The captain's chair in Star Trek: Discovery has been a hot seat through the show’s first two seasons. At first, Capt. Gabriel Lorca occupied it but was later revealed to be a mirror universe doppelganger. After Lorca’s death, Cmdr. Saru briefly took over as acting captain. He was to command Discovery en route to Vulcan to pick up its new captain, but the ship was diverted by a distress call from Capt. Pike of the USS Enterprise. Pike took command of the ship to investigate the mysterious red signals that appeared throughout space, then left the ship to return to his own during the battle against Section 31’s fleet. As of Discovery’s jump to the future, the ship has no captain, but new co-showrunner Michelle Paradise says that issue will be addressed.
“Well, I can’t answer any specifics but I will remind you that in our finale, as Pike was leaving, he said, ‘We are going to need to choose a new captain,’” Paradise said at the TCA press tour. “Saru said, ‘Let’s put a pin in that and see what happens.’ Discovery will need a captain. The pin will need to come out. We will need to address that in the story.”
The two highest-ranking officers aboard the Discovery as of its jump are Cmdr. Michael Burnham and Cmdr. Burnham was the first officer aboard the USS Shenzhou under Capt. Phillipa Georgiou. Burnham’s mutiny that precipitated the Battle at the Binary stars cost her her rank and commission, though they were restored after Discovery returned from the Mirror Universe and helped end the Federation-Klingon War. Saru was the first officer under Lorca and has some command experience thanks to recent events, though he seemed to feel Burnham should take over instead of him at one point.
The pool of officers to choose from may be limited after the ship’s jump 930 years into the future. It’s unclear if the Federation and Starfleet exist in that era. If they do, it's unclear how Discovery would fit into its existing command structure. For all fans know at this point, Discovery is on its own.
What do you think of Discovery getting another new captain in season three? Should Burnham take over command of the ship, or should Saru? Let us know in the comments. Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 is now filming in Toronto. It is expected to debut on CBS All Access in 2020.