It’s rare that anybody gets to create an alien character in Star Trek. You’re starting from scratch, Doug, and in a serialized world. What does that offer you?
Jones: Right. I was very, very excited that I didn’t
have to dig into an already established species, and then get their
quirks. That would have had some pressure behind it, like, “I better get
this right, or the fans are going to hate me.” This is like, “Well, no
one is going to know if I’m getting it right or wrong because, it’s
starting right here!” Right? That’s been exciting for me, that we’re
starting a new species, or, hopefully… I don’t know if it can live on
after this series because this is 10 years before The Original Series,
so we’ll see. It will be interesting to see what happens with him
because, if this species never showed up anywhere after this in the
timeline, the question remains, “What happened to the Kelpiens?” To get
his backstory, and what the writers can tell me, and what physicality
can come out of his look and his being, has been really fun to develop.
Shazad, your character came from war and experienced war, whereas Star Trek has always been about hope and optimism. Discovery feels a bit darker than previous Treks. Does Lt. Tyler have this dark side, too?
Latif: Yeah, definitely. We meet him in a very dark
place. He’s a prisoner of war, and that’s how we first see him. I think
this version of what we’re doing has a lot more complex darkness in it. I
think that’s very good, because it’s very exciting to watch. It can be
tough to watch, but very interesting. And that’s the play entity as an
audience member. So, there is that, yeah, there’s a big darkness.