Star Trek: The New Season of Discovery may have jumped over 900 years into the future, but there’s still plenty of nod to the franchise’s past.
Star Trek: Discovery season three has arrived and “That Hope Is You, Part 1” is full of references to past iterations of the Last Frontier. Commander Michael Burnham successfully completed his mission the previous season, traveling over 900 years into the future to stop the evil AI Control from decimating all organic life.
But the future that Burnham discovers is inhospitable to say the least. Stranded on a mysterious planet where the discovery is nowhere to be found, Burnham is forced to team up with a shady courier named Cleveland Booker as she attempts to piece together what happened in the centuries she has skipped. It’s an hour of bravado, and it gives Discovery an exciting new direction.
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While there are many new things in the 32nd century, there are also more than a few nods to Star Trek’s past. Here is every Easter egg in the Star Trek: Discovery first.
Ruins of Federation Ship
The very first image of the season is of the remains of a Starfleet Relay Station floating in space, surrounded by debris. The station can be identified by the “NCC” visible on its hull, at the beginning of a Federation registry number. We later learn that Starfleet and the Federation are for the most part things of the past, and there’s no way to run this house more efficiently than that.
The sub-space destroyed by Gorn
One of the first indicators that all is not well with the galaxy is Book’s explanation that the subspace has been largely destroyed. The subspace is the communication network used across the galaxy in most Star Trek fiction; its destruction means that vast swathes of space are probably unable to speak to each other. Aditya Sahil, the relay station’s sole guard, explains that long-range sensors failed years ago, and now it can only detect signals from an area of around 600 light years.
The fact that the Gorns were responsible for the destruction of the subspace is not a huge surprise. The warrior lizard creatures – which were an unfortunate product of limited special effects from the 1960s – were first seen in Star Trek: The Original Series, where Captain Kirk fought a Gorn warrior in the episode “Arena”.
The book mentions to Burnham that solar sails are an inadequate method of space travel. This is a reference to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Explorers”, which sees Captain Benjamin Sisko taking his son Jake on a Bajoran lightship, an ancient method of space travel that involves solar sails.
The book mentions the trilithium as an energy source that could be more of a problem than it’s worth. Silithium is the fuel that powers warp engines; the trilithium is somewhat of a volatile cousin. It was first introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Starship Mine”, when a group of mercenaries attempted to steal trilithium resin from the Enterprise chain core with the intention of selling it to terrorists for use in experimental weapons.
The trilithium was a key part of the plot of Star Trek: Generations. Mad scientist Tolian Soran used a trilithium weapon to destroy a star in an attempt to re-enter a mystical alternate reality called the Nexus.
Burnham and Book manage to escape a group of surly Orion and Andorian traders using a portable transporter that can fit in the palm of your hand. This technology was first seen in the TNG episode “The High Ground”, where it was used by terrorists to enter and exit attacks quickly, although this version of the technology would slowly kill the user with repeated transports.
Discovery of Star Trek: unanswered questions left by season 3, episode 1
A more stable version of the technology has been seen in Star Trek: Nemesis. Commander Data attached an experimental portable transport device to Captain Picard just before destroying the ship he was standing on – a final act of heroism before the android sacrifices himself to save his crew.
The book mentions that all time travel technology was banned and destroyed after the Time Wars. This refers to a scenario in progress Star Trek: Enterprise. The Cold War time scenario was arguably Companiesmost ambitious scenario, but even its distant future is now the past; the Temporal Cold War – or at least part of it – happened in the 31st century, about a hundred years before Burnham’s arrival in this new era.
One of the men employed by the Andorians and Orions to hunt down Burnham and Book is a Lurian. There has really only been one Lurian to stand out in Star Trek history – Morn. Morn was a regular background character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where he was usually seen drinking in silence in Quark’s bar. The heavy and lovable Lurian never said a word for DS9 seven years old, but has still become a fan favorite. Hope he met a better ending than the Lurian stalking Burnham.
When Burnham finally manages to find a Federation relay station, she meets Aditya Sahil, a Federation representative who has occupied the station alone for years. When Sahil’s scans indicate the find is nowhere to be found, he and Burnham grapple with the reality of time mechanics – concluding that the find could appear tomorrow, or a thousand years from now.
It’s a nice little parallel to the events of the first JJ Abrams-directed Star Trek film, which saw Spock and a Romulan ship commanded by Nero shot into a black hole that sent them through time. Nero’s ship arrived 25 years before Spock’s, allowing the aggrieved Romulan to prepare his revenge against the Vulcan he accused of destroying his planet. In a way, Burnham returns to ground already trodden by his long-lost adopted brother.
After swearing to help her find the find, Sahil asks Burnham a favor – he wants her to unfurl and hang the Federation Flag in his office, which only a commissioned officer is allowed to do. The flag is familiar, but with far fewer stars in its center than there usually are, suggesting that the Federation was decaying for quite a while before essentially going dormant, losing planets. members by tens. The arrival of Burnham – and presumably Discovery itself soon – likely signifies a rebirth for the Federation and the ideals it once stood for. A big part of this mission will be to get more stars on this flag.
Next: Star Trek Discovery: Every Galaxy Shift In The 32nd Century Future (So Far)
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