The first season of Star Trek: Discovery received a generally warm reaction from fans, but many had reservations about the awkward way the show fit into established Trek continuity. As a prequel, you’d expect it to feature technology inferior to that seen on The Original Series, and yet in many ways, it had advancements beyond what we’d seen right up until the current finale of Trek with Star Trek: Nemesis. And then there’s the awkward fact that we never hear mention of any of Discovery‘s crew in episodes that are supposed to take place later in the timeline.
Some concluded this was just a natural part of doing a prequel to a show created in the 1960s. But with the release of the latest Star Trek: Short Treks episode “Calypso,” it seems that CBS was determined to tackle this issue head-on and provide an explanation for both of these things.
The short was set 1,000 years after the events of Discovery (which I think makes it the furthest in the future we’ve ever seen Trek go) and showed a new character named Craft being rescued by the USS Discovery. It soon transpires that the ship’s been in a holding pattern for 1,000 years without a crew, and in the meantime, its computer has evolved into a sentient AI.
If a ship like the Discovery can be off the Starfleet map for this long, and with nobody apparently having any clue where it is, it hints that any advanced technology (like the Spore Drive) would have been lost with it. And as for the crew? Well, the reason nobody ever talks about them may well be that they all share some horrible unknown fate to come.
It’s a pretty grim portrayal of the future, but Calypso is a damn good Trek short, full of classical allusions and with some deft characterization. This is Michael Chabon’s Star Trek writing debut, too, and let’s just say the quality bodes incredibly well for the upcoming return of Picard show.