As the current executive producer of all future Star Trek TV projects, Alex Kurtzman had to have some kind of a plan. And, in a long, revealing interview this week with Deadline, Kurtzman made it clear that before Star Trek: Discovery even launched in 2017, he knew the future of Trek needed to be planned out with some patience.
In recalling his meetings with CBS, Kurtzman said he told the network: “‘I think you have a universe here that is very under-utilized, and a fan base that I think is hungry for a lot more.’ And I walked them through the plan of what I saw for the next five to ten years of Trek.” But, with a decade of Trek loosely planned out in advance, it stand to reason that Kurtzman and company dreamed up a little bit of connective tissue between these new shows.
Of course, because everything is set in the same Star Trek universe, there’s automatic connections between Discovery and Star Trek: Picard, the upcoming show that will catch up with the beloved The Next Generation captain. And, yet, because DISCO happens in 2267 (and now will warp to the 33rd century!) and Picard happens in 2399, it seems like there might not be a lot of direct connections between the two shows.
But wait a minute! If the same production teams are involved in all of these new Trek shows, wouldn’t it make sense that some of the links between the shows would be more overt? Could there be some more direct threads between Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery?
Here are five sneaky ways Picard and Discoverycould sync-up with really big and surprisingly cool plotlines and character crossovers.
Control Was the Borg After All
Okay, okay. So Alex Kurtzman has said many times now that rogue A.I. know as Control was “neutralized” in the Season 2 finale of Discovery. But what if he was either lying or telling a half-truth?
Obviously, Leland’s comments about “resistance is pointless” sounded a lot like Borg mantra “resistance is futile,” and nearly all the actors and writers dodged the Borg question while Discovery Season 2 was still airing. But, the origin of Control had a very paradoxical timey-wimey backstory that was never fully explained. Now, anyone who knows their Star Trek history will point out that the Borg can’t have originated in the mid-23rd century because Voyager established they’d been around for centuries before that and in the Delta Quadrant.
But, let’s remember the greatest lesson Picard learned in “All Good Things…” Sometimes, something that happens in the future can create the past. So, if Control is the start of the Borg, and what is left of Control has ended up in the 33rd century with Discovery, that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a roundabout way for that story to circle up with Picard as the 24th century becomes the 25th. Wibbly-wobbly, Borgy-worgy.
Picard Could Be Searching For Forbidden Spore Drive Tech
In the Season 2 finale of Star Trek: Discovery, all knowledge of the titular starship is made super classified, including, as Spock said “her Spore Drive.” Now, in terms of getting people out of a tight situation, the Spore Drive is really handy insofar as the instantaneous travel across several lightyears is way more efficient than warp drive. The only trick is that it’s not the most reliable tech, and in theory, by Picard’s time, that technology has been totally outlawed. But could Picard be in search of a Spore Drive?
The mysterious “rescue armada” mentioned in the teaser trailer could give us a hint. If Picard failed to evacuate everyone from Romulus, maybe he wants a way that a starship can be in one place one second, and another in a blink of an eye. Over 100 years exist between the ending of Discovery Season 2 and the beginning of Star Trek: Picard. At some point, it stands to reason that someone would have tried to recreate the Spore Drive again. After all, there are plenty of people who aren’t in Starfleet who knew about it…
Jean-Luc Could Experience Sarek’s Memories of Michael Burham
Not to be that guy, but I’ve been saying this since before the first episode of Discovery even dropped. Because Picard had a super-important mindmeld with Sarek in the TNG episode “Sarek,” it stands to reason that Picard knows who Michael Burnham is simply because he has aspects of Sarek’s memories in his own brain.
So, what if Picard dreamt Sarek’s memories? We know part of Sarek’s katra is in Michael, but is a portion of it also in Picard? And, if so, could Picard communicate with Burnham regardless of the constraints of normal space and time?
We Could See Boreth and Mess With Some Time Crystals
Two pivotal episodes in Star Trek: Discovery’s second season dealt with the Klingon planet of Boreth. But of course, Boreth comes from The Next Generation episode “Rightful Heir,” in which the Klingons in the monastery make a clone of their messiah, Kahless.
Discovery referenced this episode in two ways in Season 2: First, the episode in which Tyler drops off his baby on Boreth is called “Point of Light,” which is a line Kahless spoke to his true believers and told them which star system he would show up during his second-coming phase. Second, Boreth was obviously a big deal in the episode in “Through the Valley of the Shadow,” were we learned that Captain Pike became aware of his own future and chose to go through with it anyway to save the Federation.
When I spoke with Discovery writers Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt this April, they told me that Worf certainly doesn’t know about time crystals in TNG because “Worf would not have been granted access to the part of Boreth’s monastery that housed the crystals.” But, this also means that time crystals probably still exist on on Boreth in the TNG era.
And, just because Worf didn’t get to see any time crystals in 2369, doesn’t mean Picard won’t be able to get at some time crystals in 2399. Plus, if he has some of Sarke’s memories, he probably already knows about them anyway!
Star Trek: Picard Could Set-Up the Future of the Federation for Discovery Season 3
We’re not really sure what the Federation will be like in the 33rd century future of Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, but considering that Star Trek: Picard is set further in the future of the Trek canon than any regular series or film has been to date, it could serve as a nice prologue for Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery.
The Picard series is of course a sequel of sorts to The Next Generation, but it’s also a sequel to Star Trek: Discovery, after a fashion. And, because Discovery will speed centuries past the time of Picard in its third season, Star Trek: Picard is in a unique position as both a sequel to the past of Star Trek, and, at the exact same time, a prequel to its future.
Star Trek: Picard hits CBS All-Access sometime in late 2019. Star Trek: Discovery Season 3’s release date has not yet been released.