Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Discovery Makes a Connection to Picard

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 5, "Die Trying," now streaming on CBS All Access.

The crew of the U.S.S. Discovery left the life and time they knew behind in order to defeat the artificial intelligence system known as Control. Once they arrived in the 32nd century, they discovered that the Federation was no longer the primary governing organization in the universe. After an event called The Burn, most of the Federation was disbanded, although it still has its advocates and dedicated followers.

In the last few episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, Burnham and her friends went on a mission to find the remnants of the Federation. They finally find what they are looking for in the series' latest episode, "Die Trying" -- and this leads to a surprise connection to the first season of Star Trek: Picard.

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When the crew of the Discovery is reunited with the remnants of the Federation, they see that the organization isn't what it once was. Sure, its numbers are far from what they were before, but the technology at its disposal is now far more advanced. Indeed, the crew is impressed with the distortion field hiding the Federation's headquarters, as well as with all the new ships in its fleet. The leaps in technology don't end there, however, as Saru, Burnham and the rest of the crew are in turn interrogated by artificial intelligence holograms that take on the form of humans.

After they are initially taken by surprise by this new A.I., Admiral Vance explains the technology has changed a lot in the past 930 years. But while this technology may be new to the crew of the Discovery, it's actually familiar to Star Trek fans. Indeed, we've already seen a similar A.I. at work in the first season of Star Trek: Picard, which aired at the start of 2020. The series, which takes place in the year 2399, saw the former captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D, Jean-Luc Picard, go on a different kind of quest that involved the Borg, synthetic beings and the Romulans.

For his new mission, which was to protect Data's "daughter," Picard put together a new crew, and they traveled aboard La Sirena, a small starship piloted by Chris Rios. The Sirena was equipped with an Emergency Hologram system that could create multiple holograms to help the crew, each with a distinct area of expertise. These holograms could take on the appearance of anyone, but Rios had programmed all of them to look like him -- or at least, a version of him.

Before the third season of Discovery, Star Trek: Picard gave us our first glimpse at the future of the Federation. However, the new episodes of Discovery have now blasted past the year 2399 to eight centuries later, so the new A.I. system that the far-future version of the organization uses is a direct evolution of what we saw in Picard, hundreds of years later.

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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