Star Trek: Discovery's third season brought the USS Discovery to the 32nd century, where those onboard found a changed Starfleet serving a diminished Federation. Thanks to Michael Burnham's efforts and those of the rest of the crew, the Federation discovered what caused the Burn and found a new dilithium source, supplying the fuel that makes warp travel possible. The season ended with Captain Saru abdicating his command position aboard Discovery to return to Kaminar and Burnham taking his place. Captain Burnham will take on Discovery's new mission, spreading hope and dilithium throughout the galaxy. One of Burnham's last personal log entries before taking command of Discovery, released via the Star Trek: Discovery Logs Instagram account, hints at her hopes to see the Federation restored to its former glory:
"One of the last before I have the privilege of calling myself Captain. I am beyond lucky, beyond grateful, to be her right now, to be able to serve with this crew, this family. My new home…The Burn took a toll across the galaxy: planets cut off from each other, loved ones separated, too many lives lost. But we finally have the answers we need… Now, we can rebuild. Reconnect. Heal. I'm so proud to have been a part of that, and I can't wait to see what we accomplish moving forward. It's up to us, all of us, to leave the past behind to step out of the darkness and into the light. I believe we can do it. We are the Federation, and I believe that, together, we can do anything…"
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Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Michelle Paradise spoke to ComicBook.com ahead of the finale's debut. From a creator's standpoint, she discussed what lies ahead for Burnham in Discovery's fourth season.
"[I]t feels like when you cast someone like Sonequa [Martin-Green] in the Number One role, you're just waiting for the day when she's going to take the captain seat," Paradise said. "And we knew going into season three that that's where we wanted to take her at the very end of the season. But I think being captain, in some ways you don't answer to people in the same way, but in some ways, you still have to answer to people. And so I think what's exciting for the Burnham character is that season three takes her on this journey from essentially rejecting the chair in episode three when she and Saru are having that conversation to taking it at the end of 13.
"And then the question of, 'Now, what?' She's grown in many ways over the course of these three seasons and in new ways over the course of season three, and what does that mean for her now? And how can she continue to grow moving forward, even as she's a captain? Those are the things that we get to explore now moving forward that I'm super excited about."