Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Discovery - What Is 'The Burn'?

In celebration of Star Trek Day, CBS All Access released the first trailer for the upcoming third season of Star Trek: Discovery. At the end of Season 2, Michael Burnham put on her mother's Red Angel suit and guided the U.S.S. Discovery across the time stream in order to stop Control from wiping out all life in the universe. The crew of the Discovery traveled into the future, but their whereabouts were left unknown -- until now.

The trailer for Season 3 reveals that Burnham and the rest of her friends have traveled 930 years into the future. Their ship crash lands in the year 3,188, but things have changed drastically. The United Federation of planets is no longer what it once was, being left in ruins following a mysterious event simply referred to as "The Burn."

Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Start now

At the start of the Season 3 trailer, Michael Burnham is seen moments after she crashes in the future. She starts by asking her computer if there are life signs to be found in the universe, asking for confirmation that their plan to stop Control worked. There are multiple life signs registered, which means the crew's sacrifice was not in vain. However, while there may be life in the future, there is another new problem: the Federation is no more.

Once a symbol of peace and unification, the powerful organization has largely collapsed in the future. To better communicate this fact, there's a shot in the trailer of a massive Federation space station destroyed. While certain people remain loyal to the Federation, the majority of it no longer exists. Unfortunately, without its presence, it appears the galaxy is now a wilder place where order is largely absent. And according to Michael Burnham's new mysterious friend Cleveland Booker, this all happened after an event called "The Burn" or, as he describes it, "the day the galaxy took a hard left."

This would indicate that The Burn is an event that, essentially, served as the end of the Federation as the galaxy knew it. In place of peace and prosperity, the organization was torn down. The trailer didn't offer any clues as to who was behind the attack, but this will surely be one of the key mysteries propelling Season 3 forward.

It remains to be seen who would be powerful enough to destroy the Federation. It could've been the likes of the Borg, the Cardassians or a new threat altogether. For all fans know, perhaps the idea of peace simply died out and the Federation was dismantled by people who no longer believed in its ideals. To put it simply, Season 3 of Discovery basically takes place 900 years in the future of any established series, which means all bets are off.

Streaming on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Discovery 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. Seasons 1 and 2 are available now, with Season 3 premiering on Oct. 15.

About The Author


More on this: 562 stories