'Star Trek: Discovery' Showrunner Confirms How Far Into the Future Season 3 Takes Place

The second season of Star Trek: Discovery ended with a shocking twist. The series, which so far has taken place about 10 years prior to the events of Star Trek: The Original Series, jumped far in Star Trek’s future. Now co-creator/showrunner Alex Kurtzman has confirmed how far Discovery has gone. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Kurtzman confirmed that Star Trek: Discovery is “jumping 950 years into the future for season three.”

That puts the show in the 33rd century, about 50 years before the Star Trek: Shorts Treks episode “Calypso.” To put that into perspective, Star Trek: Nemesis, the final Star Trek: The Next Generation movie, took place in the late 24th century. The upcoming Star Trek series focused on Jean-Luc Picard will take place about two decades later, close to the dawn of the 25th century. Even that will still be about 850 years before the events of Discovery’s third season.

In its first two seasons, Discovery played with Star Trek canon. Shifting the setting of the series means that the show no longer has to dance between those raindrops.

“We love playing within canon,” Kurtzman says. “It's a delight and a privilege. It's fun to explore nooks and crannies of the universe that people haven't fully explored yet. That being said, we felt strongly that we wanted to give ourselves an entirely new energy for season three with a whole new set of problems. We're farther than any Trek show has ever gone. I also had experience working on the [J.J. Abrams] films where we were stuck with canonical problems. We knew how Kirk had died, and we wondered how we could put him in jeopardy to make it feel real. That's what led us to go with an alternate timeline; suddenly we could tell the story in a very unpredictable way. That's the same thought process that went into jumping 950 years into the future. We're now completely free of canon, and we have a whole new universe to explore.”

The tradeoff is that there’s no longer the opportunity to see classic Star Trek characters like those that Discovery revisited during its first two season — Capt. Pike, Number One, Harry Mudd, Spock, Sarek, Amanda Grayson — though past Star Trek events may be referenced. “There will be canonical references to everything that has happened in the various shows; we're not erasing that,” Kurtzman says. “But we're so far past that point that all of that is a very distant memory. We're very excited to see how you put the elements of Star Trek in an entirely new universe.”

What do you think of the surprising end ot Star Trek: Discovery’s second season? Let us know in the comments. Star Trek: Discovery will return for a third season on CBS All Access.

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