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'Star Trek: Discovery' comes to Comic-Con to preview Spock visit and shorts spinoff

'Star Trek: Discovery' comes to Comic-Con to preview Spock visit and shorts spinoff
Mary Chieffo, from left, Doug Jones and Sonequa Martin-Green react to the crowd at the "Star Trek: Discovery" panel on day two of Comic-Con International. (Richard Shotwell / Invision/AP)

"Star Trek: Discovery" is finally syncing with the franchise's canon a bit this season thanks to an upcoming appearance from Spock.

That revelation from showrunner Alex Kurtzman was just a part of the familial feeling that permeated through the Comic-Con panel — a large group that included series stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Mary Wiseman, Anthony Rapp, Wilson Cruz, Mary Chieffo and new addition Anson Mount alongside executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin.

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However, Kurtzman was tight-lipped about any other Spock-related details (including just who will play the iconic character previously portrayed by the likes of Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto). Spock’s appearance was also teased in the new Season 2 teaser, seen below.

Comedian Tig Notaro — who seemed an odd choice for moderator until she revealed she will appear in the show’s upcoming second season — brought her brand of dry humor to the panel. For instance, when Kurtzman announced that Spock will appear, and after the crowd cheered loud, she quipped, “Yeah, seems they're really into that.”

Notaro noted that a year ago, no one knew anything about the show, but now they've joined the franchise in full. Martin-Green made it clear that however different the show may be, fans and the storytellers behind the scenes have had their back.

“We have so much love for our iteration,” said Martin-Green. “We're just trying to take that next step. Innovating, which is the heartbeat of what 'Star Trek' is innovating. Looking ahead to the future so that we can create it in the present.”

"It's what you hope for and dream for in a series," said Martin-Green, who later had a minor breakdown when talking about seeing her former fellow actors from "The Walking Dead" at Comic-Con.

Martin-Green's tears were just part of the family theme put forth by others on the panel. In addition to Spock, the show plans to introduce another first officer from the past that will be played by Rebecca Romijn.

“Star Trek” is also introducing new, short-form stories that will delve deeper into some of the characters' lives, and introduce new ones. Rainn Wilson will return to play Harry Mudd in a short he will also direct, and Aldis Hodge will star in another as Craft, a man who finds himself the only human on board a deserted ship. Additional episodes include a deep dive into Saru’s (Doug Jones) back story as the first Kelpien to join Starfleet, and Tilly’s (Mary Wiseman) journey aboard the USS Discovery and her friendship with an unlikely partner.

"A lot of what the first season was about was coming together and forming the foundation of a family. So much of what happens in Season 2 is going to test them as a family. They may even have to make choices between their real families and their starship familes," said Kurtzman.

Romantic love also figured into the panel, including the sacrifice made by engineer Paul Stamets (Rapp) and Dr. Hugh Culber (Cruz).

"Gay love has not only saved the world, but the universes. All of the universes. So ... you're welcome," said Cruz.

A thoughtful question from the audience was about how Martin-Green and the cast dealt with early negative reactions to the show. "When you're focused on how your work is changing you and the people around you — it don't matter. It becomes very tiny," said Martin-Green.

Chieffo, who called Martin-Green a great leader, added, "My hope and my prayer is that people that are having the most extreme reactions are eventually able to digest what it is that they're dealing with and process it so that they can put more positivity to the world.”

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