New Star Trek means new characters

Star Trek is all about the characters and relationships on the ship. With all the new series on Paramount+, they’ve introduced a bunch of interesting characters that I’ve grown to love. With Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard starting next week, I figured I’d share five new characters1  who I’m glad are part of the Star Wars Universe.


Ensign Sylvia Tilly

Played by Mary Wiseman on Star Trek: Discovery. When Star Trek first relaunched with Discovery, Tilly was such a different type of crew member. For all of the great Star Trek characters over the years, very few were quirky and likable.2  Her relationships with Burnham, Stamets and Saru are wonderful. I wasn’t happy how they used her over the last season — eventually shipping her off to Starfleet Academy — but I hope next season includes a healthy dose of Tilly.


Voiced by Rylee Alazraqui on Star Trek: Prodigy. If you haven’t seen Prodigy, you’re missing out. Rok-Tahk is my favorite character from the crew. At first, Rok appears to be a fierce creature, but once the universal translator kicks in, you figure out that despite her intimidating form, she’s actually just a young girl with an interest in science. Her relationship with the Janeway hologram was encouraging and nurturing and I loved every minute of it. I look forward to seeing how she interacts with Admiral Janeway next season.

Christine Chapel

Jes Bush on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. I know Nurse Chapel appears in the Original Series and a couple of movies, but Jes Bush’s interpretation of the character is so different and distinctive. Chapel is incredibly smart and capable. And yes, she has a crush on Spock, but their relationship is much more nuanced and complex. We know where this character is heading, but I look forward to seeing how this version of Chapel develops.

Ensign Beckett Mariner

Voiced by Tawny Newsome on Star Trek: Lower Decks. Lower Decks has so many great characters, but Mariner is my favorite. She’s a screw up, who also happens to be incredibly capable when she wants to be. Her relationship with her friends, her rivals and her mom are all complex and delightful. Depending on the episode, Beckett may create a massive problem — or she could be the one to save the day. The end of last season was heartbreaking when her mom and friends thought she’d sold out the Cerritos crew. Many of the relationships were patched up in the finale, but I wonder if there will be lasting repercussions.

Captain Saru

Doug Jones on Star Trek: Discovery. Look, I know Captain Michael Burham is the star of the show, but Saru is the captain I’d want to serve under. Intelligent, thoughtful and competent. His personal backstory is wonderful, and I’m really interested to see his relationship with the leader of Vulcan develop. I’m not sure how Doug Jones can express so much emotion through all of that makeup. It’s seriously impressive.

Finally, while it’s not a character, I want to give a shoutout to Lower Deck’s California class ships, especially the U.S.S. Cerritos. The idea that there are some average ships in the fleet is great. Other Star Trek shows focus on the glamorous flagship, but not every ship is the U.S.S. Enterprise.

  1. Well… Five new and one reimagined.
  2. You could argue that Barclay was quirky, but he was intentionally annoying. Neelix was intended to be quirky, but he was really just creepy.

Bob Wertz is a creative director, type designer, Ph.D. student and researcher living in Columbia, South Carolina.