One of the United Federation of Planets has turned an old enemy into a new ally. Star Trek: Discovery jumped 930 years into its future in its third season, landing in the 32nd century. A lot has changed since then, and we're not just talking about the Burn. The Cardassian Union was constantly at odds with the Federation during the Star Trek: The Next Generation era. There'd been wars between the Federation and the Cardassians prior to Next Generation beginning, and they went to war again during the Dominion War in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. By the end of the war and the series, Cardassia broke from the Dominion in a last-minute alliance with the Federation and its allies to drive the Dominion from the Alpha Quadrant. But Cardassia-Prime paid a price. The Dominion bombarded the planet, killing more than a billion Cardassians and leaving the Union's future unclear.
Star Trek: Discovery reveals that the Cardassians did survive and that some form of their alliance with the Federation remains intact in the 32nd century. The latest episode of the series, "Scavengers," includes a meeting of Starfleet officers in Starfleet's secret headquarters. Among those gathered to hear the latest from Admiral Vance is a Cardassian Starfleet officer.
We still don't know Cardassia's exact political state. It'd be easy to jump to the conclusion that Cardassia is now part of the Federation, but that isn't for certain. This Cardassian officer may be one of few, or perhaps even the only one serving in Starfleet, similar to Worf being the first Klingon Starfleet officer and Nog being the first Ferengi to join Starfleet. At the least, it seems that Cardassia and the Federation are no longer enemies, and could even be allies.
It is nice to see that the Federation has made some new allies since it lost many member worlds to the Burn, including Trill and its founding member and former home, Earth. Since Discovery's arrival, both have made overtures of reuniting with the Federation. Discovering the truth about the Burn could go a long way towards pushing that reunion forward.
What do you think of the new relationship between Cardassia and the Federation? Do you think Cardassia-Prime is now a Federation member planet? Or is this a special Starfleet officer? Let us know what you think the situation is in the comments section. New Star Trek: Discovery Season Three episodes stream Thursdays on CBS All Access.