Star Trek Discovery has had a shaky run through its first season. From weird sounding Klingons to mutinous Starfleet captains to a war plagued Federation, this wasn't the show your mom and dad grew up watching. But the finale did give us some closure. At last, Starfleet was going to adhere to the principles enshrined in the constitution of the Federation since seasons past. At last we were going to be explorers, not soldiers. I remember an episode of TNG where Commander Riker said to an alien that wanted to conduct wargames with the Enterprise that the aim of the Federation was not war but peace. It seemed so far away and detached from what we saw in Discovery up till the very end. But at least we got a good ending. Michael Burnham was redeemed, her past record wiped clean. Fake Philipa was removed from the captain's chair (and to be fair, that whole Terran as a captain subplot was an idiotic move in the first place). And the Discovery warped to meet it's new captain. But wait, a distress signal? From a Federation starship, no less? I have to say, when I read NCC-17, something in my heart soared. To hear that music, to see that fantastic ship once more was something that touched a nostalgic chord in the hearts of all that watched. The Enterprise was back!
But What Does It Mean?
To understand the concept of the Discovery meeting the Enterprise and its significance, we must first look at when Discovery is set in the Star Trek universe. And also which timeline. There are two timelines within the Star Trek universe. One is the Kelvin timeline in which the movies reside where old Spock went back in time with the Romulans and changed the fate of the entire saga. Anything from the past shows of TOS, TNG, VOY, DS9 has no significance there as those things have been altered in this timeline. Discovery is set 100 years before the journeys of Kirk, Spock and Mccoy in the Prime timeline in which the movies do not reside. Here everything is of significance as everything you have watched did happen and it's more of a historical stage set for the events to come.
So, does that mean no crossover?
Well, yes and no. As we heard, Christopher Pike is the captain of the Enterprise now. Also, we know Spock is the foster brother of Burnham and went to the Federation instead of the Vulcan Science Academy. There was also a significant look exchanged between Burnham and Sarek upon hearing of Pike. Thus we can safely assume that Spock is in fact on the Enterprise right now (also confirmed here). But what about Kirk, Mccoy, Sulu, Scotty and the rest? Well, none of them are Vulcan and therefore do not have the long lifespans so no we probably won't see them here. Maybe a character does show up as a young teenager or something but I doubt it. Mccoy would be the safest bet since he is the oldest.
So, who will portray them?
As I wrote, the Kelvin timeline exhists in a seperate universe from the Prime timeline. Therefore. it will not be Zachary Quinto or Bruce Greenwood reprising their roles. Plus, it would be remarkably difficult for either actor to provide the type of time acting in a TV show like this would require. New cast and characters are definitely coming through. It will be interesting to see who takes up the mantle. Also, expect many flashbacks into the childhood of the foster siblings.
But what does it all mean for the 'Discovery'?
Well, a lot, actually. Both the Enterprise and the Discovery are flagships of the Federation. Both are the best and greatest the Federation has to offer. To hear the distress call means that there is some major enemy or anomaly both will have to face and handle together to save the Federation from it. Also this gives an opportunity to explore the story of Christopher Pike, a captain rarely explored in the canon mythos. The Cage and Menagerie were the only episodes which showed Pike's character in TOS and I for one would be very thrilled to see what they develop him into. Also, this may be the best time to explore the character relationships between Sarek, Spock and Burnham, something that has been alluded to but not yet fully explored in season 1. I also hope Saru becomes the captain of the Discovery. The speech he gave in the penultimate episode was something for the Federation history books.
Also, will Lorca return?
It has been alluded to. In this interview, Kurtzman has been cryptic about the return of Jason Isaacs. But in other interviews and stories on the web, the producers have said that their primary aim was to create a universe that the characters could come and go with. So therefore, we could see Lorca. Plus, we never really find out what happened to his non-terran counterpart from the real Federation universe. So that is an episode that is probably headed our way.
But what about the Klingons?
Sorry everyone, but the producers in the same interview have said that the Voq/L'rell/Tyler story is something that has been fully explored and will not return for Season 2. It would have been interesting to see their interaction with the Enterprise and compare it to Kirk's cold war tactics in the Original Series, but I guess that's something not to be seen in the near future. The Klingons will build their own empire now and will not be a big feature this season.
So what do you think? Certainly an exciting time to be a Trekkie!