Jason Isaacs and Rekha Sharma are returning to the Star Trek: Discovery universe. Perfect World has announced the actors will lend their voices to Rise of Discovery, the next expansion coming to Star Trek Online.
Rise of Discovery will add two new story episodes to the game. Additionally, the update adds a new Tier 6 reputation, Discovery Legends, allowing players to earn Discovery-themed rewards by completing Task Force Operations. Also, beginning May 14th, all Tier 6 starships will be converted to player level-less scaling, which will allow players for the first time to start flying their favorite starships at any level that they acquire them.
Rise of Discovery takes place two months after the Battle at the Binary stars. Over two new episodes, players fight alongside the U.S.S. Buran and learn what happened to Capt. Gabriel Lorca (Isaacs) and Cmdr. Ellen Landry (Sharma) before they joined the crew of the U.S.S Discovery. The expansion will offer some new insight into two of the most atypical Starfleet officers ever in Star Trek.
"I'm really excited to explore that," Sharma tells ComicBook.com in a phone interview, in reference to exploring how Landry became the aggressive Lorca loyalist seen in Discovery's first season. "I think it's an important thing to look at as a human being, you know? We tend to, as a default, as people, kind of judge people for being hardened as bad, or somehow wrong. I think it's really important to look at nature versus nurture. How did somebody get to that moment, and can we all take a step into somebody else's shoes and try them on for a minute and not be so judgmental, and go, with compassion, to look at their lives and see how they got to that moment? Because we all have behavior that we're not proud of, and I think it's important to look at how we get to those moments."
She goes on to say that who Landry was may not be what Discovery fans expect. "I think people are going to be surprised," she says. "I hope they're going to be surprised because that's what I feel like. You know, these guys over here created an amazing story that's really quite moving...I could've shed a tear by the time we got to the end of the story, because it's really profound, the kinds of challenges people have to go through.
"This is everyone's story, in fact, because we all start off as children. I've never met a child who wasn't the sweetest thing on earth, and at some point, they're taught something that's what I like to call a miseducation. I just watched the episode with Saru where his threat ganglia come off, and he thinks he's going to die, and what is his life without fear? I think we're born into this world, and we don't have fear, or maybe we do, but it's small, so small in comparison to the amount of love that we have, the amount of hope that we have, all those things that all Star Trek fans love, right, about Star Trek. It's like dreaming of this awesome world where we can really be our most wonderful and beautiful selves."
Revealing Landry and Lorca's origins means tapping into the darker atmosphere of Discovery's first season, which saw the United Federation of Planets at war with the Klingon Empire. Sharma is no stranger to darker sci-fi having worked on SyFy's Battlestar Galactica before joining Discovery.
"There were some similarities," she says of the two shows. "Certainly, coming onto the show right at the beginning, I thought about Battlestar a fair bit, because the Star Trek that I grew up with was nowhere near as gritty as where we were starting off in that first season. Honestly, I was worried about it, but I was also really excited about it. I thought, 'Is this really Star Trek?' But you know what? I think it's today's Star Trek. I love that we can have storytelling that looks more at the gray area rather than black and white."
Sharma teases that Rise of Discovery won't shy away from the heavy subject matter. "What Landry goes through is shocking and traumatizing. You know this is war. I've been posting for the last couple of years occasionally the little hashtag #Forthe22," she says, referring to a hashtag about the suicide rate among military veterans. "There are a lot of veterans out there who are committing suicide and living really awful lives because of PTSD. This is a story about war, and it's got a whole lot of PTSD in it. That's just an awful reality that Landry has to face."
Are you excited about Rise of Discovery? Let us know in the comments. Rise of Discovery launches on PC on May 14th and will come to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at a later date. Star Trek Online is free to play on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
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