In a Facebook Live event, Star Trek: Discovery designers Neville Page and Glenn Hetrick talked about designing new aliens and tweaking established ones.
In a Facebook Live event, designers for Star Trek: Discovery spoke about the challenges, opportunities, and hopes going forward. The event featured creature designer Neville Page and makeup designer Glenn Hetrick talking about seasons one and two of Discovery. They talked tweaking the looks of existing aliens, alternate designs for new ones from season one, and what to expect going forward.
Star Trek has long suffered jokes and criticism for alien design. In the past, Star Trek aliens have been described as just humans with varying forehead prosthetics. The designers discussed the difficulty of designing and implementing completely alien looking aliens. Designing the makeup and prosthetics for alien looks is one thing. Actors have to have them applied though. Then work with those prosthetics for fifteen hours a day. That puts limits on what they can do.
Original concept for Saru from a Facebook Live event for Star Trek: Discovery on May 29
We also got a glimpse of a completely different looking Saru. Played by Doug Jones, the initial look of Saru was completely different. In initial designs, Saru would have had multiple eyes and a much larger headpiece. The initial concept for Saru is seen in the image above. Though they liked the look it was felt that explaining all the redundant eyes would be difficult.
Also discussed was the Klingon’s different look. In a statement that may irk some longtime fans. That despite all the changes in the makeup and prosthetics used to give Klingons different looks throughout the different series, he bemoaned the fact that Klingons have always had very similar wardrobes. Said Hetrick: “The Klingon Empire, having of course not all grown up on Qo’noS but all these different planets, the Houses would look incredibly different.” That hints that different Klingon looks should be expected going forward.
The designers also talked about their desire to get a chance to work with a redesigned Borg. It’s uncertain how this would fit with established canon. Designing a new Borg may be as difficult as finding a way for the Discovery to encounter them in the established timeline. But hopefully, the writers are as up to the challenge as the designers are.
Are you happy with the looks of Star Trek: Discovery ‘s aliens so far? Would you like to see the Borg in coming seasons? As always, check back here for this and more info on Star Trek: Discovery.