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The curtain has finally been pulled back on Sonequa Martin-Green's role in Star Trek: Discovery. Rumors have swirled for months regarding Martin-Green's role in the CBS All Access series, and, last we heard, her character would be taking the role of Lieutenant Commander. Now, we learn Martin-Green's character name will be First Officer Michael Burnham, which opens a whole new set of questions on this exciting series.
As EW points out, this means Star Trek: Discovery will be the first Star Trek series that doesn't place the Captain of the ship as the main character of the series. Having the show focus on the perspective of Sonequa Martin-Green's Michael Burnham may present an air of mystery to the series, as it opens up the possibility that the captain will have info that First Officer Burnham won't. It also shows a different dynamic between crew members as everyone always acts one way when the boss is around, and perhaps differently with the second in command. Showrunners have teased the show will be centered around an important event never before covered at length in the Star Trek franchise, so I also wonder if there's a reason why it wouldn't make sense to follow the show's captain.
The name Michael Burnham seems an odd name for a character portrayed by Sonequa Martin-Green. I mean that strictly in the sense that the name is traditionally masculine. Maybe the name Michael becomes more gender neutral in the future, but it does make you wonder if perhaps Martin-Green will be portraying an LGBTQ character? I'm sure CBS knew Star Trek: Discovery fans were going to have questions about this name, and it's really odd that they put it out there with no additional information to go on. For now, let's switch gears to the details we do know.
As previously mentioned, Sonequa Martin-Green's initial role on the series was described by Bryan Singer as the Lieutenant Commander. In truth, there's no real correlation between the role of Lieutenant Commander (which is basically a senior management position) and first officer in the world of Star Trek, as the title of First Officer is merely a promotion to second in command with additional duties that come with the role. This will make Burnham the third "Number One" in show history to hold the title of lieutenant commander preceded by both Worf and Spock.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead incoming. Enable spoiler deflector shields if you wish to avoid contact.
While the cat has been out of the bag for awhile on Sonequa Martin-Green's role, it's not unusual for companies to wait this long for an official announcement. Typically, a series won't reveal a character's role until after their time on another show has come to an end. Now, with Sasha's death revealed in The Walking Dead season finale, CBS has confirmed and revealed the details regarding her new character in Star Trek: Discovery. Although, I feel like I have more questions now than before!