Star Trek Guide

Discovery Wrestles With Star Trek's BIGGEST Question: the Captain's Catchphrase

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 8, "The Sanctuary," now streaming on CBS All Access.

After becoming stranded in the 32nd century, the crew of the Discovery found themselves under new leadership. While Christopher Pike had served as the ship's captain in Season 2, Saru assumed the duties of interim captain almost as soon as the ship arrived in the future. Soon after, the fan-favorite character was named the Discovery's official captain, and already, Saru has proven to be an exemplary leader for his crew and for the new Starfleet.

Now, there's just one thing left: he has to find his signature catchphrase. But as the new captain has come to realize, that's a job easier said than done.

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Over the years, the captains of the Star Trek franchise have been known to have their very own signature line. Star Trek: The Next Generation's Jean-Luc Picard had "Engage" and "Make it so," two catchphrases that are synonymous with the character. Even Star Trek: Voyager's Janeway had her very own catchphrase in "Do it," although that one doesn't necessarily rank as the most iconic. More recently, in Discovery's Season 2, Captain Pike used "Hit it," and it instantly became a fan-favorite line.

Naturally, now that Saru is sitting in the big chair, he wants to have his very own, poignant catchphrase that inspires the crew and becomes something associated with his tenure on the Discovery. Therefore, to get help in that regard, he asks his Number One, Ensign Tilly, to come up with some potential catchphrases in Discovery's latest episode, "The Sanctuary."

Tilly has a few options for him, such as "Execute," "Hit it" and "Manifest." Since "Manifest" doesn't appear to be a particularly popular choice, and with "Hit it" already used by Captain Pike, Saru opts to try out "Execute" at the start of the crew's next mission. However, when Saru tests the expression, it's met with hilarious confusion by the crew -- something Saru quickly picks up on.

With "Execute" out of the running, Saru later uses something that comes more naturally: "Carry on." This time, the crew appears to accept it. They aren't all that impressed, but most seem to recognize that it appears to work. With this general acceptance, it appears as if "Carry on" will now become Saru's signature catchphrase -- unless he comes up with something better later on.

For the time being, this catchphrase will have to do. Having Saru search for his iconic line breaks the fourth wall in a humorous fashion and shows that the Captain's catchphrase is something that is known throughout Starfleet, and not just something fans pick up on.

Streaming on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Commander Saru, Anthony Rapp as Lt. Commander Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly, Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber, David Ajala as Cleveland "Book" Booker, Blu del Barrio as Adira, Ian Alexander as Gray, Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. New episodes of Season 3 air on Thursdays.

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