In-Depth Breakdown of the STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Trailer

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.

TrekNews.net is your dedicated source for all the latest news on Star Trek: Discovery. Follow @TrekNewsnet on Twitter, TrekNews on Facebook, TrekNews on Instagram and TrekNewsnet on YouTube.

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.

19 Comments Join the Conversation →


  • Boomclaw

    We only see Discovery once in the trailer, it is the ship breaking through the clouds. Other ship scenes, including the bridge, is the Shenzou. If you look closely at some shots, you can see the registry number.

    A theory is that Georgiou goes down with her ship and the crew get re-assigned to the Discovery which has been retrofitted to deal with the new Klingon threat. Lorca is assigned as the captain and Burnham will be the 1st officer with some crew members also coming over (Lt Saru for example).

    • The Chadwick

      That is NOT the Discovery breaking through the clouds, that is the Shenzhou! The new trailer did not show the USS Discovery. The ship breaking through the clouds and at warp are the same ship and it’s not the discovery. This has been confirmed multiple places on the internet.

  • Mateusz R. Orzech

    I have a mixed feelings about this trailer. While I can’t comment on the story and how it will tackle on larger themes I am however taken aback by some of the design ideas. I feel like the bridge and corridors are a little bit too dark, which (together with uniforms) is giving me a feeling of coldness in regards to the interactions between characters (I always liked the sense of friendship and camaraderie between crewmembers in the previous series) and a rather ominous feeling about their mission and space itself, while for me ST was always more positive (romantic even) in regards of deep space exploration even in the face of cosmic threats.

    I didn’t like lens flares, there is too much of them imo and I hope they will stop using them.

    I’m also not a big fan of a new Klingon design but I am willing to swallow it, just hope they will somehow reference the change in their appearance from what we’ve seen in ENT and TOS.

    Finally, I really really hate the window-as-viewscreen idea, just hate it.

    I also hoped for more returning species instead of adding numerous new ones, I am especially hopeful for Tellarites as they are one of UFA founding races and Tholians as I always found them interesting and different from other, largely humanoid races. Of course the trailer is showing us early scenes from the show so there is a good chance that we will meet familar faces yet.

    All that being said I am definitely going to watch DIS when it becomes avaiable and most probably will also buy a Blu-ray so I’m staying positive and hoping for a really great show.

  • Trent

    I think they lied ,….this is Nu-trek , not real Trek

    • The Chadwick

      lol that’s your opinion. That won’t change the fact that it is Star Trek. Can’t have 50 year old Star Trek today. You and others are trapped in the past and want something familiar so you can be comfortable father than experiencing something new and different. Just so pathetic.

      • Trent

        Always someone to attack those who don’t agree with them and their “I love being lied to, give me more of the cooperate crap”;

        I have been a fan since the beginning I even forced myself to watch Voyager ,I love Star Trek ,but dislike the pablum of Nu-trek.

        We were told we were getting a series set before the original series all a rational person has to do is look at the designs , klingons , Lens flare, and bridge window,ect to know we ain’t getting that .This is pre nu-trek for the brain dead ,so I’m not interested , it seems to be right up you alley ,so enjoy .

        • Mateusz R. Orzech

          I agree that the design choices are in very obvious way taken mostly from JJ-Trek and not Star Trek, but one can hope that story-wise it’ll be smth more than brainless space-shooter.

      • Gordo73

        Love it or hate it, it *is* NuTrek (also known as “Not Your Father’s Trek”™)

        So yes, they lied. They promised us that Discovery is going to be in the prime timeline, and instead we got another reboot.

        As for something “new and different”:

        I’d love to see something like that. You know what I mean… a TV series which doesn’t just copy all the latest sci fi trends of hollywood. Something with less lense flares and less stupidty. Something a little more thoughtful and hopeful.

        For 40 years Star Trek gave us that (and each series – by the way – had a different look which was great). But now? Now, Star Trek is just another generic sci fi series that heavily borrows from Star Wars.

        You call *that* new and different?!

  • Trekkie M

    So, the Klingon’s are Kelvin-verse? but this takes place before the changes that the original Spock (llap) made to the timeline. They better have a way much greater origin story than this trailer to explain or just tell us this is another rework not set in any universe that you would care to see. The badge is the same, the names and faces have been changed to protect CBS. Dun Dun.

    • The Chadwick

      Have you not heard about the Klingon sarcophagus ship? Google it. The theory at this point is that these are ancient Klingons who still adhere to a royal bloodline and Emepror and have possibly been awoken by the crew of the Shenzhou after hundreds of years of slumber to once agin rule the empire.

    • Gordo73

      It’s not just the Klingons…

  • Vger64

    Let’s give it a chance! I think this will be very good. It is 2017 folks!

    • The Chadwick

      Agreed, everyone should give it a chance, at least until the first episode to judge it. I for one will not judge until I have seen the entire first season. But the trailer has me excited, I like and am happy with what I see!

  • Trent

    I’m Not digging the designs at all .It is clear the this is set in the original timeline was a lie ,this is definitely set in the nu -trek timeline …..so I’m not interested.

    • The Chadwick

      Always something to whine and complain about. Fortunately the haters are a smaller percentage. Same old shit since 1979.
      Complained about TMP, TNG, DS9, ENT. Wallow in your own anger while the rest of us enjoy it. Have fun!

      • Trent

        Always someone to attack those who don’t agree with them and their “I love being lied to, give me more of the cooperate crap”;
        I have been a fan since the beginning I even forced myself to watch Voyager ,I love Star Trek ,but dislike the pablum of Nu-trek.
        We were told we were getting a series set before the original series all a rational person has to do is look at the designs , klingons , Lens flare, and bridge window,ect to know we ain’t getting that .This is pre nu-trek so I’m not interested , so enjoy .

      • Gordo73

        I find it hilarious that some people just can’t stand it when others dislike what they like.

        Personally, I don’t like NuTrek at all. Personally, I think that in the past decade, Star Trek had turned from something really special and unique to a dumb shadow of its former self.

        And if you think otherwise – good for you! The world would have been a very boring place if everybody had the same opinions. Go on and enjoy the new stuff if you feel like it. But saying that those who have different preferences are “wallowing in anger” is just silly. We just voice our opinion (like you).

        By the way, I loved TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT right from the start. You might want to take the words of Trip’s Vulcan biology teacher to heart:

        “challenge your preconceptions, or they will challenge you”

  • Arron Ratcliff

    I like many other fans have mixed feelings on this. I like the new look for the effects and bridge layouts. I don’t like the looks of the Klingons or of the ship design shown in the trailer. The acting in the trailer seems legit. and the new aliens introduced are pretty sweet looking. And i don’t care about the sexual orientation or religious beliefs of the Characters. I do care about wither or not the writing staff is able to tell Good and compelling stories that are relevant to today’s world. Other wise we should kick back an enjoy the ride.If it’s a good show it will survive if not they will pull the plug. My only real complaint is it will be a weekly release instead of a seasonal one like Netflix and other streaming services do. So no binge watching unless you wait for all the episodes to air first then binge it.

  • The show looks horrible and the Klingons look worse. #NotMyKlingons. Please CBS cancel this show and delete/destroy all the material.