The Star Trek: Discovery Pilot Is Going To Be A Massacre

Here's Who The Klingons Are Going To Gut
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Captain Philippa Georgiou may not survive the Star Trek: Discovery premiere.
Captain Philippa Georgiou may not survive the Star Trek: Discovery premiere. CBS All Access

Like the U.S.S. Discovery’s Kelpien officer, Lieutenant Saru (Doug Jones), anyone familiar with the trailers and TV spots released for Star Trek: Discovery should sense the coming of death, even if they don’t have the alien crewmember’s throbbing “threat ganglia.” The first episode of Star Trek: Discovery is going to be a massacre. Who will survive?

Trailers and TV spots for Star Trek: Discovery haven’t exactly been subtle about the pile of bodies expected in the series’ first episode. Most notably, the vast majority of early footage didn’t depict the Discovery starship at all, but another Starfleet vessel, the U.S.S. Shenzhou, captained by Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh). Presumably, the Shenzhou’s encounter with a ceremonial Klingon Sarcophagus Ship doesn’t end well. As Lt. Saru says, using his sixth sense for impending death, “I sense it coming now.”

Star Trek: Discovery’s co-showrunner Aaron Harberts (alongside Gretchen J. Berg), described a consequential decision First Officer Michael Burnham will face in the first episode. “That choice leads her to a different ship, the U.S.S. Discovery, and there we begin what Gretchen and I call our second pilot,” he told Entertainment Weekly in an interview.

As Discovery’s Sept. 24 premiere approaches, more has been revealed about the Discovery crew, indicating who’s doomed to die in their omission. If they appear in the trailers aboard the Shenzhou, but aren’t part of the ongoing ensemble, they’re most likely to be bled out for bat’leth grease or frozen in the vacuum of space in Star Trek: Discovery’s “first” pilot.

The highest profile death will be Captain Georgiou, portrayed as a mentor figure to Michael Burnham. In the first episode of Discovery, Georgiou will insist that Burnham is ready for a command, captaining her own ship. Instead, Georgiou’s death and the Shenzhou disaster leads Burnham to a first officer position under Captain Gabriela Lorca. But Georgiou is unlikely to be the only Starfleet officer to lose her life when the Shenzhou bumps into T’Kuvma’s Klingons.

Also damned is Ensign Danby Conner, seen briefly in the very first Star Trek: Discovery trailer. According to trekmovie, actor Sam Vartholomeos is back in school, meaning he didn’t continue on as part of the Discovery ensemble. He’s toast.

This guy's skull is soon to be hanging in a Klingon teenager's bedroom.
This guy's skull is soon to be hanging in a Klingon teenager's bedroom. CBS All Access

Similarly doomed to die at the hands of the Klingons is Dr. Nambue, Chief Medical Officer of the USS Shenzhou, played by Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock). Discovery has a different doctor: Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz).

And those are just the deaths with names attached. This blue guy, who looks like a Bolian without the bifurcating face ridge, is totally screwed too.

Is there blue blood in there?
Is there blue blood in there? CBS All Access

Like every other show, Star Trek: Discovery is cribbing some moves from the Game of Thrones playbook. “[Game of Thrones] 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 told EW.

“Death isn’t treated gratuitously on this show. It’s not for shock value. But when it happens we want to make sure that people really feel it,” Harberts said.

Whether this bloodthirsty ethos will extend beyond the pilot is not yet known, but expect some arterial spray when Star Trek: Discovery premieres on CBS. On Sept. 24 we might just learn what blood looks like in zero gravity.

Star Trek: Discovery
Star Trek: Discovery Counters Powerful Klingons With Starfleet Tedium
The two-part premiere of Star Trek: Discovery has powerful components, especially the Klingons, but is overwhelmed by poor storytelling choices.
  • Richly redesigned Klingons
  • Complex and explicable motives
  • Great new Starfleet characters
  • Incredible production design
  • Generic space combat and action
  • Too many flashbacks
  • Eschews subtext, doesn't put enough faith in the audience
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