Star Trek fans have some questions and concerns about the state of the United Federation of Planets in the era of Star Trek: Picard. Following the attack on Mars and the destruction of Romulus, the situation for the Federation is a little more complicated than it was during the era of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Wondering if there's a connection between the state of the Federation in Picard and its fate in the 32nd century of Star Trek: Discovery Season Three, a fan asked Picard showrunner Michael Chabon on Twitter about the "downfall" of the Federation. Chabon challenged that characterization, and instead explained that the Federation's struggles began way back with the Dominion War that took place during the events of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?
"'Federation downfall?' What Federation downfall? The Federation is still very much alive and well and home to trillions (quadrillions?) of safe, housed, fed, educated citizens with the potential to lead fulfilling lives," Chabon said. "There was a crisis 15 years ago, in the wake of the costly Dominion War and the Romulan emergency, which had a negative impact on the lives of many people, including most of our principal characters, in one way or another, during which Starfleet (and by extension the Federation) did not acquit itself well - in Picard's eyes. From Admiral Clancy's viewpoint, which is likely the mainstream view, Picard's attitude was unrealistic, quixotic, and even dangerous. She may be right! They may both be right, and both wrong. But that was fifteen years ago, and the Federation is still going strong. Perhaps in the eyes of some it lost its luster, its air of invulnerability, its claim to the moral high ground, a process that began during DS9 times. That is hardly a 'downfall', though."
As for why Star Trek: Picard doesn't make a direct reference to the events of the Dominion War, Chabon explained in answering a separate question that he had planned to at first. He decided not to after being convinced by his colleagues that doing so might confuse newer fans, or perhaps fans who have seen Star Trek: The Next Generation but didn't follow Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
As for the initial question about the idea that the events covered in Picard could precipitate the state of the Federation in Discovery's third season, ComicBook.com asked that question of Alex Kurtzman, co-creator of both shows, ahead of Picard's premiere.
“They are on the same timeline, but the Federation has changed much more radically in Discovery than it has on Picard, and you’ll see that," Kurtzman said. "I’m trying not to spoil anything for you.”
New episodes of Star Trek: Picard stream Thursdays on CBS All Access.