"We've had a lot of time to process it," says Sonequa Martin-Green, discussing the end of Star Trek: Discovery ahead of the debut of its fifth and final season.


"We found that after the fact, right – we had shot all of season 5, and thought it was just another season, and then found out a few months later, after we had wrapped [that it would be the final season]."

"Then we went back to do a shoot, and really wrap up the series," continues Martin-Green, who has played Michael Burnham since Discovery began in 2017.

"And yes, it was bittersweet, but I always felt a great sense of peace about it. TV has changed, and we're in the streaming era, and so I feel that five seasons is solid. I think we had a good run, you know? So I always felt peace."

It's a sentiment shared by the rest of the cast, according to Martin-Green: "I've been saying three words, especially, that I feel have really settled in me is a sense of achievement, ownership and gratitude. I think all of us feel that way."

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David Ajala as Book, Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham and Wilson Cruz as Culber in Star Trek: Discovery, season 5 standing by rocks holding weapons
Star Trek: Discovery. Marni Grossman /Paramount+

Of course, Star Trek: Discovery is ending in a very different place to where it began.

When we were first introduced to Michael Burnham in 2017, Discovery was the first new Star Trek series to debut in nearly 15 years – now, it’s one of several series running concurrently, having ushered in a whole new Star Trek universe.

How did that change their experience of making the series, going from the Star Trek show to a Star Trek show?

"I think the first time we heard about the very first – I won't say spin-off but, well, I guess technically speaking [laughs] – but when we heard about it, we went, 'Oh my goodness, this is so great, we're sort of leading the way now at this point.'

"I don't think we ever felt comfortable enough, at that time, to feel like leaders, right? We had been given the baton, and we would look at the older iterations as our leaders – and of course they are and they were – but then to be in that position in our own way, in this new day and time, it was encouraging.

"It was encouraging to us, especially because things were so challenging for us there in the beginning."

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham and Doug Jones as Saru in Star Trek: Discovery embracing each other in red outfits
Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham and Doug Jones as Saru in Star Trek: Discovery. Marni Grossman /Paramount+

It’s not just the wider Star Trek universe that has changed around Discovery, though, with the show itself having reinvented itself a number of times across its run – more so, arguably, than any other Star Trek series before it.

What’s it like for Martin-Green to look back on the series now in hindsight, taking in the show as a whole?

"This is something that we've been discussing quite a bit, being able to define what the legacy of Star Trek: Discovery specifically is – which, of course, you can't do necessarily in the present moment.

"Or maybe I should say [you can’t do it] authentically in the present moment – legacy, I feel like, is something that you have to look back on and decide, because it can't be predicted or forced."

"But I think one of our central themes that makes us who we are is change – that sense of upward mobility and character evolution," says Martin-Green, venturing some thoughts on a throughline that’s remained consistent through the show even as it’s reinvented itself.

"Star Trek: Discovery is a show that transformed, season to season - but each and every character did as well.

"That was one of our main selling points in the very beginning: you're gonna have people who are not fully baked, and you're gonna get to watch them become who they're destined to be. You're gonna get to watch them make mistakes, and confront them, and grow because of them."

"Wilson Cruz [who plays Discovery’s chief medical officer Dr Hugh Culber] – I love this – he said to me recently that it's a story of second chances. Each and every person gets a second chance.

"I think that evolution, being able to see the fight that it takes to become who you're supposed to be, it's been a gift to us to be able to bring that theme to life.”

If the long-term legacy of the show is still difficult to consider, then it's easier, a little, to say what Martin-Green hopes viewers take from Discovery in the more immediate term.

"I hope that they're left with hope at the end. I hope that they see themselves, that they see examples of their potential.

"And I hope that they find ways in their own lives to implement these truths – to implement the unconditional love that's really at the at the root of the story, reaching out, cross-connecting, and also reaching up for yourself, thinking bigger, thinking outside the box, stretching your vision and your imagination all the way up to the divine."

Star Trek: Discovery season 5 begins on Paramount Plus on 4th April.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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