Star Trek Discovery Relationship Speculation: Spock, Burnham and Sarek

The Star Trek Discovery trailer gave us some hope about the future of the show at a time when many believed it to be in a spot of bother. In the trailer we saw some of the premise for the new series but it did leave us with a great deal of burning questions; where is the USS Discovery and Captain Lorca? Why do the Klingons look so different from anything we’ve seen before? What role will Spock’s father, Sarek, play in the proceedings?

I hasten to add that this is pure speculation at the minute, but speculation can be fun right?


Star Trek series’ have usually been defined by both the situation the ship finds itself in, and the captains attitude towards taking action. Across all seasons so far, the action would generally take place from the perspective of the captain, but Star Trek Discovery promises something slightly different. Instead of the captain getting the most screen time, Commander Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green, will have the majority of time in front of the camera. Bryan Fuller had previously prepared us for this, but he didn’t give away much else about the character, the personality or the background of Burnham.



From the short clip released by CBS, we see Burnham on a desert planet with Captain Georgiou, played by the fantastic Michelle Yeoh, who talks of giving Burnham her own command. This doesn’t look as though it goes to plan, as Burnham ends up clashing with Georgiou when the captain refuses to fire first on a possible hazard. We also know from the awesome spacesuit and Sarek’s narrative that Burnham finds, and does something, that will have a profound influence on her life and everyone else’s.

Speculation 1:

I still firmly believe that the USS Shenzhou will become the USS Discovery. All the action from the trailer is aboard the US Shenzhou and culminates in the Shenzhou looking as though it is about to take a beating from Klingons. Perhaps it is the fault of Georgiou not firing first, or perhaps it would take a beating anyway, but the future does not look bright for that ship. So we therefore have a few options; either the USS Discovery comes and saves the Shenzhou after Georgiou tells Starfleet that they’ve engaged the Klingons and they work together, or the USS Discovery is a new ship created for a specific purpose that will incorporate the crew of the Shenzhou. I think the Shenzhou is doomed, hence the reason its name is left out of the title of the show. In a similar way to the Marquis merging with the Voyager crew, I think the Shenzhou will either merge or become the Discovery.


Speculation 2:

When the action in the show isn’t centered on fighting Klingon’s, it mostly features Sarek and Burnham. Sarek is talking both in person and in holographic form, meaning that he isn’t with Burnham, but certainly has a close connection. We also see Sarek talking to Burnham as a child, with a very Vulcan haircut but without the pointy ears. Sarek dismisses her ability to speak Vulcan so we know she isn’t fully Vulcan, but she still might have some Vulcan blood in her. If Burnham was under the guidance of Sarek when she was a child, we can then presume that she knew Spock, perhaps interacted with him, or even grew up alongside Spock. There is, of course, the remote possibility that Burnham is related to Spock, a product of a previous marriage of Amanda Grayson. This would explain how Burnham wound up on Vulcan with a Vulcan haircut being looked after by a Vulcan.

This would also fit with the rumor that Amanda Grayson will appear briefly in the show, as will at least a mention of Spock, so as to provide a small connection with The Original Series. It is good to see Vulcan’s involved in the show, as the Vulcan race is a fundamental part of Star Trek and still has much to offer through the complications of this fascinating alien species.


It remains extremely unlikely that Spock will appear in the show, as casting Spock would likely cause extreme friction amongst fans. Zachary Quinto gave a good performance as Spock, even as the films were not warmly received by fans, although he did the blessing of the legendary Leonard Nimoy which he sadly can no longer give. The pair even appeared in a brilliant commercial together which helped fans accept the new Spock, but the relationship between Spock and Burnham is unlikely to be explored in depth.

Speculation 3:

Where is Captain Lorca? Jason Isaacs is scheduled to appear in all episodes of Star Trek Discovery, but he didn’t get a mention in the trailer. Whilst Georgiou is set to command the Shenzhou, whilst it is still in one piece at least, Lorca is set to be in command of the USS Discovery. The mission of the Discovery is not yet known, although we do know it involves Klingon’s and Klingon factions fighting for control of the Klingon Empire. We can assume then, that The Discovery will work alongside one of these factions to try and restore peace and order, and possibly stop them from invading the Federation.  One big rumor doing the rounds is that the Klingons from the trailer are a sub-species of Klingon, which would explain the drastically different appearance from any other Klingon we’ve seen, ever.



Whatever happens in the series, we can be sure that we’ll experience some major shocks and things are going to happen that none of us saw coming. We can expect the marketing to ramp up soon, with new clips and set pictures sure to reveal much about the direction of the show. It already looks darker than Star Trek we’ve seen on television, and it looks grittier, but television is changing and Star Trek needs to move with it. We can only hope that the creators have kept in their minds what really makes the show ’Star Trek’ and puts it lightyears ahead of anything else.

Live Long And Prosper

What other ideas do you have? Am I wrong or right on the speculative points above? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook

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