Star Trek: Discovery: Sonequa Martin-Green on Burnham's Captain Quest

When it came to keeping secrets, few have ever encountered the type that Star Trek: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green when she signed on back in 2016. After four years, the cat finally came out of the bag as producers told the actress that she would become captain at the end of season three. Martin-Green spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the distinction of being the first Black woman to lead a Star Trek series.

Star Trek: Discovery – Five Questions After Season Three
Sonequa Martin-Green as Capt Michael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery. Image courtesy of ViacomCBS via CBS All Access

"I didn't know when exactly that was going to happen when we started, but I knew that I was going to earn it — as Burnham — and I was excited to come from that angle where you get to see someone slip and trip and fall and learn and grow," Martin-Green said. "People have been a little disagreeable about it over the years and been like, 'Why aren't you captain?' and it's like, 'You know, it's compelling storytelling and hopefully one day it'll happen.'" The road was a bit rocky following the premiere when the cast's first captain was tragically cut down (Georgiou), then their following one was revealed to be an imposter from the Mirror Universe (Lorca). The third was borrowed from the U.S.S. Enterprise (Pike) and the fourth was from within the crew (Saru). Now after revitalizing warp drive and solving the burn while toppling Osira and the Emerald Chain, the circle is finally complete. Not bad for a mutineer first officer stripped of rank, then restored back as science officer and later promoted back to the rank of first officer only to be stripped of that distinction again. Martin-Green certainly appreciates the honor and responsibility that comes to representation and the franchise.

Star Trek: Discovery: Sonequa Martin-Green on Burnham's Captain Quest
STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2020 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

"The fact that I get to champion this kind of diversity and be solidified in the legacy of the franchise as a Black woman, it means what it means to each person who takes it into their hearts," Martin-Green said. "The impact is exponential because one person is affected one way and another person is affected another way. The fact that we'll get a Black woman doing this franchise that has been huge in our society for decades, I'm just so proud to be at the heart of it. I want to give it justice and give my all because of that. I just so appreciate that I can contribute to this, however small or big it may be. And I'm excited for the continued growth." Star Trek: Discovery season four premieres in 2021 on Paramount+.

Star Trek: Discovery: Sonequa Martin-Green on Burnham's Captain Quest
STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2020 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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