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Star Trek: Discovery - Disco isn't dead

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
So Season 3 is hitting on October 15th (geez, already?) and a new trailer is out for it!


Non-US folks can see it here.

I'm cautiously optimistic, I enjoyed the second season more than the first, despite still having some problems, and the conceit for Season 3 is promising. We'll see what they do with it!

Any theories as to what 'The Burn' is?
 
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Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Looking forward to this!

Where does the era they traveled to fit in the larger ST timeline? Are we way past Voyager & Picard here? I'm no good at remembering stardates off the top of my head.
 
Yes, this is the farthest in the future a series has ever been set.

There's a timeline page on Memory Alpha for anyone interested. The trailer says it's the year 3188, for comparison. Picard is 2399.

Not sure when some of the various Time Cops versions of Starfleet seen in DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise were from though.

edit: It looks like the one from Voyager was 29th century and the ones from Enterprise were from the 28th-31st century, so this is the furthest out they've gone. So it's not from a bad middle period between a flourishing Star Fleet and a later recovery where we know Time Cops happen, but establishing a new furthest point out, post-Time Cops.
 
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Wrong link there, but here's a twitter mirror that oughta work internationally:
Any theories as to what 'The Burn' is?
I like DISCO more than a lot of people, (I say as I'm literally wearing a DISCO shirt as I type this) and I've sworn to always give new Star Trek a fair shake. But I am supremely uninterested in a "It's the future and the Federation collapsed" as a canon scenario. I always saw Star Trek as a, "We've made it past The Great Filter!" kind of show, and it's more than a little annoying to load the Star Trek world with that much cynicism that oops we destroyed ourselves mankind never changes business. But I will approach the scenario with an open mind. My hope is that:

1) All of this is nonsense that gets undone like an alternate timeline episode but stretched out across a whole season.
2) The Federation is still there, but it's ascended and removed itself from the lower level of galactic civilization.

Not sure when some of the various Time Cops versions of Starfleet seen in DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise were from though.

edit: It looks like the one from Voyager was 29th century, so this is further out than that.
There was an episode in Voyager about a backup copy of The Doctor waking up even further in the future than this is, but it's also such a localized scenario that it's impossible to say what the state of the galaxy/The Federation is during that episode. It's also unknowable if that's a future that will even come to pass because of the time travel shenanigans at the end of Voyager.

The time cops in Voyager were from the 29th Century. The ascended post-Federation time cops that Lt Daniels represents in ENT is from the 31st Century. This show is beyond that, but not so far beyond that people would treat the Federation like we treat the Roman Empire, it should still be recent memory. It will be interesting to see how they reconcile what Daniels showed Archer in ENT and this. I'm hoping for the best but expecting the worst. The thing that gives me hope though, is that DIS spent a LOT of time paying homage to/referencing ENT and its writers are clearly intimately aware of it.
 
If people with living memory of Star Fleet and The Federation treat it as an ancient history after being out of touch for a few decades, that's just a loving reference to events from The Original Series.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
It’s set far enough in the future for other shows to ignore it if they want, or split it off into an alternate timeline, and I’m all for that because I want Discovery to just go wild with itself.

I also really like the idea of a Federation crew trapped so far in the future that there isn’t a Federation anymore, and their immediate response is, well, better get to work starting another one.

Also having the Federation endure for a millennium before collapsing still seems pretty optimistic to me? Especially if it just ends up being a hiccup that’s fixed after some time travelers pop in.
 
Yeah I can imagine a negative reaction to this from the many people who want the end of history utopia of 90s Star Trek but I'm looking forward to it. And presumably the Pike show will fill that niche too, eventually?

I'm cautiously optimistic, I enjoyed the second season more than the first, despite still having some problems, and the conceit for Season 3 is promising.
I wasn't excited for Season 2 when the trailers presented it as a Godlike Being season, but I ended up loving it when I learned it was actually a closed time loop anime.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
It feels apt for our current situation hurling headfirst into climate catastrophe. It's like an assurance that, even if everything collapses, we can survive, and still be ourselves.

Or it'll just be a setting for them to explode because explosions are fun. I'd be fine with that, too.
 

Aleryn

Gravity is overrated.
Oh nice, a thread for the show. I'm skipping the trailer but otherwise looking forward to this. Burnham sometimes has shades of Joan of Arc in levels of moral/divine? projection; but I'll take it since she's embodying the optimism of Star Trek and its Federation. Pretty valuable notion in today's world.
 
It’s set far enough in the future for other shows to ignore it if they want, or split it off into an alternate timeline, and I’m all for that because I want Discovery to just go wild with itself.
It's actually not far enough though? Like, unless they're just going to say fuck off Enterprise and ignore everything that happened in that show, the Federation went and completely collapsed in a very short window of time on historical scales. Like, the decline of Byzantium took hundreds of years until Constantinople fell; this went from Lt. Daniels semi-transcended Time Lords post-Federation, to a collapsed wasteland in under a hundred years.

Yeah I can imagine a negative reaction to this from the many people who want the end of history utopia of 90s Star Trek but I'm looking forward to it. And presumably the Pike show will fill that niche too, eventually?
There was a mostly planned, then cancelled web cartoon from the mid 2000s that dealt with a several hundred year post-Nemesis Star Trek. And in it, the premise was that the Federation significantly contracted/dissolved when a series of Omega Molecule detonations rendered the Alpha Quadrant largely untraversable by conventional warp. And the show was to explore the mystery and figure out a way to reconnect the Federation and start a new Golden Age. And I always liked that proposal? Because Earth was still there and things may have backslid a little, but progress and exploring was still the theme. Like, every civilization hits some bumps and stalls out for a while before going forward again. But a scenario like a Bronze Age collapse where you have to completely rebuild from scratch is a little bit too much for me.

It feels apt for our current situation hurling headfirst into climate catastrophe. It's like an assurance that, even if everything collapses, we can survive, and still be ourselves.
Star Trek already had that though? The whole premise is that despite WWIII and the near extinction of humanity, we managed to still dig ourselves out of the pit until we made it. I'd rather they explore the mid 21st Century as a setting if you want to go that route and explore those themes, than undo all the progress from all the shows/films we've seen and loved until now.
 
I'm rewatching S1 currently, and I must say the opening 2 parter is one of the best pilots of all time.

IDLE THOUGHTS
1. I like the new klingons
2. T'Kuvma rules, killing him was a mistake
3. Voq rules and is the biggest fumble of this show
4. Why is L'rell's head so long?
 
I'm rewatching S1 currently, and I must say the opening 2 parter is one of the best pilots of all time.

IDLE THOUGHTS
1. I like the new klingons
2. T'Kuvma rules, killing him was a mistake
3. Voq rules and is the biggest fumble of this show
4. Why is L'rell's head so long?
It is a pretty good pilot. I also recently decided to start a rewatch of Disco before the new season hits (in like... two weeks!), I consider myself a fan of the show, and... it's kinda hard to keep watching it! It's weird. It's not like the episode is bad. It's just that the totality of DIS being a serialized show reliant on an interconnected story with tons of plot twists just... kinda inherently saps a lot of the show's rewatchability. An episodic show, you can put on any random episode and it stands on its own without context, and you can have a decent time with it on in the background. With Discovery, you can't really do any of that. It's just kind of a fault of the format, and I think something that people will look back decades from now and see it as a flaw or failure of this era of "prestige TV" that's obsessed with serialization at all costs.

Re: your idle thoughts

1) I don't mind the new Klingons. Most of the changes makes sense and actually line up very well with previously established lore. We certainly *hear* a lot about Klingons in TNG and other shows about them bathing in the blood of their enemies and ripping still-beating hearts from the fallen. But we don't actually ever really *see* it because of the nature of 80s/90s broadcast television. The weird designs are othering and help make them feel like the terrifying aliens they're supposed to be in say, the TOS films, rather than the cute caricatures that they slowly became as Worf's character helped provincialize them. There's a lot of thought put into their designs, especially things like the intricate detailing of the ships. It makes the Klingons look both cultured and ancient, which is very consistent with their characterization. Despite all their ships in TNG and onward instead looking like rust buckets haphazardly bolted together, which looks neat and familiar but doesn't completely jive with how they're discussed as a race/culture. (It really only jives with the Klingons as Soviets metaphor, which mostly falls apart/gets ignored in TNG and beyond.)

2) T'Kuvma dying feels like a mistake, because he's a pretty good/compelling antagonist, and Star Trek - for all its strengths - manages to lack these. But I get why he's set up the way he is, and I mostly support it. First off, Disco S1 - despite what it turned into w/ mirror universe shenanigans - isn't about taking on a blockbuster movie style Big Bad. I get the clear sense that it's thematically more concerned with how to even reconcile and find common ground with an enemy you have nothing in common with at face value. An enemy that has a singular antagonist at the top of a unified power structure is pretty easy to overcome. Not in the actual logistics of it, but in the sense that you've got to either decapitate the power structure and let things fall apart, or negotiate an entente with that person in power. But the Klingons in DIS are boiled down into their more quintessential form of a bunch of loosely affiliated warring factions. And you can't just assassinate a single leader, or open up peace negotiations with 24 different factions that all have their own agendas and cultures at the same time. It really adds to the feelings of despair and futility when you're fighting a war against an enemy that doesn't relent and isn't vulnerable to any of the traditional tactics you're good at because their power structure and society is just nothing like anything you can relate to or understand.

3) Voq is such a neat idea, and making his tether to his humanity being a poorly established love just doesn't land and just feels like cheap melodrama instead. It's something that would have worked a lot better had we had multiple seasons of Tyler built up as a regular officer with deeper social connections with the rest of the crew so that his tether wasn't so flimsy and unconvincing. But Discovery wasn't planning things out that far and also has very little patience in general as a show.

4) L'Rell and the rest of the nuKlingons having oblong heads actually isn't *that* weird! It's definitely incompatible with TOS era Klingons, but that's a given. But when you consider TOS-film/TNG era Klingons:



Their heads are actually pretty bulbus, and there's so much hair in the back that they could easily be hiding an oblong shaped skull back there and you'd never even know it. Of course, the real reason is probably along the lines of: they didn't want to cut off the actress's hair, and had to hide it all somewhere. Which is the reason why a lot of Star Trek aliens have weirdly shaped heads and such. It's why the Ferengi are the way they are, and that rear-head-visor thing they wear on the backs of their heads is there mostly to cheap out on makeup since they don't have to have to worry about the makeup in the back of the head that way.
 
The rest of their heads are fine, L'rell's head specifically in Giger territory. She's got like 4 inches on Voq!
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
I liked the first S3 episode!
I'm sure THE BURN will end up being kind of dumb once it's explained, just like the twist in Picard. These shows like to write checks they can't cash. I'm not sure how they'll pull off "all our fuel spontaneously combusted" but I guess we'll see.

I'm also rolling my eyes a bit at the "fighting means they want to bang" shortcut to chemistry, though Book is 1,000,000 times more likable than Ash so far.

I like the rest of it, though, and the implication that there are still pockets of Federation and Starfleet out there that need to find a way to reconnect. And oh look, here's a ship that can teleport, that sounds very useful when going to warp is suddenly very expensive! It's a better hook than either of the previous seasons, so I'm interested to see where they go with it.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
So if I actually want to stream this season legit, what's the least hassle way to get temporary access to CBS's dumb individual service? Is it available as an add-on service inside Prime?
 
I liked the first S3 episode!
I'm sure THE BURN will end up being kind of dumb once it's explained, just like the twist in Picard. These shows like to write checks they can't cash. I'm not sure how they'll pull off "all our fuel spontaneously combusted" but I guess we'll see.

I'm also rolling my eyes a bit at the "fighting means they want to bang" shortcut to chemistry, though Book is 1,000,000 times more likable than Ash so far.

I like the rest of it, though, and the implication that there are still pockets of Federation and Starfleet out there that need to find a way to reconnect. And oh look, here's a ship that can teleport, that sounds very useful when going to warp is suddenly very expensive! It's a better hook than either of the previous seasons, so I'm interested to see where they go with it.
I watched the premier, then waited a day and watched it again. It's... good! I like how in a show where it's a common fan complaint that the narrative is too focused on Michael Burnham, that the S3 premier is literally just about her. Because it's both a fuck you to the haters, and honestly these kinds of episodes are sorely missed in Discovery. One of the things I think nuTrek doesn't get right is how in oldTrek, you would have an entire episode revolve around a single character. So even if the show can't have Beverly Crusher in every episode, she feels like an important cast member because she was featured repeatedly and we really got into her head and who she is because of those features. This was a lot easier in the old episodic way of doing things, where individual episodes stood on their own, but a lot harder when you're trying to tell a cohesive narrative.

It's also semi-refreshing to have a new show at the end of the established timeline. Because for now, everything is fresh and new, there's tons of natural mysteries (how did we get from where we were to here?) versus more manufactured ones (why would Spock have murdered people if we thoroughly already know his character?) that are easier to pick apart, as well as use logical deduction as to what will happen next since things have to neatly fit within pre-established canon. I imagine the writing will still be sloppy, but it has a chance of being less glaring/noticeable. Mostly the episode was just fun.

Nitpick Sprite - dilithium isn't "fuel". Warp reactors run on matter-antimatter obliviation; dilithium is a catalyst/regulator for that system. You could ostensibly power warp cores via other means; the Phoenix (Zefram Cochrane's prototype warp ship) was powered by a nuclear reactor; starships also have fusion reactors onboard to power systems as well. I think the dilithium angle is an interesting one. On the surface, it *shouldn't* matter too much? By the end of the 24th Century we're seeing lots of alternative propulsion methods being developed and introduced, so just making warp expensive shouldn't be some fatal blow to civilization. But I think the implication is less that warp is hard, and more that this basically caused Starfleet to disappear overnight since every starship they, and every facility with a matter-antimatter reaction chamber would have gone up in smoke creating a vacuum that nobody could fill in a reasonable amount of time. It was a nice touch that Booker name-dropped several of those warp-alternatives as possibilities that were also out of reach.

As for the nature of THE BURN, I honestly don't really care? Like, I know it's being set up as a thing to investigate so that it doesn't happen again. And I'm sure there's a nefarious organization or entity behind it that they root out, but I really don't need to know the exacting details here. Like, for all I know, Q got bored and clicked his fingers, that's a perfectly fine explanation for me, I'm more interested in exploring the new status quo versus why the status quo is the way it is.

Also re: your point about romantic chemistry shortcuts, it's not like they started making out this episode so what you're saying really hasn't come to pass. I'm pretty sure we'll see a time skip (Burnham's hair has to grow out) or a montage of time passing where they show/imply a tighter connection, but if I'm being genre savvy and being a betting person, they won't just fast forward through a major emotional arc of the show like that. (Ashe and Burnham was something built up over the course of the whole first season, remember.)
 
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Second episode was prettyyyyy good. It feels like they're very much taking to heart the 'Wagon Train to the Stars' mantra. I'm very much enjoying the ride, and how disorienting everything feels. We also get our first real link to the Short Trek from last season, Calypso - so it'll be interesting if that's further integrated into the story or not down the line.

The A-Plot of Saru vs Georgieu dueling morality with each other I'm sure is going to be a reoccurring theme through this season. The B-Plot of Stammets and Jet snipping at each other didn't do much beyond provide a vehicle for the two to banter, and that's all it really needed to be because it put a big smile on my face the entire time. Also, Culber & Stammets are <3<3<3 just my literal everything, I love those two so much.
Also there are a bunch of episodes and movies that basically treat it as technobabble spaceship gasoline.
Which is why I thought it worth discussing, since it's something that is fairly definitively ironed out in how it works in the franchise canon, but Star Trek is such an expansive franchise with such varying levels of writing quality throughout that there's definitely numerous times where various episodes/writers get sloppy and/or forget and make it sound like something else it isn't. If nothing else, it appears to be a central plot point of the show going forward rather than something skirting temporarily on the fringes, and it's worth discussing to both get our ducks in order to avoid future confusion, and to watch and see if the show has their stuff together too. Especially given how on-and-off Disco has been in the past regarding sticking to lore/internal logic.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
I really hope the Michelle Yeoh show is just a whole series of her making everyone in a room deeply uncomfortable, over and over again, before slipping away to bang a random tertiary character.
 
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