‘Star Trek: Discovery’ showrunner on how that surprising season finale cameo came about

Image via Paramount+

A series finale is always a bittersweet event, especially for fans of the Paramount+t original series Star Trek: Discovery. The series has an 86% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which also reposted a 92% approval score on the almost-concluded Season 4. Its penultimate episode, “Coming Home” airs today, and promises to be a thrilling coda with a surprise cameo.

ComicBook.com caught up with series showrunner Michelle Paradise, who shared about shooting Season 4, fine tuning the Star Trek storyline across seasons, and how the high level cameo came about.

When asked how they were able to score top political figure Stacy Abrams as a guest star on the final episode, Paradise said it came down to the team being “lucky” enough to find a lifelong fan of the show who they were sure could deliver a few short, powerful lines.

“I’m, again, hearkening back to season three for just a moment, but we knew that bringing the Federation back together again would be a bit of a longer arc. As we came into season four, we knew that the end of the season would pay off that arc. And given what we see in episode 303, Earth is not a member of the Federation anymore. We always knew that Earth coming back in would symbolize the return of the Federation and that the federation is back again. And so as we kind of got into season four and got about halfway through, we knew we would need a person, a face to symbolize not only Earth’s presidency, but to say those words, that Earth is back and we are in. And so then it became a question of, well, who should be that person?

The lawyer, activist and author has previously indicated her Star Trek obsession, and the showrunner felt that the cameo was even more epic due to Abrams’ polished career. 

Alex [Kurtzman] and I talked about it, and we knew by that point that Stacey Abrams was a fan of Trek in general and the show specifically, and I said, “Well, what do you think about her?” And he was like, “Oh my gosh.” And he said, “Let’s see if we can talk to her and pitch the idea and see what she thinks.” And so we reached out, and she was kind enough to jump on a Zoom with us, and we pitched her. 

She didn’t want to know any spoilers, because she is a fan of the show, so we pitched her the most basic idea that Earth would be back. But then we pitched her this character and who the character is and what the character represents. And honestly, we couldn’t think of anyone, there’s no one, better for that. And we were just so fortunate that she said yes and that she wanted to do it. So we feel like we just got so lucky with that. And she came and she did it, and obviously, she’s just fantastic.”

Abrams’ appearance on the hit TV series is only the latest alignment of politics and pop culture. Back in 2013, 2012 and 2011, political strategist Donna Brazile played herself on The Good Wife. Michelle Obama also appeared as herself on a 2011 episode of iCarly, while US president Joe Biden made a cameo on Parks and Recreation in 2012 and 2015.