'Star Trek: Discovery': Doug Jones on Saru's Captain Potential

Saru is already the first Kelpien in Starfleet. Could he soon become the first Kelpien starship captain in Starfleet as well?

For a time, it seemed like he was Saru was on this path. When Gabriel Lorca was first taken prisoner by the Terran Empire and then revealed to be a member of the Empire himself it was Saru, as ship’s first officer, who took command of the USS Discovery and saw it home from the mirror universe.

However, the final episode of the first season of Star Trek: Discovery, “Will You Take My Hand,” concluded with the Discovery embarking on a voyage to Vulcan to pick up the ship’s new captain, much to the disappointment of some fans who had hoped that Saru’s command of the Discovery would be made permanent.

Doug Jones, the actor who plays Saru, is not one of those fans. He tells Screen Rant that he’s actually quite happy to see Saru return to the first officer’s position.

“I think the character of Saru, I mean he very much wants to be captain,” Jones said. “He’s been on that deck for so long in the command track and as the first of his species to have gone through Starfleet Academy and have come out as a high ranking officer on a Starship, he’s the first of his kind to ever even come close to this, so he’s got a lot to prove and he’s got a lot to say. But, me personally, as Doug Jones the fan of Star Trek, I think the dynamic of that character works very well as a first officer; as second fiddle to a captain. And that’s me personally.”

That desire to become captain was fleshed out a bit in the first Star Trek: Discovery novel, Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours, in which Michael Burnham was chosen over Saru by Captain Georgiou to become the first officer aboard the USS Shenzhou. Jones thinks Saru will become a captain eventually, but he has a way to go.

“I think [Saru will have] the captain’s chair one day,” he says. “Early on, we’re only about to start filming season 2, there’s still a lot of room ahead of us. So I think, for now, he still has more to learn in the leadership department and the courage department under a captain who’s been there and done that a lot, a seasoned captain.”

Perhaps more of Saru’s career aspiration will be revealed in the next Star Trek: Discovery novel, Star Trek: Discovery: Fear Itself, which features Saru as the main protagonist.

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The first season of Star Trek: Discovery is available to stream in its entirety on CBS All Access in the United States, through CraveTV in Canada, and through Netflix in other international markets. Star Trek: Discovery Season Two begins filming in Toronto in April.