Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Discovery: The New Stuff

930 years.

One ship.

One totally unexplored part of the Star Trek universe...

New York Comic Con broke not only the second Picard trailer but the first tease of Discovery's third season. What are the big clues and learnings from our first look at Star Trek's biggest ever time jump into a time we've never explored?

1. Burnham

She's our door into this trailer. Burnham is alone for at least a year, seeking out Discovery and longing for a call on her communicator from the starship. Shown through a series of three time hops we see Sonequa Martin-Green's look change subtley - but what ship is she aboard and where has this craft come from?

What I do think is that Book (David Ajala) will be there near the beginning of her adventure suggested by the fact Burnham is still wearing her Starfleet uniform and has short hair. Might we be getting to see the 12 months on her own as flashbacks through the season? It appears that by the time she finds Discovery he's not in the picture and Burnham specifically notes she's been alone for a substantial period of time which would all add up.

I would surmise that during that time she and Book have encountered the remnants of the Federation and its president who reveals the flag to Burnham. His words tell us that the Federation is in a poor state but is this due to it collapsing? Worlds losing their faith in it? Did the Federation become a darker organisation and the one responsible for Craft (in Calypso) being a lone war survivor? Has the Federation been pushed back by other forces and hidden waiting for the time to reassert itself? How about whom do the six stars on the flag represent? Is it the founding races - Humans, Tellarites, Andorians, Vulcans plus Lurians and Cardassians?

Burnham could be the one to do that if the trailer is to be believed. Oh - nice one to spot too is that Michael is going to be moving into the Command stream as she can be seen wearing gold as below!

2. Aliens

I'm impressed. Not only do we have humans, the crew of Discovery but also a Lurian (Morn's race), a Cardassian and definitely some slightly different looking Andorians. Now are these at war and if so who with? What's with all the sashes?

Note that most of the firearms toted in this trailer are that odd over-hand Dyson airblade-style blaster, one of which Book himself acquires sometime. There's also a weapon that resembles the Matrix of Leadership from Transformers even down to the central blue light. 

From some of the later moments in the trailer we do see Burnham engaged in hand-to-hand combat but it's difficult to make out if this is another instance or a continuation of this alien battle. 

Perhaps even more interesting is the arrival of the red-robed Trill, easily identifiable by their spots. At one point there's even someone floating in what clearly resembles the Trill symbiont pools from their homeworld so what are they doing? Will we get to see an even older Dax? Could this be the new Dax?

3. Discovery

Looks like the Crossfield Class ship made it through intact although a few of the crew are off ship for some form of mission with Saru and Tilly both going native in their clothing. We do get to see both Stamets and Culber again plus quick shots of the bridge crew and Michelle Yeoh's Georgiou shows up in there as well but check this shot out - it looks like the ship ends up held hostage at some point by the unknown alien to the right on the image below...hmmmm what could that mean? 

At least one canister of spores has been used too as you can see in the storage unit and the two individuals on the deck besides Tilly and Stamets are not in Starfleet blues...

Next, have a look here - is this one of those interlopers at work in the Jefferies tube? What might their plans be for the ship and her crew? The uniform doesn't belay any clues and is fairly non-descript from this distance. There's an indication that this is the same person as in the Trill pool but I'm not seeing any spots at this distance so I'm not wholly convinced...

The Picard trailer in retrospect is a very different beast; going for retro, the cameo drops and lots of little flashes of action and intrigue whereas the Discovery tease footage provides a taste of the state of the galaxy. The appearance of familiar races means we're not in totally "alien" territory yet there is enough here to tell me that it's not going to be anywhere near the Milky Way of the 22nd Century they left. 

My big question is how will that year away from the ship have affected Burnham? What has the Discovery been doing in that time and will we get to see those time periods played out over the season or intertwined with "present day" footage to uncover some mysteries along the road. Discovery has provided the bigger picture to the season - Book, the time travel and the fate of the Federation but has left out the intricacies of the story while on the flip side Picard has given us all the sprinklings but so far no real bones to lay our thoughts on. Clever or what?!

What do you expect from season three of Discovery?

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