Characters in Star Trek: Discovery.
Important note: Spoilers are unmarked. Even scrolling down on these pages will reveal some significant twists from all seasons. Browse them at your own risk.
Alien Beings and EntitiesIntroduced in Season One
Inhabitants of the planet Pahvo, who try to bring about a peace deal between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.
- Actual Pacifist: Not violent at all, and they try to bring Starfleet and the Klingons together to prompt a peace treaty.
- Energy Beings: The Pahvans manifest as clouds of blue-white energy with a vaguely humanoid form. Spore-like clouds also suffuse the structure that shelters their visitors.
- Genius Loci: All life on the surface of Pahvo, as well as the planet itself, is an interconnected living being.
- Organic Technology: Their planetary transmitter is the biggest example, being a blend of crystalline structure and organic plant matter.
- Power Crystal: Pahvo includes a titanic crystalline spire that functions as an electromagnetic transmitter. Burnham, Saru and Tyler beam down to the planet to analyze it as a means of finding a way though the Klingons' cloaking devices.
- Suicidal Pacifist: Could easily have turned out as this, since while Starfleet was willing to send someone to answer their call, General Kol fully intended to destroy their planet and move on. Fortunately, the crew of Discovery were able to defend the planet and destroy the Ship of the Dead with Kol on it.
A strange and incredibly powerful alien creature resembling a giant tardigrade, which was found on board the derelict U.S.S. Glenn.
- Absurdly Sharp Claws: Its claws can rend starship hulls with ease.
- Animalistic Abomination: A benevolent example. Reality-warping powers aside, all it really wants is its freedom.
- Badass Adorable: It's an oversized tardigrade which can shrug off disruptor fire and bat'leth attacks... and then kill the offending half dozen Klingon warriors who pissed it off using the above.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Like real tardigrades, it can survive in hard vacuum (although it teleports elsewhere after a moment's hesitation).
- Berserk Button: While normally docile, Ripper quickly becomes homicidal if threatened.
- Deathbringer the Adorable: If you just let this Ripper be and remember to feed it, nothing much happens. Heck, you might even get yourself an Ugly Cute, yet top-notch, navigator if you play your cards right. However... try hurting or distressing this particular tardigrade, and then it lives up to the name.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: Its hide can withstand attacks from bat'leths and the kill setting on phasers without a scratch.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Ripper is not naturally predatory and didn't destroy the Glenn out of malice: it's a docile animal that was exploited in painful scientific experiments, responds to threats with deadly force, and reacts in pain when the spore drive is activated. It's genuinely heart-breaking to see it put through the wringer to provide navigation for the spore drive.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Its real name, if it has one, is unknown. Landry dubs it "Ripper" because that's what it looks like.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: It is the key to using the spore drive to travel great distances, acting like a living navigational computer through its symbiosis with the spores.
- Put on a Bus: Burnham and Tilly release it into space with Saru's permission at the end of "Choose Your Pain", as the spore drive was slowly killing it.
- Smarter Than You Look: In a very specific way, yes. This giant, armoured ball of a teddy-bug can embarrass a homing pigeon's navigational processing ability and make Starfleet super computers look primitive. Culber's analysis indicates it may be sentient.
- Starfish Alien: A particularly effective one. Ripper was implied to be highly intelligent, but had difficulty communicating with humans and humanoids, who tended to assume that it was a mindless, dangerous creature.
- Super-Persistent Predator: Despite supposedly only attacking in self-defense, it seems hellbent on killing the away team aboard the Glenn, going so far as to methodically tear through the metal bulkheads and crawl through an Airvent Passageway to get them. Of course, being the Sole Survivor of a horrific accident may have messed with its head somewhat.
- Wall Crawl: Despite being as large and heavy as a grizzly, it can crawl along the ceiling with ease. It probably helps that the metals it is clinging to are certainly strong enough to support its weight and claws that can dig into the metal.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Like Lorca, it has an aversion to light.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Even Saru, an alien rescued by Star Fleet officers, seems to assume, like the rest of Discovery's human and humanoid alien crew, that Ripper can't be sentient because it doesn't walk on two legs, speak English, or drink tea. Even when confronted with scientific evidence that the "Tardigrade" has a complex mind and a sensory system that registers pain, and clear emotional responses to pain, Dr. Culber and other Star Fleet officers are dismissive of those advocating for Ripper. Eventually, Saru gets over this, possibly because of his own back story as a member of a "prey species" rescued from mortal danger by Star Fleet, and Michael and Tilly's persistence and scientific credibility wins over Culber and Stamets, and Saru gives them the go-ahead to free Ripper.
Introduced in Short Treks
Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po
The queen of Xahea.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Xaheans have orange blood, their eyes blink sideways, and they can turn themselves invisible, Jem'hadar style.
- Deadpan Snarker: Affectionately sasses her friends, and will even mouth off to the Terran Emperor. Of course, she made it against the law for anyone to sass her.
- Don't Call Me "Sir": She's fine with the Discovery crew calling her "Po" instead of "Her Serene Highness".
- Genius Sweet Tooth: An engineering prodigy who loves her ice cream.
- Modest Royalty: She doesn't wear anything showy that would identify her as a queen. She's also very informal with the Discovery crew, especially her BFF Tilly.
- Reluctant Ruler: She ran away from Xahea because she didn't feel ready to be queen. Fortunately, a pep talk from Tilly helped her become more self-confident.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Invented a means to recrystallize dilithium. She also flies into battle in a shuttlecraft against Control's forces.
A Kelpien, and Saru's sister.
- Took a Level in Badass: After surviving her vahar'ai, she leads a squadron of Kelpiens into battle against Control's forces in "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2".
Introduced in Season Two
A lifeform from the mycelial network that infects Tilly and appears to her in the form of a childhood friend of hers.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Takes the form of May to gain Tilly's trust. It backfires when Tilly learns that May died years ago and realizes that something sinister is going on.
- Black and White Insanity: Since May doesn't fully understand species outside of the network, she considers anything from our dimension that harms her people to be a deliberate attack deserving of death. Tilly manages to educate her before she goes too far.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: She doesn't understand how non-fungal species work. She's annoyed that Tilly is upset at May's infecting her and misinterprets Culber's attempts to defend himself from the spores as attempted genocide.
- No Sense of Personal Space: In a mental sense. "She" manifests to Tilly in gradually more and more situations until Tilly starts to have a nervous breakdown over the non-stop intrusions.
- Perpetual Smiler: At first, but "she" steadily becomes more angry and insistent in her efforts to get Tilly to pay attention and take action to preserve her home environment.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: Does this a lot as "her" efforts to get Tilly to do what "she" wants become more frantic.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: She came to this universe and infected Tilly to put an end to the spore drive because she thought it was harming her own dimension.
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Why "May" takes on the form that it does in order to communicate with Ensign Tilly.
The "Red Angel"
A mysterious entity said to be responsible for seven energetic red bursts spread out throughout the galaxy — and intertwined somehow with both Burnham and Spock.
- Anonymous Benefactor: The first signal investigated by Discovery was made so someone could find the crashed U.S.S. Hiawatha. The second had them arrive just in time to save a planet from an extinction level event. The third time they visit the location of the signal, they save the Kelpians from continued oppression by the Ba'ul. In the past, the Red Angel appeared to Spock and led him to Burnham when she was lost on Vulcan, and rescued a church full of people from Earth's Third World War just before they'd have been nuked, transporting them to a new planet.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: It certainly seems to have a motif of the colour red.
- Connected All Along: As revealed in "The Red Angel", the being is actually Burnham's mother, wearing a suit developed as part of Project Daedalus. Subverted when it turns out that there are two Red Angels, the other being Michael herself.
- Driving Question: Of the second season. What is it, and what are its intentions?
- Grandfather Paradox: The crew eventually determines that the Angel is Michael, based on genetic data and the fact that it only appears when Michael herself will die without intervention. They decide to lure it out by placing Michael in a lethal situation to force the Angel to come back and save her. It works, but it's not actually her (at first).
- Legacy Character: It is eventually revealed that there are two different Red Angels. Gabrielle Burnham appearing only to save Michael's life, and Michael later/earlier using the same technology to lay the breadcrumbs for Discovery's crew and then to take the Discovery into the future.
- Mama Bear: In spite of claiming she has "let go" of Michael out of necessity, she intervenes whenever Michael's life is at risk, and she immediately chews out Captain Pike for implementing a plan that required Michael to actually die, even if temporarily.
- Outside-Context Problem: For Starfleet, as they cannot figure out what could make seven powerful signals appear at once spanning half the galaxy.
- Powered Armor: The Red Angel is a human in a suit of high-tech armor that grants it amazing powers.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Or, more accurately, red signals.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Specifically brought up by Pike while discussing the angel. He recalls that Clarke's Third Law eventually picked up another corollary: "Any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial is indistinguishable from God". As discovered in "The Sounds of Thunder" and revealed in "If Memory Serves", the Red Angel is indeed a human with advanced technology.
- Walking Spoiler: Or, rather, time-travelling spoiler. See Connected All Along.
- We Are as Mayflies: Because of her repeated jumps and her persistent inability to prevent Control from wiping out all sentient life, Dr. Burnham has become very stoic to the deaths and potential deaths of trillions. Even her daughter's, or so she claims.
A massive spacefaring entity encountered by Discovery in "An Obol for Charon".
- Clingy MacGuffin: Played with. Once its data is transferred to Discovery, all attempts to erase or destroy the data are foiled. The data encrypts itself to prevent its deletion, and it hijacks Discovery to prevent itself from being destroyed with the ship. Transferring the data, however, is perfectly fine, which is a serious problem because Control wants the data and will do anything to get it.
- Eldritch Abomination: A benign one, but it still appears as a mass of incandescent magma and ever-shifting coiled black tentacles, nearly six hundred kilometers in diameter. It is able to effortlessly draw Discovery out of warp and hold it still until it can communicate with the ship.
- I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Seeks out Discovery to communicate all the knowledge it has accumulated in its travels before it dies.
- Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!:
- Simply downloading its archives on Artificial Intelligence can create a sentient entity, as Discovery seems to develop a sense of self-preservation after doing so. In season 3, the computer starts to develop a personality, implicitly leading to the creation of Zora from the Short Treks episode "Calypso".
- Control believes that downloading the data will allow it to evolve into a Mechanical Abomination that can complete its goal of exterminating all biological life. Keeping it out of Control's hands guides the plot of the back-half of season 2.
- Omniscient Database: The Sphere's knowledge encompasses seemingly everything in the galaxy for hundreds of thousands of years. This knowledge allows Saru to learn the truth of the Kelpians and the Ba'ul, and in the third season gives Discovery's crew information on Trill symbiosis when the Federation didn't learn of the concept until a century later.
- Outside-Context Problem: For the crew of Discovery. Saru eventually figures out that ultraviolet radiation bursts being emitted by it are its form of communication.
- Shout-Out: Would not look out of place next to Ego the Living Planet.
- That's No Moon!: Looks like a planetoid; actually a spacefaring organism.
- Time Abyss: It's hundreds of thousands or even millions of years old, but it is still mortal, and is in the process of dying when it encounters Discovery.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The knowledge it grants to Discovery and her crew ends up being used by Control, the AI Big Bad of Season 2, to further its own ends.
Introduced in Season Three
A being encountered by Burnham and Mirror-Georgiou on Dannus V.
- Be as Unhelpful as Possible: When questioned about who or even what he is he dances around and doesn't even explain how his door will help Georgiou, only that her current condition won't affect her on the other side. As he explains after the ordeal, it's not a very good test if you know the answer going in.
- Canon Character All Along: Reveals himself to be the Guardian of Forever after Georgiou passes his Secret Test of Character.
- Cigar Chomper: Is constantly munching on a cigar, as seen on the image.
- Cool Gate: Conjures up the iconic stone portal◊ of the Guardian of Forever.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Carl is a manifestation of the Guardian made to interact with and test Georgiou.
- Pungeon Master: Loves to make bad jokes."What do you call a cute portal? A-door-able. A clown held a door open for me. It was a nice jester."
- Reality Warper: He can appear out of nowhere, send Georgiou's mind back in time and across universes while also sending a physical object back with her, and is nearly undetectable by sensors. He turns out to be the Guardian of Forever, in hiding after the Temporal Wars.
- Trickster Mentor: As suggested by his penchant for jokes and his apparent inability to give a straight answer to people's questions.