Conflicting reports out of the ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ panel at San Diego Comic-Con – including confusion from the TV show’s own Twitter account – have got fans a bit befuddled on a new piece of back-story for Sonequa Martin-Green’s Commander Burnham.
The panel for the show featured ‘Discovery’ actors Martin-Green, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Mary Wiseman, Anthony Rapp, and James Frain along with Executive Producers Alex Kurtzman, Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts, Heather Kadin, and Akiva Goldsman. One of the biggest pieces of news to come from the panel was the revelation was Burnham is the half-sister of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series’ character Spock, played in the “prime universe” timeline by Leonard Nimoy.
This is something of a strange revelation, as the fact that Spock had a half-sister has never been discussed in the three seasons of the original series or the six feature films that have focused on those characters (or even the “Abramsverse” feature ‘Star Trek’ film that guest-starred Nimoy’s Spock). ‘Star Trek V: The Voyage Home’ featured a character named Sybok, who was revealed to be Spock’s half-brother… perhaps this would have been a good time to talk about Spock’s half-sister, then?
During the panel, the official Twitter account for ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ tweeted that Burnham was definitely Spock’s half-sibling, “raised on Vulcan by her surrogate father, Sarek, and human mother, Amanda.” This tweet has since been deleted, however, and the creative team has worked quickly to try and clarify that Burnham is actually not the biological offspring of either Amanda or Sarek, but rather was taken in by the couple as a child after the death of her birth parents.
Confused yet? Kurtzman, for his part, acknowledged the continuity-related elephant in the room, and had this to say about Spock having a newly-discovered half-sibling:
“We’re aware. You’ll see where it’s going, but we are staying consistent with canon.”
The new series, the first on TV since ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ was cancelled over a decade ago, is being met with cautious optimism from fans so far. A new trailer also debuted at SDCC, featuring much more footage from the show that had been previously shown.
‘Star Trek: Discovery’ premiers on September 24, 2017 on CBS.