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Star Trek Discovery Stars and Showrunners on the Final Season of the Show

Star Trek Discovery Stars and Showrunners on the Final Season of the Show

An away mission where Saru and Booker endure an epic journey of survival? That scenario may not play out in the fifth and final season of Star Trek: Discovery, but when it comes to Star Trek, anything is possible. “I would love for Captain Saru (Doug Jones) and Cleveland Booker to do an away mission together,” David Ajala recently admitted to a round table interview with journalists. Ajala, who plays Cleveland “Book” Booker in Star Trek: Discovery, added: “I think that just would have been glorious. That would be really amazing. And I think Cleveland Booker would be very impressed by Saru’s ability on the battlefield.”

For now, audiences will be impressed by the sheer dynamism of Discovery’saffectionately known as Disco—final ride. The series, led by executive producers/co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise, packs a lot in across these last 10 episodes, which hit Paramount+ on Apr. 4. The main story thread tracks Captain Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the Discovery crew racing against time to uncover a mystery about an ancient power that holds the key to the creation of life itself. Others, less noble souls, are off on the chase, too, making Season 5 one of the finest Disco outings all around. There’s also a vital link to something from the Star Trek canon, but we’re sworn to secrecy.

Meanwhile, nearly every main crew member moves through their own compelling story arcs this season, including Doug Jones and David Ajala. Season 5 finds both characters steering through their complex romantic relationship dynamics—Saru with Vulcan official T’Rina (Tara Rosling) and Booker with Captain Burnham. In excerpts from this exclusive interview, Doug Jones and David Ajala unpack the season ahead, and showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise share thoughts on this epic ending and the road ahead. Dive in.

Danger and Romance Ahead in Season 5

star trek discovery

Star Trek: Discovery


Release Date
September 24, 2017

Main Genre



Star Trek

Read Our Review

Disco forever changed all things Trek when it premiered in September 2017. Launching on CBS All Access, the series moved to Paramount+, giving the new streamer a big boost. Popularity soared, and new Trek series were born—from Star Trek: Lower Decks to Picard and Strange New Worlds. It also introduced fascinating new characters who, like Data before them, stood out, particularly Saru.



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The character started on the planet Kaminar as an underling species being controlled by a predator species. They were going to die in mercy killings. Eventually, Saru was taken away like a refugee, then became part of Starfleet as the first Kelpien to ever be a high-ranking officer on a starship. Last season, the character found an ally and bond with T’Rina, a female Vulcan who served as President of Ni’Var. A potential for love bloomed last season. Where do we find these two in Season 5?

“Didn’t you love seeing Season 4 with the slow burn of this romance?” Doug Jones said of the characters. “The last episode of Season 4, we finally held hands and the crowd went nuts. That was so sweet to see such an innocent love story unfolding… it will continue to unfold more in Season 5. Where does it go? I don’t want to give it all away. But yes, they face their challenges.”

“The closer you get, the more conflict you might find too in places you never thought to look for it,” he added. “With Saru’s career advancement opportunities coming and how he weighs that out against his relationship with T’Rina… Can they work in unison? Can we all do this together and get the most out of a career and relationship and love? I think they’re going to find a way.”

Understanding Booker’s Story Arc

Meanwhile, David Ajala turned heads as Booker, a Kwejian character who had the ability to connect empathically with plants and animals. Booker began in a penal colony and detoured into taking more of a restorative justice route, which taps into Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s original vision of hope for the future. Ajala shared:

“The reason why I think it’s important that…very specific story was told is because within Cleveland Booker, a man who is imperfect, who’s made mistakes, there is still a character there that can serve for the greater good. And it’s also a testament to the way Starfleet and the way the Federation see his character and see things. So, it’s not a huge surprise when, at the beginning of Season 5, Cleveland Booker gets the call that his services are needed because there lies an individual who can, in fact, definitely make an impact.”

But Booker still mourns the loss of his people after the Dark Matter Anomaly annihilated Book’s home planet of Kwejian. Take note: There’s a big—we’re talking BIG—twist in Booker’s Season 5 story arc, of which Ajala noted: “It pulls the rug from underneath his feet and floors him because it’s so substantial, but then it’s so complicated at the same time. You have to remember that this man is a work in progress, healing from grief day by day by day… Hopefully, it will bring out the best in him, and I’ll say this, as he’s been afforded a lot of grace.”

‘There Would Be No Modern Era of Trek Without Discovery’

Going into Season 5, the cast and crew didn’t know it would be their last season. Additional scenes were shot to make the season a fitting send-off for Disco. Noting that optimism is the core of any Star Trek series, co-showrunner Alex Kurtzman unpacked the allure of Disco and the other series it encouraged.

Star Trek
is this idea that our better angels have emerged in the future. That doesn’t mean you can’t visit dark spaces and it doesn’t mean you can’t have the characters go through dark times, but it always has to emerge into the light because I think that is what makes
Star Trek, Star Trek
… I think that there would be no modern era of

Kurtzman continued, saying they didn’t plan to start a Star Trek universe when they began. “None of the shows that came after it would be possible without Discovery. We didn’t set out to start a Star Trek universe when we created Discovery,” Kurtzman explained. “We set out to make a new Star Trek show. And the fact that people responded the way that they did, and the fact that it opened the doors that it did, was really an extraordinary thing and would never have been possible… Discovery was first to kick the door in.”

He went on to say that he thought Star Trek has one of the most incredible records of inclusion on screen. “We really quadrupled down on that with Discovery, particularly in the world of science fiction in a way that hadn’t happened,” he added. “Hopefully, it leads the way for a lot more, not just in the world of Trek, but in other franchises… I hate the word franchise because it feels like we all work at McDonald’s. I don’t really know any other way to put it, but I think that that track record is something we’re proud to have inherited and hope to pass on to the next generation that does Star Trek.”



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Wrapping Up the Characters and Storylines of Season 5

There are 10 episodes in Season 5 of Disco. Of the show’s final hour in episode 10, co-showrunner Michelle Paradise said: “Without giving any spoilers away, of course… the big Disco ball drops and… no… the season itself is action and adventure and heart, and really just a sense of family. All of that culminates in the final hour of the show. Ultimately, it will feel very, very satisfying. I think people who have just joined for the fifth season will feel like the season itself has come to a wonderful close.” She added:

And I think those who have been with
from the beginning and have fallen in love with these characters will feel a wonderful sense of closure with it all. We’re definitely wrapping up character arcs and storylines. We’re not leaving any hanging threads. We’ve had the opportunity to wrap it up in what we feel like is the right way.

How the Actors Were Changed by Playing Saru and Booker

To be sure, Saru boasts one of the more calming demeanors in Disco. When asked how he maintains a sense of groundedness, Jones shared, “I was a very anxious, nervous kid who felt he didn’t belong in any room that he was walking into. Those are my beginnings as a human being. So, coming into a Kelpien character who kind of feels the same way, the writers gave me the background on him… and it’s like, ‘Wow, I can relate to that right now… no study involved.’” He continued, praising the fans who take time to attend conventions.

“And finding… Saru on the bridge of the ship with this younger crew that he kind of mentors… he’s good at that fatherly sort of thing. And having lost my own father in real life when I was 18 years old, I kind of wanted to step up and be something for people, young people. And now that I’m in my 60s… [at] the convention circuit, the fans that come with this franchise are the most beautiful people and so loyal and such a true family that they have formed. I am really honored to be a part of it as the weird old uncle.”

David Ajala admits that playing Booker changed his life. “I feel much more enriched having played this character,” he said. “He’s an individual who just has a supernatural level of empathy. And without sounding too wistful here, I believe that we can all benefit from that on this planet more, having a bit more empathy towards each other… being curious without being judgmental… I definitely feel like a better human being [having played Booker] because I know how my little efforts can make a big impact in someone else’s life in the most positive way.”

Star Trek: Discovery warps into its final adventure on Paramount+ on Apr. 4. You can watch it through the link below:

Watch Star Trek: Discovery

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