'Star Trek: Discovery' Writers Clarify Apparent Continuity Conflict With 'The Next Generation'

The most recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery, “Through the Valley of Shadows,” brought the Discovery crew to the planet Boreth. The world is sacred to Klingons and the site of a monastery that is home to a sect of Klingon monks. The planet was featured in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Rightful Heir.” In the episode, Lt. Worf visits Boreth to reconnect with Klingon spirituality. While on the planet, the monks reveal that Kahless, the central figure of Klingon religion, has returned. Worf later discovers that this Kahless is a clone rather than the original returned to life.

“Through the Valley of Shadows” reveals that Boreth also naturally produces a rare element known to non-Klingons as time crystals. The Klingons learned early on that using the time crystals to manipulate the natural flow of time was dangerous. The monks on Boreth protect the time crystals from those who would try to abuse them.

This development led some Star Trek fans to wonder why no one mentioned these time crystals during Worf’s visit to Boreth. “Through the Valley of Shadows” writers Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt explained to SyFy that nobody mentioned time crystals because it wasn’t relevant to Worf’s reasons for visiting the planet.

“Boreth has always been carefully established as a sacred place for the Klingons — and that’s not something we wanted to muck up,” the writers revealed. “Instead, we wanted to EXPAND on existing canon and the functionality of Boreth by introducing a hidden sect of monks who have dedicated their lives to guarding the time crystals. We loved the notion that this otherwise fierce warrior race has learned not to mess with something as dangerous and volatile as time.

“Worf would not have been granted access to the part of Boreth’s monastery that housed the crystals,” they continued, noting “that’s not why Worf was there.” They say to explain any more about the time crystals risks “spoiling the finale episodes.”

Capt. Pike did walk away from Boreth, though it cost him something to do so. Fans will have to hang on through the final two episodes of the season to find out how it comes into play in the fight against Control.

What do you think of this explanation for the lack of time crystals in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode? Let us know in the comments. New Star Trek: Discovery episodes become available to stream Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS All Access.

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