A lot of revelations about upcoming films and television projects rolled out of San Diego Comic-Con 2017 over this past weekend. One such revelation was the heritage of First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), the lead of CBS All-Access‘ upcoming show, “Star Trek: Discovery“. It seems that the former “Walking Dead” star’s character has a deeper connection to the Star Trek franchise than we initially thought: she is Spock’s sister.
What? Huh? How? Well, apparently Spock’s father Sarek, played in “Discovery” by James Frain, decided at some point to adopt a human child. Why? So as to better understand the human nature of his human wife, Amanda. Sure, why not? Now the next obvious question is why haven’t we heard of her before. I’ll let the show’s Twitter account tackle that one…
“Regarding why there’s never been any mention of Spock’s half-sibling, Michal Burnham before, EP Alex Kurtzman said ‘We’re aware. You’ll see where it’s going, but we are staying consistent with canon.’”
That works, I guess. I’m not going to harp on the series for giving Spock another random sibling. Hell, they did it once before almost 30 years ago in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. That film introduced Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill), Spock’s half-brother. Sybok’s mother was a Vulcan princess, making him a full-blooded Vulcan. Spock himself is half-blooded, due to his aforementioned human mother. I guess Sarek wanted a full set and decided to add a full-blooded human child into the mix as well?
The only thing that furrows my brow here is the fact that they had to give the show’s lead this backstory. Could we not have had a brand new lead character that wasn’t so concretely tied to a pre-existing character? Could this aspect not have been handed off to a supporting character instead? Must everything be so closely tied together in cinema these days? This is a Star Wars prequel-level chunk of incestuous storytelling, where everyone is related to or friends with everyone else. It’s weird and just makes the property’s universe smaller, instead of expanding it. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s just one more disappointing stone along the already-disappointing path towards this show’s release.
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