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Sonequa Martin-Green says her Star Trek: Discovery character has “the Vulcan conflict”

Photo: Jan Thijs/CBS

While we’ve slowly been getting more details about the cast and premise of the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery (and completed the five stages of grief over the loss of Bryan Fuller behind the scenes), with the first trailer for the series suggesting things were not looking good for the U.S.S. Shenzhou. More intriguingly, it also implied a potential Vulcan past for Sonequa Martin-Green’s first officer, albeit one still kept under wraps. Now, in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin-Green reveals some additional details about her character, Michael Burnham.

The most significant information puts to rest speculation that Burnham might be half-Vulcan. She’s fully human, but is the first human to attend the Vulcan Learning Center in her youth, then graduate to the Vulcan Science Academy. She’s been first officer on the Shenzhou for seven years when the series begins. “I have an inner war,” Martin-Green says, “and it’s a journey of self discovery and finding out what it means to be alive, to be human, to be a Starfleet officer, what it means to be a hero.”


As shown in the trailer, Sarek—Spock’s father—is a mentor of sorts to her, which creates a familiar Star Trek struggle. “I have the Vulcan conflict in my life from Sarek and Amanda so there’s always going to be that inner conflict with me. But I think it’s relatable because we all have some kind of inner conflict going on—who we are versus who we present ourselves to be.” In conclusion, Martin-Green adds, “There’s a lot to be discovered,” perhaps because CBS marketing execs have drilled sound bites directly into the casts’ souls.

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