Star Trek: Discovery will seek to reconcile with the franchise's continuity in season 2, according to one of the show's producers. Currently on a winter break, Discovery left its viewers with an action-packed episode that saw Captain Lorca and his crew in a head-on confrontation with Klingon ringleader Kol. Although the Federation vessel managed to win the day eventually, the Discovery's attempt to Spore-Drive jump back to base went awry, causing the ship and its crew to land somewhere very far away from their destination indeed.
Although Star Trek: Discovery has been largely well-received, the overriding criticism of the series has been from longtime fans of the franchise who believe that established canon is not being adhered to. Discovery is set ten years prior to the events of the original Star Trek series featuring Captain Kirk and the Enterprise, but the technology on display appears far more advanced. Furthermore, Sonequa Martin-Green's Michael Burnham is revealed as the adopted sister of Spock, something that the iconic Vulcan neglected to mention over the past fifty years.
Producer Aaron Harberts has now claimed that a big question in Discovery season 2 will be how the new series reconciles with the canon fans know and love. Speaking to Metro, Harberts states:
"We have ten years until the original series comes into play. It is a challenge creatively because we have lots of choices in terms of how do we reconcile this [Spore] Drive? This surrogate daughter of Sarek? How do we reconcile these things the closer we get to the original series? That’s going to be a big discussion that we have in season two."
Specifically addressing the issues of Burnham's adoption and the Discovery's Spore Drive, Harberts claims:
"What’s so fun about the character of Michael, just because she hasn’t been spoken about, doesn’t mean she didn’t exist. A lot of the writers on our show are deeply involved in Star Trek, their knowledge is some of the finest around, they really do help us find areas where we can steer around things. But the Spore drive? Who knows? It could be classified. There are many options."
Naturally, any time a TV series or movie tinkers with the fictional history of a beloved franchise, there is a risk of upsetting the hardcore fan base and that is perhaps more true in the realm of Star Trek than anywhere else. However, Harberts' comments seem to suggest that the creative team behind Discovery are listening to the criticisms surrounding the show's continuity and will seek to address them in the already confirmed second season.
Working with the rich and detailed canon of Star Trek is somewhat of a double-edged sword. The franchise brings with it an audience hungry for new material and offers plenty of scope for universe expansion. However, attempting to adhere to every single piece of established continuity can be restrictive in terms of storytelling, especially when much of that material was written and filmed decades ago. Regardless, Discovery needs the veteran Star Trek fans onside if the show is to become a long-term success.
Star Trek: Discovery continues with "Despite Yourself" January 7th on CBS All Access.