We had almost lost hope in hearing from the USS Discovery. It seemed the Federation vessel was lost in space, warp nacelles sputtering, while rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated here on Earth. In truth, the long-awaited #StarTrek revival show has had something of a rocky production, but things seem to be on track for a fall release, with actors posting cheeky updates to Twitter and Instagram. But now, we have something a little more official.
So fire up those tricorders and feast your scanners on this, the first official photo from Star Trek: Discovery, featuring Sonequa Martin-Green (First Officer Michael Burnham) and Michelle Yeoh (Captain Philippa Georgiou) in all their scifi glory.
The picture is interesting for a number of reasons — and not just because they seem to be cosplaying Rey from Star Wars — so for lack of any more footage, let's dissect exactly what's going on in this photo.
Check Out That Retro Tech
Martin-Green's First Officer Burnham is sporting two pieces of The Original Series era technology. On her belt you can see a flip-screen communicator poking out — these devices became so iconic that they inspired the first flip phones, although they were replaced in The Next Generation by communicator badges. Burnham's also got a large pouch below her belt, which looks to be tricorder size — the TOS tricorders were pretty hefty, and often worn with a strap or in a pouch.
Discovery is set around ten years before The Original Series, so it would make sense that the crew of the USS Discovery and the USS Shenzhou (Captain Georgiou's ship) would use this technology.
They're In Disguise
First Officer Burnham and Captain Georgiou certainly don't look like they're wearing regulation Starfleet uniforms — and you better believe the Federation equips its officers for desert missions, as we saw in Deep Space Nine.
With their costume's mismatched colors and a multitude of scarves, it looks like Burnham and Georgiou have donned local attire for this away mission. Which begs the question: why? Are they in disguise? Is this planet pre-warp and are Burnham and Geogiou flouting the Prime Directive by beaming down? All this will become clear when the episode airs. But there's one more pertinent plot point to dissect...
The USS Shenzou & USS Discovery Are Working Together
This is the most interesting plot point to come from this image. We've known for a while that Star Trek: Discovery will follow two ships: The USS Shenzou, captained by Georgiou, and the USS Discovery, lead by Jason Isaacs' Captain Lorca. Burnham serves as the First Officer for the Discovery, not the Shenzou, so it's surprising to see her beam down to a planet with the Shenzou's captain.
It would seem that, at least at the start of Discovery's first season, the two Starfleet vessels are working together on a joint mission. The fact that characters on the USS Shenzou are listed in the main cast seems to imply that the Shenzou and Discovery continue to work together, maybe even flying in tandem. This is an interesting development for Star Trek, as the focus has always been on one ship (or one crew, in the case of DS9). Whatever is going on in Star Trek: Discovery, the mission clearly requires a more complex deployment of vessels than Starfleet is used to. I can't wait to find out what would merit two ships to work together so closely!
Tell us in the comments: What would you like to see in Star Trek: Discovery?