In all of these years in space, the Starship Enterprise has rarely seen anyone but a man at her helm. Now, it seems, that there’s a new kind of leader navigating the galaxy, and finally, she’s a girl.
The newest chapter of the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek: Discovery, is set to feature a female lead, Variety reports. The news came from the mouth of the show’s executive producer Bryan Fuller, who announced at the TCA panel for his series that the yet-to-be-cast star of the new Star Trek incarnation would not only be a woman but would also likely be non-white.
The benefactor at the head of the project, CBS Television Studios, is currently in the process of trying to seek our their new female lead, and while there’s no one quite in the running yet, Fuller made it quite clear that they’re really not in the market for yet another white superstar.
“Star Trek is a show of firsts,” said the executive producer. Fuller went on to talk about Mae Jamison, who was a brave pioneer in her own right as she became the first African-American astronaut to ever reach outer space. Jamison, then, serves now as an inspiration for Fuller’s vision for his star. There is, of course, someone else that he must–and did–credit for the creation of this new character.
Fuller threw back to the first black woman on the initial Star Trek series from the 1960’s, Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhara. There have also been other barrier-breaking characters in the franchise’s history as well; Kate Mulgrew, who is now best known for her commanding role as Red on Orange is the New Black, starred as the Enterprise’s first female captain; Avery Brooks, aka Captain Benjamin Sisko, was the first black captain on the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Since then, however, Trekkies have seen the white male likes of Chris Pine. So while, yes, nothing is precise yet on who will be playing this new woman of the stars, it’s clear that Fuller has every intention of making her very different than the norm.
There is one unfortunate stipulation–this new lead will not actually be a full captain. She will, according to Fuller, be “a lieutenant commander with caveats,” and apparently the difference will be made clear by the show’s opening episode, which airs on CBS in January before moving to CBS’s online streaming service.
Alongside Fuller, Alex Kurtzman will also serve as executive producer, as well as Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry, and Trevor Roth. News of the still-to-be-publicly-named character’s casting will be released in the near future.