Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Finale Easter Eggs & References

In its epic season 3 finale, Discovery not only references its own history but also gives a virtual high-five to the entire Star Trek franchise.

Kenneth Mitchell in the Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Finale
Photo: CBS

This Star Trek: Discovery article contains spoilers for the Season 3 finale.

Would you believe that the finale of Star Trek: Discovery Season references everything from Star Trek: Voyager, to the TOS episode “The Doomsday Machine?” Throughout the entire thrilling DISCO season, 3 finale — “That Hope Is You Part 2,” the series managed to deliver yet another love-letter to Trekkies everywhere. This episode may not have been as overtly nostalgic as “Unification III,” or any given episode of Lower Decks, but it still managed to deliver on a slew of Easter eggs and callbacks; some obvious, and some obscure.

From Burnham’s Kirk-like boasts, to a weapon used by the Emerald Chain that references TOS, to hearing the word “Voyager” several times, here are all the Easter eggs and references in Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 13, “That Hope Is You Part 2.”


While exploring the holo-environment, Dr. Culber (Wilson Cruz) sees an image of those flying monsters from episode 11, and yes, the educational computer confirms this is a Gormagander. We first met the Gormagander in the Discovery Season 1 episode “Magic To Make the Sanest Man Go Mad.” The computer mentions that this lovely space whale “spent the longest time on the Federation endangered species list.” It also says what we are seeing is a recording of Gormagander “pup in 3052,” implying it’s possible the Gormagander is not on the endangered species in 3189. Maybe? 

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Adira’s Xehean holographic guise

When Adira arrives in the holo-environment, the computer has made them look like a Xehean. We first saw the Xeheans in the form of Queen Po in the very first Short Treks episode ever, “Runaway.” We also saw a Xehean in the first episode of Picard, “Remembrance.”  

“Vulcan” Gray

Everyone’s species gets changed in the holo-environment! Now that Culber, Saru can see Gray thanks to the holo, Gray doesn’t appear Trill, but instead Vulcan. Or is he Romulan? Or is he just a “Ni’Var?” Either way, Ian Alexander looks great as a Vulcan! 

Voyager takes point

Admiral Vance says that the new USS Voyager will “take point” in attacking the Emerald Chain forces. This makes it seem like the Voyager is a pretty big deal in the contemporary Federation. Could it be the flagship? And…where is the 32nd Century USS Enterprise

Discovery’s lower decks”

At one point, we’re told that “life support was shut-off on Discovery’s lower decks.” Obviously, this is meant to literally tell us that you know, life support was shut-off on Discovery’s lower decks. But, we did get to hear the word “lower decks,” which is kind of funny, considering that’s the name of the Trek series that aired previous to Discovery Season 3. And, like “That Hope Is You Part 2,” the Lower Decks finale also featured a plot to take-over the “hero” starship. And, also like the Lower Decks finale, at one point, the ship briefly has a warp nacelle broken! It’s like Star Trek poetry! It rhymes! 

Ni’Var Razors

This piece of dialogue could get missed pretty quickly, but with the Ni’Var fleet arrives to defend the Federation, one of Osyraa’s goons describes the fleet of starships as “Razors.” Cool name for spaceships, right? This almost certainly feels like a Romulan influence.

Orion hearts

Osyraa says the Orion heat “has six valves.” It appears that this is the first time this detail has been revealed in Star Trek canon. Could this have something to do with the infamous Orion pheromones?

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“This is what’s called a no-win situation”

Tauntingly, Zayreh tells Burnham that “this is what’s called a no-win situation.” Burnham fires-back, “I don’t believe in those.” Somewhat obviously, this references Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and the Starfleet test known as the Kobayashi Maru. Here’s the question: Did Burnham actually take the Kobayashi Maru? Because she was given a Starfleet commission by directly serving on the USS Shenzhou, it’s possible Burnham’s training was a little different. Even so, chronologically, Burnham’s Starfleet education technically predates Kirk’s. Is it at all possible that the Kobayashi Maru scenario wasn’t a part of the Starfleet curriculum in 2249?

Why can Owo hold her breath for so long?

Owo mentions she’s been holding her breath for up to 10-minutes since she was a little kid. What’s up with that? Is Owo a super-human? Nope! As we learned back in the Season 2 episode “New Eden,” Owosekun was raised in a “luddite collective,” meaning she grew up with limited technology. Presumably, this means her family and her community fostered a bunch of attention to naturalist survival skills. 

Lt. Ina

Fans may have been wondering about this new bridge officer who is hanging out with the rest of the regular crew. The character’s name is Lt. Ina, and she’s played by Avaah Blackwell. She’s actually not a new cast member though. Blackwell has played several characters before, notably all of the Osnullus species. Confused as to what that means? Well, the Osnullus are those big-headed aliens you’ve seen in Avaah Blackwell since season 1. For the most part, these aliens are usually played by Avaah Blackwell.

New turbolifts 

When Book and Burnham battle their way through the turbolifts of the ship, fans will notice that these turbolifts are wildly different from anything we’ve seen on Trek before. Apparently, the Discovery’s new turbolifts were fully upgraded, and now, don’t exist inside of turbolift “shafts,” but instead, seem to be free-floating pods that can move about the ship to nearly anywhere you want to take them. Why do you need this feature when everyone has instant transporters? Well, as demonstrated earlier in the season, transporter tech can still be thwarted by shields and certain kinds of dampening fields. The new turbolifts, however, don’t seem to have that problem. 

The big question is: Does Discovery seem bigger-on-the-inside than we expected? Is some of that “morphing” tech that Book has on his ship present now on Discovery? In other words, can the ship subtly change its shape with programmable matter? There’s not a clear answer, but it kind of seems like it.

Computer voice

After Burnham reboots the Discovery computer, the voice returns to that of Julianne Grossman, who has voiced the Discovery computer since Season 1. Note, this voice is different from Annabelle Wallis who voices the “sphere data” and “Zora.”

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Antiproton cannons

Burnham says that the Verdian is firing on Discovery using “antiproton cannons.” In the TOS episode “The Doomsday Machine,” Commodore Decker told Kirk that the planet-killer used a beam composed of “pure anti-proton.” In the time of TOS, that kind of tech seemed rowdy. But, in the 32nd Century future of Discovery, apparently, it’s no-big-whoop. 

Discovery’s warp core

In addition to the computer core, this episode marks the first time we’ve actually seen the warp core of the USS Discovery. It looks similar to other warp cores we’ve seen throughout the history of Trek. The idea of ejecting the warp core in a desperate situation was broached several times throughout the canon, but the way this actually occurs in this episode seems to reference the 2009 reboot film Star Trek, co-written by Discovery producer Alex Kurtzman.

Federation ship line-up references “Endgame”

When Discovery returns to Federation headquarters at the end of the episode, several other ships seem to line-up in honor of the ship coming home. This seems to visually reference the finale of Star Trek: Voyager“Endgame” — in which several other Starfleet ships seemed to serve as an honor guard, as Voyager returned to Earth.

New Uniforms 

Throughout the season, we’ve been seeing these new Starfleet uniforms on Admiral Vance and the rest of the officers at Federation HQ. But, clearly, this is the first time we’re seeing these on the DISCO crew. Because the colors seem to follow the department designations from the TNG era, Burnham’s uniform is naturally given a red stripe. In the first shot before she exits the turbolift, we also see that the shoulder epaulet has four small pips, indicating she is the captain. Tilly is notably wearing a uniform with a blue stripe, which makes it seem like Tilly’s job is closer to the sciences than the command department, which makes sense.

Also, for the first time, Adira is given a Starfleet Uniform, which again, makes sense. Adira has certainly done enough to prove they are ready for a Starfleet uniform. Not to mention, several previous hosts of Tal were very clearly members of Starfleet. 

Burnham rocking a command-red uniform, and sitting in the captain’s chair, marks the first time since Voyager’s “Endgame” that a live-action Starfleet captain was rocking red. It looks good on her, don’t you think? Let’s fly! 

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