When it first aired in 2017, Star Trek: Discovery was a prequel to the original Trek, but now that the third season of the show will take place roughly 930 years after 2267 — likely in the year 3197 — the eight years remaining between Star Trek: The Original Series and Discovery will mostly have to be filled in by our imaginations. Unless of course, there were new spin-offs!
This week, news broke that two companies which hold rights to film Star Trek — CBS and Viacom — have completed a corporate merger which puts the entire Trek franchise under one roof again. This was how it was in the ‘80s and ‘90s when Paramount owned everything, but, since 2006, things Trek movies and Trek shows have been split up.
The fact that cinematic and TV Trek has re-merged doesn’t mean a whole lot for the Trek series already in production — namely Star Trek: Picard Season 1 and Discovery Season 3 — but it is a huge deal for the franchise as a whole, mostly because it means more financial resources are suddenly available to make more Star Trek, and endless crossovers are possible, too.
But, considering Discovery has actually given us the most recent new canon, it seems like there’s plenty of material left over from the 23rd century-era events depicted to or eluded to on the show. Of course, every fan is asking for a Captain Pike show on the Enterprise, but it feels like there’s even more interesting Disco loose ends that could be explored. Here are six hypothetical spinoffs set in the Discovery timeline that would make the Trek canon even more complete.
The Klingon Empire Game of Thrones show
One of the most compelling aspects of both seasons of Discovery was the way we learned about the inner-workings of the Klingon Empire in a time before The Original Series. From T’Kuvma unifying the Empire in a holy war against the Federation to L’Rell guiding her people into an era of peace, there’s a lot of intrigue and politics that were actually barely glimpsed.
For example, in the episode “Point of Light” we got to see all the great Klingon houses meeting together to decide the fate of the Empire. Presumably, this could have consisted of House Duras and House Mogh, the institutions built by Klingons we know well from The Next Generation. (Mogh was Worf’s dad!) We already say house Kor, which is a reference to the famous Klingon of the same name from The Original Series episode “Errand of Mercy,” but we didn’t get any other fun canon connections. Plus, Discovery Season 2 also gave us a glimpse of the Klingons living on Borteh, which was also established in The Next Generation.
Finally, because the Klingons on Discovery don’t look anything like the smooth-headed Klingons of The Original Series, there does seem to be some connective tissue missing. In the series Enterprise, it was established that several Klingons were stricken with genetic virus that caused them to look more human. But, this was never mentioned on Discovery and we never saw the smooth-headed Klingons from TOS, even though, in theory, those Klingons are still out there.
The overall point is that there is a ton of interesting 23rd century Klingon mythology that Discovery established that now seems like it won’t be explored on screen again. A Game of Thrones-style miniseries starring Mary Chieffo as L’Rell would obviously fix all of that.
Miniseries about how Starfleet got its groove back
Between the Klingon War in Season 1 and the huge battle with Control in Season 2, it seems like Starfleet’s effectiveness and coordination was all over the place in the eight years before Kirk took command of the Enterprise.
In the second season finale of Discovery, Burnham mentions that a ton of subspace relays have been knocked out in Federation space, which means ship-to-ship communication is the only way to get messages around. This seems to suggest that Starfleet had a lot of infrastructure to rebuild after all the shit that went down in the first two Discovery seasons.
In other words, after a huge war and Control trying to take everything over, Federation space could be a little bit lawless. A miniseries about what Starfleet is doing to fix all of this could be awesome. Obviously, having Pike and the Enterprise appear on miniseries like that would be dope, but you could also do all new characters, too.
What’s Jim Kirk doing right now?
2257 is year in which the USS Discovery follows the Red Angel/Michael Burnham into a wormhole and is sent to roughly 3197. But what is the legendary James T. Kirk doing in 2257? According to Original Series canon, Kirk is a lieutenant on the USS Farragut, and during this year he witnesses Captain Garrovick , and 200 other people, killed by a vampiric cloud creature.
This alien would show up in the TOS episode “Obsession”; but we really don’t have a sense for what Kirk was like as a crewmember of a starship rather than the Captain. A young Kirk miniseries or standalone-straight-to-streaming movie could totally fix that. Hell, who knows. Maybe this is already in the works? In the trailer for the next round of Short Treks, Pike says “Good luck out there…Captain.” But who is he talking too? Maybe we’re already getting a young Jim Kirk and we don’t even know it.
Harry Mudd meets every famous Star Trek alien ever
Rainn Wilson’s take on Harry Mudd is another classic Trek character who has been left behind in the 23rd century by Disco’s future jump. But, as the hilarious Short Treks episode “The Escape Artist” proved, there’s a lot more to explore with Mudd’s criminal shenanigans. In that episode, we saw Harry using a variety of android duplicates, which seems to predate similar android duplicates he’s surrounded by in the TOS episode “I, Mudd.”
But, what if Harry Mudd could encounter even more cool Trek aliens and robots? Because Mudd isn’t Starfleet, it’s totally reasonable that he could meet all sorts of Star Trek aliens that no one in Discovery canon knows about yet. For example, in 2257, Starfleet doesn’t know what the Romulans look like, but Mudd could! He could also meet the Borg, the Cardassians, and all sorts of TNG-era aliens. All of this could — and should — lead to a showdown between Harry Mudd and Q.
Prime Lorca and Admiral Cornwell Romance as a Long Short Trek
In “The War Without, the War Within,” Admiral Katrina Cornwell finds out that Captain Lorca was really a different Gabriel Lorca from the Mirror Universe, and she’s pissed. Feeling betrayed, and mentions “the Lorca I came up with” and speaks of him as “My Lorca.”
In the episode “Lethe,” Corwnell even slept with Lorca, seemingly to figure out why he was acting so erratic. And in that episode it’s made very clear that the “real” Lorca from the Prime Universe, and Cornwell totally had a huge romance prior to becoming a Captain and Admiral respectively. In the episode, Conrwell even mentions that they drank a bottle of Scotch together when they saw the Perseid meteor shower!
This is a long-winded way of saying that, clearly, seeing Gabriel and Kat’s romance in the early days in Starfleet could be great. Let’s call this idea a protracted version of Short Treks, but this one would be a longish, standalone, episode of Short Treks.
USS Shenzhou stand-alone prequel movie
Michael Burnham and Saru served with Captain Georgiou for eight years before the events we saw in the “The Battle at the Binary Stars.” Saru served with Georgiou for even longer than that, since he was already on the bridge of the Shenzhou during the flashback in that same episode and we know he was rescued by Georgiou from Kaminar sometime in the 2230s.
The point is, between the small flashback in “Battle at the Binary Stars” and Georgoiu’s rescue of Saru in “The Brightest Star,” we’ve only seem a glimpse into what Prime Georgiou was really like as a Captain. Along with Michael Burnham and Saru, Georgiou’s Shenzhou crew might have been amazing, and perhaps even its own version a Next Generation-type dynamic.
So, how badass would it be to see the voyages of the starship Shenzhou way before everything went to hell at the beginning of Discovery? When you stop to think about the fact that all the actors you’d need for such a project are filming Discovery Season 3, it feels sort of silly not to do something like this. But, who knows? Thanks to the new merger, and because Doug Jones, Michelle Yeoh and Sonequa Martin-Green are pretty big stars, it doesn’t seem crazy that a movie project like this couldn’t be released on the big screen.
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