Why Nobody Talks About Discovery In Star Trek History
Star Trek: Discovery's season 2 finale concluded with a massive cover-up that explains why Michael Burnham and the U.S.S. Discovery are never mentioned in Starfleet history. After they destroyed Control, the Starship Enterprise returned to Earth for repairs. At Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco, Captain Pike, Spock, Number One, and Ash Tyler all lied to Starfleet Command and maintained their agreed-upon cover story that the Discovery exploded during the battle against the Section 31 fleet, destroying the starship and killing everyone aboard. Starfleet Command accepted this version of events and made Tyler the new Commander of Section 31, with a mandate to reinvent the spy organization (setting the stage for the Section 31 spinoff series).
Furthermore, Spock asserted that all Starfleet Officers with knowledge of the events of Star Trek: Discovery season 2 be ordered to never speak about Michael Burnham or the U.S.S. Discovery under penalty of treason! (It's likely this code of silence also includes the events of Star Trek: Discovery season 1 like the Klingon War and Mirror Universe.) Michael's adoptive parents Amanda Grayson and Ambassador Sarek also agreed never to utter Michael's name in public. Spock did this to keep his sister and her crew safe, as well as to prevent anyone from learning about the Klingon time crystals and trying to alter the timeline by building another Red Angel suit. But this also explains why prominent Starfleet Officers like Captains Kirk and Picard have never heard of Michael Burnham and why Spock never mentioned he had an adopted human sister, not even to Kirk. Spock's silence is out of respect for Michael, whose parting words taught the Vulcan to "reach for others", which paved the way for his legendary friendship with Kirk and McCoy.
But this explanation is also an ingenious way for Star Trek: Discovery's producers to wave away all of the complaints that their prequel series just didn't fit into Star Trek canon. Essentially, the series agrees and has redacted the first two seasons of Star Trek: Discovery out of the timeline so that they never happened according to "official" Starfleet records. Instead, Star Trek: Discovery is looking to the future that fans have never seen.
Star Trek: Discovery's Future Is Now... Discovery
Now that the U.S.S. Discovery and her crew are in the 32nd century, anything goes and thus, Star Trek fans will finally get to see the future. Star Trek's forward progress essentially stopped with Star Trek: Nemesis and the only things fans really know for sure that happened afterward was that Romulus was destroyed, which led to the creation of the alternate Kelvin timeline of J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies. The upcoming Jean-Luc Picard series will pick up the events of the 24th century set after the destruction of Romulus but Star Trek: Discovery has leaped centuries beyond that point.
Star Trek: Discovery is now poised to make good on the promise of its title: discovery. Everything is wide open to be discovered. There are unlimited possibilities and countless questions to be answered going forward. For instance, what is the galaxy like in the 32nd century? Do Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets still exist? Are the Klingons, Cardassians, Ferengi, Bajorans, or even the Borg still around? By boldly taking Michael Burnham and the crew of the Disco almost a millennia forward, it means that for the first time in almost two decades, Star Trek: Discovery is giving the future back to the Star Trek franchise and to its fans.
Star Trek: Discovery Seasons 1 & 2 are available to stream on CBS All-Access in the USA and internationally on Netflix.