Star Trek: Discovery included an Easter egg in its final episode before hiatus that represents one fan-favorite science fiction franchise paying homage to another.
The story of Star Trek: Discovery fall finale episode, “Into the Forest I Go,” saw Captain Gabriel Lorca disregarding direct orders from Starfleet in order to directly engage the Klingon Ship of the Dead in combat above the planet Pahvo.
Lorca is a crafty tactician though and he knows that the Discovery couldn’t defeat the Ship of the Dead in direct combat, at least not without finding a way to get around the ship’s invisibility shields. In fact, Lorca knew that finding a way around this early cloaking technology was the key not just to winning the battle against the Ship of the Dead but to winning the war against the Klingons entirely.
As such, he set his most brilliant officers, First Officer Saru and Science Specialist Michael Burnham, to figure out a way to decipher the algorithm powering the Ship of the Dead’s cloaking device. Saru and Burnham are successful, the process of decrypting the algorithm will take days.
Lorca knows they don’t have that kind of time and so they come up with another solution, one that will task Lt. Paul Stamets, the fulcrum of the ship’s experimental spore drive, to his limits. Lorca wants Stamets to make 133 rapid-fire micro-jumps using the spore drive so that the ship can quickly scan all of the information from the Ship of the Dead that they need to break through the invisibility shields. Though Stamets is hesitant at first, Lorca talks him into going through with it.
The number of jumps Stamets needs to make is not random. The Star Trek: Discovery aftershow After Trek revealed that writers Erika Lippoldt & Bo Yeon Kim chose the number 133 as a reference to the award-winning Battlestar Galactica episode “33,” which was written by Ronald D. Moore, a key writer/producer on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager, as well as the co-writer of the films Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: First Contact.
In an attempt to make a different Easter egg reference, Lippoldt & Kim nearly made the number jumps much higher, 525,600. The number is a reference to a song from the Broadway musical Rent, which counted Anthony Rapp, the actor who plays Stamets, among its original cast.
Star Trek: Discovery will return to CBS All Access on January 7, 2018.