The lock on the secrecy surrounding Star Trek: Discovery is finally starting to loosen, and new casting and character announcements have started hitting the web. In addition to confirmation of Michelle Yeoh's casting, two new cast members have been added to the highly anticipated show, one of whom will be making franchise history. Star Trek Discovery has cast Anthony Rapp as the first originally conceived gay character is the history of Star Trek in TV or film.
Anthony Rapp, star of films like Dazed and Confused and Rent, will be playing Lieutenant Stamets, an "astromycologist, fungus expert, and Starfleet Science Officer" aboard the titular starship Discovery. Stamets will also be an openly gay character, a first for the 50-year-old franchise. Former showrunner Bryan Fuller,who still holds executive producer duties, had previously said that there would "absolutely be a gay character on the show," and had expressed how far gay rights had come since his days working on Star Trek: Voyager.
While Rapp will be playing the first gay character to be originally conceived that way, he will not be the first gay character ever. Star Trek Beyond made headlines earlier this year when it revealed that its iteration of the classic Trek character Sulu is gay. This proved to be a controversial move with some franchise vets happy with the decision, while others didn't like changes being made to an established character. Original Sulu actor George Takei, who is gay himself, was of the latter opinion, believing that it would be "more impactful" to introduce an all new gay character who could be "fleshed out from scratch." Enter Lieutenant Stamets.
Lieutenant Stamets won't be the only officer on board the Starship Discovery, as character actor Doug Jones was also announced to be joining the show. Jones will be playing Lieutenant Saru, an alien official whose species will be all new to the Star Trek universe. Jones is no stranger to disguising himself on set. He's held a number of makeup heavy roles such as Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, and Falling Skies, to name just a few.
It was also confirmed that Michelle Yeoh has joined the cast, having previously been rumored to be playing a high-ranking officer. That is indeed the case, as Yeoh will be playing Captain Georgiou, the Starfleet Captain aboard the Starship Shenzhou, and not the Discovery leader that some were hoping.
These are just three characters, and there are plenty of more positions to be filled aboard the Starship Discovery and other ships. The show still hasn't announced the lead character, reported to be a female lieutenant, so plenty of more casting news is sure to come. Stick with CinemaBlend for all your Star Trek: Discovery news as we wait for the show's 2017 premiere on CBS All Access.