On Star Trek Day, a new trailer was released for Star Trek: Discovery season 3. It was jam-packed with stuff and we have been trying to sort it all out. Today we present an analysis of the trailer based on previously released information plus what was discussed at the Discovery panel on Star Trek Day, along with some educated speculation.
Based on what can be seen along with some previous cast and crew commentary, the trailer looks to be mostly comprised of the first four episodes, but there may be some moments from later in the season. The analysis is grouped into sections and (more or less) organized into our best guess for chronological order.
And of course, be aware of SPOILERS.
Wormhole to the future
Season three appears to pick up right where season two left off with the USS Discovery going through a wormhole into the future, led by Michael Burnham flying ahead of the ship in the Starfleet-made time travel suit. A narration from Michael Burnham sets things up: “We traveled into the future. 930 years. A one-way trip. No going back.”
We can also see what the travel into the future is like for the Discovery crew, we saw this footage at the end of season 2.
We can also see Michal Burnham as she travels forward through the Red Angel suit’s heads up display.
New for season 3, the Discovery finally makes it through the wormhole. The damage from the battle in the season 2 finale is apparent, and it looks like the ship barely made it, as it shoots out of the wormhole erratically.
We can also see Michael Burnham tumbling out of control in the Red Angel suit through a debris field above a planet. Some of the debris appears to come from destroyed Starfleet ships or some kind of ship that had a saucer configuration.
Michael meets Book and learns about “The Burn”
We already knew from previous panels and interviews that Michael Burnham and the USS Discovery are separated when they arrive in the future. We can see how Michael’s journey starts as she crash lands on a planet, with her suit warning her: “Impact Imminent.” Obviously, she and the suit survive the landing.
Michael’s first move upon arrival is to exit the suit and use its advanced tech to give her an assessment of the planet. The computer informs her she has reached the year 3188.
She is elated when informed, “Multiple life signs detected.” Remember, the goal of the jump-to-the-future mission was to stop the Control AI from getting its hands on the sphere data housed on the USS Discovery, which would then use that data to become sentient and wipe out all life in the galaxy. So Michael’s elation here is all about knowing they had accomplished their mission.
However, that still leaves Michael on her own, with limited resources in a seemingly barren area. She opens up a 23rd-century Starfleet field kit, complete with communicator, tricorder, badge, and phaser. There is also a hexagonal box that could contain more power cells for the various pieces of tech. It’s also possible the box could be for the Red Angel suit.
We also see Michael walking along with a new character, Cleveland “Book” Booker (David Ajala), who will be a main character this season and is a native of the future where Burnham finds herself. According to showrunner Michelle Paradise, “Book becomes a window into this new world for us. He becomes kind of the eyes through which we see the everyday present for those who were born into this new future.”
Book is quick to notice Michael being different, saying, “You’re not from around these parts.” He then breaks the bad news: “The Federation mostly collapsed after The Burn… The Burn was the day the galaxy took a hard left.” According to executive producer Alex Kurtzman, what happened to the Federation came from outside of it, saying, “The Federation was as strong as ever. Obviously, something cataclysmic went down that changed everything.”
Another moment has Burnham revealing where she comes from to Book with the following exchange:
Book: A true believer?
Book: A time traveler.
Burnham: There was no other way.
We can see Book and Michael (wielding a future weapon) in a fight that includes an Andorian.
Disco down, but happy to be alive
Coming down at another location (although possibly on the same planet) was the USS Discovery, which utilized its phasers to clear a path as it crash-landed.
The crew of the USS Discovery has gone through a lot, and they don’t know where Michael is, but they are alive. Suru gives the crew a pep talk as they hug it out: “We are completely disconnected, but we are also together.”
Saru and Tilly explore a planet for a spare part
The Discovery won’t be able to just fly off after this hard landing. According to Alex Kurtzman, “Something goes wrong with the ship that makes it basically impossible for them to get back in the air. So they have to step out into the world and see if they can find something to help repair the ship. And in so doing, they get their first taste of what’s actually going on on the planet.”
Later they walk into an establishment that has swinging old West saloon style doors.
There they meet an alien who appears to be a Cordanite from the dilithium-rich planet Coridan, although that does not necessarily mean that’s where they crash-landed. He says to Saru, “I always believed you were out there somewhere and that we were part of the Federation no matter what.”
Saru takes command
There is also a nice shot of Saru toasting the surviving crew in the ready room. This scene also shows Paul Stamets and Dr. Culber sharing a moment. Also present are Bryce, Detmer, Owosekun, Rhys, and Nhan. In this shot, we can also see Saru has his shoulders details filled with gold, which is unique to captains. This indicates that during the time on their own, acting captain Saru assumed the full rank of captain.
Breakout at the Orion facility with a little help from Georgiou
From previous commentary, we know the crew will not be reunited until the third episode, and at least a year will go by. There are a handful of scenes at a location featuring Michael Burnham with her long hair, indicating this jump in time. In one scene can see her with longer hair with Georgiou (who was on board the USS Discovery when they jumped), but it isn’t clear if this sequence is before or after Burnham is reunited with the rest of the Discovery crew. It is possible Georgiou separated herself from the rest of the crew (as a Section 31 operative she isn’t actually part of Starfleet and she has her own agenda as the former Terran Emperor). Here we see Burnham and Georgiou being led into an industrial facility by an Orion man.
We can also see a bearded Andorian, appearing to watch their arrival.
Book is also seen using one of these future weapons to push back a group, which also includes some Andorians.
As Book sends these guys flying, we can see signage in the Orion language.
We later see Book and the bearded Andorian running from the facility with others. It’s possible this whole sequence was some kind of breakout, possibly involving Book freeing a friend from Orion slavery.
Georgiou fights a whole lot of guys
There is also a scene with Georgiou that may be part of the incident at the Orion facility or something entirely different. She gets into an argument with a human character played by Jake Weber (Homeland) who says to her, “The thing is, you got no authority here.”
Michelle Yeoh shows that the Emperor’s authority comes at the end of a broken bottle over the head and a swift kick, plus a punch to the face.
A reunited crew
According to Jonathan Frakes, the crew reunites with Burham in the third episode (which he directed). And we can see Michael hugging Detmer while wearing her civilian garb. Martin-Green talked to Star Trek Magazine about how the time apart impacted her character. “We see what it feels like for me to get a little rougher around the edges. And then, coming back [to the Discovery], it’s tough to come back.”
Soon enough this longer-haired Burnham is back in her gold command uniform, talking to Saru about the state of the galaxy, saying, “The Federation isn’t just about ships. The Federation is its people.” Note that Saru is still wearing the gold shoulders of a captain.
Burnham can be seen on the bridge staring out of the viewscreen saying, “Let’s show them who we are.”
Another scene on the bridge features Saru in the captain’s chair.
We can also see Book now onboard the USS Discovery, where he and Burnham are looking at a ship (possibly his ship?) in the hanger. They have some banter…
Burnham: We have work to do. But if things were easy…
Book: It wouldn’t be worth it.
There are a couple more shots of hugging onboard the USS Discovery. One is in the Stamets’ lab, which appears to have been updated a bit. Also seen in this scene are Nilsson and Osnullus.
The trailer also showed Detmer hugging Stamets.
Meeting up with the down (but not out) Federation
The trailer has made it clear that the Federation is not what it was, and Alex Kurtzman has confirmed that season three “is about trying to bring it back.” But it still exists in some form. According to Michelle Paradise, the Federation is “much diminished from what it was” and “very much kind of in survival mode.” The trailer shows this clearly with a future flag of the Federation unfurling. This flag features significantly fewer stars than the flags of the 23rd and 24th-century Federation.
After the ship is fixed it uses its spore drive to jump to a new planet, which also has some orbiting debris.
We see what appears to be a future Starbase in a debris field. The Starbase appears operational, yet damaged. This could be some kind of HQ for what is left of the Federation.
Saru, Burham and Adira (a new character played by Blu del Barrio) entering a futuristic location, presumably the futuristic Starbase. An unknown voice says, “Welcome to the future.”
At some point Saru and a Vulcan dignitary exchange Vulcan salutes onboard the USS Discovery in orbit around a planet, possibly the same one as the Starbase.
A 32nd century Starfleet officer visits the USS Discovery and chats with Stamets, Reno, and Tilly. She says, “Dysfunction aside, you all make a pretty good team.”
This prompts some fun Reno/Stamets banter:
Reno: Dysfunction is the team.
Stamets: We’ve just accepted it.
Reno: No we haven’t.
The screen they are working on says “CME DETECTED” and “Coronal Mass Ejection – Light Magnitude.”
USS Discovery rejoins Starfleet
An unknown character (possibly Adira) can be seen using future tech to create a Starfleet badge, or multiple badges.
Michael Burnham, now back in her silver (science division) uniform, puts on one of the future Starfleet badges.
Burnham, with the new badge, shares a moment with Saru.
Through the middle section of the trailer, we hear a narration from Michael Burham that all leads up to what may be a summit or ceremony on the Discovery that includes some lit torches.
We all want a future that’s real. That matters. The Federation gave us the resources and the mandate to solve the biggest, most troublesome problems of the galaxy. And I may question, and I may fear, because the problems may seem insurmountable. But haven’t we always risen to meet them.
Saru is also seen with a new badge, now fully in command of the USS Discovery. Presumably, Michael Burham is now the first officer and chief science officer.
Tree hugging… and running
At some point, the crew visits a forest, with a really big tree.
And Tilly hugs the tree.
Book and Burham (in civilian clothes but with her new Starfleet badge) run from unknown pursuers through a forest.
Adira and Grey
The trailer also features a moment shared between new characters Adira (top) and Gray (middle). We also see them grasp hands.
Gray is a Trill and can also be seen floating in a symbiont pool, likely in the Caves of Mak’ala on Trill.
Adira can also be seen in a Jeffries tube on the Discovery. It has been revealed they will be working closely with Stamets.
A brief moment in the trailer shows an explosion at an unknown location, but it could be some kind of future concert venue. There are instruments on the wall and a cello can be seen flying through the room. The architecture could be from the same future Starbase shown above.
Book and Burnham romance
There is also a brief kiss between Burnham (with her long hair) and Book. Alex Kurtzman has said that Burnham has “met her match” with Book.
The trailer also features a couple of title cards to drive home the theme of the season.
Watch it again
Now that you have seen our analysis, watch it again.
What did you see?
Share your thoughts and insights into the new trailer below.
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