Did Star Trek's Movie Timeline Reference 'Discovery'?

A story set in the timeline of the rebooted Star Trek movies may have just made a surprising reference to Star Trek: Discovery, the latest series set in the prime timeline of the Star Trek television series.

SPOILERS for Star Trek: Boldly Go #17 follow.

Star Trek: Boldly Go #17 is the penultimate issue of the series and thus the penultimate chapter of its final storyline, "IDIC." The title uses the Vulcan symbol for "infinite diversity in infinite combinations, which make sense since the story brings together the Enterprise crews from several different realities.

Star Trek: Boldly Go #17 finally revealed the mysterious and powerful villain behind this multiversal calamity, none other than Gary Mitchell, the former friend of Captain Kirk who gained godlike powers after coming into contact with the galactic barrier. A showdown on the planet Delta Vega ended when Kirk was forced to kill his old friend.

But then Mitchell got better. He woke up and freed himself from the coffin his body was entombed in, which had been left to float through space. Mitchell awoke even more powerful than before. Before turning his attention to getting revenge on Kirk, Mitchell visited several other realities and eliminated his doppelgangers from every timeline.

After finally revealing himself to Kirk, Mitchell gloated to Kirk about his multiversal travels. He specifically mentions two universes: one where all of them are only fictional characters, and another where the Enterprise is powered by mushrooms.

Star Trek Boldly Go Discovery

These two mentions are interesting for a couple of reason. The "we're all fictional characters" universe is in keeping with the longstanding comic book tradition of counting our own reality among the many universes in a shared comic book multiverse. In the Marvel Comics multiverse, the real world is designated Earth-1218. In the DC Comics multiverse, Earth-Prime was once considered an analog for our reality, although the empowerment of Superboy-Prime and the destruction of Earth-Prime brought that into question. This idea has been explored specifically in regards to Star Trek in John Scalzi's novel Redshirts, which imagines a Star Trek-like universe where the lives and actions of many crew members aboard a starship are controlled by the scripts written for a Star Trek-like television series in our reality.

As for the mushroom-powered Enterprise universe, this seems to be a nod to Star Trek: Discovery. In the first season of the series, the USS Discovery is notable for its unique spore drive, an advanced form of travel that uses special fungal spores to connect to and travel through a mycelial network, essentially allowing the ship to teleport throughout and between universes. Mitchell's comment here seems to reference a universe where that technology, developed by Paul Stamets, was for other ships, including the Enterprise.

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The story of how Stamets discovered the mycelial network will be told in IDW Publishing's Star Trek: Discovery Annual 2018, releasing in April.

Star Trek: Boldly Go #17 is on sale now.