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Star Trek: Discovery's Doug Jones Says The Biggest Shock For Saru So Far Came In S2

"Star Trek" has always been rife with alien allies giving something unique to the regular cast fans saw in the variety of shows under its banner. Over the years, Vulcans, Klingons, and all off-world officers have joined the ranks. One notable addition was the always-welcome king of creature performances, Doug Jones, as Saru in "Star Trek: Discovery" in 2017. A kind-hearted Kelpien that has been in the show since the beginning, Mr. Saru stepped in as captain of Discovery on occasion before becoming Number One to Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green, who left "The Walking Dead" to join the show). It was part of an incredible personal journey full of twists and turns, and one person shocked more than most about his development was Jones himself.

After a career of bringing terrifying characters to life, for once, Jones was playing scared. "He is a prey species on his home planet with predators. That's how he was brought up, how his people were brought up, and all he knows," Jones told CBR. Keeping the Kelpien on his toes, though (while waving his hands elegantly behind him), the story took a massive twist for Saru that Jones didn't see coming. In Season 2, Saru did the unthinkable and finally faced his fear. In doing so, he changed not only the history of his people but that of a character that Jones had fortified in fright since the beginning, proving to be the biggest surprise for the star going forward.

The Vahar'ai sent Saru and Doug Jones on an unexpected journey in Star Trek: Discovery

To remove the fear factor from Saru in "Star Trek: Discovery" was to quote another iconic Starfleet officer who felt most illogical to Jones and the journey he'd been on with his alien alter-ego. It was a massive shock after molding a character that, as by the book and determined as he was, lived in constant fear, sending the actor into uncharted territory. Speaking about Saru's shift, Jones explained, "That episode comes along where he goes through Vahar'ai and thinks he's going to die, then his threat ganglia fall out, and all of a sudden, he's living in courage without fear anymore."

To go through such a breakthrough moment meant to a degree, sending Saru back to the start, which was a first for Jones. "That was a change I didn't see coming, and I had to reconfigure Saru from the ground up," Jones recalled. "I don't think I've made a character shift that big ever in anything I've done before." As treacherous as this new terrain might've been for the actor, the shift in Saru's nature has made him one of the show's most compelling characters. He's become a changed leader and advisor for the crew, and someone they can fall back on when things get tough. That's only improved by Jones' great performance, which is anything but a surprise.