the story: How Saru ends up joining Starfleet.
review: Well, "Calypso" officially seems like an outlier. This is the second of three Short Treks to produce underwhelming results. High hopes for the fourth, though, as it features Mudd, who has become one of my favorite Discovery elements. "Brightest Star" wastes all its time, basically, fifteen long minutes. Take the opportunity, people! Be bold!
We see Kelpian society, at least Saru's experience of it, probably for the first and last time, including Saru's father and sister, and a wisp of the competing species they live amongst. Maybe this is all revisited, but Kelpians are pre-warp, and only Saru is apparently clever enough to not only question why things run the way they do, but also to use technology on an instinctive level...This is all stuff that could be better explained if it's to be accepted easily at all, by pulling back the lens much more, make it less simplistic. I realize that Star Trek's bread and butter has often been this kind of storytelling, but usually for aliens of the week, not main characters and their origins. One of the franchise' strongest legacies is background material. Even going back to the very beginning, Kirk and Spock had solid experiences sketched out at a time when it's wasn't particularly necessary. Saru has been presented as one of Discovery's lead characters from the start. There's no excuse to leave him with so little to go by, especially once you actually show it.
I don't know. I don't mean to be grumpy. I hate grumpy Star Trek fans. But these Short Treks haven't been showing Discovery at its finest (aside from "Calypso" which is the franchise at its finest), and that's somewhat inexplicable to me.
franchise- Having Georgiou explain what a huge exception she's making for Saru doesn't really fill the credibility gap in the whole concept. series- This is not Discovery at its finest by any measure.
- character - Still, you gotta give points for trying harder with Saru than they did with Tilly.
- essential - If this is the best they ever get with the guy, it is nice they tried, because we don't often get to actually see this kind of material.