Comic-Con revealed an unexpected detail about Star Trek: Discovery‘s lead character, Michael Burnham. Apparently she was raised by Spock’s parents, the Vulcan ambassador Sarek and his human wife, Amanda Grayson.
This is a drastic addition to Star Trek canon, but it’s not unprecedented. Star Trek V introduced Spock’s half-brother Sybok with no prior warning, and since Spock rarely discusses his childhood, there’s plenty of room to maneuver. Burnham could even be Amanda Grayson’s biological daughter, conceived before she married Sarek. (Spock is about 25 at this point in the Star Trek timeline, and Burnham is probably older because she’s already a lieutenant commander in Starfleet.)
In a new video interview, actress Sonequa Martin-Green shared some insight about Burnham’s Vulcan upbringing, and her career in Starfleet.
Martin-Green explains how the show depicts Burnham’s personal journey. Instead of focusing on a relatively static crew onboard one ship, Discovery follows Burnham as she moves through the ranks, transferring from ship to ship. She describes Burnham as an “incredibly principled woman,” whose Vulcan upbringing shapes her career trajectory. Her personal philosophy combines “Vulcan indoctrination” with Starfleet ideology.
Jason Isaacs, who plays the U.S.S. Discovery’s Captain Lorca, did a similar interview at Comic-Con. He describes his character as a “messed-up guy,” an interesting departure from previous Star Trek captains.
He also hints at a complex relationship with Burnham, developing during the show’s novelistic approach to storytelling.