Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Is About Restoring the Federation

Star Trek: Discovery season three will find the Federation in shambles, and that gives the USS Discovery a new mission. On Tuesday, during the Star Trek: Discovery panel that is part of the Star Trek Day celebration, Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green introduced the new trailer for Discovery's third season. The trailer confirmed what past previews of the season hinted at, that the United Federation of Planets is a shadow of its former self. Co-showrunner Alex Kurtzman went on to say during the panel that the third season of Star Trek: Discovery will be all about restoring the Federation to its former glory.

The trailer also revealed that the Federation's downfall results from an event called "the Burn." The new character Book (David Ajala) explains to Burnham that the Burn is "the day that the galaxy took a hard left." What that means remains to be seen, but Kurtzman clarified that the Federation did not collapse in on itself due to infighting and factionalism. "The Federation was sort of strong as ever," Kurtzman said. "And obviously something cataclysmic went down that changed everything."

Speaking to earlier this year, Star Trek: Discovery director and Next Generation star Jonathan Frakes teased that Discovery's third season will have a more optimistic tone despite the Federation's dire state. "Discovery has primarily to do with Sonequa's character, as you'll see. At the end of Season Two, we flash-forwarded, I think 930 years. Michael Burnham has found a new core, not to mention a new partner in crime. So again, there's a big tonal shift on that show, less driven by the pain and guilt of her past and more about the magical reunification of the Discovery crew and wherever she went off to," Frakes said. "God knows where she went as the Red Angel. Those two things coming back together are very much the theme, and how grateful everyone is and what's next. It's got a lot of action-adventure and not so much pain."

Former Discovery producer Akiva Goldsman -- the co-creator of Star Trek: Picard and the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds -- called Discovery's future setting a "new frontier" for the franchise. "We all helped build that idea, all the way back to Season One," Goldman said. "Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg, the original showrunners from season one, that idea dates all the way back to that. I think it's a spectacular idea, which is to go post the timeline we know. I think Alex Kurtzman has really been deeply involved in the building out of what Season Three looks like and what that post-Federation future is. I've seen some of it because we all work together in the same, or we did, place with lots of Star Trek pictures on the wall and editing bays and things. It seems awesome to me. It's not a final frontier, but it's a new one."

Star Trek: Discovery season three debuts on CBS All Access on October 15th.