Star Trek: Discovery's Captain Lorca is a “very good wartime leader”, actor Jason Isaacs has revealed. The Brit, who previously played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise, landed the Captain Lorca role back in June. That said, the show - which will chronicle an early encounter between Starfleet and the Klingons - will feature more than one authority figure.
While Lorca captains the eponymous vessel, the U.S.S. Discovery, Michelle Yeoh's Captain Georgiou will call the shots on a different Starfleet ship, the U.S.S. Shenzhou. The protagonist of the series is Sonequa Martin-Green’s Michael Barnham, who will presumably bridge the stories of these two spacecraft.
Discovery is very close to airing now, and, as such, a lot of content has been released for the show: fans can now both read the first four episode titles of Discovery and listen to the theme song, in preparation for the series' arrival. And just to get you a bit more hyped, Isaacs has spoken to IGN about the wartime vibe of Discovery, and how Lorca fits into it:
“War being the most heightened, high-stakes situation we’ve ever come across, the question is often asked, what do you do with your enemy? How much can you empathize with your enemy? How much do you need to kill them, because they’re trying to kill you? Lorca’s relatively simple on that front. He’s a very good wartime leader. You can’t spend too much time… you have to dehumanize them, or else you’ll let them kill you.”
“The Federation mandate, as we discover in The Original Series, is much more peaceful, and they might have been steamrolled,” Isaacs added, before going onto stress Discovery’s position as a prequel. “But luckily, this is pre-them. I’m in charge, and I take no prisoners. So I have a relatively clear-cut view of [the Klingons].”
So Lorca is strongly against the Klingons, and has little trouble with killing them. Perhaps he will be Trek’s most gung-ho Captain yet, with an overt aggressive streak - kind of like a military general - that sets him apart from the likes of Kirk and Picard. That would be interesting to watch.
However, although Lorca’s view on the Klingons is quite a simple one, fans will witness other perspectives in the show. As Isaacs explains:
“The story [...] delves deeply into what the Klingons are thinking and feeling, and their different culture. And that’s one of the ways this iteration differentiates itself from previous ones. That everybody has a point of view, and our real world and our Star Trek world is a complicated place. No easy choices.”
So Isaacs’ Lorca is a wartime leader who will happily kill Klingons to protect himself and his allies, but Discovery itself will question this stance, digging into the Klingon culture and offering another perspective on the action. This should set the stage for some moral gray areas, which are always handy for cultivating engaging drama.
Star Trek: Discovery premieres Sunday, September 24 on CBS. The remaining 14 episodes will stream on CBS All Access.