Star Trek Guide

Every Classic Star Trek Race In Discovery Season 3's Future

Star Trek: Discoveryseason 3 is set in the 32nd century but many classic aliens from the franchise also survive into the distant future. Premiering on October 15, 2020, CBS All-Access' flagship Star Trek series broke away from being a prequel set a decade before the voyages of Captain Kirk's Starship Enterprise. In order to save the galaxy from a rogue sentient A.I. called Control, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) donned the time-travel suit of the Red Angel and she led the U.S.S. Discovery to where no Star Trek series has gone before.

Star Trek: Discovery's season 3 trailer shows that Michael and the Discovery crash land on an unknown planet but Burnham is elated to discover that life goes on in the year 3188. However, Michael soon learns that a cataclysmic event called The Burn struck the United Federation of Planets, the human-led coalition of worlds that governed the majority of the Alpha Quadrant. The Burn is called "the day the galaxy took a hard left and the Federation mostly collapsed". And yet, despite this apocalyptic premise, Star Trek: Discovery has a wide-open galaxy to explore, where Burnham and her time-tossed crewmates, including Commander Saru (Doug Jones), Lt. Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp), Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz), Ensign Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman), and Emperor Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), will boldly go with newfound hope and optimism. Exploring the uncharted 32nd century of Star Trek means seeing strange new worlds and encountering new lifeforms and new civilizations.

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Of course, many familiar alien races well-known to Star Trek fans also survived into the 32nd century. While there was no sign of Klingons, Cardassians, Romulans, or Star Trek's other adversary species in the Star Trek: Discovery season 3 trailer, here are the classic Star Trek aliens Michael Burnham and her crew will meet in the year 3188.


Saru is shown meeting an unidentified Vulcan female and exchanging their hand gesture, so the most logical race in the galaxy has also survived into the 32nd century. Of course, the most famous Vulcan in Star Trek was Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and the younger version of Spock (Ethan Peck) covered his adopted sister Michael Burnham and the Discovery's tracks by erasing their existence from 23rd century Starfleet records, preserving the timeline giving them a fresh start in the far future. Other famous Vulcans in Star Trek include Enterprise's T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) and Voyager's Tuvok (Tim Russ).

As seen in Star Trek: First Contact, the Vulcans were the first alien race humanity met in the 21st century, and the pointy-eared bengs guided the people of Earth in their quest to become a spacefaring race for the next hundred years. Humans and Vulcans had a prickly relationship in Star Trek: Enterprise's era but they have always been powerful allies. When the United Federation of Planets was established in 2161, the Vulcans were among the founding members and they have always been a vital part of the interstellar alliance. In the post-Federation future, it seems the Vulcans will continue to stand alongside humans, including the time-displaced crew of the U.S.S. Discovery.


An Andorian male is also seen fighting alongside the ragtag human survivors and even running from some kind of attack with explosions around them. The blue-skinned, antennaed Andorians are founding members of the United Federation of Planets, along with Terrans, Vulcans, and Tellarites, so it makes sense that they're still on the side of their longtime allies. It's likely that the Andorians are among the final six species who remain members of the Federation, as seen on its 32nd-century flag.

The Andorians have been part of Star Trek since The Original Series era but have only occasionally popped up in the 24th century-set series. The most famous and complex Andorian character is Shran (Jeffrey Combs), who was an enemy and ally of Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) in Star Trek: Enterprise's 22nd-century timeline. It remains to be seen who Star Trek: Discovery's Andorian character is and how important he will be to the season 3 story.


A new character debuting in Star Trek: Discovery season 3 is Grey (Ian Alexander), the first transgender character in the franchise. Grey is also a Trill who is described as "eager to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a Trill host, but he will have to adapt when his life takes an unexpected turn." Star Trek: Discovery's season 3 trailer also shows that Grey has a special friendship with Adira, and it also showed Grey floating in a Trill pool.

The Trills, as embodied by Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) and her successor, Lt. Ezri Dax (Nicole de Boer), were a major part of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which established the spott-covered race's mythology. Trekkers are already speculating that Grey could be the 32nd-century host of the Dax symbiont, which would be a huge fan service shout-out to DS9 if that turns out to be the case.


Walking alongside Michael Burnham and Philippa Georgiou is a tall green man in a coat who could be an Orion. If so, it's possible that the Orion Syndicate may have survived into the 32nd century and they could even be allies with what's left of the Federation. The Orions are generally known as intergalactic criminals who have appeared in Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: Deep Space Nineand they are most notorious for their Orion Slave Girls, who are part of their sordid trafficking operations throughout the galaxy.

But recent Star Trek series and movies have made also efforts to redeem the Orion Slave Girls: J.J. Abrams Star Trek 2009 saw an Orion named Gaila (Rachel Nichols), who was a Starfleet Academy Cadet and the roommate of Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana). Star Trek: Lower Decks also features an Orion Ensign named D'Vana Tendi (Noel Wells), who is assigned to the medical division aboard the U.S.S. Cerritos, and is one of the Star Trek animated comedy's main characters.

An Evolved Kelpien?

Saru also appears to meet a Kelpien in the Star Trek: Discovery season 3 trailer, albeit a very different kind from himself. Saru is from the planet Kaminar and, in the 23rd century, he was the first to leave his homeworld and travel to the stars, where he eventually joined Starfleet and became a Commander aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou and the Acting Captain of the U.S.S. Discovery.

Saru returned to Kaminar in Star Trek: Discovery season 2 and helped liberate his people from the oppressive Ba'ul. As a result, the Kelpiens were allowed to evolve for the first time in centuries, and they changed rapidly into a predator-like species. The race that was once simple farmers also quickly developed the ability to pilot starships. If that is an evolved Kelpien in the trailer, or perhaps a Kelpien-human hybrid given his hair and features, it's possible that Saru's race has transformed significantly (and maybe joined the fallen Federation) in the 930 years between Star Trek: Discovery seasons 2 and 3.


Despite the Burn and the downfall of the Federation, there are still plenty of humans left in the 32nd century. The foremost new human character is Cleveland "Book" Booker (David Ajala), a rugged survivor who has a cat named Grudge and will be Burnham's new love interest. The Star Trek: Discovery trailer teases their romance, although, during the Star Trek Day panel, Ajala also said that Book and Michael trade blows when they first meet, which he called "romantic".

Another prominent new human face is Adira (Blu del Barrio), who will be Star Trek's first nonbinary character. There's also an unidentified human female shown remarking about the "dysfunction" in the teamwork displayed by Lt. Jett Reno (Tig Notaro), Stamets, and Tilly. There are still more humans scattered around the 32nd century, many of whom appear to be ragtag survivors and freedom fighters in this post-Federation era. One is seen telling Philippa Georgiou that they have "no authority here" before they fall victim to the Mirror Universe's former Emperor's fighting prowess. It's clear that even after the Federation collapsed, the human race is still plentiful in the galaxy, but they're adjusting to the very different status quo of no longer bring at the forefront as the dominant power in Star Trek: Discovery season 3's future.

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