The U.S.S. Discovery is about to lose another captain as Anson Mount’s Christopher Pike is exiting Star Trek: Discovery at the end of its second season. This isn’t a case of the actor walking away from the series, though, as it was always the plan for Pike to be written out after just one season. And there’s a very good reason for that.
While catching up with Syfy at PaleyFest, showrunner Alex Kurtzman explained that Pike had to leave at this point so as to line up with his established fate in the canon, as revealed back in the 60s in Star Trek: The Original Series.
“We will sync up with canon, and obviously if you know the story of Captain Pike, you know what his fate was. It won’t be exactly what you think this season, but we will be consistent with that story. There will be a dimension shed on that story that you will not have known or have thought of.”
As Kurtzman says, fans will know that Kirk’s predecessor on the Enterprise is destined to meet a sad end. As explained in “The Menagerie,” Pike is left disabled and disfigured after being caught in a freak accident. Executive producer Heather Kadin was also on hand to hint that Pike’s exit won’t be a “send-off” but more like his journey coming full circle.
“If anything it’s not going to feel like a send-off, because I think that’s what everyone thinks is going to happen. I think it will just become incredibly clear why he’s not continuing on, cause he has to go do TOS, so we have to make sense of that.”
Kurtzman’s hint that there will be a new twist to Pike’s fate is intriguing. It might be worth a reminder that the character ended up living on Talos IV with Vina, with the Talosians creating an illusory reality that restored him to full health. And Star Trek: Discovery recently travelled to Talos and reintroduced the character of Vina, so no doubt this will prove key to this fresh slant on Pike’s story.