23

Among the bridge crew seen aboard Star Trek Discovery's Shenzhou is this: Star Trek Discovery robot

Does it have a name? Will it develop as a character? Is there an associated cast member giving it a voice and/or movement? Or is it just "background color"?

  • 2
    Actually, looks like just a helmet - it's got the ship name on it. – Mithrandir Sep 30 '17 at 18:51
  • 1
    It's probably a plot hole. – Ham Sandwich Sep 30 '17 at 19:05
25

Lieutenant Jira Narwani

We don't know a great deal about her, but she's definitely an organic. She appears to have been named by David Mack, author of the prequel novel Desperate Hours; according to an interview he gave to TrekCore, Mack was given the leeway to craft backstories for many of the background characters seen on the Shenzhou, some of which made it back into the show:

I was allowed to compile information about the minor characters, new aliens, and the principal starships into a pseudo-bible for the series. Where there were gaps, I was given latitude to fill them in. Consequently, I got to name half the bridge crew of the Shenzhou, including Keyla Detmer, Troy Jannuzzi, and Kamran Gant.

Some of the characters never named in the pilot include Ensign Proat (the bald blue guy with plugs in his head) and Lieutenant Jira Narwani (the girl in the Daft Punk video helmet). I wrote full bios and profiles for all of these characters

[...]

Fun detail: some of those bios ended up being shared by the show's producers with the actors playing those supporting roles, to provide them with a foundation for their performances.

Then-Ensign Narwani plays a minor role in Mack's novel1, where we learn that she's a junior tactical officer, and that the thing on her head is basically a futuristic Occulus Rift, creating a virtual environment that allows her (through the magic of science fiction) to more effectively perform her duties:

Responsibility for monitoring the wider theater of operations was actually the duty of Narwani, the junior tactical officer, whose head was encased in a gleaming metallic VR helmet designed for that task.

Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours Chapter 8

"I've interlinked our targeting computer with the one on the Enterprise," said junior tactical officer Ensign Jira Narwani. She adjusted her holographic targeting helmet. "Now get ready to see some serious shit." Her hands seemed to dance in midair as she used the virtual-reality environment created by her helmet to choose targets at the speed of thought and make them the loci of the combined firepower of the Enterprise and the Shenzhou.

Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours Chapter 17

[Georgiou] tried not to show her unease at addressing Narwani, whose VR helmet made her look to Georgiou like a human with a snail for a head.

Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours Chapter 22

I doubt she'll end up being a significant character on the show; she's neither named nor credited, and there's virtually no information on her in any of the casting calls or publicity I've been able to find. She doesn't even get an entry in the StarTrek.com database.


1 Although Star Trek novels as a rule aren't canon, and I've seen no indication that Desperate Hours is an exception, I feel justified in citing it here; partly because, as mentioned in that interview, some of Mack's invented backstory was fed back into the production, and partly because it's likely all we're going to get on the character

  • 1
    Impressive bit of cross-promotion there. – T.E.D. Oct 1 '17 at 2:18
  • A VR helmet. With screens on the outside. Mhm. – O. R. Mapper Nov 5 '17 at 0:23
  • 1
    My wife and I just called her Lt Daft Punk. – Jherico Nov 13 '17 at 4:10

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