In “odd jobs” we examine some less traditional posts and the characters and writers behind them to inspire you to investigate potential for your own character.
Today we have the pleasure of speaking to Marine Captain Kiran Han playing a Trill Marine CO assigned to the USS Juneau.
TAYBRIM: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
HAN: I grew up in Rochester, New York but moved to the Boston, Mass area after college.
Your character is the Commanding Officer in the Marines Department, could you tell us what that posting looks like on a day-to-day basis?
It’s an interesting balancing act. Finding where a Marine can shine without stepping on the toes, or the writing, of the security department. I tend to push my character in a more formal, typically Military, tone. The marine unit on the Juneau is small and designed to be blended into the other departments based on secondary skill sets. So a lot of the writing is about that interface, providing the Captain and the departments additional options that may not normally be available.
Your current character is the new host of the same Han symbiont as your previous character. Can you tell us what it’s like to play two different Trill tied by the same host?
It’s an interesting way to write. I had taken a break from the game for a while, about a year and a half, give or take a month or two, so when I got approval to come back, I knew I’d be dropping some in rank, and would need to explain the absence. I also happened to be watching the end of DS9, so the Ezri/Jadzia plot line was sitting in front of me. I knew I was coming back to the Juneau, with a couple of characters that Delan had written with at the Embassy and the Eagle. So getting to play that ghost of a dead friend card was, and is fun.
One of the things that it does is help force you to think about your characters and what makes them different and what the previous host brings to the table. Delan was a scientist, so his view of the world is pretty opposite of Kiran’s. Kiran isn’t nearly as smart as Delan was, but he has all of these memories of what it was like to be the brain in the room, so there is a little inferiority complex going on when the Blue Shirts start talking.
I think it’s also a good thing to do, one of the defining characteristics of the Trill is this lineage of hosts connected by a single symbiont. Bringing that to the front is the same as leaning into the logic for Vulcans or honor for Klingons. It’s been, and will be, a lot of fun to play with the psychological aspects of that transition, especially with Delan’s former friends and comrades around to bounce off of.
Do you have any memorable moments from this character you could share with us?
So I’m still getting back into things, I got back just as a mission started so I’ve only had one downtime to really do some deep character development, but so far the most memorable moment has been Kiran’s arrival, introducing himself to Oddas, Delan’s former CO on the Eagle, where Delan was the XO. That emotional scene of Oddas finding out that Delan had died, kind of, but maybe not because the guy with all of Delan’s memories is standing right in front of her. I’m looking forward to realigning those relationships as we go.
Are there any challenges that you face playing a Marine that might be different when writing for another duty post?
The Marines are an interesting duty station. They are probably the most out of canon posting of the not typical departments. We’ve got something on screen for most of the other postings, but Marines are really a creation of the fandom. So I don’t have a lot of reference material to work with when figuring out just what a Starfleet Marine is. So as a writer I need to do a lot of figuring out where the boundaries of the role are myself.
And lastly, if anyone was wanting to write for this duty post, what advice would you give them?
Talk with your CO and XO, and potentially the Security/Tactical Chief. Figure out the interface between the Marines and Security. Every ship and station that has Marines uses them slightly differently so don’t assume that because you know how Ship A uses them will be the same as how Ship B does. Because there is such potential for overlap, you really want to lean into the collaborative nature of the game.
Also, if you can give your character some secondary skills, combat medic, some kind of engineering background, you will likely find it useful. Not every mission can be full of combat, so having something else to fall back on during missions will help make sure you can always be in the thick of things during less combat focused missions.
Thanks for your time, Marine Captain Han!