Captain Saru (Doug Jones) needs one more, big reward before Star Trek: Discovery season 5 ends. In Discovery‘s 5th and final season, the voyages of Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the USS Discovery promise to be a bold new adventure as they search for “the greatest treasure in the known galaxy.” When Star Trek: Discovery season 5 begins, Saru is expected to be on the bridge of Discovery serving as Captain Burnham’s trusted and loyal Number One.
Saru, the first Kelpien in Starfleet, enjoyed one of the most historic rises through the ranks in Star Trek: Discovery. Lt. Commander Saru was Science Officer of the USS Shenzhou when Star Trek: Discovery began, and he transferred to become the First Officer of the USS Discovery as Commander Saru. As Acting Captain, Saru provided a steady hand on the bridge throughout the rotation of Captains the Discovery endured, and he was formally promoted to Captain of the Discovery with Michael Burnham’s support in season 3. However, after they solved the mystery of the Burn, Saru left Discovery and recommended Burnham replace him as Captain. When Captain Saru returned in Discovery season 4, he took the role of Captain Burnham’s First Officer instead of accepting command of another starship.
Discovery Season 5 Should Make Saru A Starfleet Admiral
Either during or at the end of Star Trek: Discovery season 5, Saru needs to be promoted to Admiral. This would be the ideal reward for the noble Kelpien’s exemplary Starfleet service. Realistically, Captain Saru leaving the USS Discovery for a new starship would remove him from the primary action of Star Trek: Discovery. As the co-lead of the series, Saru has to remain on the Disco. But Saru also feels diminished as a fellow Captain who is nonetheless subservient to Burnham. This can best be remedied by Saru becoming an Admiral. This way, he can remain on the Disco by his own choice and still guide Captain Burnham, but Saru can also be the liaison with Starfleet Command, Admiral Charles Vance (Oded Fehr), and President Laira Rillak (Chelah Horsdal).
Captain Saru, who is eternally loyal to Michael Burnham, was pleased to see her succeed and receive accolades for her leadership during The Burn and the Dark Matter Anomaly crises. However, Saru’s willingness to be Michael’s Number One stunts his own potential as a starship Captain. Yet it’s understandable why Saru would prefer to remain on Discovery and support Captain Burnham rather than accept his own command. After all, Captain Spock (Leonard Nimoy) did the same for Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) in the Star Trek: The Original Series movies. Instead, Saru becoming Admiral Saru would be the final feather in the cap of the first Kelpien in Starfleet and a perfect apex of Saru’s incredible career.
Star Trek: Discovery Failed Captain Saru
Star Trek: Discovery‘s first 3 seasons were the long-form story of Michael Burnham’s rise to become Captain of Discovery. But Saru’s own career rise was a simultaneous compelling story that had to take a backseat to Burnham’s, and Discovery’s creative team ended up writing themselves into a corner in terms of what to do with Captain Saru after Michael’s promotion. Saru was fortunate that the fans, as well as actors Doug Jones and Tara Rosling, became enamored with the romantic potential of Saru and T’Rina, the Vulcan President of the planet Ni’Var. This offbeat coupling gave Saru his own fascinating storyline, albeit one that still muffled his Starfleet career issues.
However, Admiral Saru creates a new universe of potential for the heroic Kelpien. As an Admiral, Saru could go back to the earlier Discovery seasons’ paradigm of the Kelpien giving Burnham her marching orders, but he would also be a valuable ally when dealing with Starfleet Command and President Rillak. As Admiral, Saru could continue his relationship with President T’Rina as well. Meanwhile, Saru’s fierce intelligence would be tested on an even greater scale as being Admiral would grant him oversight of all of Starfleet, not just the USS Discovery. Or, if not during the season, becoming Admiral at the end of Star Trek: Discovery would also be a fitting way to close out Saru’s story and reward him for being one of the greatest Starfleet commanders of his two eras.
Star Trek: Discovery season 5 streams in 2024 on Paramount+.