Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Discovery - The Federation Isn't TRULY Dead

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 1, "That Hope is You, Part One" now streaming on CBS All Access.

Following the shocking finale that saw the crew of Star Trek: Discovery flung into the future to save all life, the Season 3 premiere "That Hope Is You, Part 1," dropped Burnham in an unusual setting for the franchise -- the far future. At first, the biggest and most devastating change for Burnham was the apparent death of Starfleet, but it turns out circumstances are more hopeful than they first seemed.

When Burnham met Book and was finally able to learn something about the new millennium she had found herself in, she could not comprehend the idea that the Federation was gone. It took her following him to the outpost of Requiem on the planet Hima to see just how different the galaxy had become in her absence for her to wrap her head around it.

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It became clear over the course of the episode that Starfleet collapsed after an event called The Burn destroyed almost their entire fleet. Burnham tries in vain to contact Discovery, hoping her crew is still out there. But she knows due to the nature of wormholes, there is no guaranteeing when or where the Discovery will re-appear. At that point, it truly appeared that the Federation was gone.

However, not all was as it seemed. Book kept mockingly referring to Burnham as a "True Believer," someone who still hung on to the ideal of the Federation over a century after their collapse. As Book pieced together that Burnham was, in fact, a time traveler and witnessed her actions helping him escape Requiem, he realized she was the real deal. This compelled him to share a secret which is sure to be a relief to all Star Trek fans. Towards the end of the episode, Book takes Burnham to the remains of a Starfleet relay, one that has been overseen by a single custodian for three generations, Aditya Sahil.

Sahil's grandfather had been a Starfleet officer, so, following his example, Sahil and his father both took it upon themselves to keep the outpost running as best it can, waiting for a day when Starfleet would rise again. But since there was no Starfleet officer to commission a rank on Sahil, he was not technically a member of Starfleet. However, Burnham's arrival was the spark of hope Sahil had been waiting for.

He informs Burnham that Starfleet isn't as dead as most believe, and that while Starfleet has lost most of its strength and influence, there are still Federation ships in service scattered sparsely throughout the galaxy. Sahil oversees the communications for a few ships in his range, but Burnham's initial hope of finding discovery is dashed when she learned that all Federation long-range comms are down. She then learns that Starfleet has been cut off from itself, operating in smaller, independent cells since their apparent demise.

While not even close to the outcome she desired, Burnham is relieved that the dream isn't dead. Fans can breathe a sigh of relief as well, knowing that while diminished, the Federation is still around. In the end, hope still exists and Burnham has a clear mission now -- reunite the fractured Federation.

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, Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber, David Ajala as Cleveland "Book" Booker, Blu del Barrio as Adira, Ian Alexander as Grey, Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno, Ethan Peck as Spock and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. New episodes of Season 3 air on Thursdays.

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