During a panel discussion for Vulture Festival titled Star Trek: Discovery – The Future is Definitely Female, Star Trek: Discovery cast and stars were on board to talk about what else, women in Star Trek.
The panel featured Discovery co-showrunner Gretchen J. Berg, along with stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Yeoh, Mary Wiseman, and Mary Chieffo. They were talking about the female future, diversity, and women’s roles in Hollywood at large, and Discovery, specifically.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that, wherever you are on this planet, and whatever background you come from, when you turn on the show, you’re able to find yourself and see yourself in there. I think that’s the commitment was from the beginning and what it will be.” Said co-showrunner Berg about her commitment to showcasing diversity.
The fact that hasn’t always been the case was the subject of skepticism and jokes from Michelle Yeoh. “They must have lost the memo,” Yeoh said about the rare nature of having two leads of color.
In addition to the female future, Sonequa Martin-Green also talked about how close the cast got filming the first season. One scene, in particular, helped the cast bond. The scene was the repeated party scenes from the seventh episode, Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad. Which is funny because that’s also the episode is also where I became 100% on board with Discovery.
The casting of Martin-Green and Yeoh as co-leads was met with some hostility. Though, as season one progressed Yeoh did not stay a lead throughout. My perspective is that every Star Trek series has sought to embrace inclusivity. Sometimes, what passed for inclusivity at the time looks pretty dated. But they still strove for inclusivity. Discovery is the natural extension of that.
I’m loathed to refer to a handful of malcontents on the internet as any kind of real concerted fan anger over “too much diversity.” Those posts are out there though, and they do to get attention. if you’ve been watching Star Trek your whole life and was put off by the mere casting of two female leads of color, you haven’t really been taking to heart what Trek has been about the whole time. I can’t speak to the female future of Star Trek, but the present certainly is.