TL;DR – We explore the difficult past of one of Discovery’s officers and learn once again that hope is better than fear.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Our next dive into the Star Trek Short Trek series takes us into the past to let us know more about a character we know very well in Star Trek Discovery and what is driving him forward.
So to set the scene, we open in on Kaminar a planet never visited before in Star Trek and homeworld of USS Discovery first officer Saru (Doug Jones). Though at this moment he is not in Starfleet because his people are part of a pre-warp society, which is a big no go area in Federation law. The Kelpien people live in small villages along the coast where they harvest seaweed and grasses, as well as the flowers of the jungle. However, while Saru looks up at the stars and sees hope, the rest of his people see fear because the Ba’ul are coming for their harvest.
If you have read my reviews for Season One of Star Trek Discovery (see here) one of the things you will know is that I was really impressed with the acting of Doug Jones and the writing of Saru. Doug Jones is acting under some really heavy prosthetics, however, there is warmth and depth to his performance, and he can emote in ways you shouldn’t be able to do with such restrictions. We see that same quality here in The Brightest Star. It is exploring that moment before he became part of Starfleet, what drove him, and what continues to drive him forward.
In this case, it is a tradition of his people that while championed as being balance, harmony with the planet, is clearly an exploitative relationship. The Ba’ul take, or as they call it ‘harvest’, many of the Kelpiens in the village to ‘bring back balance’ but as we know from the Mirror Universe in Vaulting Ambition (see review) I doubt harmony has anything to do with it.
the writers Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt have created this interesting
cultural dilemma which will test the Federation’s big no no, the Prime
Directive. You can not interfere in the development of a pre-warp species and
for good reason. However, what if another species has already, or is currently messing
around, well this is a grey area if ever there was one. This means that this is
the first one of these Short Treks that
I really hope they follow this story up at some point in Discovery, because I want to see more of this dilemma play out and
how it will impact Saru. Also just finally, yes, of course, it was Georgiou (Michelle
Yeoh) that did the right thing, such a joyous moment.
In the end, do we recommend The Brightest Star? Yes, of course, we do. This is everything Star Trek can be, you have the worldbuilding of Kaminar, the philosophical dilemma, and then, always, the superb acting of Doug Jones. Make sure you check this one out.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you seen Star Trek Discovery yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Trailer – Click
Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Star Trek Discovery
Directed by – Douglas Aarniokoski
Written by – Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt
Created by – Bryan Fuller & Alex Kurtzman
Starring – Doug Jones, Hannah Spear, Robert Verlaque & Michelle Yeoh