Star Trek: Discovery Timeline Breakdown

Now that Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 has gotten all timey-wimey on us, we revisit the question of just when this series takes place.

Photo: Paramount+

This Star Trek: Discovery article contains MAJOR spoilers through Season 3.

Star Trek: Discovery is officially in its third season and, timeline-wise, it has been a ride. We’ve traveled to the Mirror Universe, we’ve traveled to the future, and we ended up in the 32nd century. If you’re a bit confused about when exactly Discovery takes place, here’s a breakdown of what we know so far and how it all changed in Season 3.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 & 2 Timeline

The first episode of Star Trek: Discovery takes place in 2255, a decade before the events of The Original Series. This means the first two seasons are set roughly 110 years before the events of The Next Generation, and roughly 100 years after the events of Enterprise. Here’s the full breakdown:

  • Star Trek: Enterprise (2151-2161)
  • Original unaired Star Trek Pilot (2254)
  • Star Trek: Discovery (Seasons 1&2) (2255-2259)
  • Star Trek: The Original Series (2265-2269)
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series (2269-2270)
  • Original Star Trek movies (2273-2293)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation (2364-2370)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (2369-2375)
  • Star Trek: Voyager (2371-2378)
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks (2380)
  • Star Trek: Picard (2399)

At the time of Discovery, the Federation of Planets is almost a century old and, while not as powerful as we see it at the time of The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, is still one of the dominant forces in the Alpha Quadrant.

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Timeline

At the end of Season 2, everything changes. Burnham and the Discovery jump through a wormhole and travel 930/931 years into the future to an undiscovered part of the Trek temporal frontier. This puts them in the 32nd century for Discovery Season 3. Michael presumably arrives in 3188 and spends a year in this new timeline without her crewmates before they arrive. This means, the rest of the Discovery crew arrives and is reunited with Burnham in 3189.

When Did The Burn Happen?

What is the state of the Federation right now? Um, fam, it’s not good. Seven hundred years after Discovery jumped (so around 2959), the dilithium reserves dried up and the Federation began testing alternative warp design designs.

Then, “The Burn” happened, instantly killing millions of people aboard Federation ships when the ships’ warp cores simultaneously exploded. Book tells us that this happened 100-150 years before the events of Season 3. (Can’t be more specific there, Book?), which would place the mysterious event anywhere from 3038-3088. Roughly.

Short Treks “Calypso” Timeline

The Short Treks episode “Calypso” takes place in the 33rd century, which places it at least 10 years after the events of Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 so far, but could place it as many as 110 years after. The episode shows us the relationship between a human named Craft and the A.I. sentience of the Discovery computer, known as Zora, after Discovery finds Craft floating in an escape pod. At last year’s NYCC, Alex Kurtzman teased the possibility of the episode coming into play in Discovery Season 3.

When “Calypso” takes place, the Discovery has been abandoned, with Zora ordered to maintain position by her previous captain. Craft thinks the captain “has been dead for a thousand years,” but it’s not clear if he’s correct. It’s also worth noting that Craft is from a planet called Alcor IV and, prior to his arrival on Discovery, he has been fighting for 10 years in the war against the V’draysh. It has been confirmed that the “V’draysh” is a syncope for “Federation,” which means that it’s possible that, somewhere out there in the Discovery Season 3 time, whatever is left of the Federation is fighting Craft.

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