Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Discovery Gives the Ship a Key Upgrade

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 4, "Forget Me Not," now streaming on CBS All Access.

Early last year, an episode ofStar Trek: Short Treks gave a bleak future for the U.S.S. Discovery. And on the most recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery, the ship underwent a key upgrade that has inched it closer to that final resting place.

In "Forget Me Not," Captain Saru (Doug Jones) is faced with an increasingly demoralized crew. At the recommendation of Culber (Wilson Cruz), he interfaces with the ship's computer looking for some ideas to boost morale. But for the first time in the series, Discovery takes on a different voice...literally.

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In this moment, the ship's computer seemed to merge with the "sphere data" that the vessel had been housing up to this point. The sphere data first appeared in Season 2's "An Obol for Charon" when the crew stumbled upon it. Aging hundreds of thousands of years, it contained records that served as a slice of the galaxy's history. At the time Discovery found it, it was on its last legs, and transferred all its data onto the ship in its final breaths.

Now contained within the ship, the sphere data served as a MacGuffin for Control, a malevolent A.I. that became the primary antagonist of Season 2. To save the data and prevent Control from seizing it and using it to destroy all sentient life, the crew chose to take the ship and sphere data into a wormhole. Almost 1,000 years later, it appears the sphere data is finally paying them back.

The computer shows a more unconventional attitude now than previous computers. It recommends to Saru work practices from the past, including giving the crew the night off and making a Buster Keaton movie night. Indeed, it seems the sphere data has given the ship a "personality," which sets Discovery up perfectly for where it will eventually go.

The Short Treks episode "Calypso" takes place in the distant future, even further beyond the timeline of Discovery Season 3. It depicts a long-abandoned U.S.S. Discovery, floating in space empty for apparently centuries. In that time, the A.I. has become so advanced that it's developed its own character, including a predilection for old movies and a romantic spirit. It even takes on a name: Zora.

It's clear the official merging of the sphere data with the ship in this past episode is a huge step towards the Zora we see in "Calypso." The computer even temporarily takes on the voice of Annabelle Wallis, who also voiced Zora. Granted, given the timeline, it's unlikely we'll see the computer advance to the point it does in the next couple of seasons of Discovery, if at all. But it's a great way to connect the story across two series and a millennium.

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 Gray, Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. New episodes of Season 3 air on Thursdays.


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