Star Trek: Discovery has revealed exactly why Captain Christopher Pike and the Starship Enterprise missed the Klingon War - and the reason should warm the hearts of Star Trek fans. Star Trek: Discovery season 1 revolved around a bloody conflict with the Klingon Empire that engulfed the entire Alpha Quadrant. Fans only found out later that the U.S.S. Enterprise sat out the entire war.
Star Trek: Discovery season 2 began with Captain Pike reassigned to command the U.S.S. Discovery to investigate seven mysterious red signals in space tied to a time-traveling being called the Red Angel. Pike was back from a five-year mission exploring deep space (where he encountered the telepathic aliens of Talos IV), but his ship, the Enterprise, was damaged from the voyage and was sent to drydock. With Pike sitting in the captain's chair, the Discovery investigated three of the seven signals, all of which led to rescue missions where the Starfleet Officers saved people in need from catastrophe, and that included the First Officer Saru's Kelpien race on his homeworld of Kaminar. Meanwhile, the Discovery also conducted a search for the fugitive Spock, the only person who has mind-melded with the Red Angel. Spock's adopted sister Commander Michael Burnham eventually found him and brought the Vulcan aboard the Discovery. By harboring Spock, the Discovery also became a fugitive ship hunted by Section 31, the Federation's secret black ops agency.
While Pike's command of the Discovery has gone relatively smoothly (considering the constant calamity the starship finds itself embroiled in), the Captain himself is riddled with guilt about his inactivity during the Klingon War. Pike is well-aware he's now in charge of the ship and crew that was at the very heart of season 1's conflict and he feels compelled to prove himself as a worthy battle commander - such as taking on dangerous missions he should instead assign to subordinates. Pike's guilt hasn't gone unnoticed by Ash Tyler, the Section 31 specialist assigned to the Discovery. However, in Star Trek: Discovery season 2, episode 9, "Project Daedalus", Pike finally learned the real reason he was sidelined and not allowed to fight for the Federation and the answer is pure Star Trek.
- This Page: Pike Was Too Important To Risk During The Klingon War
- Page 2: Star Trek: Discovery Is Reclaiming The Spirit of Star Trek
Star Trek: Discovery Reveals The Real Reason The Starship Enterprise Missed The Klingon War
In "Project Daedalus", the U.S.S. Discovery welcomed Admiral Katrina Cornwell back aboard. Cornwell defied Starfleet's orders to hunt down the Discovery because she's been a longtime supporter of the crew and she wanted to personally interrogate Spock about the Red Angel and why the Vulcan was framed for murder by Section 31. Ultimately, Cornwell and Pike decided to confront Section 31 directly at their forward operating starbase.
When the Discovery arrived, they found Section 31 headquarters heavily fortified with mines and ready to destroy the starship if they approached. Pike was furious at Section 31's tactics, agreeing with Saru that the Federation doesn't employ weapons like mines. The captain confronted Cornwell and reminded her that, "Giving up our values in the name of security is to lose the battle in advance." He further pressed the Admiral, asking her if these changes in how Starfleet operates is why he and the Enterprise were sidelined from fighting in the Klingon War thousands of others died for.
Cornwell's response was enlightening: "You sat out the war because if we'd lost to the Klingons, we wanted the best of Starfleet to survive. And as this conversation makes clear, that was you and all you represent." Pike was visibly taken aback from her glowing praise while the bridge crew nodded in approval, agreeing with Cornwell's sentiment about their new commander.
The Importance Of Pike And The Enterprise To The Federation
It's no surprise that Starfleet decided that the Enterprise and her captain needed to be saved at all costs. Even by Star Trek: Discovery's relatively early point in Star Trek history - about a decade before Captain James T. Kirk's landmark five-year mission and all of the movies and spinoffs that would follow - the Enterprise carries a special significance. A century before Star Trek: Discovery, the first Starship Enterprise, the NX-01 commanded by Captain Jonathan Archer, was Starfleet's first vessel capable of warp 5 deep space travel. The adventures of Archer and his crew chronicled in four seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise established the United Earth as a legitimate power in the Alpha Quadrant and ultimately led to the founding of the United Federation of Planets, which Archer played an integral role in.
Meanwhile, Pike has already emerged as a legendary captain in Starfleet. One of the best things about Star Trek: Discovery season 2 is that fans are finally getting to see Pike in his prime after decades of only hearing fleeting tidbits about his exploits. In both The Original Series and in J.J. Abrams' rebooted movie timeline, where Pike is portrayed by Bruce Greenwood, the main things Pike was known for was being the captain who led the Enterprise before Kirk and for being confined to a wheelchair. It's gratifying how Anson Mount's portrayal of Pike on Star Trek: Discovery is finally showing the flawed but courageous and inspiring man behind the legend.
In Star Trek: Discovery's era, Pike has not yet risen to the rank of Fleet Captain and the U.S.S. Enterprise is not yet the flagship of the Federation as it will be in the 24th century when Captain Jean-Luc Picard commands her. However, it's heartening and fitting that both Pike and the Enterprise are already recognized for embodying the noblest ideals of Star Trek which must be preserved even if the Federation were to fall.