Star Trek: Discovery has been renewed for a fourth season, but fans are eager to know the answers to some of their season 3 questions already!
Star Trek: Discovery returned for its third season on CBS All Access recently and basically rebooted the show. The ship and crew launched out of the 23rd century, where they had been just a decade or so before the events of the Original Series, to now nearly a thousand years beyond known Trek history. With a brand new slate, the show has also introduced a ton of new questions.
The show has already been renewed for a fourth season (due to start filming in November) so fans know answers are coming. But what could they be? And will they come this season?
10 What (Or Who) Caused The Burn?
The overriding mystery of season three is a galactic cataclysm called The Burn. It has left the Federation and presumably the rest of the major powers in absolute collapse.
No one knows what caused it – or who might have – though the mysterious event targeted dilithium. Dilithium crystals are necessary for starships to travel at warp speed and without them, warp travel and consequently intergalactic society have regressed back to pre-warp levels.
9 How Long Have Things Been This Way?
In the first episode of the new season, Burnham arrives on a mysterious planet and encounters an equally mysterious courier known as Book (more on him later). Book gives her a vague explanation of The Burn (perhaps a theory like any other, as he likely doesn’t know what happened) and tells her it is the year 3188.
This is over nine hundred years from where she left. The Burn happened perhaps “100, 150” years before, though he can’t be sure and it’s clear that any understanding of the event is impossible for those that were born in its aftermath.
8 Were The Gorn Involved?
Burnham meets up with an officer of the present-day Starfleet at a relay station at the end of the first episode. He tells her the Federation and Starfleet still exist, though it’s hard to tell to what extent.
Subspace, the means by which civilizations communicated with each other in the past, was destroyed by the Gorn at some point. This is a great Easter egg for fans of the classic series but begs a question. Did the Gorn also have something to do with The Burn as well?
7 Can The Discovery Fix Things?
One of the most pressing questions for Burnham – and the crew of the Discovery, who arrived in the 32 century in episode two – is whether or not any of this can be fixed. The problems seem insurmountable, but the ship likely holds a major key to bringing some hope back to the galaxy.
The U.S.S. Discovery has a warp drive dependent on dilithium crystals but also features an experimental spore drive. It can travel without using warp, and might be the seed of kickstarting a new era of space travel in the future.
6 Temporal Wars
Burnham time-traveled to the future and her first instinct about The Burn is to somehow go back. Book tells her that is impossible thanks to something called the Temporal Wars.
All time travel was outlawed after this, and basically renders going back to undo The Burn impossible (though if the science exists…). Are the Temporal Wars an outgrowth of the Temporal Cold War that played such a huge role in Star Trek: Enterprise? Is there a connection between them and The Burn?
5 Are They In An Alternate Timeline?
All the talk about Temporal Wars and time travel leads to a natural question. Is this actually the future of the Prime timeline, or is it another alternate timeline like the Mirror Universe or the Kelvin timeline from the recent films?
There was some question by fans before if Discovery was in its own alternate timeline in the past thanks to its seemingly canon-violating issues (like the Klingons). With the future so bleak, it remains at least a possibility this is not the destiny of the Federation.
4 How Does Programmable Matter Work?
The future may be bleak, but it’s still got really cool tech. The coolest new invention of the 32nd century is certainly programmable matter. This new bit of science allows users to program basic matter into any shape and configuration they want. This goes all the way from things like clothes to food.
Programmable matter is one of the cooler innovations of the new era of Trek but how does it work? It’s unclear at the moment and there seems to be some mystery about it, as Book clearly indicates the existence of a black market in the ‘code’ for this tech.
3 How Will Georgiou Act?
One of the biggest questions about the future has to do with the past. Back in season one, the evil version of Philippa Georgiou crossed over from the Mirror Universe and she’s been an uncertain member of the Discovery crew ever since. She seemed to be on the side of Starfleet, but with Starfleet in ruins, that may have changed.
In episode two of the new season, Georgiou is already making subtle moves to consolidate her power on the time-lost ship. Will she take advantage of a lawless future? Will she be a villain again?
2 Where Does Book Come From?
Fans don’t know a whole lot about Cleveland ‘Book’ Booker yet. He’s a courier. He’s human. He may not be entirely trustworthy. But is he everything he says he is? His forehead has a strange glow to it. Book can talk to animals (like his cat Grudge) and plants. He seems to have superhuman abilities beyond even that.
Is he an evolved form of a human being? An augmented one? Or is he something entirely different? He will certainly be one of the biggest mysteries of the first season.
1 Who (Or What) Is Grudge?
One of the biggest (and cutest) mysteries of the new season is definitely Grudge the Cat. Book’s feline companion is more than just a seriously giant cat. The first cat featured in the franchise since Spot in The Next Generation is so big Burnham does a double-take. Book plays it off, saying Grudge has a ‘thyroid condition.’
That might be the reason Grudge is so large, but there could be a more mysterious reason as well. Book is clearly pretty cagey with the truth, though he does call Grudge a ‘queen.’
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