‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Cast Introduces New Characters, Plus Who’s Captain?

David Ajala Sonequa Martin-Green Star Trek Discovery Book Burnham
Lilja Jónsdóttir/CBS

The crew of the U.S.S. Discovery will have a few new allies and have an important seat to fill in the future in Season 3.

At the end of Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) led the crew through a wormhole to the future (to the year 3188, to be exact). And with this leap to the future that takes them beyond canon — on purpose, executive producer Michelle Paradise shared during the show’s presence at the Star Trek Universe New York Comic Con panel, though it will still honor the franchise’s “incredibly rich history” — comes the introduction of a couple characters who are firsts for Star Trek: the first non-binary character, Adira (Blu del Barrio), and first transgender character, Gray (Ian Alexander).

“Gray is a very optimistic, bright, intelligent young soul, and he has a very special connection with Adira, and they really are just partners in crime together,” Alexander said of the role created for him.

“Adira is pretty hard-headed as a person, very introverted, and they have a select few people that they feel comfortable with,” Del Barrio shared. “It’s a small group and at their start, it’s pretty much just Gray. Gray is their person, the person they go to for everything.” This is their acting debut, and Antony Rapp (Lt. Commander Paul Stamets) said “they were so incredibly poised, focused, ready to go” when they stepped in front of the camera.

The panel also featured the debut of the opening scene of Season 3, as Michael has a rough landing after crossing paths with Cleveland “Book” Booker, played by new cast member David Ajala. “[Book] is going to be the introduction into the new world, into the future,” Ajala said. “He’s similar to the other characters. He has left his past and is rediscovering his identity in the future and his purpose. He’s doing it … by himself.”

There is a big question for the third season when it comes to the Discovery: Who’s captain? “We don’t know right away,” Doug Jones (Commander Saru) said, and he knows some fans have carefully watched the trailer for clues. “I shouldn’t be the one to confirm or deny anything.” While the seat “is open” and both Burnham and Saru are qualified, they also both want the other one to have it.

Star Trek: Discovery, Season 3 Premiere, Thursday, October 15, CBS All Access