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SYFY WIRE Star Trek: Discovery Season 2

Star Trek: Kurtzman explains how J.J. Abrams films emboldened him to add Pike and Spock in Season 2 of Discovery

By Josh Weiss
Spock Zachary Quinto Star Trek: Into Darkness

Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery will feature two very iconic characters in the franchise, Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and the Vulcan known as Spock (Ethan Peck). Obviously, the latter is much more well-known thanks to the late great Leonard Nimoy.

According to the show's creator and executive producer, Alex Kurtzman, the two might never have been included in the CBS All Access series at all, had it not been for the Star Trek reboot movies from J.J. Abrams, the first two of which were penned by Kurtzman and Robert Orci

The positive reception to Abrams' new take on the franchise (particularly the first movie) convinced Kurtzman that so long as you cast these beloved identities in the right way, die-hard Trekkies would not break out their torhces and pitchforks.

"Maybe I was a little bolder because we did it in the films, so I felt like we had touched that area before and was so proud of the amazing work that the actors did," Kurtzman told Variety. "It’s always dangerous because the [The Original Series] characters are so beloved and everyone has such strong feelings and strong opinions about each character. And if the recasting or the characterization itself doesn’t meet up with people’s imagination, then we get into trouble."

In the Abrams films, which completely rewrote the timeline of the original '60s-era show, Pike was played by Bruce Greenwood and Spock was played by Zachary Quinto. With the fourth installment reportedly stalled, we may never see those iterations of those characters again, but John Cho, who plays Hikaru Sulu (a role made famous by George Takei) is still optimistic.

"To be honest, I mean it’s not happening right now as far as I know, but I just think it will happen. Somebody at some point [will make it happen], we'll all get on the same page, and we’ll do it." Cho said during an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "To me, it's a really significant part of American popular culture. I just don’t see how it goes away forever."

Star Trek: Discovery's second season premieres on CBS All Access January 17.