‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Has First Official Cast Announcement

After several ups and downs in production, including a delay in the release date and losing showrunner Byran Fuller to scheduling conflicts, some exciting news has arrived for Star Trek: Discovery, the upcoming TV show in the long-running sci-fi franchise. The first official cast announcement has been made in the short press release posted on the official Star Trek website earlier today, entitled “Star Trek: Discovery Beams Up Three Cast Members.”

Read on for the details on who has been cast, and the crew members they will be portraying.

“Doug Jones, Michelle Yeoh and Anthony Rapp have been announced as the first three actors cast for Star Trek: Discovery

Jones will play Lt. Saru, a Starfleet science officer and an alien species new to the Star Trek universe. He is a respected actor with a large following of sci-fi and horror fans as a result of his creature performances in the likes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy, Legion, Pan’s Labyrinth, and The Strain.

Yeoh is set to play Captain Georgiou, the Starfleet captain about the starship Shenzhou. She is an internationally known actress and action star whose many credits include Tomorrow Never Dies and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Rapp will beam aboard as Lt. Stamets, an astromycologist, fungus expert and Starfleet science officer on the starship Discovery. He is best known for his stage work in such Broadway productions as Rent, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and If/Then, and also counts among his films credits School Ties, A Beautiful Mind and Rent.”

Today’s announcement makes it official, but rumors had been around the casting Michelle Yeoh for a major role for a few days now, going back into last week.

Jones and Rapp did not appear to have their names leaked in advance of this announcement, making their casting a surprise.

The rumors and potential surprises won’t end here, however.

Annnnd here it is …. https://t.co/POFFKWoKui

— Doug Jones (@actordougjones) November 29, 2016

Star Trek may be taking another bold step forward. Yeoh’s casting marks the first time an Asian woman will play such a high-ranking officer in the franchise. Also, according to Entertainment Weekly, Anthony Rapp’s character of Lt. Stamets will be the first openly gay character on a Star Trek show. It should be emphasized that there is no apparent official confirmation of that yet beyond EW‘s report.

Fan and media reaction thus far seems to be generally positive overall, and they are excited about the potential for interesting developments in the new series.

Jordan Hoffman, host of Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast jokes that Doug Jones, famous for playing unusual creatures, should portray an Edosian, a reptilian being only seen as a character named Arex in the Star Trek animated series from the 1970s.

Arex, an Edosian crewmember from Star Trek: The Animated Series. [Image by CBS Studios]
Arex, an Edosian crewmember from Star Trek: The Animated Series. [Image by CBS Studios]

IndieWire took to Twitter about Jones as well and highlighted Jones’ past work with Guillermo del Toro.

Kayla Iacovino, writing for fan site TrekMovie, notes that it appears the official CBS press release was sent out at 10:31 Pacific Time. The serial number for the USS Discovery has been shown to be NCC-1031, making the timestamp a rather clever easter egg.

The USS Discovery's serial number is NCC-1031. [Image by CBS Studios]
A view of the USS Discovery, showing the serial number of NCC-1031. [Image by CBS Studios]

Iacovino teased, “I see what you did there, CBS!”

On the Star Trek subreddit, fans dove into the announcement to see what they could find.

User tyrannosaurus_r made note that Yeoh’s character will be commanding a ship other than the Discovery.

“…Interesting that Yeoh is a principle cast member, but not of the Discovery. Maybe multiple but converging storylines, not unlike The Expanse and Game of Thrones?”

User Comp625 praised the choice of Rapp and speculated on what his character might mean for the show.

“Anthony Rapp is great! Beyond his sexuality, he’s a very accomplished film and stage actor, and is a notable add to this cast. I am a bit curious as to his character’s very specific background though – ‘astromycologist, fungus expert'” Past science officer leads featured a broad range of skills. My gut says this show will definitely have a ‘lower decks’ feel to it.”

User ContinuumGuy agreed with others about Jones’ unique physicality.

“Doug Jones as an alien character in Star Trek is something that I never really thought about but which is absurdly perfect.”

User AmishAvenger was mainly happy just to have, at long last, some official news on Star Trek: Discovery.

“FINALLY! Finally, some official news on the show. I find this encouraging, especially if they’re reaching out to someone known for working in theater. It shows they’re taking the acting seriously.”

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on today’s casting news in the comments section below.

[Featured Image by CBS Studios]