More information has been revealed about Star Trek: Discovery protagonist Michael Burnham — including her connection to Vulcan. Sonequa Martin-Green’s Star Trek Discovery character Commander Michael Burnham is a unique individual. As the first human to attend the Vulcan Learning Center and the Vulcan Science Academy, she has strong insights to the first alien species to befriend humans in the Trek universe.
A few weeks ago, it was revealed that her connection to Vulcan is not just an academic one. An official tweet previously stated that Burnham is Spock’s half-sister — daughter of Amanda and step-daughter of Sarek. That tweet turned out to be inaccurate, she is actually Spock’s adopted sister. However she found herself the sibling of Star Trek‘s most famous Vulcan, it was promised that her reveal would make sense in time. And some of that information may have now been delivered.
SFX Magazine will feature Star Trek: Discovery on the cover of the next issue, as well as a ton of new information about the show. While the magazine will not be at newsstands for a few more days, TrekMovie has a sneak peek of few items relating to Commander Burnham.
The article includes a quote from Martin-Green about her character’s area of expertise:
“I’m a xenoanthropologist, I also had another field of study while at the Vulcan Science Academy. I’m the only human to have gone to the Vulcan Learning Centre and the Vulcan Science Academy and excelled at that. As a xenoanthropologist, I’m also essentially and inherently a first contact specialist as well.”
While Burnham might be an expert in contacting new species for the first time, there is at least one alien species who she will have significant problems with. James Frain — who is playing her adoptive father Sarek — explained why Burnham might not be the best person to handle contact with the Klingons:
“…we see Sarek as a younger man, and we discover that he has been made responsible for Michael’s upbringing – her parents were killed while being hosted at the Vulcan Academy when there was a Klingon attack. So we feel responsible for her, take her in, and I raise her in my family as a Vulcan.”
This might explain the relationship Burnham has with Sarek, they seem fairly close in the show’s trailers. If he feels responsible for her and she is grateful to him for taking her in, that might explain why their relationship seems stronger than Sarek’s relationship with his son Spock. It also helps explain why Spock never mentioned Burnham before. Aside from his history of never talking about his family until he has to, there may be some resentment toward the little girl who suddenly showed up in his home, and who gets along so well with Sarek.
Burnham resenting all Klingons for the attack that killed her parents sounds a bit similar to Worf resenting the Romulans for the same reason. Hopefully Star Trek: Discovery finds a new and different way to tell Burnham’s story so that it simply does not come across as a rehash of Worf’s tale. Especially since there are other similarities between the characters — such as both of them being adopted by parents of a different species and feeling caught between the world they were born from and the one they were raised in.
Star Trek: Discovery debuts on CBS All Access on Sunday, September 24.
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