Star Trek Discovery, CBS's new Trek series due out next year, will officially feature a female lead. Showrunner Bryan Fuller confirmed as much today during CBS's Television Critics Association press event, saying a woman will take the role of lieutenant commander.
"We're going to delve into something that was for me always very tantalizing and to tell that story through a character who is on a journey that is going to teach her how to get along with others in the galaxy," Fuller said during the event. "For her to truly understand something that is alien, she has to first understand herself."
"This iteration of Star Trek is such a wonderful team experience."
The role hasn't been cast yet, but Fuller spoke to an overall commitment to diversity in the new series. In addition to the new lead, a gay character will also join the crew, helping to address the lack of LGBT representation in the franchise. (And yes, we're well aware that there is plenty of argument about where Jadzia Dax falls in this discussion.) Of course, fans can still look forward to the show holding onto the sense of awe that informed past series. The new Trek, which is set about 10 years before the original Enterprise's five-year mission, will blend lighter and darker tones in its storytelling. "This iteration of Star Trek is such a wonderful team experience," said Fuller.
The news of a female-led Star Trek comes as more properties are getting refreshes with women at the fore. Warner Bros. announced today that it had cast such talent as Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, and New York rapper Awkwafina to star in its woman-centric Ocean's Eleven spinoff Ocean's Ocho. We're looking forward to seeing who gets cast in the starring role. Star Trek Discovery premieres in January 2017.
Correction August 10th, 9:10PM ET: This article previously stated that Star Trek Discovery's female lead character would assume the rank of captain, not lieutenant commander.