With Star Trek: Discovery Over, Doug Jones Shared With Us What He Envisions For Saru After The Series Finale, And It’s So On Point

 Saru and T'Rina dressed in formal wear for their wedding in Star Trek: Discovery.
Saru and T'Rina dressed in formal wear for their wedding in Star Trek: Discovery.

Warning: SPOILERS for the Star Trek: Discovery series finale are ahead!

Although Star Trek: Discovery’s series finale mainly focused on Michael Burnham, Doug Jones’ Saru also got some time to shine. First, the Kelpien got one last “Action Saru” moment when he faced off against Primarch Tahal, and then weeks after the main conflict was resolved, friends and loved ones gathered for his and T’Rina’s wedding. Jones told CinemaBlend he was pleased with the way Saru’s story ended in “Life, Itself,” and also he shared with us his on-point envisioning of the characters future after the series finale.

Before the Discovery series finale was released to Paramount+ subscription holders on the 2024 TV schedule, I had the pleasure of speaking with Doug Jones about his experience shooting this last hurrah. Remembering how the decision to cancel Discovery came after the cast and crew shot Season 5, with Jones learning about this on the Star Trek Cruise shortly before it was announced to the public, I asked him if he had any idea on what would have happened with Saru had Season 6 been made, and he told me:

I honestly don’t. Like I said, he seemed to have found himself, and [it’s] just such a good fit that I don't know where we would have gone from that. And it could have gone anywhere. We could have seen him maybe come back to Starfleet an admiral or come back for a special mission on the ship like he did before. Because I had captain status already and I was captain of the ship in Season 3, came back as first officer when Burnham assumed the captaincy in Season 4 because she was like a sister to me, we had a very special mission to carry out in Season 4, and being by her side was something I wanted to do if she would have me, and she was very happy to have that… You can't keep a captain in a first officer position for… how long did you let that go on? So an advancement and a promotion was in store for him at some point, I think. So the ambassadorship was a great fit because he is such a poised diplomat. But could he go back into Action Saru mode and be on another special mission on a ship? Sure, that might have been in the cards if he went on.

Between the aforementioned events from the series finale and Saru resigning from Starfleet at the beginning of Season 5 to become an ambassador for the United Federation of Planets, like Doug Jones said, he seemed to find himself. That being said, the actor could also see Saru joining a Starfleet mission if his presence was needed. So in a reality where Discovery Season 6 moved forward, the writers could have needed to come up with that special circumstance that required him to step away from being an ambassador for a little bit and don his captain’s uniform again.

And then, of course, “Life, Itself” capped off with an extended epilogue set decades later that showed Michael Burnham sending the Discovery and its AI Zora on a Red Directive mission, thus serving as a tie-in to the “Calypso” Star Trek: Short Treks episode. Since there was no mention of what Saru was up to during that time period, assuming he’s still alive, I asked Doug Jones where he envisioned his character’s life going in those intervening decades, assuming he hadn’t already been told that information by someone like showrunner Michelle Paradise. Jones confirmed that wasn’t the case, saying:

I would be all conjecture on my part, and I would like to see his happily ever after playing out peacefully, especially, as a person, I just turned 64 recently, so I'm in those years of life and I would like to see Saru have less stress in his life, but also being able to feel satisfied with his sense of duty and that his his expertise is being used and useful. I'd like to see him still continue his mentorship because he's been very good at helping groom officers for Starfleet. Under his mentorship and leadership, he's been very gentle with his leadership and his authority with crew members and helping them find their best potential. So I'd like to see him doing that, and finding all the potential for all these planets that he's now an ambassador to, helping them find their future and helping them as societies grow and advance. Yeah, I'm sure that's what he's been doing all this time.

Saru is definitely cut out for being a mentor, and with Tilly telling Michael and Rayner at the wedding that she’ll be setting up a mentorship program at Starfleet Academy, I can only hope that the Kelpien is one of the first people she approaches to join it, even in just a guest capacity. Speaking of which, the upcoming Star Trek TV show Starfleet Academy spinoff is confirmed to take place in the 32nd century, so the stage is set for Discovery characters to appear there, though Mary Wiseman wouldn’t tell us if she’s involved in the show.

However, earlier this year, Doug Jones confirmed to our own Mick Joest that following Star Trek: Discovery’s conclusion, he’s “pursuing more human characters” and won’t perform as many prosthetic-heavy roles. Still, with Starfleet Academy coming up, I was wondering if Jones would be willing to make that one of his exceptions and reprise Saru in the spinoff if the opportunity came along. He answered:

I would be game for it. Yeah, I would be. Saru is near and dear to me, and to make an appearance as him again would be sentimental and nostalgic for me, so sure.

So while Saru’s life following the conclusion of the Star Trek: Discovery series finale’s main story will have to be left up to fans’ imaginations for now, at least the possibility remains that some of that curtain could be pulled back on Starfleet Academy. So far the only actor officially on board for the spinoff is Holly Hunter, who will play the captain and chancellor of the education institution. If it’s announced at any point that Doug Jones will appear on the show, we’ll let you know.

Until then, keep visiting CinemaBlend for more news concerning Star Trek TV and film plans. Next on the slate is Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2, which premieres people with a Netflix subscription on July 1.