Showrunners Promise ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Will Fit Together With “Calypso” Canon

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.

Craft and Zora dance in Star Trek: Short Treks "Calpyso"

Craft and hologram Zora in “Calypso”

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.

Sphere Data in DOT-23 bot in “There is a Tide…”

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.

USS Discovery in “Calypso” didn’t have upgrades or new “NCC-1031-A” designation

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.

The refit USS Discovery at Starfleet HQ

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.


Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.

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I can’t help but to say, with a show like Discovery, who needs cannon!

I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean considering there haven’t been any canon “violations”, at least not any worse than anything the rest of the franchise has committed.

Last edited 3 months ago by Scott

It’s canon, not cannon. There have been plenty of cannons. That being said, Discovery has not been the long string of canon violations that some melodramatic fans make it out to be.

The franchise has been playing loose with canon for over fifty years now. Who cares?

I now this is wishy-washy, but it really depends on what constitutes “playing loose”.

For instance, I don’t care much about any discontinuities in TOS, considering the era and timeframe the show aired. It’s amazing that they were even as consistent as they were over those episodes, considering some of the major franchise concepts weren’t fleshed out until late into season one or even season two. TNG has some similar moments in their first few episodes, easily ignored due to the time it aired and considering the size of the franchise at that time (3 TOS seasons and 3/4 movies released when they were filming the first season).

Are minor continuity errors in scripting considered “playing loose”? What about continuity errors in set-design that virtually no one would ever notice? Having a character say “200 years” instead of “300 years” or having a character walk out of a turbolift into a wrongly configured hallway shouldn’t be justification for major changes/reimagining/reconfiguring of existing, well established canon.

Your question does bring up a good point through. “Who cares?” is completely fair. I remember as an early teen being so confused why my dad considered himself a huge Trekkie but he never watched Voyager with us after the first few episodes. He said he wasn’t a fan of the show, but it didn’t make sense to me at the time. Trekkies watch everything!

Fast forward a few years and I’m pretty content with the concept of “head canon.” I don’t bother ever doing full re-watches of any of the shows (except perhaps DS9 where I *might* skip one or two episodes). Life is too short to watch a bunch of stuff that I’m barely enjoying (I’ve had the same issues with Doctor Who for about 9 years), so I skip over it. I haven’t liked pretty much anything coming from Kurtzman’s Trek, so I’m passing over all of it. I’m keeping one eye on “Strange New Worlds” but I have absolutely no faith they’ll do anything differently with this show from what they’ve done on Discovery.

People can enjoy whatever they want. If they like this Trek, good for them. If they’re like me, they should probably skip it and save themselves the headache or heartache of watching something they dislike.

Exactly!

Well I hope that they don’t intend to make for Short Treks directly tying in with the main series, the rest of the world still hasn’t gotten the second batch yet – if ever.

I thought they’d been released on Amazon Prime?

Nope.

They are now available to buy on Blue-Ray in Australia. The disc isn’t cheap, though.

It seems to me that perhaps going through the Wormhole could have created an alternate universe, that the OG Disco might still be stuck in the Event Horizon of the wormhole or something. And whilst I hate that these things are used willy-nilly to make stories fit… well, I guess it would.

“Calypso’ has now become part of our canon. And it takes place far beyond our time now even, in Season 3”

Wow, so they finally confirmed what a lot of us has been theorizing for a long time now and that Calypso took place most likely a thousand years after the 32nd century and wasn’t actually in the 32nd century. It could take place in the 42nd century or even farther than that!

This is the Star Trek I live for! :)

So all those theories about taking the ship back in time (which people been postulating for years now) amounted to nothing lol. But same time now it gives us a whole new drawing board of where it’s all going. They already set the show on a really different path than we seen any Trek before it by going so far ahead into the future. So they may have really ambitious plans for the 32nd century and where it’s all going; especially now that they made it clear it will connect to Calypso.

Even though I’m still on the fence with the show as a whole, I am honestly rooting for it. Because it’s doing things I been wanting to see Trek do for nearly 20 years now and go boldly into something completely new and not just the familiar over and over again. We will have Picard, Lower Decks, Prodigy and Strange New Worlds for that ;). Discovery has the chance do bold things being so far away from the 23rd and 24th centuries and all our favorite characters that will pop up on those shows.

Hopefully it will improve more but I’m invested!

Last edited 3 months ago by Tiger2

If Discovery jumps to the 42nd century without really getting to know the 32nd century, I think that will be a bit grating on audiences to be honest.

It won’t jump there. It’s been sitting empty for many years by the time of “Calypso.”

You know what I mean. The story will move to the 42nd century, unless Discovery goes back in time to the 32nd.

The story probably won’t move to the 42nd century. We will just eventually find out why the Discovery crew felt the need to abandon their ship and remove its upgrades in the 32nd century.

I really don’t like the implications of this. I was hoping it took place in the 32nd century because ‘V’Draysh’ would have been relevant. Knowing that there’s still conflict with the V’Draysh 1000+ more years in the future, and that the word itself still exists, implies that the Federation was either never fully restored or fell apart again. Obviously neither of those outcomes is desirable, so now I have to hope that there’s some convoluted subversion of that implication yet to come.

Yeah, if you read my post above, I didn’t mention this specifically, but this was one of the things that legitimately bothered me. I felt like any reference to the V’Draysh or the Long Ago should be in the time of “Calypso,” and I don’t think the V’Draysh should have been mentioned in the 32nd century, since that’s still a number of centuries away.

Now that doesn’t help your vision of the future, but it makes more sense than what they’ve laid out for us. I’m truly disappointed about the treatment my favorite Short Trek episode got.

Don’t make more of it than you need to. The ship could be in the 42nd for a century and still return to the 32nd in the blink of an eye!

Bring back Aldis Hodge and I might care; otherwise, this all gets the same skeptical disdain these writers continue to earn from me.

“We definitely knew that we wanted to connect “Calypso” to Discovery.” Really? That’s what you wanted? Doesn’t matter what you wanted. What is canon is what matters. You can bend canon but you can’t break it. Eventually you have to acknowledge it in some way otherwise we can’t take you seriously at all. “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?” We already know about the voice. That is irrelevant. Why the ship is empty also doesn’t matter, at least not now. What does matter is why the ship looks like it did Pre-refit but it’s supposed to be Post-season 3. “So we have a lot to answer there.” My biggest concern is the fact that the ship doesn’t look like it did in “Calypso” anymore. And I have a feeling that’s the one and only thing you won’t address. “We love connecting Discovery to the trek to the Short Treks.” “Trek to the Short Treks”? What does that even mean. And as for connecting them…what do you mean you “love to”? Weren’t they meant to be connected anyway? You speak as if they aren’t canon until you make them connect…in any case, a stupid statement that has no meaning I can understand at least. “‘Calypso’ has now become part of our canon.” I’m guessing you don’t understand how Star Trek canon works. Calypso was canon since 2018. That’s before Season 3 even aired. You making vague and seemingly contradictory references to that episode in Season 3 is not what made that episode canon, it was canon as soon as it aired. If anything I feel like your trying to make it non-canon!! “And it takes place far beyond our time now even in Season 3.” That much is obvious. Considering “Calypso,” which is one of my favorite Short Treks by the way; was aired in 2018 before season two even aired, I should point out, that originally it was believed that Calypso must have been set during the 33rd century. The trailer to the episode said it was a thousand years after the time of Discovery. Since they were still in the 23rd century at that time the 33rd century was only logical. But when the season ended, we realized they made a 930 year jump into the future, setting up for season 3 but making us realize that Calypso would clearly have to be even further in the future than we thought, since now the “time of Discovery” was in the 32nd century. This would have to be sometime in or around the 42nd century, and this is assuming they stay in the time that they are in for the remainder of the series, and not jump forward or backward again. “And it takes place far beyond our time now even in Season 3. And yeah, eventually we’ll have to find our way there.” Once again, it’s not about getting there. Mysteries don’t bother me, it’s clear continuity errors that do. Please take the time to fix your mistakes. You got a whole series to do it. I’m talking about the refit and the registry number change. Those are things that must be addressed. Heck, I don’t mind if you just make a remastered version of “Calypso” that fixes the mistake, but just fix it somehow. “So that short, in the grand scheme of things, fits together as a piece.” The grand scheme better be good. Because right now, The show ain’t gripping me. Aside from some Legacy nods and cool stuff rarely I feel that this show has no soul. And I tried to like it really I did, and I defended it for so long, but I feel like the writers don’t care. The biggest thing that Disco lacks is stories about characters. The stories are about what characters do, not about the characters themselves. Bad, bad writing. Please, make an episode like in TNG, where we see the characters enjoying themselves, like Data being Sherlock Holmes or Picard being Dixon Hill. We’re three seasons in and I don’t even know all of the recurring characters names! Some of them are written better than others, Tilly, Tig Nitaro’s character or whatever her name is is a little interesting. Paul Stamets is okay, but really none of the other characters save the main characters do. Also, when there’s emotional moments I can only role my eyes. I can’t cry along with the characters because none of this was earned. Bad writing people. And I’d like to like Burnham just a little…would you please write her character better? A Mary Sue is not a real character.  In certainly in Season 3, we were beginning… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Marc Henson

Have you lost your shit or what? Who cares discovery is a fine show . Just forget calypso was ever made and take a chill pill or smoke one or something for the love of Star Trek let it go.

I am completely chill. Don’t need a pill. Discovery is not a fine show. Calypso was, but not Discovery.

It would be easier for me to forget Discovery. When I pointed out all of that stuff, I was speaking calmly and rationally, with nothing but logic on my side.

My issue wasn’t even about Discovery being a good show or not. I don’t care if it sucks, I like Lower Decks and I even liked Picard…so I still have shows to look forward to on the Star Trek spectrum. My issue is with how they choose to treat fans. Not once in the interview does she address what she will do about the errors she made. She just says that it will eventually “fit together as one piece.

Well it already doesn’t fit. That’s all I’m saying. Maybe you don’t care, but I do. I have little faith in a showrunner that can’t even keep the continuity that she established straight. I’m not just talking about vs. other Trek, because that’s forgivable, I’m talking about Disco itself, contradicting itself. It’s very frequent.

Yeah yeah, we believe you. I’m not sure you know what canon is.

I loved “Calypso,” but I don’t really feel the need to connect it up with the rest of Discovery. It was a perfect tiny gem, all by itself, and I’m happy to leave it at that.

I feel similar to that as well. Calypso wasn’t “perfect” but it was certainly well done. No need to link it to anything.

Ugh. This show doesn’t know what it wants to be.

I completely agree with you. I believe that when they made “Calypso,” they had no idea how they were going to end season two. They knew Discovery would end up in the future, in what at first we assumed would be because they abandon the ship in a nebula for a thousand years. But instead they literally travelled through time, almost as if they had forgotten that wasn’t how Discovery ended up in the future in “Calypso.”

And then there’s the TARDIS turboshaft, and Burnham’s bullcrap journey to the captain’s chair. God the show is just bad. But it doesn’t have to be. If they could just flesh out the characters more, and stop making the show be so predictable, I would love it. I think they got close with certain characters but were off by miles with others.

They wouldn’t have to change much. If they did those things, I might even be able to overlook the obvious ridiculousness of the plots….I mean let’s face it…Lower Decks got pretty darn rediculous at times, but it made it funnier, and I adored the characters. That’s all Discovery needs. I’d like to see an episode where everybody is just on shore leave or something. Or in the holodeck. (I assume they have a holodeck now since they had a refit)

Yeah, sure. They’ve “promised” a lot of things.

And to be honest, I really don’t care if the show flows into Calypso or not. I don’t consider it all that important. I’d rather they put the effort into making better shows in general rather than worry about of a show will fit into some short they made a couple of years ago.

This person gets it

I agree with you….but only up to a point. It’s true, they have promised so many things and failed to deliver. And mainly they need to focus on characters. The characters need better treatment in the show. The writing’s terrible.

As for your comment about “Calypso” not mattering because it came out a couple of years ago, do you feel the same about the Star Trek that came before that? I mean, heck, with that kind of thought we might as well just start contradicting every Star Trek show in the past if we aren’t worried about them connecting anymore.

I don’t consider myself a full-on “continuity cop,” because I know some rules can be bent, and are just open to interpretation, but then there are other things that are clear violations…and season 3 was a clear violation. The refitted the ship, got a new registry number, and now we’re supposed to assume they’ll change it back before the abandon ship for a thousand years? Doesn’t seem very likely.

It’s not that we need an answer to why the ship was abandoned. That was never a concern of mine and when I first saw the short I didn’t even care. I was intrigued by all of the other stuff. And season 3 went ahead and soiled the entire episode, by referencing the V’Draysh. Absolutely stupid. And the stupidest thing of all was the refit which doesn’t match up with its’ appearance in “Calypso.” Now if they remastered it and made it look refit in “Calypso,” I’d be okay with that….otherwise we need an answer.

Nothing she said in this interview makes me confident she knows what she’s doing. She keeps talking about what she did with Zora in episode 12 and 13 or whatever….dammit woman, address the elephant in the room…we can wait on the mystery, but we can’t wait for you to mop up your own incompetence. All I want is to here Michelle Paradise actually say the words. I wanna hear: “Yes, we know that Discovery looked like it did pre-refit and we’re gonna come up with a way that that’ll make sense.” That’s all I want…I don’t care about the mystery of Zora or the war that the V’draysh and the Alcorians were having…that’s way down the road, and even if they don’t go there, I’m okay with that. I just want them to fix the continuity errors.

You missed the point. The fact that the short was made a few years ago is not the issue. The issue is that they are trying to make their show fit towards that short when I feel their focus really ought to be elsewhere. Sure, they can do both. And it is kinda nice they are at least giving lip service that they care about the connection. But from the outside looking in it seems like they aren’t working as hard as they could be towards improving the main product.

The point I was making is they don’t care. The lip service just adds to that. What’s going on with Zora doesn’t matter. Their mistakes that contradict that short DO matter. These are things that need to be addressed.

Last edited 3 months ago by Marc Henson

OK. You don’t care. But you did lay into my comment of the short being a couple of years ago as something that matters. Which led me to believe that it did matter to you.

And honestly, sure.. It would be good if they linked the short better to the main show. But in the end, I’d rather they not link the two at all of Star Trek: Discovery was of decent quality to begin with. I enjoy canon as much as the next guy but before that, for me at least, the quality of the show circumvents small canonical errors.

I think this could be sorted one of 3 ways:

1. Its Empress Georgiou’s Discovery from MU, abandoned because ?? and is in 32nd century. Terrans took sphare data by force??? Has had to wait as no Red Angel. MU started to evolve similar to prime universe post DS9 era. Would be cool to have a “mirror ship” jump to prime universe and be a character in its own right.

2. Some “copy” of Disco was created as it entered Red Angel timehole as a result of weapons fire / time crystal anomily. Original crew also “copied”, realised what happened but went in to hiding to preserve the plan to defeat control. Disco hidden and told to hold position until the originally planned 32nd century date at which point it jumps to New Eden to “rendevous” with original Disco (now Disco A) a la E2 in Enterprise. Would make a great s4 ep and there would be 2 spore drives in Starfleet as well as Zora.

3. Disco cant be destroyed as zora is sphere data. After abandonment by the crew to allow zora to develop as sentient life (very starfleet) Zora as a fan of oldies etc has the dot bots remove all upgrades and Disco becomes original again. Done as she sees the original Disco as her “true self”

“we’ll have to find our way there” – in other words, we have absolutely no clue, but we’ll throw in something

Agreed- this show has no idea what it wants to be. Lots of big talk between seasons, but when it’s time to perform they can’t stick the landing.

Big picture, it’s hard to connect with the Picard series storylines when we know the future is already written (silly Burn, collapse of the Federation).

Similarly, Discovery jumped centuries into the future, and for what? Only to now be weighed down by yet another pre-ordained depressing future.

For me, and I suspect many fans, the excitement of Star Trek is watching our heroes build a brighter tomorrow, not stumble along on a path of perpetual dystopia.

Last edited 3 months ago by Dax

But who said it’s a dystopia though? All we know is somewhere post 32nd century the Federation will be at war with someone. I mean, that’s not exactly a new thing in any century.

22nd century- Romulans and (almost) Xindi

23rd century- Klingons

24th century- Cardassians, Klingons (again) and the Dominion

That’s just kind of how the Federation rolls. ;)

And those were more and less open declarations of conflict. That doesn’t count for the countless smaller conflicts they had with everyone from the Ferengi to the Borg and constant cold wars with everyone including groups they already had wars with like the Klingons, Romulans and Cardassians. Even after there was an official war with those groups, relations were still ice cold with many of them for decades if not centuries like the Romulans obviously.

I don’t know if I see it as dystopia though as long as the Federation itself keeps to its values. And isn’t that why there is always a war breaking out? Because usually another group is trying to challenge those values.

32nd century is the first century where the Federation hasn’t involved itself in a major war (and that’s probably because no one had the resources anymore to start one ;)). But we also know the Temporal War happened a century before that one (although to be fair, in a few centuries I guess).

We always pat Star Trek on the back for how ‘civil’ and ‘peaceful’ it tells us the future will be and yet every show and century still manages to find conflict after conflict just the same no matter how ‘evolved’ humans become. My guess because it’s still a TV show and you have to find conflict to keep people watching.

Last edited 3 months ago by Tiger2

The show has violated canon so many times, I f* don’t care whether it fits with “Calypso” or not.

Waiting for the episode where Vance decides to scrub the “A” off with a laser scraper

Just say it was an alternate future similar to Voyagers timeless episode and move on.

Am I the only one who thinks it’s kind of crazy for the writers to twist and convolute seasons of a series to match a 10 minute short written years before the forward jump? Short Treks were supposed to be, in addition to filler tween seasons, sandboxes to play with new ideas and new writers and new ways to tell stories (like the animated ones this past season). I don’t think they’re supposed to be boat anchors locking an entire series to a predetermined destination (and thus also verifying that no matter what happens for the rest of the series USS Discovery survives, implying at least some of the crew does too) that removes stakes and drama from the stories. “How will they get out of this this time?” isn’t as suspensful as ‘will they survive?’ I have NO evidence to back up the following thought, so take it for what it is: I can’t help but wonder if the fact that Michael Chabon wrote Calypso is a factor in why they’re trying so hard to make it fit?