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What to Expect from The Final Season of Star Trek: Discovery

The cast details everything you need to know to get ready for the Season 5 premiere this week!

The cast of Star Trek: Discovery (David Ajala, Wilson Cruz, Blu del Barrio, Mary Wiseman, Sonequa Martin-Green, and Doug Jones)

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The highly anticipated fifth and final season of Star Trek: Discovery arrives this week!

This season finds Captain Burnham and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery uncovering a mystery that will send them on an epic adventure across the galaxy to find an ancient power whose very existence has been deliberately hidden for centuries. But there are others on the hunt as well… dangerous foes who are desperate to claim the prize for themselves and will stop at nothing to get it.

Ahead of the premiere, had the opportunity to speak with series cast Sonequa Martin-Green (Captain Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Saru), Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), David Ajala (Cleveland "Book" Booker), Blu del Barrio (Adira), along with this season's recurring guest star Eve Harlow (Moll) and executive producer and co-showrunner Michelle Paradise. With their help, here's what you can expect from their characters this season!

In case you need a quick refresher before we dive forward, we've got a handy Where We Left Off guide!

Now let's fly!

Sonequa Martin-Green on Season 5 Stakes and Captain Michael Burnham's Relationship Status

'Red Directive'

"Red Directive"

"This season, we can expect a wild ride," teases Sonequa Martin-Green. "One of the things that they wanted to do was that they wanted to have a tonal shift. They wanted it to be adventurous, they wanted it to be fun, they wanted it to be kind of like the Indiana Jones season. And so we really did that. We really did that. The artistry is on another level."

"In every department, you will see some really incredible things coming to life," continues Martin-Green. "In Season 5, we did some stuff we should not have been able to do; we did some stuff that we've never done before. I'm really proud of every department, of every cast member, of every crew member, every writer, every producer, every post-production coordinator, and supervisor, and worker. We took it to the next level without even knowing that it was our last season. When everyone sees it, I think that they'll see what I'm talking about. It's culminating because of that; it is just on another level. It's a huge, huge season. People have a lot to look forward to."

Addressing where Michael Burnham and Book find themselves at the start of this season, Martin-Green explains, "Book and Burnham, they are the classic, old Facebook status of 'It's complicated.' They've got a lot to work through. That's where we pick up with them, having not been speaking as regularly as they normally do. Of course, we see that he was sent off at the end of Season 4. Now they are back in each other's midst, and they have got a lot to talk about and a lot to wade through. It's very complicated between them. There's obviously still that love, that deep love, that bond, that respect, but they've got a lot to work through."

Doug Jones on Saru's Next Step

'Under the Twin Moons'

"Under the Twin Moons"

Reflecting on Saru's journey across the entire series, Doug Jones reveals, "Saru had been captain of the ship for Season 3. And Season 4, he then kind of took a step to First Officer again, because of his loyalty to Michael Burnham, and the special task we were on throughout the season."

"Well, now he’s [re-evaluating] his purpose there," adds Jones. "Has it run its course? His relationship with President T’Rina, played by the lovely Tara Rosling. She does come into the equation with how he makes his decision."

Anthony Rapp on Paul Stamets' Legacy and Season 5 Baddies

In engineering, Statmets grins while looking over his shoulder in a first look for Star Trek: Discovery Season 5

Episode 506

"This season, you can expect a new level of inquiry for Paul about what's next for him in terms of the work that he wants to do," hints Anthony Rapp. "He's an incredibly driven and brilliant human being with this mind, that's some level of genius. You get to see him like stretch himself in new ways."

What does the Discovery crew make of arrival of this season's antagonists — Moll (played by Eve Harlow) and L'ak (played by Elias Toufexis)?

"I really love the description of this kind of Bonnie and Clyde," shares Rapp. "It was fun for us, or for me, I could speak for myself, to have these kind of iconic touchstone archetypes brought into our show. Their energy as people; [Eve Harlow and Elias Toufexis] brought a beautiful energy to the company to being a part of our show and being a part of our story. And then their work was exceptional. To have this, this idea of this kind of like maverick couple that's on the run is a cool one. And there's a reason it's iconic. And I think that the way that our writers threaded it through our story was really well done."

Mary Wiseman on Sylvia Tilly's Career Focus

'Under the Twin Moons'

"Under the Twin Moons"

"Tilly's in a great place," notes Mary Wiseman. "She's found a certain kind of assurance from going off to teach at Starfleet Academy, and coming back feels like coming home. You're a little cooler and a little more adult. And people call you 'Miss.'"

However, that's not without some challenges. "But she kind of also feels stuck with the problem about how to get through to these kids that have grown up in this era where there isn't the sort of interconnectedness, galaxy-wide communication, and transportation possibilities that there were when she was growing up," highlights Wiseman. "And she's kind of noticing it in the kids' behavior, and inability to interact or team build. And so that's something that she kind of wants to work on and figure out how to help them out with that."

Wilson Cruz on Dr. Hugh Culber's New Experiences

Culber connects with Tilly as they lean over a counter in a first look at Star Trek: Discovery Season 5

Episode 505

"Where we first find Culber in Season 5, he's in a really good place," notes Wilson Cruz. "He's really embodied this new version of himself, and is ready and willing to take on whatever he's confronted with."

Cruz continues, "This season, he is confronted with an experience that forces him to ask even more existential questions that kind of blows his mind. It starts him on knowing about all of the mysteries of the universe. This whole mission really makes him question a lot of things. We see him process a lot of that throughout the season."

David Ajala on Cleveland "Book" Booker's Love for Burnham and Season 5 Action Sequences

Book and Burnham stand defensively with phasers locked facing ahead as Culber stands by them in a first look for Star Trek: Discovery Season 5

Episode 503

Following the events of Season 4, Book must walk away from Burnham. Reflecting on his actions and headspace at the start of this season, David Ajala states, "It's interesting, because, if we're talking about the gift of grace, Book has definitely received grace from Michael Burnham. Even though Book made the decision that he thought was right, it was not even honorable, but he felt duty bound to do what he did. He was still afforded grace by Michael Burnham, to be welcomed back with open arms. The journey of someone like Cleveland Booker, who was very driven by keeping his autonomy, and also serving his purpose on the planet, which was to help endangered species, to be a part of Starfleet, it was never something that was within his remit. But then to come full circle in Season 5, and to see him, organically incorporate himself within that team is a wonderful story."

"Where we left off in Season 4, revisiting and coming back for Season 5, it's a different territory for both of them," explains Ajala. "And yet, they both have to acknowledge that they're in different spaces, but then still show a level of care for one another. This grey area is new territory."

As for the Indiana Jones-level of excitement the series explores this season, Ajala details, "I love action, I love being able to be physical, to express myself. Having said that, I love the way action is used in the right way. And because this is the final season, we could have taken like one to potentially three episodes to kind of warm into it. But with the first episode, we were straight in with high octane, big action sequences, and just a real spectacle to observe."

Blu del Barrio on Adira's Growing Confidence

'Under the Twin Moons'

"Under the Twin Moons"

"Adira starts out in a pretty solid looking place," reveals Blu del Barrio.

"On the outside, they look and seem really good," adds del Barrio. "They have a lot more responsibilities on the ship. And they're taking their work very seriously, and just very happy to be like more integrated. But underneath the surface, they're struggling a little bit more with some emotional stuff and some major personal stuff."

Eve Harlow on the Arrival of Star-Crossed Lovers and Joining the Cast of Discovery

'Red Directive'

"Red Directive"

During NYCC 2022, audiences got to learn about this season's baddies. Moll and L'ak are former couriers turned outlaws. Moll is highly intelligent and dangerous, with an impressive strategic mind and a sharp wit. She goes into every situation with a clear plan and stays focused and clear-headed on her goal, even when things go awry. She’s not easy to intimidate, and will face down anyone who stands in her way in order to get what she wants. Whereas L'ak is tough, impulsive, and fiercely protective of his beloved partner, Moll. So long as he knows she’s safe, he doesn’t care about collateral damage or its consequences — a perspective that makes him very dangerous at times and will put him on the opposite side of Captain Burnham and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery when they come into conflict.

Speaking directly to on Star Trek: The Cruise VII, Eve Harlow divulges, "Moll is badass, and she and L’ak are an interspecies couple. It’s kind of breaking all the rules, which is why they’re on the run. It’s very much like Romeo and Juliet or Bonnie and Clyde because they’re star-crossed lovers."

On her experience of joining this series for its fifth season, Harlow offers tons of praises, "These are some of the kindest, just most welcoming people I've ever met. I feel like I just talk about how much I love Sonequa a lot, but I will keep talking about how much I love her. She is the best leader I've ever experienced on set."

"[When I reflected on] who on-set is most like their character in real life. Without skipping a beat, Elias and I, at the same time, were Sonequa. 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. Every single time I was on set. I was so high energy; I was just so happy to be here. And it's because of the people who were working on that show."

Michelle Paradise on Season 5's New Faces

'Under the Twin Moons'

"Under the Twin Moons"

"Elias [Toufexis] and Eve [Harlow] play L’ak and Moll who are our two new bad guys this season," states Michelle Paradise. "We talked about them as kind of a Bonnie and Clyde unit. We hadn't had a couple before as our antagonist. In turn, they're obviously formidable foes for our heroes. But we also really wanted to make sure that they felt well-rounded, and that they weren't just one note, bad guys. We understood the why of what they were doing the depth of their love for one another. People will be surprised that they may start rooting for these bad guys, actually. But they'll never want them to win more than our heroes, of course. It’s a lot of fun to have them."

L'ak and Moll aren't the only new faces this season. Rayner, also previously announced at NYCC 2022, is a gruff, smart Starfleet captain who holds a clear line between commander and crew — he leads, they follow. Rayner’s all about the mission, whatever it may be, and he doesn’t do niceties along the way; his feeling is, you get the job done and apologize later. He has a storied track record of wartime success, but in times of peace, he struggles. Collaboration is not his strong suit. That said, if it serves the greater good he’s willing to learn... but it won’t be easy.

"And then Callum Keith Rennie plays Captain Rayner," elaborates Paradise. "What's interesting about him is that he is going to be a bit of an antagonist, but not in a bad guy way. He's going to push Burnham, and we'll get to see new sides of Burnham and new growth in Burnham because of her interactions with him. It's a really interesting dynamic there. That's one of the things that we always look at, if we're going to bring in any new guest characters, is how can they impact our regulars? And how can they help our regulars grow over the course of the season or change or help us see new sides of them, and these three do that beautifully."

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