The final frontier is a scary place. Sure, it might be full of adventure, but as we know from previous Star Trek shows, it’s also where you get mind-controlled or forced to fight your buddies to the death. Star Trek: Discovery is taking this one step further by not restricting death sentences to Red Shirts. And it’s all thanks to one phrase: Valar morghulis.
Showrunners Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts told Entertainment Weekly that main characters aren’t safe from the slaughterhouse in this latest Star Trek series. They said their approach was influenced by Game of Thrones, where even the most beloved, characters could die horribly at any moment.
“They almost made it difficult to fall in love with people because you didn’t know if they were going to be taken away from you,” Berg said.
This isn’t the first time a Star Trek show has killed off a protagonist. For example, Tasha Yar was killed off in the season 1 episode “Skin of Evil.” However, that was because the actress quit the show and not an intentional choice by the showrunners. Harberts did assure fans that Discovery wouldn’t treat deaths gratuitously or for shock value, adding: “When it happens we want to make sure that people really feel it.”
So, which characters are most likely to attend the Red Shirt Wedding? Some online speculation suggests that Jason Isaacs’ Captain Lorca will be the first to go, possibly after turning on his crew; below-the-line comments for almost any article on the show are full of fans betting on Lorca’s death. Even Vanity Fair has come out and said the dude is probably a dead man walking.
However, it looks likely that it will be Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Georgiou, who commands the U.S.S. Shenzou (Lorca is captain of the U.S.S. Discovery) and could likely die, leading Sonequa Martin-Green’s Commander Michael Burnham to be transferred to the Discovery. Unless, the Shenzou is the Discovery in disguise, which is a theory. Sadly, this comes with a caveat, as killing characters of color and women first is seen as a common and negative trope. We can hope Star Trek: Discovery doesn’t make that mistake and challenges itself rather than falling back on old Hollywood habits, but that’s probably not going to happen. Star Trek: Discovery is set to premiere September 24.
Clarification: Added details about Georgiou and Lorca’s roles on their respective ships.