Star Trek Discovery Trailer Breakdown 17

“What am I looking at?”

“Object of unknown origin.”

While I appreciate the way the “magnify” effect has been updated, so it just takes up a portion of the view screen, this shot really does show off another one of Discovery’s obvious inspirations. While the show’s look is clearly indebted to the new movies, there’s plenty of Mass Effect in here as well. For the non-gamers out there, Mass Effect is a video game series set in the distant future where humankind has entered the galactic stage and finds itself struggling to make a name for itself amongst the more established alien races. Drama and adventure ensue, of course. However, that game allowed players to take a noble approach to saving the galaxy or a more violent and morally gray path. Since Discovery is clearly inspired by Mass Effect‘s look, I wonder if they also borrowed this conflict…

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“We’ve come all this way, Captain. It would be irresponsible to leave whatever that is unknown.” At the very least, it looks like Burnham will continue the trend of Star Trek leads who are headstrong, adventurous, and addicted to discovery. That spacesuit is pretty cool, too…even if it does look a little like Buzz Lightyear.

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One thing is for certain: Star Trek: Discovery does not look cheap. Even out of context, this is one of the most stunning shots to ever come out of a Star Trek TV show…even if it also gives off a serious Mass Effect vibe.

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Let’s pause for a moment to talk about Captain Philippa Georgiou. Or rather, let’s talk about Michelle Yeoh since we know next-to-nothing about Georgiou yet. While Yeoh’s days as a martial arts superstar seem to be mostly behind her, she’s always been a terrific actress and age has only given her an air of intelligence and wisdom. She looks great in that uniform and feels born to play a Starfleet captain. Unfortunately, this trailer has me thinking she’s not long for this universe and may only have a role in the first episode or two. But that’s pure speculation (and we’ll talk more about that in a bit).

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While I gave up on The Walking Dead a long time ago, Sonequa Martin-Green always struck me as one of the more impressive performers in the show’s ensemble. And now, here she is, wearing a spacesuit and exploring the unknown as the first officer on board a starship. There are certain conclusions about Commander Michael Burnham we can jump to from this trailer: she’s inexperienced but bold, a born explorer with a bit of a hot streak. There are shades of James. T. Kirk and Benjamin Sisko here, but this really looks like an opportunity for Martin-Green to break the mold of what a Star Trek hero can be.

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This must be the object of unknown origin mentioned above. Whatever it is, it’s big…and certainly made by intelligent beings. Is Star Trek dipping its toe into the “precursor aliens” well and planning to tell a story about ancient beings that built the technological foundation of the universe? If so…well, that’s also territory that Mass Effect explored thoroughly, inviting another comparison. Then again, Star Trek has explored it before, too.

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A dimly lit chamber. Ornate. A place for rituals, perhaps?

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Or rather a funeral, as this floating casket seems to suggest. But whose funeral could this be? What alien species would indulge in huge a lavish ceremony to honor a death?

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Ah. The Klingons. Or so we can assume. Because these designs are surely going to prove controversial amongst fans – they look very different from the Klingons seen in the bulk of the Star Trek series. This look has more in common with the Klingons seen in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness than with the classic look seen in the movies and later TV shows. Personally, I’m ready to adopt a “Well, facial hair probably came back into style, and they changed their armor designs between Discovery and The Next Generation” approach to this, provided that they nail the right attitude for these characters.

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“Captain! Warp signatures detected!”

Qualms about the new look aside, I do love how the ship’s computer displays the arrival of Klingon ships by literally representing them with the Klingon insignia. It’s an awesome shorthand that just looks cool.

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Here’s a close-up of what appears to be a Klingon leader. After all, there’s no way anyone but the top dog gets to wear spiky golden armor and figure so prominently in a close-up, right? The forehead makeup is top-notch – I just miss the long hair and more battle-ready armor seen in other shows.

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Try as I might, I cannot see a ship name on display here. Is this the Discovery or the Shenzhou? Whatever ship it is, it’s being shot with a twisting camera while lens flares shine in our face. At least they’re consistent.

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“You will never learn Vulcan. Your tongue is too human.” Here’s James Frain as Sarek again (not in hologram form!), but who is he talking to? Who is too human to learn the Vulcan language?

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Cut to: a little girl who looks an awful lot like a young Commander Michael Burnham. Is this deceptive cutting, or are we supposed to take an intended message from this? How does Burnham know Sarek? Why is she learning Vulcan? And why does she seem to be sporting that Vulcan haircut? Is it possible that she was a human raised (or at least tutored) by Sarek? And if so, then she surely knows Spock…and maybe they’re adopted siblings.

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