Sonequa Martin-Green back at helm of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

As “Star Trek: Discovery” begins its 5th and final season with “The Final Adventure,” Sonequa Martin-Green knows she leaves having made history.

Although as with all things “Star Trek” — is there ever a final anything? With conventions, personal appearances, maybe a not-so-distant future spin-off series?

“That’s exactly right,” Martin-Green, 39, began in a Zoom interview. “We’ve talked about this a lot — that there’s so much opportunity here for more connection with the franchise at large. Connecting with even the alumni from other iterations.

“The mothership of ‘Discovery’ was able to lay the groundwork for the expansion of the franchise from this point forward.  I do think that we all know that that is available to us and it makes us very happy. It’s bittersweet, but it’s exciting.”

Martin-Green’s Michael Burnham, the Star Trek captain, was specifically modeled on Nichelle Nichols in the original “Star Trek” series. That was the inspiration: To have Burnham’s breakthrough as the first starring Black woman.

How, she was asked, were the repercussions of that historical step for her personally?

“Oh man! I love that you use the word repercussions. Because there were repercussions to making television history in this way.

“Nichelle Nichols was a major inspiration for me. I remember learning that first of all, ‘Star Trek’ was coming back to TV and they were adamant about a Black woman at the helm of the show.

“I remember having to keep it to myself that this was a journey to the Captain’s chair.  Here I was, the first Black female lead of a ‘Trek’ — and then I had to make history again, as the first Black Captain.  So, it’s not just Nichelle’s shoulders that I stand on. It’s also Avery Brooks. It’s also Kate Mulgrew. It’s also LeVar Burton, Whoopi Goldberg. There’s so many people!

“But very few people in the entire ‘Trek’ franchise made as much impact as Nichelle did. So I just appreciate her.”

In the first episode, the Captain tells a character, “Find your purpose.” How does she feel that applies to her own life?

“I mean, that’s everybody’s journey, isn’t it? We see that with Burnham. We see her evolving from pain to purpose, from fear to faith.

“We see this woman find her true womanhood and find the leader inside her.

“I know for me personally, God really used ‘Discovery’ to teach me a lot about being a leader. About being a woman. About being a wife and a mother.  So my purpose, I believe, is a God-given right. And I take it very seriously.”

“Star Trek Discovery: Season 5 The Final Adventure” streams the first two of 10 episodes on Paramount+ April 4.

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