Start Trek: Discovery brought the Discovery and its crew to the 32nd century, farther along the Star Trek timeline than any series before it. The episode titles for the remainder of the season are now out in the open, and one suggests that the past isn't don't with Discovery yet. The seventh episode of season three is titled "Unification III." That may seem like an odd title for newcomers to the franchise. Still, longtime fans know that "Unification I" and "Unification II" were episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation that told a special story. The episodes, meant to celebrate Star Trek's 25th anniversary, saw Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Data traveling in disguise to Romulus in search of Ambassador Spock.
Spock had gone AWOL to work with an underground movement to reunify the Vulcan and Romulan peoples, who both once belonged to the same society. Spock believed he might have been making progress, but it turned out to be a ploy by Sela. Working together, Picard, Spock, Data, and the Enterprise crew were able to foil Sela's attempt to launch a sneak attack on the Federation.
Afterward, Spock chose to remain on Romulus to continue working towards reunifying Vulcans and Romulans. He remained there until Romulus' destruction and his subsequent disappearance into the Kelvin Timeline while trying to prevent the supernova from spreading further.
So what does "Unification III" mean? It suggests that we'll be following up on that story in the 32nd century. It seems likely that we'll find out whether Spock's dream of reunification ever came true after Romulus' destruction. This may have something to do with Alex Kurtzman's recent confirmation that Michael Burnham will look into Spock's fate.
"Burnham is absolutely going to look to the past and try and understand what happened to Spock," Kurtzman said. "We all know what happened to Spock, but everything that we now take for granted, she has no understanding of. So, she will dive into that, and she will get to see what became of her brother. And that will actually impact the story for her in a significant way."
Another interesting note is that Sarek, Spock's father, dies from Bendii Syndrome in "Unification I." We now know that Sarek was also Michael's adoptive father. This may be when Michael learns of his fate as well.
Kirsten Beyer is writing the episode. The author of several Star Trek novels, Beyer is known as the keeper of continuity for Discovery. She seems like the right choice to handle a story that ties back to such a significant Next Generation episode.
New Star Trek: Discovery episode stream Thursdays on CBS All Access.