Star Trek is a generational franchise, with series set across centuries of its timeline. A new issue of Star Trek: Discovery: Aftermath references a common thread across at least three of those series. Star Trek: Discovery: Aftermath is set after the climax of Star Trek: Discovery Season Two, but before Spock returns to duty aboard the USS Enterprise in the season’s final scene. Star Trek: Discovery: Aftermath #2 makes a forward-looking reference to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (the last Star Trek film to feature the cast of Star Trek: The Original Series) and to Star Trek: The Next Generation. SPOILERS for the issue — written by Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson, with art by Tony Shasteen — follow.
The first season of Star Trek: Discovery chronicled the war between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. That war ended with L’Rell becoming Klingon High Chancellor and brokering a tenuous armistice with the Federation. L’Rell came to Discovery and Enterprise’s aid during their final battle against Control. In the wake of all of that, Capt. Pike now seeks to forge a lasting peace with the Klingons.
Though not officially returned to Starfleet duty, Spock attends the meeting as an adviser at Pike’s request. During one scene, Pike reveals his hopes for the meeting to Spock.
“This is our chance, Spock,” Pike says. “This is where we ask for more, and offer more in return. Embassies on our respective homeworlds. Exchange programs between academies. Sharing of peaceful technology. We’re so close to a real breakthrough!”
This should sound familiar to longtime Star Trek fans. True peace as Pike imagines it until the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. In that film, the moon of Praxis orbiting Qo’noS explodes. Despite the tense history between the two factions, the Federation comes to the Empire’s aid in its time of need. A conspiracy between Romulans, Klingons, and members of the Federation attempts to stop the alliance from taking hold, but the Enterprise crew foils their attempts at sabotage. The Khitomer Accords are signed at Camp Khitomer, turning the former enemies into official allies.
Decades later in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Federation-Klingon alliance is closer than ever, in part united by a shared enemy in the Romulan Star Empire. We see the Federation playing diplomatic roles in Klingon politics (Capt. Picard plays a key role in the process of naming the next Chancellor in the episode “Reunion”) and the Officer Exchange Program is established between the Federation and its allies, including the Klingon Empire (as seen in the episodes “A Matter of Honor” and “Sins of the Father.”).
It’s interesting to see how forward-looking Star Trek: Discovery can be, even in its supplemental material. But all isn’t going to plan. As Kirk’s crew faced the conspiracy in Star Trek VI, Pike’s group is now facing a Klingon faction called the Shadow of Kahless that seeks to make sure peace is never a reality. The final issue of Star Trek: Discovery: Aftermath releases next month.
What do you think of these Star Trek connections? Let us know in the comments. Star Trek: Discovery: Aftermath #2 is on sale now.