Photo: Francis Specker © 2017 CBS Interactive

Star Trek: Discovery docked at San Diego Comic-Con today, where the cast and executive producers revealed both the CBS All Access show’s ties to the original series, as well as how it will break new boundaries. The biggest news to come out of this afternoon’s panel concerns the lead character, Michael Burnham, played by The Walking Dead alum Sonequa Martin-Green. We knew that the First Officer grew up under Sarek’s (James Frain) tutelage, but their relationship goes beyond mere mentoring—Sarek and his human wife Amanda adopted Burnham after she lost both her parents. This of course means she’s Spock’s adopted sister, who will also reportedly play a part in his joining Starfleet (remember, Discovery takes place 10 years before The Original Series).

.@SonequaMG reveals that her character was raised on Vulcan by her surrogate father, Sarek, and human mother, Amanda. #SDCC2017

— Star Trek: Discovery (@startrekcbs) July 22, 2017

The panel was also full of firsts: Anthony Rapp, who plays science officer Lt. Stamets, relayed the good news that his character will be openly gay, and that his love interest will be played by none other than Wilson Cruz. It’ll be the first time a gay relationship is prominently featured in the franchise. Slightly less progressive is the news that all the Klingon characters will speak in Klingon, with subtitles provided for those of us not fluent in T’Kuvma’s (Chris Obi) native language.

There will be a lot of conflict in this first season, much of which will exist between the Federation and the Klingons—no surprise there. But the executive producers were quick to point out that the battle-craving Klingons aren’t just mindless antagonists: “The Klingons have their own pride, interests & talents. It’s a very fascinating culture. Being able to expand upon what’s already been set up & deepen the knowledge of this group has been fantastic.”

Executive producer Heather Kadin touched on the serialized element of the series, which was first teased at last year’s Comic-Con panel.

Advertisement

Despite these new developments, Discovery’s producers all emphasized that the show is very much in canon. And before you ask, they know Spock having an adopted human sister isn’t canon.

Advertisement

The panel wrapped with a new trailer, which is light on the familial affection, but heavy on the Rainn Wilson.