One of the biggest questions for the second season of Star Trek: Discovery isn’t just about the USS Enterprise, Captain Pike and Spock. Instead, it’s all about this: who the hell will be the new Captain of the USS Discovery itself? On Friday, Screenrant published an excerpt from a new interview with Doug Jones in which the actor gave his view on whether or not Mr. Saru should stay in the center seat.
Throughout the first season of Discovery, the titular starship has had four different commanding officers: Captain Lorca, Admiral Cornwell, Mirror Philippa Georgiou, and, most notably, Mr. Saru. Starting with the fifth episode, Saru’s journey to figure out his confidence as a starship captain became a huge theme of the series. By the end, though he’s just temporarily filling in, Saru is the captain the Discovery needed and deserved all along. But, in the last few moments of the season finale, he does make it clear that the ship is getting a new, proper Captain. And now, Doug Jones — the actor behind Saru — says he thinks its best to keep the character as “second fiddle.”
“Me personally, as Doug Jones the fan of Star Trek, I think the dynamic of that character works very well as a first officer; as second fiddle to a captain,” Jones told Screenrant. In one sense, fans might think Jones is selling Saru short. In terms of ratio, Saru was probably the Captain MORE than any of the other formal Captains throughout the entire series. How long can he keep playing “second fiddle?” In the Star Trek: Discovery prequel novel, Desperate Hours, we learn that Saru really, really wants to be a captain some day.
In terms of the Star Trek timeline, the presence of the USS Enterprise in the final episode is interesting. The year that the first season of Discovery takes place is 2256, which should be around the time Pike stops being Captain of the Enterprise. But, we don’t actually know what he did after that and before his horrible accident with the “delta rays” in “The Menagerie.” There’s nearly a decade of time to fill in there. Maybe Pike became the Captain of the USS Discovery?
Right after the season one finale of Discovery, showrunner Aaron Harberts told Inverse that Pike was a character they were very excited about for the second season. “There’s an interesting opportunity that we might have to delve into and flesh out a character who I think is a pretty darn heroic and selfless captain,” he said.
So, if Saru isn’t the Captain of the USS Discovery in season 2, it’s possible that it’s really just a legacy Star Trek character keeping him away from the job. - Star Trek: Discovery season 2 will return late in 2018.