Interview: Sonequa Martin-Green and Showrunner Michelle Paradise Discuss New Themes and New Costumes in ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season Four [EXCLUSIVE]

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Pictured: Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/ViacomCBS © 2021 ViacomCBS.

Strap on your comms badges and lock into your spore drive because we are headed for a DISCO inferno! That’s right! Season four of Star Trek: Discovery premieres today on Paramount+, which means that we had to check in with the Discovery crew and see what strange new worlds they might be exploring this season.

We had the opportunity to chat with Discovery showrunner Michelle Paradise and star Sonequa Martin-Green (Captain Michael Burnham) about what to look forward to in the new season. We dive into themes about learning how to communicate and work together after a period of long isolation, and how it felt for Martin-Green to finally take the captain’s chair in a brand new captain’s uniform.

Nerds and Beyond: Hi! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! My first question is for Michelle. So much of season three circled around themes of communication, isolation, and the need for connection. And it felt so timely and relevant because being in the pandemic, that was like our own version of The Burn. But now that we are slowly coming back out again, I was wondering if season four is going to be exploring ideas of learning how to connect again, or where these themes might go?

Michelle Paradise: Yeah, I think so. Season four, there’s this new anomaly coming in that creates a lot of uncertainty for our hero’s in terms of: What is it about? What does it mean? How are we going to deal with that? So that’s certainly a big theme, coming into season four. And then along with that, it really is about coming together. And connection, and this idea that when there is something bigger than yourself, the way to get through it is together. And certainly in terms of Discovery, we’ve got Federation worlds, and non Federation worlds, and all of them ultimately, will have to come together to figure this thing out and understand how to deal with it. So certainly there’s a lot of that thematically in this season.

Nerds and Beyond: So Michael has finally been made captain. And there’s a new uniform, a big redesign. I was wondering, how did it feel to finally don this brand new captain’s uniform? And was it emotional that first day back on set?

Sonequa Martin-Green: Oh, my goodness. Yes. Yes. I mean, the whole thing has been emotional, right? You know, I was emotional before the captaincy, and now, just all the more – even just the scene in the finale of season three, was a really emotional experience. Shooting it, we all knew what was happening, what was going on, and what it meant and what it stood for. And so, you know, it was tense. And we cried. And it was amazing. And then same, coming into season four, as well. Gersha Phillips, our visionary costume designer and her entire team, they did such an incredible job with the new uniforms. And yeah, just putting it on, sitting in the chair and then starting to get comfortable in that chair… It was emotional. And it would hit me at different times as well. Random moments, I’d be like, “This is what is happening. I am in this chair this way.” Oh my goodness. I love those moments where you sort of lift out of the moment and take a step back from it and just marvel at it. Right? So that happened a lot.

Nerds and Beyond: Amazing. Thank you so much!

Star Trek: Discovery airs Thursdays on Paramount+.

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By Britt
Britt is a Los Angeles based writer, burlesque performer, and life long nerd. A former drama kid turned playwright and classic ambivert, (shout out fellow ambiverts! There are dozens of us! Dozens!) her love of books, snacks, and cats makes her a Ravenclaw with Hufflepuff leanings. She is a voracious reader, writer, and unapologetic binge-watcher. Her lifelong obsessions include Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Arrested Development, Neil Gaiman, and Frank Herbert's Dune series. Her current obsessions include: Sherlock, Black Mirror, The Great British Baking Show, RuPaul's Drag Race, and Counterpart. She will also gladly talk people's ears off about graphic novels if they let her, which they usually don't. Find Britt on Twitter @MsGeorgiaOQueef
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