Before season three of Star Trek: Discovery even kicked off we were looking to see how the jump to the 32nd century might tie into the Short Treks episode “Calypso.” And while there were some connections in season three, new questions were raised about how it all fits together. This has not gone unnoticed by Discovery showrunners, who pledge to continue to make “Calypso” connections as the show goes forward.
Showrunners promise to make “Calypso” fit with Discovery
In late 2018 the second episode of Star Trek: Short Treks retold an ancient Greek myth on board the USS Discovery after it had been abandoned for a millennia. Michael Chabon’s first Trek script told a captivating story about a future soldier named Craft fighting a war against the “V’draysh,” finding himself aboard the Discovery which is being run by a sentient AI named Zora who has a thing for old movies.
Instead of just leaving that Short Treks episode as a stand-alone thing, co-showrunner Alex Kurtzman told the BlerdGurl podcast they wanted to lean into it for season three, but he also admitted there is more connecting to do:
We definitely knew that we wanted to connect “Calypso” to Discovery. And, obviously, we did because we did it in “Calypso.” “Calypso” ends with a big open mystery, which is: how did how did this voice end up on the ship and why is the ship empty? So we have a lot to answer there. We love connecting Discovery to the trek to the Short Treks.
And speaking to Inverse Discovery co-showrunner Michelle Paradise got even more specific:
“‘Calypso’ has now become part of our canon. And it takes place far beyond our time now even in Season 3. And yeah, eventually we’ll have to find our way there. So that short, in the grand scheme of things, fits together as a piece. In certainly in Season 3, we were beginning that process with Zora — who isn’t quite the Zora we saw in ‘Calypso’ — but we were getting that process started a little bit of her sparking to life in episode 4, and then coming in and having a bit more of a presence in 12 and 13. So, we’re starting our way there.”
The “Calypso” connections and canon conundrum
Early in season three of Discovery, we saw these specific connections to “Calypso,” including confirming that “V’draysh” was another term for The Federation to some in the 32nd century. We also saw how the Sphere Data was evolving into a sentient AI with an interest in old movies and periodically spoke to Captain Saru with the same voice as Zora (actress Annabelle Wallis). We saw the Sphere Data return in the final episodes of season three when it retreated to the DOT-23 robots and helped the crew retake the ship.
While all of this seems to be leading up to seeing the Sphere Data evolve fully into Zora in Season 4 of Discovery, or beyond, there is also a bit of a wrinkle. In season 3 the USS Discovery was given a major 32nd century refit, which also included a new designation as NCC-1031-A. Both inside and out, this updated USS Discovery no longer matched the USS Discovery seen in “Calypso.”
The showrunners appear to confirm there is a direct linear connection between Discovery and “Calypso,” with Paradise indicating that it “takes place far beyond our time,” meaning well into the future beyond the 32nd. century. So the Short Treks episode may not be dismissed easily as an alternative timeline. Kurtzman’s comment that “we have a lot to answer there” and Paradise’s “eventually we’ll have to find our way there” indicates there is more in store for these “Calypso” connections, and possibly even a way to square the circle when it comes to how the refit USS Discovery becomes the same ship seen in that future appearance. There are also questions as to why the Discovery crew abandoned the ship and why Craft’s people were at war with The Federation.
We will have to wait to see what they have in store. Season four of Discovery is in production now and it’s a reasonable bet it will have more connections, especially with the Sphere Data evolving into Zora. Last year Kurtzman said they are planning for multiple additional seasons of Discovery, so they may take their time figuring out how it all fits together.
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