Star Trek: Discovery Showrunner Confirms the Federation Still Exists in the 32nd Century

Star Trek: Discovery is warping far into the future in its third season. The trailer released at New York Comic Con on Saturday suggested a future where the Federation isn’t what it once was. During the Star Trek: Discovery panel at PaleyFest on Saturday, co-showrunner Michelle Paradise confirmed that the United Federation of Planets does still exist in the 32nd century but that it is “challenged” (via TrekCore’s Twitter account). Paradise did not go into detail about what is challenging the Federation, such as revealing whether its internal struggles or a direct threat from an outside force. Fans will have to wait until the new season begins for those answers.

Something interesting to note is that Paradise says the Federation still exists but does not mention Starfleet. In the trailer, 32nd century native Cleveland Booker (David Ajala) suggests that Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) believes in ghosts, pointing to the Starfleet insignia badge on her chest. This is speculation, but it could be that the Federation exists in a diminished state in the 32nd century and that part of that diminishing is the fall of Starfleet.

Star Trek: Discovery star Doug Jones teased in a recent interview that Discovery’s third season would reveal the fate of the Federation and Starfleet in the 32nd century. “We jumped to the future at the end of season two. This is a big deal. We’ve boldly gone where no Star Trek series has gone before,” Jones says. “So we’re gonna see what happens in the future. What condition is the Federation in? We’re gonna find out when we land. What happens to me and my rank? I’m a Commander, but I’m also acting Captain of the ship because we lost all our captains now. I take the ship and so, do I get to keep the Captain’s chair? Do I have to give it away to another Federation/ Starfleet captain in the future? We’re gonna find out all that when we get there.”

Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green (Cmdr. Michael Burnham), Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou), Doug Jones (Cmdr. Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Cmdr. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Ensign Sylvia Tilly), and Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber).

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The first two seasons of Star Trek: Discovery are available to stream now no CBS All Access. The new season will debut on CBS All Access in 2020.