After earlier reports suggested that Michelle Yeoh was the first actress to join CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery, the network has announced its first wave of casting.
Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth) and Anthony Rapp (Rent) will join Yeoh. Jones will play Lieutenant Saru, while Rapp will take on the role of Lieutenant Stamets, the first openly gay character in the show’s history. Like previous reports suggested, Yeoh will play Captain Georgiou.
CBS also released a couple of additional notes about each of their characters. Saru is a Starfleet science officer and part of an alien species new to the Star Trek universe. Stamets is a “stromycologist, fungus expert, and Starfleet Science Officer aboard the Starship Discovery.” Georgiou will be the captain of the starship Shenzhou.
It’s important to remember that even though Yeoh will play Captain Georgiou, she won’t be the main character. Executive producer Bryan Fuller previously confirmed that the series would focus on a female lieutenant — who has yet to be cast — and her story. Star Trek: Discovery will follow a serialized format, like Deep Space 9, stepping away from the episodic nature other former series. The casting of Yeoh as Georgiou, however, marks the franchise's second central female captain and second central captain of color after Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager and Benjamin Sisko in Deep Space 9.
Having a diverse cast is something that was of the utmost importance to Fuller. He said it was crucial to have an openly gay character on the show, as well as a diverse cast. Speaking at a press tour this summer, Fuller said he wanted the show to reflect what the world looked like and that means broadening who they casted and the stories their characters took on.
“Star Trek started with a wonderful diversity in its cast," Fuller said. "Infinite diversity in infinite combinations, as Spock would say. We are absolutely continuing that tradition. We'll probably have some more aliens than usual in our cast, too.”
Fuller recently stepped down as showrunner of the series, citing conflicting schedules. Fuller is also working on another series, as well as a handful of miscellaneous projects. Star Trek: Discovery was set to debut on CBS’ streaming service in the New Year, but was pushed back to May following production issues.