The first trailer for Star Trek: Discovery hit yesterday, giving us the first significant look into the new series.
Let’s break down what we saw:
Shot-by-shot breakdown of the Star Trek: Discovery trailer
The trailer opens with the scene that was depicted in the first photo from the series released on Wednesday morning, showing Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Philippa Georgiou and Sonequa Martin-Green’s First Officer Michael Burnham on an unidentified desert planet.
A title card clearly establishes the setting for the show.
Georgiou starts talking to Burnham about her career, saying, “You served under me for seven years,” and “I think it is time we talked about you having your own command.” We hear Georgiou refer to her as “Commander Burnham,” but that was likely edited in from another scene, so it’s possible that Burnham is a different rank in this scene.
The old communicators are back!
Our first and probably best look at the new ship.
New transporter effect.
New warp effect.
Discovery is carrying over the window-as-viewscreen element from the Kelvin films, as the camera moves through the window in this shot.
Our first look at the new Sarek, played by James Frain. He’s speaking with Burnham through some sort of holographic communications device similar to what the Defiant had in the latter part of DS9, though the tech is obviously cruder, with the image looking very Star Wars like.
Probably our best look at the new bridge. This also gives us the best idea of how the new uniforms are going to work. Burnham and Georgiou have gold accents, Doug Jones’ Lt. Saru, in the left part of the shot, has silver accents and the conn officer has bronze accents. So, command has gold, sciences and medical have silver, and security and engineering have bronze.
The viewscreen, looking very Kelvin-like.
A few good shots at the new spacesuit, which Burnham takes for a spin Spock in TMP style.
A ship rises up behind what Burnham is standing on. Our first glimpse at a Klingon vessel, perhaps?
Our first shot at the new Klingons. This appears to be a funeral ceremony.
The look of the Klingons may have changed, but their logo hasn’t!
This is probably our best look at the new Klingons, with this possibly being T’Kuvma, played by Chris Obi. The design is original, but has more Kelvin-verse touches in it than not.
A shot of the bridge from the exterior of the ship.
Here we get what could potentially be a flashback. Non-hologram Sarek is telling what the trailer implies to be a young Burnham that, “You will never learn Vulcan. Your tongue is too human.” There’s obviously a connection between the two. Was she raised on Vulcan?
Burnham in some sort of medical chamber, perhaps like the one Phlox had on Enterprise.
Burnham and Saru, as Burnham is saying, “I’m trying to save you. I’m trying to save all of you.” Maybe this is her first time in command?
The last part of the previous line is put over this shot of crew members in one of the ship’s corridors. Notice the female officer walking away from camera near the center of the frame. She has on what appears to be a uniform variant with short sleeves.
A strange new world?
This looks to be a continuation of the funeral scene from earlier. The Klingons appear to be doing their death scream, alerting those in Sto’Vo’Kor that a warrior is on the way. This is one of my favorite aspects of Klingon society, so I’m glad it’s being carried over.
New alien species. The hood is retracting in this shot.
The new-look tactical station.
A better shot of Saru, here telling Burnham that his people can sense the coming of death. He says that they were “biologically determined” for that sole purpose, implying perhaps that they were genetically manipulated by some other species.
The trailer is capped off with what looks to be a continuation of the shot of Burnham in the spacesuit from earlier, now facing off against a Klingon. The Klingon has a helmet on, but he appears to be wearing the same thing the one from earlier was, so maybe this is T’Kuvma, also?
Even though the show is taking place in the main timeline, the aesthetics and cinematography are clearly inspired by the Kelvin-verse films, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Those films, design wise, did a good job of taking elements from what existed previously — including Enterprise, which is in continuity for both timelines — and updating it for a modern audience. Discovery seems to be doing the same, but incorporating the main timeline elements seen in the Kelvin films, like the Kelvin and the Franklin.
The ship, itself, has changed A LOT since the first reveal at SDCC last year, though it’s still very much inspired by the Ralph McQuarrie concept art from the failed Planet of the Titans.
Story-wise, the trailer implies that Georgiou is the Discovery’s captain, but she was originally announced as the captain of the Shenzhou and Jason Isaacs’ Captain Lorca as the Discovery’s commanding officer. Perhaps what we see here is, in fact, the Shenzhou and Burnham and Saru at some point end up on the Discovery, or that this is the Discovery and it’s Georgiou who gets reassigned.
While I’m not entirely sold on the new look for the Klingons, the show looks great. Hopefully this isn’t the last look we get before the show finally premiers this fall.
The cast of Star Trek: Discovery includes Michelle Yeoh (Captain Philippa Georgiou) Sonequa Martin-Green (First Officer Michael Burnham), Jason Isaacs (Captain Lorca), Chris Obi (T’Kuvma), Doug Jones (Lt. Saru), James Frain (Sarek), and Shazad Latif (Kol), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Stamets), Sam Vartholomeos (Ensign Connor), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Tilly), and Mary Chieffo (L’Rell) and Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd).
Gretchen Berg, Aaron Harberts, Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth, Heather Kadin and Alex Kurtzman are executive producers on the series. Nicholas Meyer, Kirsten Beyer and Ted Sullivan are serving as a writers and consulting producers.
Andrew Cardinale is from a Boston suburb where he works in IT. When he’s not doing something Star Trek related, he writes, follows local sports and listens to far too many podcasts.
You can follow Andrew on Twitter @acardi.