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Star Trek: Discovery season 4 teaser trailer, cast, plot, and more

Star Trek: Discovery season 4 teaser trailer, cast, plot, and more

Categories: Games & Netflix
Posted: August 18, 2021

Star Trek: Discovery season 4 is on its way, though we still don't know exactly when it will be arriving. That doesn't mean there isn't plenty of information out there to tide us over while we wait, though. Recently, Sonequa Martin-Green has spoken about what we can expect from Michael Burnham's new role as Captain in the series, and showrunner Michelle Paradise has given an update on production, while two actors have announced they've wrapped filming. At the moment, it seems we can expect the new season to arrive in late 2021, though that's far from a sure thing.

We've rounded up everything else there is to know about the fourth installment of the series, including what's out there about the plot so far, all the confirmed casting details, and the lowdown on the first trailer.  So, without further ado, scroll on to find out everything we know so far about Star Trek: Discovery season 4.  

Star Trek: Discovery season 4 release date speculation

The most important thing to know is that Star Trek: Discovery season 4 is definitely happening and it's in production. The new season was announced on October 16, 2020, just a day after season 3's debut, and filming began a few weeks later on November 2, 2020. In July 2021, Doug Jones, who plays Saru, confirmed to Collider that filming was about to come to an end.


As for an actual Star Trek: Discovery season 4 release date? That's a bigger mystery than the inner workings of Discovery's state-of-the-art spore drive. 

While the gap between the show's previous season debuts have been 16 and 21 months respectively, all bets are off now that the Toronto-based production is taking place under Covid-19 restrictions. All of the cast had to quarantine for two weeks before cameras started rolling, and Jones admitted to TrekMovie that things are going a little slower than usual. 


"Well, we're plodding along," he said. "We're getting things shot and it's going beautifully. It's just going a bit slower, because of Covid protocols. There are a few more hoops to jump through to get your day done. So with that slower pace, we're still getting it done. And they are keeping us very safe. It’s all worth it in the end."

The Star Trek: Discovery season 4 release date is likely to be either very late-2021 or even early 2022. Co-showrunner Michelle Paradise even confirmed on Twitter that writing on the new season has been completed as of May 2020. With stablemate Star Trek: Picard only starting its own long-delayed shoot on February 1 (as revealed by star Jeri Ryan on Twitter), Paramount Plus may decide to accelerate Discovery's return to maintain Trek's TV presence.

In June, Paradise confirmed that she was editing, while Tig Notaro added that she hadn't started filming her scenes – so it sounds like the series still has a little way left to go yet before it's ready (H/T Heavy). In fact, Notaro seems to be shooting all her episodes in one go, saying at Outfest: "You are talking to the one who hasn't even filmed their season yet – not a single episode. It's all going to be crammed in two weeks. I feel sorry for the directors." (via TrekMovie) Notaro has since suggested on Conan that she's wrapped filming, which took four weeks.


Paradise also told GoldDerby in June: "Our finale is written. We're in the midst of shooting things, we're in the midst of editing things, we have some cuts that are picture locked. We're doing VFX. So, a lot of things are coming together and we're pretty excited about how it's all shaping up." She also indicated that she doesn't know when the series will release, but said the teaser trailer says 2021. 

Meanwhile, Patrick Kwok-Choon, who plays Gen Rhys, wrapped filming at the end of July, and David Ajala, who portrays Cleveland "Book" Booker, wrapped in August.

Star Trek: Discovery season 4 trailer

The first Star Trek Discovery season 4 trailer has arrived, and surprisingly early at that.

Featured as part of the franchise's First Contact Day celebrations, the teaser showcases what the crew (and the new captain) are getting up to this season. Their main concern appears to be a "gravitational anomaly" that is threatening not only the universe but also seems to have done some serious damage to Discovery's bridge. Watch the full trailer above for more.

Star Trek: Discovery season 4 plot

The latest wave of live-action Trek TV shows deal in season-long arcs. So, following the trend set by its predecessors and Star Trek: Picard season 1, Discovery's third outing wrapped up most of its biggest plotlines by the time the end credits rolled. 

Even so, the Star Trek: Discovery season 4 plot will undoubtedly explore more than the crew coming to terms with their shiny new grey uniforms. In fact, now they've discovered a convenient stash of previously ubiquitous starship fuel dilithium – in galaxy-crippling short supply after the infamous 'Burn' – they can get on with exploring the universe, as well as taking the Federation's message to the masses.

"I can’t really talk about season 4 specifically, but thematically season 3 was all about connection and disconnection and finding our way back to one another," returning showrunner Michelle Paradise told TVLine. "And the 'Burn' made that impossible in many cases, because civilization simply didn’t have the means to reach one another. So that felt like an important journey to start at the end of our season: how do we press forward in the process of reconnecting worlds with one another? That felt like the important first step. Now that they have a cache of dilithium – and certainly they'll have to be responsible to not repeat the mistakes of the past and just overuse it – it felt like the right place to both end the season and tee up whatever is to come."

Going on the show's past form, that future is likely to involve some familiar aliens. The series revels in its callbacks to Treks past – season 3 featured franchise stalwarts the Trill, the Vulcans, and the Andorian, not to mention iconic time travel portal the Guardian of Forever – so it would be a huge surprise if that fan service didn’t continue into the Star Trek: Discovery season 4 plot. Could we see returns for the Klingons, the Cardassians (now revealed to be members of the Federation, as Inverse highlighted) or even – whisper it – the Borg?

On board Discovery, Dr. Culber's mission to give corporeal form to Gray (who currently only exists in Adira's mind) is sure to be a priority: "To be super clear, we will pay that moment off in season 4," Paradise told Inverse. "Gray will be seen. That promise will be paid off."

Now that Ensign Tilly's got experience of command, it'll be interesting to see if she's hungry for more? Will she be vying to take the First Officer role permanently? And if so, will Starfleet finally see fit to give her the promotion she deserves? She can't stay an Ensign forever…

Speaking of promotions, Anthony Rapp has seemingly revealed that his character will soon be advancing, saying at Outfest: "I have the pleasure of playing Lieutenant Commander – and now Commander – sorry, is that a spoiler? – Paul Stamets."

The actor also talked about Stamets forming a family with Hugh, Gray, and Adira: "Parenting – they're not children but they are young people – the pressures of how to be available to be a mentor or guide or parent in the face of job responsibilities and sort of crises, that's an interesting sort of sub-thread through the season." He also indicated the season will see Paul and Hugh "continue to evolve in their relationship." (H/T Trek Movie) 

Perhaps the biggest question, however, concerns how Michael Burnham settles into her new role as captain of the ship. Despite a long history of insubordination – and numerous career setbacks over the course of Discovery's missions – she's repeatedly shown herself to be the most capable officer in Starfleet. But how will she handle the big chair?

"We knew going into the season that [the captaincy] was where we wanted to end," Paradise explained in an interview with Inverse. "It was about taking her as far from that point as we could, so we could watch her journey into the captain's chair. We've watched her over the course of three seasons, and this felt like the right time to do it. And we're excited to see what she does next."

Sonequa Martin-Green spoke to io9 about the challenges facing Burnham in her new role this season. "It's going to be about finding out who I am as Captain, as Michael Burnham, because there's always been this question of who am in this moment? Who am I in this role? Who am I at this time? How do I service this moment? How do I service everyone around me? And now I'm going to have to answer those questions for myself as Captain because everything is different now," she said. "And we've got a huge threat coming our way, which we saw in the trailer for season four. And so we're going to have to come together and fight for the future like we usually do. But now doing that as Captain is very different. So I love it because no stone is left unturned and I've said this before about the show, but no stone is left unturned in that journey to solidifying who I am exactly as Captain."

She also spoke to Collider about what it means to her for Burnham to become Captain: "It's exciting as Captain now, that's a big deal to me, and I think to everybody who watches and to the history of the franchise itself. I think it's a really big deal to have a Black woman as Captain be cemented in that lineage. But it's great, there's a lot to come for season 4. A lot is coming everybody's way for season 4."

One of Burnham's biggest jobs will be getting Stamets back on side, seeing as he's been carrying a major grudge since she left his husband, Dr. Culber, trapped in a potentially lethal nebula. Pragmatism may prompt Stamets to fall in line, however, now that his USP (the ability to operate Discovery's spore drive) is shared by Burnham's empathic boyfriend, Book.

Rapp also told the It Do Take Nerd with Jackie Cox podcast that Stamets is sharing scenes with a Discovery actor he "hasn't really got to interact one-on-one with" up to this point. Answers on a postcard, please.

One thing the Star Trek season 4 plot will not concern itself with, however, is finding a way for the crew to make it back to their original 23rd century home – even though the phenomenal Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) was sent back in time in season 3. 

"We did not want the time jump to be a gimmick," executive producer and Trek overlord Alex Kurtzman told IndieWire. "There are so many extraordinary new opportunities and story options [in the 32nd century], that it feels like an endless well. We're also now separated from pre-existing canon, which means we get to write the future of Star Trek on this show, and it's entirely fresh snow."

Michelle Paradise also told GoldDerby in June that "We will not be jumping 930 more years into the future, so we have done that, we don't need to do that again... There's going to be a new challenge for our heroes in season 4, it will impact them as a whole and it will impact them in their individual character arcs and in their relationships with one another, and I think that's pretty exciting because it will give them all a chance to grow in new ways and get closer in new ways."

Star Trek: Discovery season 4 cast

Okay, admit it – the one you really want to know about Grudge the Cat. And yes, it Book's moggy "queen" is purring back into action for season 4. "[She's] by far the breakout star of any Trek series ever," Paradise joked with TVLine. "I think at some point, we just need to name the ship after her."

Despite the fact that the show's season 3 finale put the entire crew in harm's way, the only significant casualties were Osyraa and her Emerald Chain goons. That means all of the principal players should be back in the fold in the Star Trek: Discovery season 4 cast. 

So expect the Discovery bridge to have a familiar feel with Sonequa Martin-Green as Captain Michael Burnham, David Ajala as Cleveland 'Book' Booker, Anthony Rapp as Lt Cmdr Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly, Wilson Cruz as Hugh Culber, Blu del Barrio as Adira, Ian Alexander as Gray, Emily Coutts as Lt Keyla Detmer, Oyin Oladejo as Lt Joann Owosekun, Patrick Kwok-Choon as Lt Gen Rhys, Ronnie Rowe as Lt R.A. Bryce and Sara Mitich as Lt Nilsson.

Tig Notaro will also be back as laconic, scene-stealing engineer Jett Reno, though TrekMovie reports that she'll only report for duty on the second block of filming in May, due to Covid travel concerns.

Despite Saru abandoning ship to spend some extended shore leave on his homeworld of Kaminar, Doug Jones will be reprising his role as Starfleet's first Kelpien officer. "Doug Jones is not going anywhere," Paradise told Comicbook.com. "Saru will be back, a hundred percent, in season four. So rest easy, sleep well. We're not letting Doug go anywhere. We're holding onto him."

Paradise also confirmed that Starfleet Commander-in-Chief Admiral Charles Vance "is still a presence moving forward," while Variety confirmed that legendary horror director David Cronenberg will be reprising his role as the Federation's most sinister operative, Kovich. Of course, it remains to be seen if we'll find out any more about his motives.  

And don’t be surprised if we see Trek regular Kenneth Mitchell returning as Osyraa's chief scientific officer Aurellio. He remained on Discovery after his boss's demise, and it looks like he has plenty to offer Starfleet as it rebuilds.

While we await our next trek, be sure to check out all the best Netflix shows streaming right now.

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