How Tig Notaro Became a Fan Favorite on ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ with Her Unexpectedly Long Run as Jett Reno

When Tig Notaro first stepped onto the set of “Star Trek: Discovery,” she had little expectation of her character enduring beyond a couple of episodes. Known primarily for her stand-up comedy, Notaro was approached by Alex Kurtzman, a creator of the series, for a role that would eventually make her a beloved figure in the Star Trek universe. This role, Commander Jett Reno, not only survived but thrived throughout the series, bringing a unique blend of humor and sharp engineering acumen to the Starfleet.

How Tig Notaro Became a Fan Favorite on 'Star Trek: Discovery' with Her Unexpectedly Long Run as Jett Reno
Tig Notaro’s Unexpected Stardom

A Surprising Offer from an Old Colleague

The journey began unexpectedly for Notaro, who reminisced about her initial encounter with Kurtzman.

“I’ve known Alex… he and I used to work at Sam Raimi’s production company years ago, together. And he reached out [to me] out of nowhere, and just asked if I would come meet with him at his company, Secret Hideout,”

Notaro shared in a recent interview. Despite her past connection with Kurtzman, the actress did not anticipate the pivotal role Jett Reno would play as the series approached its climactic finale.

The Han Solo of Star Trek?

Notaro’s character, Commander Reno, quickly became known for her sharp wit and memorable one-liners, drawing comparisons to another iconic space adventurer, Han Solo from “Star Wars.” Notaro, a self-professed “Star Wars” fan, found these comparisons fitting.

How Tig Notaro Became a Fan Favorite on 'Star Trek: Discovery' with Her Unexpectedly Long Run as Jett Reno
Star Trek’s New Fan Favorite

she revealed, noting that Kurtzman had integrated elements of her stand-up comedy into the character, enriching Reno’s persona with a mix of humor and rogue charm akin to that of Han Solo.

she affirmed, dismissing any notion of her improvising the humorous aspects of her character.

An Uncertain Beginning Leads to a Fan-Favorite Character

Reflecting on her initial discussions about the role, Notaro remembered feeling uncertain about her longevity on the show.

“But when he said, ‘We’d like to use you as much as possible,’ I thought that I was going to do an episode or two, and that would be the end of it. And then it was offered to me, and they just kept having me back. I had a really, really fun time on the show,”

she recounted. This uncertainty turned into a significant and impactful stint, culminating in Notaro’s desire to continue exploring her character in future Star Trek projects, if possible.

How Tig Notaro Became a Fan Favorite on 'Star Trek: Discovery' with Her Unexpectedly Long Run as Jett Reno
Jett Reno Rises in Popularity

The Legacy of Jett Reno and “Star Trek: Discovery”

As “Star Trek: Discovery” prepares to conclude with its fifth season, the legacy of characters like Jett Reno remains a testament to the series’ capacity to evolve and surprise its audience. Notaro’s unexpected journey from a potential two-episode stint to a series regular exemplifies the unpredictable nature of television and the enduring appeal of well-crafted characters in the ever-expanding Star Trek saga. Tig Notaro’s portrayal of Jett Reno not only provided comic relief but also showcased the depth and complexity possible in a universe as rich and diverse as Star Trek’s. As fans prepare to bid farewell to this chapter of the Star Trek story, the character of Jett Reno stands out as a memorable and beloved part of the franchise’s modern era.


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