When I see the character Stamets, played by Anthony Rapp, on Star Trek: Discovery, I find I'm continually struck by his eyes. It looks to me like his irises are completely black.

Here's the best image I could find that represents my impression from the actual video: enter image description here

whereas here is a picture of Anthony Rapp, who appears to have gray eyes:

enter image description here

Now, it seems to me that the first image is clear enough that you can zoom in any see that his is wearing contacts.

Now, that question is of interest because we have a species in Star Trek lore with black irises, the Betazoid, where we have multiple examples of full-bred Betazoids with black eyes:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here


  1. Is Anthony Rapp wearing contacts?

  2. Are they colored for reasons of character design?

  3. Is there any evidence that Stamets is or is not a Betazoid?

  • 1
    Wait, does that mean the Discovery will immediately crash into a planet, orbital body, or enemy overlord starship the moment the captain has to take helms?
    – Mario
    Oct 16, 2017 at 6:07
  • The thing that is unusual about Rapp's eyes is the white, almost invisible, eyelashes. Without a close examination, you would just get a general sense that there's something about his eyes.
    – OrangeDog
    Nov 29, 2021 at 12:59

2 Answers 2


It's a trick of the lighting. Other images of him in costume show that he doesn't have black irises: enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    Could that not just as well be the lighting messing with the contacts?
    – Edlothiad
    Oct 16, 2017 at 6:09
  • 1
    Tho that first image seems to be from an interview and I feel like eye-color-changing contacts are the kind of thing you might not want to pop in until you're actually filming. Tho I also don't notice anything particularly unusual about his eyes. Oct 16, 2017 at 6:42
  • If you zoom into the picture in the original post to roughly 200% of so, you can clearly his black pupil and lighter gray iris. Aside from that, he's specifically called a human in all the background information that's been released. Oct 16, 2017 at 7:52
  • 2
    Yes, I also question whether a publicity image or a capture from an interview necessarily represent full costume. Oct 16, 2017 at 15:23
  • 1
    Saru's eyes are digitally graded, so there's no reason to think Stamets' wouldn't be either. I too noticed a definite Betazoid void in his eyes
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 18, 2017 at 13:05

In the last episode S01E05 of Star Trek: Discovery:

Burnham: This hypospray contains Tardigrade DNA and replication catalysts that will initiate rapid horizontal gene transfer in a host. The interface process requires an evolved organism. A species with a highly functioning nervous system. And one that, like the Tardigrade, shares genetic information with mushrooms. The animal kingdom diverted from its fungal counterparts 600 million years ago, but Homo sapiens still share over half of our DNA with them.

Saru: You want to use a human? Eugenics experiments are forbidden.

Burnham: I know. And that's why we need more time.

Later, we learned that Stamets used that hypospray on himself. And, it worked.

It means that Stamets is Homo Sapiens, not Betazoid.

  • glad I watched that last night.... Oct 18, 2017 at 10:16

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