One of the more significant mysteries in Star Trek: Discovery was where the USS Enterprise traveled to before being found in season 2. The introduction of the Enterprise crew, including Mr. Spock and Commander Pike, proved crucial to events in the sophomore season of the show, but up to now we didn’t get much from the series about what took place before their meeting with the USS Discovery. A new novel, however, titled Star Trek: Discovery – The Enterprise War, has finally revealed the backstory to the Enterprise’s mission.
We already know that the Enterprise missed the Federation-Klingon war of season 1 due to being in deep space, but according to ComicBook.com, John Jackson Miller’s Enterprise War fleshes out the story by placing Pike’s ship in the Pergamum Nebula, and therefore cut off from standard communications with Starfleet. Once alerted to the war, Pike wanted to return, but Starfleet’s plan was apparently to maintain at least one of its crews in the event of losing to the Klingons.
From this point, Jackson Miller’s book explores a side-story where the Enterprise crew deal with the Boundless, natives of the Pergamum, who force them into a war with a rival species. The stress of the year-long war and its resolution is interpreted by the book as one of the reasons behind Spock’s mental break, while the Enterprise’s return to safe territory coincides with the appearance of the red signals that set up the main story arc of Star Trek: Discovery‘s second season.
It does seem that the Star Trek: Discovery novels are treated as canon, or at least loose canon, making Enterprise War an enjoyable expansion of the stories we’ve seen so far in the television series. Furthermore, we may still see new adventures with the Enterprise crew if a Captain Pike spinoff is greenlit for CBS All Access or another platform, something that Spock actor Ethan Peck certainly seems up for.