The latest episode of Star Trek: Short Treks, "Calypso," was an interesting and unusual Star Trek experience. It also may have solved one of the continuity problems that have bothered Star Trek fans since Star Trek: Discovery debuted.
A continuing complaint from Star Trek fans about Discovery has been that the titular starship is so advanced for the era that the series takes place in, and yet it and its technology seems to have been entirely forgotten in the future of the Star Trek universe.
"Calypso" presents an interesting solution to that problem. The episode takes place 1,000 years after Star Trek: Discovery. The escape pod holding the main character, Craft (Aldis Hodge), is picked up by the Discovery at the whim of the ship's computer, which has evolved into a sentient artificial intelligence calling itself Zora. During the course of the episode, Zora reveals that she's been holding Discovery's position for a millennium on the orders of a now missing captain.
This could explain why Discovery's technology seems lost in future settings. The Discovery and its sister ship, the USS Glenn, were both advanced science vessels built with Starfleet's newest experimental technology. The Glenn was scuttled by the Discovery during the Federation-Klingon war. After Discovery's return from the Mirror Universe, the Spore drive was taken offline.
So if we know that Discovery is at some point going to be lost in space and the only other ship like it was destroyed during the war, then that may help explain there are no ships quite like it in the future. The technology that is advanced in Discovery's era, like the replicators and holodeck, eventually become commonplace in Starfleet vessels, but Starfleet simply never returned to Discovery's more specialized features like spore drive technology, perhaps because that knowledge was lost with the ship and the mind behind the drive, Paul Stamets.
Knowing that this is how things end does inject a certain fatalism into Star Trek Discovery. Then again, time is a fluid thing in practically any science fiction universe that deals with time travel, so perhaps everything is not as it seems...or the future is not so set in stone as we may think.
What do you think of the apparent fate of the USS Discovery? Let us know in the comments!
Star Trek: Short Treks "Calypso" is now available to stream on CBS All Access.
The first season of Star Trek: Discovery is available to stream in its entirety on CBS All Access in the U.S., through CraveTV in Canada and through Netflix in other international markets.
Star Trek: Discovery Season Two is now filming in Toronto and will premiere on January 17, 2019.