Star Trek Discovery: Season Three is approaching, and they discuss an issue I always had. The problem is that with Star Trek, we don’t always need to look back. Sure, it would be cool how exploration began, how Starfleet was founded, or even how Section 31 came into being. But, we didn’t need Star Trek: Discovery didn’t need to be a prequel. Especially, since it was set a decade behind the original series (TOS). I said that back in 2017 and I still believe it now. After Thursday’s finale, it looks like they heard me.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Star Trek Discovery co-creator and co-showrunner Alex Kurtzman confirmed the time jump. “We are jumping 950 years into the future for season three,” Kurtzman said. Star Trek Discovery: Season Three will be in the future.
“We love playing within canon,” Kurtzman began. “It’s a delight and a privilege. It’s fun to explore nooks and crannies of the universe that people haven’t fully explored yet. That being said, we felt strongly that we wanted to give ourselves an entirely new energy for season three with a whole new set of problems.
“We’re farther than any Trek show has ever gone. I also had experience working on the [J.J. Abrams] films where we were stuck with canonical problems. We knew how Kirk had died, and we wondered how we could put him in jeopardy to make it feel real. That’s what led us to go with an alternate timeline; suddenly we could tell the story in a very unpredictable way. That’s the same thought process that went into jumping 950 years into the future. We’re now completely free of canon, and we have a whole new universe to explore.”
This whole second season of Star Trek Discovery seemed to contradict what Akiva Goldsman said back in 2017:
“We are an original timeline,” Goldsman said during a press conference at New York Comic Con. “We are not operating within the movie timeline or the TV timeline. We are wildly aware of everything that appears to be a deviation from canon and we will close out all of those issues before they arrive at the 10-year period and hit The Original Series.”
I wrote about this back in 2017, also:
“According to Polygon, producer Akiva Goldman stated that while Spock does exist in this universe don’t count on seeing him. He has made it perfectly clear that Spock will not board the Discovery. Goldsman has made it clear that Discovery exists within its own universe. Meaning that it largely ignored the feature films and the entirety of the Star Trek franchise.”
Now, it is unclear just how much they planned the series out before setting out to time jump these characters into a future that we know nothing about. Whether they got tired of being tied down to canon, or if this was the idea from the get-go. My assumption is that they came to this after the end of the first season. Trying to be new without completely contradicting the future, it would have been a logical jump from a creative standpoint.
If you listen to online pundits, they would say this was CBS’ way of saving the series because it was such a “shit show” they needed to do something to keep viewers and get merchandise made for the show. I was critical of the show in the beginning, but it grew on me. By the end of the first season, I was excited to see how season two would turn out. I wasn’t disappointed.
Now, with that being said, I was still correct in my original opinion: “Discovery didn’t need to be a prequel.” As Kurtzman indicated, setting it in the future would have been perfectly fine. We know nothing about the future, especially 900 years after Voyager. However, we could get some insight into what became the time war from Star Trek: Enterprise. Leaving our comfort zone is good for a series to grow.
Whether you liked the show or not, it wasn’t necessary to go back. Whether this was the decision all along is irrelevant. People like to complain that the writing on this show is bad. Compared to what? “Spock’s Brain?” “Shades of Grey?” Almost any episode within the first two seasons of TNG, DS9, or the entire run of Voyager? People will still complain when the show returns for its third season, and to be honest, I am so over them. You can ‘not’ like an episode or two, or even a series. I was never a big fan of Voyager, but loved Deep Space Nine. Do I wish it never existed? Not at all. I’m just not a fan.
In the end, with Michelle Yeoh’s upcoming series that takes us to the reformation of Section 31, and Picard’s new series after TNG, we are going into better places. It’s possible that CBS is learning that we don’t need to stick to a past so vastly different from the future. Do I wish they realized that before I got use to their two season in the 23rd century? Of course, but season three in Star Trek shows is usually where they find their legs. Now, I’m more pumped about Star Trek Discovery: Season Three, where it belongs.