Will Discovery’s Secret Be Known In Star Trek: Picard?

Star Trek: Picard may set the stage for a crossover with Star Trek Discovery. Could Picard learn the truth about Michael Burnham's existence?

Star Trek Discovery Michael Burnham and Picard

Will the secret of Star Trek: Discovery become known in Star Trek: Picard's 24th century? Patrick Stewart returns as the iconic former Captain of the Enterprise in his own CBS All-Access series, which is set roughly 20 years after Star Trek: Nemesis and is expected to explore the ramifications of the destruction of Romulus. However, the possibility exists that Picard could learn of the existence and disappearance of the U.S.S. Discovery.

Star Trek: Discovery season 2 ended with Michael Burnham donning a timesuit to become the Red Angel and leading the Discovery and her crew over 900 years into the future. By making this sacrifice, they stopped a sentient A.I. called Control from wiping out all biological life in the galaxy. In the aftermath of their time jump from the 23rd century to the 32nd century, Burnham's adoptive brother Spock demanded that Starfleet redact all knowledge of the Discovery and swear anyone aware of these events to silence. Michael Burnham, the Discovery, its advanced tech like the spore displacement hub drive, and 100,000 years of sphere data, were never spoken of again. This was Star Trek: Discovery's way of maintaining Star Trek canon to explain why no one, from Captain Kirk to Captain Picard in the 24th century, has never heard of the U.S.S. Discovery.

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As Star Trek: Picard's teaser hints at, Jean-Luc Picard has retired to his family's vineyard in France after he led the "greatest rescue armada in history" 15 years ago. This was followed by a mysterious "unimaginable" event that caused Admiral Picard to quit Starfleet. The tragedy referenced is the end of the Romulan Empire, which helped create the alternate Kelvin timeline of the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies. The moments in Star Trek when the elder Spock failed to save Romulus was the last glimpse fans had of the 24th century and Star Trek: Picard finally returns to the franchise's most popular era to reveal what happened. But as Picard uncovers buried secrets about Romulus, could he also discover a greater secret: what happened to the U.S.S. Discovery?

Star Trek Discovery Michael Burnham and Christopher Pike in Season 2 Finale

For Star Trek: Picard, acknowledging its sister Star Trek series would be logical. Star Trek: Discovery is the most popular streaming show in the world and it's CBS All-Access' flagship Star Trek series. This reflects how, back in the 1990s, Star Trek: The Next Generation was the flagship of the franchise and it was Captain Picard who brought generations of Star Trek together: Leonard Nimoy's Spock and James Doohan's Scotty guest starred on TNG, Picard met Kirk in Star Trek Generations, and Picard not only appeared in the pilot of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine but he also spoke to Star Trek: Voyager's Admiral Janeway in Star Trek: Nemesis. Thus, it would only be fitting for Star Trek: Picard to continue this tradition and somehow learn about the Discovery.

Even if there is no direct crossover where Picard meets Burnham, Jean-Luc could easily learn the truth about the redacted starship. The most obvious way is through Section 31, which has become a major element of the Star Trek franchise. The 24th-century incarnation of the Federation's black ops network is much less overt than the Section 31 that was seen in Star Trek: Discovery, but as a former Starfleet Admiral, Picard would likely have access to its darkest secrets and he could inadvertently learn about Michael Burnham while he pursues his Romulan mission.

If Picard uncovered the cover-up of the U.S.S. Discovery that has lasted since 2267, it would serve two significant purposes: Star Trek: Picard would create the potential for a future crossover with Star Trek: Discovery and it could also help set up the announced Section 31 spinoff starring Michelle Yeoh. Also, Picard learning of the Discovery wouldn't violate canon since knowing about Michael Burnham in the 24th century doesn't disrupt continuity the way Michael's existence in the 23rd century did. Rather, Picard could bridge the 24th century with Star Trek's far future. Star Trek: Picard is the long-awaited doorway for Star Trek to move forward, with Star Trek: Discovery's 32nd century as the final frontier to explore - if Picard discovers the secret of the Discovery.

Next: Every New Star Trek Series In Development

Star Trek: Picard premieres late 2019 on CBS All-Access and internationally on Amazon Prime.

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