The latest episodes of Star Trek: Discovery have been teasing out the new state of the universe in the 32nd century, after the show’s crew made a time jump of hundreds of years. As well as revealing that the Federation was decimated by “the Burn,” and that Earth is now virtually closed off to visitors, the series has reached the remains of the planetary alliance and Starfleet. And when learning about the much-reduced organization in the episode “Die Trying,” several Discovery characters found out that two new worlds eventually joined the Federation between the 23rd and 32nd centuries.
Saru, who’s taken over as captain of the USS Discovery, was informed that his homeworld of Kaminar was welcomed into the group, albeit with only partial contact due to the absence of dilithium-powered warp drives. In the second season of Discovery, we saw Saru return to Kaminar and explore the relationship between the predatory Ba’ul and Kelpiens, which was based on myths created by the more technologically-advanced former species to control the latter.
By the end of the episode “The Sound of Thunder,” Saru had helped to bring about a new era on Kaminar where the Ba’ul and Kelpiens would have to work together, and was able to reconcile with his village after a long period of exile as the first member of his species to join Starfleet. Knowing that Kaminar eventually developed to the point of joining the United Federation of Planets therefore represents a major moment for Saru after being forced to leave his world again for the future jump.
However, he isn’t the only Discovery officer to receive this surprise, with Commander Nhan finding out that her home planet of Barzan II became Federation members in the 25th century, and are the current custodians of its seed vessel. Like Saru, Nhan was apparently the only one of her people to serve in Starfleet, and it’s her deep connection to Barzan that helps her make the decision to remain with the seed ship at the end of “Die Trying.”
Despite this good news, however, Star Trek: Discovery still takes places in a universe wherein the Federation is struggling to survive, and now made up of only 38 planets. So far, the series has been pretty ambitious in terms of its introduction to the 32nd century, so we’re looking forward to seeing how much more is revealed about “the Burn” and its consequences in the weeks to come.