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Star Trek: Discovery's Five-Season Mission

In the lead up to Discovery's final adventure, the cast and creatives behind the hit series reflects on their journey so far.

Graphic illustration featuring an episodic still from the Discovery crew celebrating in 'Coming Home'

We're mere days away from Star Trek: Discovery launching its final adventure with the premiere of its fifth season on April 4.

In need of a catch up of where we last left off with each character? We've got a guide for that. Want a spoiler-free tease of what's to come for the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery? We've got you covered there as well.

Ahead of their last mission, the cast and creatives behind the hit series that relaunched the Star Trek universe seven years ago has been reflecting on their experiences on- and off-screen during their latest stints on Star Trek: The Cruise VII, SXSW, WonderCon, World Premiere junket, and more. Here are the biggest takeaways from their promotional tour!

'Under the Twin Moons'

"Under the Twin Moons"

Following the finale of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005, it would take the franchise 12 years to return to television screens with the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery in 2017.

Speaking directly to during the press junket at SXSW, executive producer and showrunner Alex Kurtzman detailed how they selected Sonequa Martin-Green to usher in the modern era of Star Trek. "Sonequa's amazingness just radiated off the screen, and that was just from an audition," shared Kurtzman. "We actually didn't meet her in person; she was in New York at the time. It's that beautiful thing. We had been looking for so long for the right Michael Burnham. And it's that miracle moment that you always wait for when you're in a casting process where just the right person shows up and starts saying the lines, and you go, 'That's my Michael Burnham.' That's what we got with her just out of the gate."

"On top of being a brilliant Michael Burnham, she's also just the most amazing Number One ever," continued Kurtzman. "She's such a beautiful human being, such a wonderful leader. She created a space on set for everybody to be joyful and to do their best work. I honestly don't think we can say enough about how amazing she is."

This sentiment was echoed amongst all the cast members, including the newest addition to the series, Eve Harlow, who praised Martin-Green during an exclusive conversation with during Star Trek: The Cruise VII, "She is that captain, and she treats everyone like an equal. I've just never been on a set where everyone, the crew is so appreciated. She knows everybody's names. She knows what they do. She knows their family life, what's going on with them. She genuinely cares, and being around that, that spirit is infectious."

Michael Burnham takes the helm as the captain of the U.S.S. Discovery in 'The Hope That Is You, Part 2'

"The Hope That Is You, Part 2"

Sitting in the SXSW Studio, Sonequa Martin-Green reflected on being the first Black woman to helm a Star Trek series. "This is one of the things that I'm most proud of," exclaimed Martin-Green. "There's no way that i could not be. We made television history twice. First, it was the first Black female lead, and then it was the first Black female lead and captain. Those moments mean so much to me even being able to just sit in the chair. I could distill it to that moment of being able to sit in the chair. I was carrying my daughter at the same time. So being able to share that with her, and then being able to become a producer and then an executive producer behind-the-scenes."

During the Discovery panel at WonderCon, executive producer and director Olatunde Osunsanmi reflected on Michael Burnham's journey throughout Star Trek: Discovery. "[Sonequa] is an incredible human being, and she's an incredible actor. Here she was playing these multiple roles, lieutenant to prisoner at one point. It takes an actor of incredible range and incredible capability to be able to pull that off. To be believable in each of the different roles of each of the different phases of her life. It was really fantastic to be able to see and have a front row seat to that. It's one of those things I'll cherish for the rest of my life."

During the WonderCon panel, executive producer and showrunner Michelle Paradise added, "She surprises me every episode. She just really incredible. I remember when I first started on the show, one of the first things Alex said to me is that there's nothing Sonequa can't do, and he's absolutely right. I saw that very early on. And as a writer, that is just a gift because you can take the character anywhere. She's a formidable presence and performer, and just so emotional, and the tiniest moments, she just brings them to life. It's a real treat honestly to get to work with her."

Captain Michael Burnham and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery arrive on the planet's surface to appeal to the Species 10-C in 'Coming Home'

"Coming Home"

In the SXSW Studio, Doug Jones shared how Saru helped fans as well as himself. "Science fiction does parallel real life a lot," noted Jones. "That's why i think the fandom for this genre is so strong because people do see that they can watch something fictional and then go into their real life and go, 'I've got the power to face my demons or whatever is coming in my way that day.'"

"With my character on this [series], I found that the fans seem to be responding to Saru's imposter syndrome, his fears, his anxieties that he starts with in this series," explained Jones. "Watching him work through it, watching him evolve past it, watching him find confidence and courage in himself. That's a theme that so many people have related to and told me, 'Oh my gosh, watching Saru has helped me through this, this, that.' And me too. Me watching Saru go through this has been 'Oh gosh, i don't have to have imposter syndrome anymore. I actually do belong here dagnabbit."

Blu del Barrio also reflected on how their character Adira and Ian Alexander's character Gray has resonated with fans as well as themselves. "It was really perfect timing because the way that Ian and I were introduced," stated del Barrio. "Right after this massive time jump was really perfect, and the way that we were introduced was very nonchalantly, which I think was the right way to do it. There's very rarely a trans character on a TV show. There's never two, and they're never in a relationship. So the fact that I got to do that with Ian is definitely what I'm most proud of in all of the way that I've done here. I feel immensely grateful to have been allowed to. [To Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise,] you guys gave us this platform."

"I didn't realize the effect that it would have, and I'm hugely grateful for it every single day" added del Barrio. "I love the way that we were portrayed. I love the way that I got to bring a lot of my own life and transition into Adira, and that I got to do that on-screen. Although it was very scary, I'm grateful for it. I'm glad that I could do it, and I'm glad that it was not the most interesting thing about either myself or Ian's character. In fact, we literally never talk about it which is perfect. I love that."

Wilson Cruz echoed the same sentiment earlier in the conversation, "I'm feeling grateful for the experience, for people to have been introduced to all of these people who have become a part of my life. I'm grateful for being able to tell this story with this incredibly diverse cast, and finally give voice and face to communities that had been longing to see themselves in this franchise for so many years."

Get ready for Discovery's final adventure when Season 5 premieres with the first two episodes later this week!