Star Trek Guide

Star Trek Discovery Season 3: Every Easter Egg In Episode 1

Star Trek: Discovery's third season is here, and "That Hope Is You, Part 1" is packed with plenty of references to past iterations of the final frontier. Commander Michael Burnham succeeded in her mission from the previous season, traveling over 900 years into the future to stop the evil AI Control from decimating all organic life.

But the future Burnham finds is inhospitable to say the least. Stranded on a mystery planet with the Discovery nowhere to be found, Burnham is forced to team up with a shady courier named Cleveland Booker as she tries to piece together what's happened in the centuries she skipped. It's a bravado hour, and it gives Discovery an exciting new direction.

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While there's plenty that's new in the 32nd century, there are also more than a few nods to Star Trek's past. Here's every Easter egg in the Star Trek: Discovery premiere.

Federation Ship Ruins

The very first image of the season is the remains of a Starfleet relay station floating in space, surrounded by debris. The station is identifiable by the "NCC" visible on its hull, the beginning of a Federation registry number. We later learn that Starfleet and the Federation are mostly things of the past, and there's no way to drive that home more effectively than this.

The Gorn Destroyed Subspace

One of the first indicators that all is not well with the galaxy is Book's explanation that subspace has largely been destroyed. Subspace is the communication network that is used across the galaxy in most Star Trek fiction; its destruction means large swaths of space are likely unable to talk to each other. Aditya Sahil, the lone guardian of the relay station, explains that long range sensors failed years ago and he can now only detect signals from an area of around 600 light-years.

The fact that the Gorn were responsible for the destruction of subspace is not a huge surprise. The warlike lizard creatures - who were an unfortunate product of limited 1960s special effects - were first seen in Star Trek: The Original Series, where Captain Kirk famously fought a Gorn warrior in the episode "Arena."

Solar Sails

Book mentions to Burnham that solar sails are an inadequate method of space travel. This is a reference to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Explorers," which sees Captain Benjamin Sisko take his son Jake on a Bajoran lightship, an ancient method of space travel that involves solar sails.


Book mentions trilithium as a power source that might be more trouble than it's worth. Dilithium is the fuel that powers warp engines; trilithium is something of a volatile cousin. It was first introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Starship Mine," when a group of mercenaries tried to steal trilithium resin from the Enterprise's warp core in an effort to sell it to terrorists for its use in experimental weapons.

Trilithium was a key component of the plot of Star Trek: Generations. The crazed scientist Tolian Soran used a trilithium-powered weapon to destroy a star in an effort to re-enter a mystical alternate reality called the Nexus.

Portable Transporter

Burnham and Book manage to escape a group of surly Orion and Andorian traders using a portable transporter that can fit in the palm of the hand. This technology was first seen in the TNG episode "The High Ground," where it was used by terrorists to get in and out of attacks quickly, though that version of the tech would slowly kill the user with repeated transports.

Star Trek Discovery: Unanswered Questions Left By Season 3, Episode 1

A more stable version of the technology was seen in Star Trek: Nemesis. Commander Data attached an experimental portable transporter device to Captain Picard just before he destroyed the ship he was standing on - one final act of heroism before the android sacrificed himself to save his crew.

Temporal Wars

Book mentions that all time travel technology was outlawed and destroyed after the Temporal Wars. This references an ongoing storyline from Star Trek: Enterprise. The temporal cold war storyline was arguably Enterprise's most ambitious storyline, but even its far future is now the past; the temporal cold war - or at least part of it - happened in the 31st century, about a hundred years before Burnham arrived in this new era.


One of the men employed by the Andorians and Orions to hunt down Burnham and Book is a Lurian. There's really only ever been one Lurian of note in Star Trek's history - Morn. Morn was a regular background character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where he was usually seen silently drinking in Quark's bar. The lumbering, lovable Lurian never spoke a word during DS9's seven year run, but still became a fan favorite. Hopefully he met a better end than the Lurian tracking down Burnham.

Temporal Mechanics

When Burnham finally manages to find a Federation relay station, she meets Aditya Sahil, a Federation representative who has manned the station alone for years. When Sahil's scans indicate the Discovery is nowhere to be found, he and Burnham grapple with the reality of temporal mechanics - concluding that the Discovery could show up tomorrow, or in a thousand years.

This is a neat little parallel to the events of the first J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek film, which saw Spock and a Romulan ship commanded by Nero pulled into a black hole that sent them through time. Nero's ship arrived 25 years before Spock's did, allowing the aggrieved Romulan to plot his revenge against the Vulcan who he blamed for the destruction of his planet. In a way, Burnham is retracing ground already trodden by her long lost adoptive brother.

Federation Flag

After vowing to help her find the Discovery, Sahil asks Burnham for a favor - he wants her to unfurl and hang the Federation flag in his office, which only a commissioned officer is allowed to do. The flag is familiar, but with far fewer stars in its center than are usually present, suggesting the Federation was in decay for a good long while before it essentially went dormant, losing member planets by the dozens. The arrival of Burnham - and presumably Discovery itself soon - likely means a rebirth for the Federation and the ideals that it once stood for. A big part of that mission will be getting more stars on that flag.

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