Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Picard Hints At Discovery’s Red Angel Being A Starfleet Legend

Star Trek: Picard could have dropped a hint as to how the Discovery is remembered by Starfleet in the future timeline. While generally well-received, fans often point out how frequently Star Trek: Discovery deviates from or contradicts existing canon. For example, how could such an advanced vessel exist in the years prior to The Original Series and never be referenced? Star Trek: Discovery season 2 attempted to address this, and also open out the future of the series with its Red Angel storyline. The angels were mysterious signals that the Discovery and Enterprise crews eventually found to be Michael Burnham's mother in a time-travel suit. To avoid an apocalyptic future, Burnham used the suit to take the Discovery into the 32nd century, and the ship was subsequently scrubbed from Starfleet records, with all involved ordered to never speak of it again.

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Fast-forward a few years and Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard is right in the center of a different Starfleet conspiracy involving Romulan assassins, robotic terrorists and disassembled Borg drones. Determined to solve the mystery, Star Trek: Picard's titular former captain assembles a ragtag crew and heads for the stars, and one of those joining him is Raffi, a former ally who worked with Picard shortly before his retirement.

In episode 3, "The End is the Beginning," Picard is desperately apologizing to Raffi, hoping to earn her trust again, and refers back to her historic suspicions regarding the Romulans. Raffi compares her ability to see connections in data to how others might see angels or ghosts, but it's curious that she would use the angel simile given the general lack of traditional monotheistic religion in Star Trek's future. Perhaps something more recent has occurred in Starfleet that would popularize the notion of people seeing mysterious angels...

And this is where Star Trek: Discovery's Red Angel comes into play. Starfleet ordered any mention of the time travel suit and the Discovery to be kept firmly under wraps but so many officers would've been involved in investigating the angels and even more would've known about the Discovery before it was sent to the future, making a complete cover-up nigh-impossible. It would be a fascinating continuation of Star Trek: Discovery's season 2 finale if, as a result of the erased records, rumors and legends began spreading among Starfleet telling of officers sighting angels and a mysterious undocumented ship that was taken away by the angelic beings long ago. All legends are at least partly derived from truth, and the Discovery's erasure could've started its own Starfleet urban myth, with some of the officers involved in the Red Angel appearances sharing their knowledge and being dismissed as either insane, a liar, or both.

This would explain why Raffi uses angel sightings as a comparison. She worked in Starfleet previously and might've heard about the Red Angel rumors from other officers, dismissing them as a fairy-tale like everyone else in the organization. Of course, it's possible Michelle Hurd's character was simply referring to angels in the usual spiritual sense, but this would fit uneasily alongside Star Trek's usual religious stance and Star Trek: Picard has been heavy with Easter eggs thus far. Certainly, it's fun (and logical) to imagine that the Red Angel incident prompted a raft of conspiracies within the Starfleet ranks.


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