” he added.
* Isaacs was asked to compare his character, Capt. Lorca, to previous Star Trek captains. Isaacs, noting Comic-Con’s request that panelists not swear, said, “I’m not allowed to say that he’s probably more f–ked up than any of them.”
* Jones demonstrated Lt. Saru’s signature walk (think balls of the feet, pelvis thrust forward) for the audience, noting that it probably reminds people of “a supermodel.”
* Jeff Russo (Fargo, The Night Of) will compose the series’ music.
* The panel addressed those who expressed anger online when Discovery‘s racially diverse cast was announced. “If you say you love the legacy of Star Trek but you don’t love that, then you’ve missed it,” Martin-Green said, to loud applause.