Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Gives Transporters a Major Upgrade

Star Trek: Discovery is back with its third season and a change in setting. The conclusion to season two brought Michael Burnham and the Discovery crew 930 years into the future, landing in the 32nd century. While fans are still awaiting the Discovery's arrival, Burnham touched down in the future and immediately began learning what this new future has in store for her and her crew. She met a new ally in Cleveland "Book" Booker and found herself in a center of commerce where she discovered certain iconic Star Trek technology has been given a big upgrade in the year 3188.

Transporters have been one of the best-known features of the Star Trek universe since Star Trek: The Original Series debuted in 1966. These machines, found on every Starfleet starship, convert a person or object's matter into energy, beams that energy to a new location, and then reassembles it into its original form. Gene Roddenberry and his team conceived as transporters as a means of saving time and money. Having a transporter meant they didn't have to worry about shots of another ship taking Captain Kirk and his away team from the Enterprise to whatever planet they were visiting on a given week. That's how transporters continued to function through the Star Trek: The Next Generation era.

Transporters do much the same thing in the 32nd century, except they're no longer exclusively large devices aboard starships, space stations and the like. They've gone portable. Individuals can carry around their own personal transporters that are no larger than a typical combadge. These allow for instant transportation whenever someone needs it. It's an interesting evolution of existing Star Trek technology that follows the pattern of modern technology, with computers going from the size of an entire room to something we can fit in our pockets. Burnham and Book put those transporters to good use in the Star Trek: Discovery season three premiere.

Based on the photos for the second episode of the season, we'll learn more about what fate befell Discovery in the new episode. "We jumped to the future at the end of season two. This is a big deal. We've boldly gone where no Star Trek series has gone before," star Doug Jones has said of Discovery's jump to the future. "So we're going to see what happens in the future. What condition is the Federation in? We're going to find out when we land. What happens to me and my rank? I'm a Commander, but I'm also acting Captain of the ship because we lost all our captains now. I take the ship, and so, do I get to keep the Captain's chair? Do I have to give it away to another Federation/Starfleet captain in the future? We're going to find out all that when we get there."

Star Trek: Discovery debuts new episodes Thursdays on CBS All Access.