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5 Hints That Could Tell Us Where Star Trek Discovery is Headed
Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Sunday, July 24, 2016
At Comic Con yesterday the first look at Star Trek Discovery, Bryan Fuller's new Trek TV show debuting in January 2017, made its appearance. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the footage showing a brief look at the new starship, the USS Discovery, emerging from a tunneled-out base inside an asteroid:
As should be suspected, right after the footage hit the internet, opinions started flying. Does it look too different from what we've seen of past Star Trek ships? Why is it a gold/bronze color instead of steel grey? If the registration of the Discovery ship is earlier (NCC-1031) than the Federation's most well-known starship (the Enterprise, NCC-1701), does that mean the Star Trek Discovery TV show will be a prequel to the original Star Trek series?
And as typical, hard answers weren't available. It's a first look, a teaser. And it falls upon fandom to begin speculating and guessing how the Discovery TV show will fit into the bigger Star Trek TV and movie universe.
But be that as it may, there could be some hints hidden in the visuals and audio of the Discovery teaser. Let's play around with five possibilities that could be hidden in plain sight in it:
The USS Discovery is a Klingon/Federation hybrid.
Watch the teaser and you could get the feeling that the hard angle design of the ship is on purpose. I've seen people in the comments section say that the design of the USS Discovery makes it look like a Klingon Bird of Prey had sex with a Federation ship.
And that may be closer to the truth than we realize. What if the Discovery is some sort of hybrid Klingon/Federation startship, perhaps using Klingon cloaking technology? The red nacelles glow is striking similar to the nacelles used by Klingons in their fleets.
If that is the case, how did Klingon tech get put into a Federation starship? Is it sanctioned by the Klingon Empire, or a secret project of Starfleet's? And would that latter question explain why the NCC-1031 is launching from a tunneled-out construction yard inside an asteroid, safe from prying eyes?
And listen to the music when the ship launches -- to some, there's a distinct hint of Klingon musical cues to it. Another hint of the hybrid nature of the Discovery?
2. It's made by Section 31, the Federation's version of the CIA.
Section 31 was introduced in Deep Space Nine as a secret body that exists inside the Federation. Their task is to protect the continuation of the Federation by any means necessary. That put the actions of Section 31 in conflict with the do-good-or-do-nothing morality of Federation heroes, but it made for some interesting episodes to watch.
Does the registration number NCC-1031 hint at the involvement of Section 31? Maybe -- but then why would Section 31 be behind a starship called the Discovery, when that's an undertaking that's pretty much well handled by regular Starfleet ships?
3. It's a ship out of time.
Time travel isn't new territory for Star Trek, and neither is the idea of a starship thrown into the past or future of its timeline. What if the Discovery came from the era pre-TOS, but it's emerged post The Undiscovered Country?
Having the crew from an era just slightly before Jim Kirk's time but having to function in a future Starfleet and Federation bureaucracy might make for good political commentary on our own troubled times.
It seems odd that nothing was explained about why the starship's registry is pre-Enterprise of the original Star Trek series, but nothing solid was stated as to why the number is earlier than Enterprise's 1701.
Fuller has gone on record to clear up one portion of the time setting rumors, but his answer now seems to be particularly enigmatic after seeing the Star Trek Discovery footage. "I’ve read that we’re [set] before 'Next Generation,' after ['Star Trek VI: The] Undiscovered Country,' which is false," said the show's showrunner.
OK, so Star Trek Discovery doesn't take place after Star Trek VI or before the start of Picard's run on the Enterprise-D. But what if Discover starts off before the events of TOS, and then leaps forward to a time after the end of Star Trek Voyager's run?
Fuller didn't say that his show takes place in one era, did he? And he's hinted that it's storytelling will be similar to the chapters in a book.
Here's a great big crazy idea: What if the Discovery leaps around different eras of Star Trek's timeline? Again, it's something that's already been played with in Star Trek lore, in the Voyager episodes dealing with Federation timeships from the 27th century.
It makes you think about what Fuller didn't say, right?
4. It's a secret ship sent on a secret mission.
The biggest suggestion for this hint comes from the start of the preview: this ship is launching from an asteroid that's close to a planet, but there's no other activity in the space around it. No other starships, no lights on the asteroid to suggest it's a heavily manned base. The lack of any space technology except for the ship itself and the drydock tunnel is suggestive that it's presence is being downplayed on purpose. And even the bronze-colored, hard angle look to the ship is strikingly different from the grey-hulled, rounded Trek ships asthetic.
If it's a secret mission, what is the purpose of it? And why keep it a secret from the rest of Starfleet?
5. It will show us parallel universes, and the Discovery is exploring them.
The title of the show, Star Trek Discovery, could play into such a secretive mission. What if some region of space has been discovered that could threaten the stability of all space-faring governments? Borrowing a page from the wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant from Deep Space Nine, what if there's a tunnel to other parallel realities that the USS Discovery can go into? We could see versions of the Federation where things are different than the so-called Prime universe...and maybe even venture into the timeline established by 2009's reboot of the Star Trek IP.
Think about the possibilties of that. A crew that could be comprised of Starfleet members from different parallel realities...some from the Prime universe, some from '09, some from other realities. That certainly plays into the show's tagline: "New Crews. New Villains. New Heroes. New Worlds."
While this may be the most radical of the 5 different concepts that I'm tossing out to you, the premise has already been set up and well-received by the 2009 Trek movie universe reboot. That featured two different Mr. Spocks, and the audience seemed to get the big concept pretty easily. Why not expand on it for the new TV show and go places where things can be radically different from the Prime Star Trek universe, or just subtly changed?
We should be learning more about the true premise and hard facts behind Star Trek Discovery in short order. The series is set to start filming episodes come September, and the broadcast of episode one takes place in January 2017. That means we should be hearing casting news and descriptions of the show's characters soon enough.
Until then, the speculation continues.
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