Star Trek Guide

How Star Trek: Discovery Season 3's Setting Frees Series From Canon

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, streaming now on CBS All Access.

Earlier this week, Star Trek: Discovery wrapped its second season on CBS All Access by sending its titular starship and crew through a wormhole 950 years into the future.

For showrunner Alex Kurtzman, the decision gave character Michael Burnham one last poignant send off with her adopted brother Spock while allowing the series to move forward without dancing between the raindrops of previously established continuity. And much of that was informed by Kurtzman's past experience co-writing the first two rebooted J.J. Abrams Star Trek films.

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"We felt strongly that we wanted to give ourselves an entirely new energy for Season 3 with a whole new set of problems. We're farther than any Trek show has ever gone," explained Kurtzman in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I also had experience working on the [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."

While there may be references to events from past series and films, Kurtzman observed that the future setting for the series moving forward would put it farther in the timeline than any canonical piece of the franchise to date, boldly going where no series or film has gone before.

Streaming on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Commander Saru, Anthony Rapp as Lt. Commander Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly, Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler, Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber, Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Mary Chieffo as L'Rell, Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno, Ethan Peck as Spock, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. The entire season is available now.