Star Trek: Discovery promotes [SPOILER] to captain, a historic first for the franchise

(Image credit: CBS/Netflix)

Star Trek: Discovery has a new captain on the bridge – and it marks a historic first for the franchise. 

Major spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery season 3, episode 13 follow.

Following on from former captain Saru’s return to the Kelpian homeworld of Kaminar to help Su’Kal readjust to the outside world after a lifetime of being trapped inside a holographic environment, USS Discovery was in dire need of a new leader.

Step forward Michael Burnham. With Saru’s blessing and Admiral Vance’s say so, Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) has now ascended to the position of captain on Discovery. In fact, it’s the first time a Black woman has ever held the role in a permanent capacity in any mainline Star Trek series.

In season 3 alone, Star Trek: Discovery has shone the spotlight on non-binary and transgender actors, while the series has even dropped the franchise’s first-ever f-bomb back in the first season. Discovery, it seems, prides itself on boldly going where no other Star Trek series has gone before – but let’s not forget her forebears.

Voyager’s Janeway was the first prominent woman to ever become captain in a Star Trek show, while Benjamin Sisko rose to captain during the third season of Deep Space Nine.

Now, it’s Michael Burnham – and Sonequa Martin Green’s – turn to take the baton and run with it. The character has undergone mutinies, trips to the mirror universe, and losing her mother (twice) – now it’s time to write the next chapter in her captain’s log.

For more adventures across time and space, check out the best sci-fi movies ever made.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.