The Season 2 finale of Star Trek: Discovery completely shattered the series status quo. In order to save the universe from an apocalyptic AI system, Discovery needed to be sent far into the future. (Yes, time travel is a thing in Star Trek now. Just go with it.) But by hurtling the ship and its crew to the 32nd century, the show has basically reset everything we know about it.
Relocating the series to the uncharted future offers some tantalizing story possibilities. In journeying to an entirely new century, Discovery will officially enter undiscovered territory. No Star Trek series to date has gone so far into the future. We, as viewers, have no idea what to expect. After all, we've never seen this before either. Thanks to this twist, Discovery will truly be boldly going where no one has gone before.
Yet, despite this exciting new twist, the Season 2 finale still left more than a few unanswered questions in its wake. Let's take a look at a few.
10 Who Is Discovery’s Captain Now?
At first glance, this seems like an easy answer. Is there a solution to this situation that Discovery’s crew would accept that isn’t Commander Saru? (Or its fans, for that matter.) He’s more than earned the position – putting in the time twice before when the Discovery was without a Captain. He’s a thoughtful, likable leader who always stands up for his friends. Plus, he's a non-human figure, which opens up a world of story possibilities that neither the show nor the franchise has really explored before.
Yet, Saru is maybe not the perfect choice he once was. The loss of his threat ganglia – and his sense of fear, as a result – means he might too reckless to be in command. Especially now that they are nearly a thousand years into an uncharted future. In Season 2’s final episodes, most important decisions were either made by Pike or by a vague committee of characters in leadership roles, usually including Saru, Burnham, Stamets, and Tilly. Might that sort of group management continue in some way? Or is it Burnham’s turn for the leadership spotlight at last?
9 Can Discovery Return To Its Own Time?
There has been considerable debate among fans as to whether Star Trek: Discovery was ever the sort of show that works as a prequel to the original series. In that light, perhaps sending everyone off to the far future is precisely the fresh start they need. The idea of a Discovery unencumbered by the rules of canon is undoubtedly appealing. But it’s hard not to wonder whether Burnham will ever see her family again.
After all, Burnham and company still have access to time travel technology. The Red Angel suit may have burned out the time crystal used to send Discovery to the future, but it’s not like that’s the only one that ever existed. Presumably, the planet Borith still exists. They could theoretically just go get more. Right?
8 Will We Ever See Pike And Spock Again?
In the closing moments of the Discovery Season 2 finale, Captain Pike and friends helpfully explain away the ship’s disappearance to Starfleet. They stick to the story of a tragic accident and basically refuse to mention the Discovery or its crew again. While this move sort of rights the proverbial ship of continuity when it comes to how this series ties into Star Trek: The Original Series, it also draws a clear dividing line between Discovery Seasons 1 and 2 and anything that might come after.
As a result, when we see Pike, Spock, and Number One reunited on the bridge of the Enterprise, it feels like something final. Like this is probably the last time we’re going to see this ship, this crew, and possibly this time period. This makes a certain amount of sense story-wise, of course. But it also feels bittersweet, simply because Discovery gave us such vibrant versions of this Enterprise crew. Maybe we’ll get lucky and CBS will greenlight a Pike spin-off. Or the gang could show up again in some kind of flashback or “found footage” twist far in the future. Here’s hoping.
7 How Does “Calypso” Tie In To Discovery?
Prior to the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, CBS released an anthology series of brief short stories known as Star Trek: Short Treks. The clips were all around fifteen minutes long and were standalone stories set around existing Discovery characters or figures from the wider Star Trek Universe.
The four clips were entitled “Runaway,” “Calypso,” “The Brightest Star,” and “The Escape Artist.” Three of the four tied directly into things related to Discovery, either using existing characters or introducing figures – such as Xahean princess Po – who popped up later on in Season 2. All but one: “Calypso,” which featured an abandoned Discovery, an evolved ship’s AI that calls itself Zora, and a lost traveler named Craft. As yet, we have no idea how this Short Trek ties into the larger show’s story, such as what happened to Discovery before it was abandoned. Has our Discovery now jumped to this point in the timeline? Does “Calypso” take place because this crew leaves the ship behind? What's going on?
6 Will Michael Find Her Mother?
Most viewers probably assumed that we hadn’t seen the last of Michael Burnham’s mother, Gabrielle, even before the ship jumped nine hundred and fifty years into the future. That’s kind of how time travel stories tend to work. And, besides, Michael already tearfully vowed to find her.
But now that Discovery has headed off to the 32nd century – which also happens to be Gabrielle’s anchor point – that reunion seems almost guaranteed. The Discovery crew will undoubtedly need a guide to explain everything that’s changed since the past they knew. And a more permanent reunion – or at least one without the danger of Gabrielle jumping through time constantly – will give Michael time to deal with her own mommy issues.
5 Are We Done With Klingons?
A huge piece of Star Trek: Discovery’s first season focused not just on the origins of the Klingon War, but on Klingon culture itself, introducing us to L’Rell, Voq, and the leaders of the various and occasionally warring Houses. But now that Discovery has jumped nearly a thousand years into the future – what happens to the Klingon plotline? Do Klingons even still exist in the time when Burnham and company now live?
The Season 2 finale largely wrapped up the storyline of Ash/Voq and L’Rell. He's off to take over Section 31 and she must negotiate a sort of peace with Pike and the Federation on behalf of the Empire. It’s unknown at present whether we’ll ever see L’Rell again. Perhaps the Season 2 finale was meant to serve as a coda to her story. It's not a bad ending if that's what it is. (However, it's also possible she may pop up on the upcoming Section 31 series since Ash has taken that division over.)
4 Can Season 3 Fix Stamets And Culber?
Stark Trek: Discovery broke new ground by including the franchise’s first long-running gay couple in Paul Stamets and Hugh Culber. Then it...killed one of them off in its first season. Thanks to some complicated space nonsense, Culber was resurrected in Season 2. But the couple struggled to reconnect as he wrestled with the fact that he died. They broke up for a bit, and the show largely dropped their storyline.
The Season 2 finale offered the couple a rushed, confusing reunion. Culbert tells an injured Stamets that he’ll be joining the crew on its jump to the future. This is…fine, on the surface, as the show barely devoted any time to the couple’s separation. But it feels obvious that Season 3 has some clean-up work to do on this relationship. Might the new season actually show us what is basically the Discovery’s only remaining romantic couple actually working to fix their union? Perhaps they can find their way back to a stronger connection just as the ship and its crew are finding their place in this new time?
3 How Will Georgiou’s Section 31 Spinoff Work Now?
CBS All Access announced plans for a Star Trek: Discovery spin-off focused on Michelle Yeoh’s Mirror Universe version of Philippa Georgiou earlier this year. But the Season 2 finale shipped Georgiou off to the far future along with everyone else – to a time when the ideas of Starfleet and the Federation might not even exist, let alone a black-ops team known as Section 31. How is this going to work?
Presumably, Georgiou will somehow find herself sent back to the past. Unless the new series will somehow also feature time travel. This is honestly kind of a lot of timey-wimey stuff to keep track of for both fans and showrunners. (Even if the idea of a sort of dark Star Trek version of Doctor Who is an interesting one.) Of course, the series could also take place during Discovery Season 2 and simply tell stories in the timeline we already know. But that feels like a somewhat constraining set-up for a show meant to explore the darker side of Trek.
2 How Will The Spore Drive Factor Into The Story?
One of the biggest inconsistencies about Star Trek: Discovery’s first season was the ship’s spore drive, an advanced piece of teleportation technology that let the ship jump to any point in the galaxy. It's a cool idea, of course, but also one that we’d never heard of in the Star Trek universe before. Season 2 answered that question, basically erasing the device from Starfleet history and pretending it never existed. But when the ship jumped 950 years into the future, the drive went along with it.
Theoretically, that spore drive onboard Discovery should still function. (Heck, in nine centuries maybe everyone has a spore drive.) At any rate, that would make it easier for the ship to be a true explorer, moving quickly between various uncharted areas and new planets. If, of course, the Mycelium network still works the same way it did back in 2256.
1 Does Starfleet Even Still Exist?
At this point, the crew of the Discovery has gone so far into the future that we can’t assume anything we find familiar will still be part of the story. That includes big picture Star Trek basics like Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets. After all, a lot can happen in nine centuries. Civilizations rise and fall; alliances form and break. There’s no reason to assume that anything will be the same.
The Short Treks episode “Calypso” – which is theoretically set in or slightly after the same time period that Discovery headed off toward – refers to the something called the V'draysh. These are a spacefaring people whose very name is a distortion of the word “Federation” and who happen to have an interest in ancient artifacts from pre-Warp Earth. Sound like some people we might know? Probably. But what happened to get them there? Are they the bad guys now? And if Discovery is no longer a Starfleet or Federation vessel, what is she? What is her mission? And what will her crew do if it turns out the one thing they all believed in turned evil?