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This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Short Treks, and thus may contain spoilers.

For the mirror universe counterpart, please see Saru (mirror).
"It is well known that my species has the ability to sense the coming of death. I do not sense it today. I may not have all the answers; however, I do know that I am surrounded by a team I trust. The finest a captain could ever hope to command. Lorca abused our idealism. And make no mistake, Discovery is no longer Lorca's; she is ours. And today will be her maiden voyage. We have a duty to perform and we will not accept a no-win scenario. You have your orders. On your way."
– Saru to the crew of the Discovery, 2250s ("What's Past Is Prologue")

Commander Saru was a male Kelpien Starfleet officer who lived during the mid-23rd century. The first of his species to enter Starfleet service, Saru served aboard at least two Federation starships, the USS Shenzhou and the USS Discovery, and served through much of the Federation-Klingon War of 2256-57. On more than one occasion, he took command of the Discovery in place of the captain, Gabriel Lorca. Saru eventually took command permanently, albeit as acting captain, after Lorca surreptitiously took the Discovery into the mirror universe, where it was discovered that Lorca was in fact his mirror counterpart. (DIS: "Choose Your Pain", "Despite Yourself", "What's Past Is Prologue")

Following Discovery's escape from the mirror universe and Lorca's death, Saru commanded the vessel's mission to Qo'noS in mid-2257, where it successfully forced a truce with the Klingons. For his part in ending the war, Saru was awarded the Starfleet Medal of Honor, the first Kelpien to be so honored. (DIS: "The War Without, The War Within", "Will You Take My Hand?")

Early lifeEdit

Saru on Kaminar

A young Saru on Kaminar

In his youth, Saru lived an agrarian life on his home planet Kaminar, with his sister, Siranna, and father, Aradar. Though discouraged by his father, Saru contemplated his people's place in the universe and questioned the ritual sarcrifice of his people to the Ba'ul.

In 2239 he was Instructed by his father to dispose of debris fallen from the Ba'ul ship, Saru instead built a communications device from the alien technology and established contact with Lieutenant Philippa Georgiou. After corresponding with Saru, Georgiou was given special permission by Starfleet to retrieve Saru. As his people were a pre-warp civilization, Saru accepted the caveat that he could never return (and potentially contaminate his culture), and departed with Georgiou for the USS Shenzhou. (ST: "The Brightest Star")

Starfleet careerEdit

Saru was the first Kelpien to join Starfleet. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello") He had a first contact specialist qualification. (DIS: "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum")

Science officer of the USS ShenzhouEdit

Saru (2249)

Saru at his post aboard the Shenzhou

In 2249, Saru had obtained the rank of lieutenant and was serving in the sciences division aboard the USS Shenzhou under Captain Philippa Georgiou as a bridge officer. He was present when Michael Burnham arrived on the starship. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")

By 2256, he had been promoted to lieutenant commander and worked as the ship's chief science officer. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello")

That year, Saru participated in the Battle of the Binary Stars, and later evacuated the Shenzhou with the remaining crew after the death of Captain Georgiou. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")

First officer of the USS DiscoveryEdit

Saru (2256)

Saru stands watch on the bridge of Discovery

About six months later, Saru had been promoted to commander, transferred to the command division, and made first officer of the USS Discovery under Gabriel Lorca. (DIS: "Context Is for Kings")

When the prison transport shuttle carrying the disgraced former Starfleet officer Michael Burnham was brought aboard the USS Discovery for repairs, Saru escorted the former officer to engineering so that she would work as a "data cruncher" under Lieutenant Paul Stamets.

When the USS Glenn, the Discovery's sister ship, suffered a catastrophe, Saru spoke up in Burnham's defense, describing her as the "smartest Starfleet officer [he] had ever met."

Fear and Pahvo Edit

Saru contacts Pahvans

Saru comes in contact with the Pahvans

According to Saru, Kelpiens live in a state of constant fear from the moment of birth. Saru may be the first of his species to have this alleviated, as after encountering the native energy life forms of Pahvo, he briefly experienced relief from this state while on the planet. He became so desperate to continue experiencing this lack of fear that he proceeded to first deceive, and then attack his fellow officers in an attempt to keep the planet out of the Federation-Klingon war. These actions eventually led to the Pahvans withdrawing their influence on him, as they came to believe it was generating disharmony among their Starfleet guests. (DIS: "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum")

Mirror universe and Captain of USS Discovery Edit

Following the victory over General Kol and the Sarcophagus's destruction, Saru then confirmed that the spore drive had dropped Discovery into unknown space. After learning that they were in parallel universe, Saru then helped Cadet Tilly in posing as her counterpart after Lorca decided to have Discovery pose as the ISS Discovery. After Lorca and Burnham boarded the ISS Shenzhou, Saru was left in command of the Discovery. (DIS: "Into the Forest I Go", "Despite Yourself")

Saru and Tilly help Stamets

Saru and Tilly attempt to revive Stamets

Saru, along with Tilly, then found Dr. Culber dead and in the arms of Lieutenant Stamets. With Tilly, Saru agreed to use the Mycelium spores to treat and heal him. Saru then had Tyler (who had been revealed to be Klingon sleeper agent Voq) beamed back aboard the Discovery with information on the USS Defiant's arrival to the mirror universe. Saru was able to decrypt the information on the Defiant, but much much of the information was redacted. When Dr. Pollard and her medical team were unable to hepl Tyler/Voq, Saru then allowed L'Rell in helping Tyler/Voq in easing his pain. Saru was then contacted by Burnham to come to the ISS Charon. (DIS: "The Wolf Inside", "Vaulting Ambition")

Enroute to the Charon, Lt. Stamets came to and told Saru of his counterpart's damage to the Mycelial network and its eventual destruction of the entire multiverse. Saru was then contacted by Burnham, who told them that Lorca was really a Terran posing as his counterpart. After this revelation, Saru decided to take command and destroy the Charon before it destroys the entire multiverse. Following Discovery's arrival at the Charon's coordinates, Saru then spoke with Lorca, who offered to spare him and Discovery's crew in exchange for Burnham. At first, Saru agreed. However, when Burnham and Georgiou attacked Lorca, Saru ordered Discovery to open fire.

Discovery was successful in disabling the Charon's shields. Saru then ordered Burnham to beamed aboard prior to destroying the Charon. Following the Charon's desctruction, Saru and the crew then used the destruction's shockwave to return to their universe. (DIS: "What's Past Is Prologue")

Return to the War Edit

Unfortunately, Saru, Stamets, and the crew then discovered that they overshot their return by nine months, by which time the war was going badly. Saru also discovered that Burnham had saved Emperor Georgiou and lied about the mirror universe Kelpiens. Discovery was then boarded by Admirals Shukar, Gorch, Cornwell, and Ambassador Sarek. At first Saru demanded to know the reason as to why they boarded. Saru then had mind-meld with the Ambassdor who learned about Discovery's trip to a parallel universe and Lorca's true colors and death. Saru was debriefed on the specifics of the disastrous turn the war had taken since Discovery was seemingly destroyed, and subsequently relinquished command to Cornwell for Discovery's trip to Starbase 1. However, he sensed danger on approach, and Starbase 1 immediately turned out to be occupied by the House of D'Ghor. With several Birds of Prey converging on Discovery and Cornwell too shocked by this turn of events to give orders, Saru was forced to order a retreat.

Saru became first officer under Emperor Georgiou, posing as her prime counterpart, during a mission that was supposedly to map Qo'noS's volcanic system for a future military strike. However, the mission turned out to be the military strike; rather than a mapping drone, Georgiou had brought a hydro bomb which she intended to detonate in a volcanic vent, which would have catastrophic results. After Burnham alerted him to the true mission, Saru contacted Cornwell and threatened to mutiny with Burnham if Starfleet Command did not back down. Burnham was authorized to prevent Georgiou from detonating the bomb, and handed the detonator to L'Rell, who took leadership of the Klingon High Council and rapidly enacted a cease fire. Saru was awarded the Starfleet Medal of Honor for his actions, the first received by a Kelpien. Soon after, Saru led the ship on a voyage to Vulcan to pick up the Discovery's new commanding officer, but was sidetracked along the way to respond to a distress call from the USS Enterprise. (DIS: "What's Past Is Prologue", "The War Without, The War Within", "Will You Take My Hand?")



Michael BurnhamEdit

Burnham and Saru

Saru tells Burnham her absence is a loss to Starfleet.

"Her mutiny aside, she is the smartest Starfleet officer I have ever known."
"Huh… and he knows you.

Beginning in 2249, Saru served with Burnham aboard the Shenzhou. They often disagreed with the handling of various situations, so much so that Captain Georgiou found it remarkable when they did concur. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello")

Key datesEdit

  • 2240s2256: Assigned to the USS Shenzhou.
  • 2250s–2256: Chief science officer of the USS Shenzhou.
  • 2256:
  • 2257:
    • Helps the Discovery to win a victory against Kol, destroying the Sarcophagus during the Battle at Pahvo.
    • Ends up in the mirror universe after the Discovery's spore drive appears to malfunction during a jump, though this was a part of Lorca's plan, as he was actually from this universe. Once again becomes acting captain of the Discovery.
    • Takes over command of the Discovery on a permanent basis when Lorca is exposed as an impostor.
    • Led the Discovery on a mission to Qo'noS, which resulted in the end of the war. Awarded the Starfleet Medal of Honor for his actions, the first awarded to a Kelpien.
    • Continues his command of the Discovery on a voyage to Vulcan to pick up its new commanding officer, but is sidetracked along the way to respond to a distress call from the USS Enterprise.

Memorable quotes Edit

"Your world has food chains. Mine does not. Our species map is binary; we are either predator or prey. My people were hunted, bred, farmed… we are your livestock of old. We were biologically determined for one purpose, and one purpose alone – to sense the coming of death. I sense it coming now."

- Saru to Michael Burnham (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello")

"I saw hope, in the stars. It was stronger than fear. And I went towards it."

- Saru (ST: "The Brightest Star")

Appendices Edit


Doug Jones wearing 'squinted' contact lenses, discarded during pilot filming

Appearances Edit

Background information Edit

Saru was played by actor Doug Jones.

Apocrypha Edit

In the novel Desperate Hours by David Mack, it is revealed that Saru is from a world called Kelpia and that he was rescued from that world by Starfleet officers. Saru also appears in Fear Itself by James Swallow, where his home planet is called Kaminar.

External links Edit