Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Discovery Drops Another Major Clue About the Burn

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 6, "Scavengers," now streaming on CBS All Access.

When Michael Burnham first arrived in the 32nd century at the start of Star Trek: Discovery's third season, she learned about a mysterious event known only as the Burn. Taking place over a hundred years prior, the Burn saw all dilithium-powered spaceships in the universe simultaneously explode. As a result of this catastrophic event, the Federation mostly fell, and the cosmos became a dystopian place where people fought and scavenged to survive. Now, in the series' latest episode, Michael reveals some crucial new details about the Burn -- and she may finally have the means to solve this massive mystery.

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During the time she spent without her crew in the 32nd century, Burnham tried to find as much information as she could on the Burn. She searched for clues and any other hints that could help her discover the source of the explosion. To do that, she started collecting the black boxes of destroyed Starfleet spaceships. Although these black boxes are hard to find, she found two in one year.

The data contained on these black boxes has allowed her to make an important theory. Initially, it was believed that all of the spaceships destroyed in the Burn exploded at the exact same time. But in "Scavengers," Burnham tells Saru that there is actually a time discrepancy in-between the recorded explosions of the two black boxes she has found so far. This indicates that it's possible the Burn was a chain reaction, and that there was actually a point of origin.

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While Burnham isn't certain this is the case, her friend Booker has secured another black box, which means she now has more data to analyze. If her theory proves correct, then this third black box will allow her to triangulate this point of origin. And if she can find this location, then perhaps a visit there will reveal what exactly caused the Burn. The event originally appeared to be a strange, but natural, occurrence. However, if there was a point of origin, it indicates someone was behind it. Still, who would cause such a terrible catastrophe -- and why?

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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