The big mystery for the fourth season of Star Trek: Discovery has been around the anomaly threatening the galaxy. The last couple of episodes have offered an intriguing clue that could offer some more insight into it, and that clue is tied into Star Trek: Voyager.
The Dark Matter Anomaly is all about power
The first episode of season four introduced the anomaly, soon dubbed the DMA (or Dark Matter Anomaly) by Commander Paul Stamets. This massive, unpredictable anomaly would destroy everything it touches. It would appear at random in different locations, threatening everyone. As the season progressed, it was revealed that the anomaly was not natural, but instead an artificial construct created by an unknown species (dubbed “Species 10-C”) who uses a wormhole to send it to different locations from their home system, which lies just outside of the Milky Way Galaxy beyond the Galactic Barrier.
The size and power of this anomaly are enormous, well beyond the ability of the Federation even in the 32nd century. However, episode eight, “All In,” revealed the DMA was not a weapon but a form of “dredge” used to mine a very rare element: boronite. As ominously noted by Admiral Vance, “If the DMA is their mining equipment, we can only imagine what their weapons are like.” It was also revealed the home system of Species 10-C is surrounded by a massive “hyperfield” which would require an “astronomical” amount of power. Saru said boronite “can be synthesized into some of the most powerful substances in existence,” and it powers the 10-C energy field “and then some.”
Boronite is the clue leading to Omega from Voyager
We have heard of bornite before… on Star Trek: Voyager, specifically in the fourth season episode “The Omega Directive.” When it comes to incredibly powerful substances, nothing beats bornite in Star Trek, or rather, what it’s used for: the creation of synthesized Omega molecules, which, according to Janeway, is “the most powerful substance known to exist.” A single Omega molecule has the same energy as a warp core. It was first discovered by the Federation in the 23rd century in the search for an inexhaustible power source; however, there was an accident and a single particle of Omega destroyed a Starfleet science station and destabilized an entire region.
Back in the 24th century, there was no known way to stabilize Omega molecules, and any attempt to create them resulted in disaster, creating ruptures in subspace that could affect an entire sector. Even the Borg were not able to master Omega, and it became a particular obsession for the collective. Omega was considered so dangerous the Federation implemented the “Omega Directive,” known solely to captains and flag officers. After any detection of Omega, orders were to destroy it “at all costs,” even if this required violating the Prime Directive.
“Omega Directive” writer sees the connection
So far there have been no mentions of Omega in Discovery; however, the most recent episode (“Rubicon”) revealed another possible clue that tied these together. When the DMA Controller was located by the USS Discovery while inside the DMA, it appeared to be comprised of interlocking dodecahedrons. And this bore a resemblance to some of the visualizations of the Omega Molecule in Voyager’s “The Omega Directive.”
Voyager’s “The Omega Directive” was written by Lisa Klink, who was a guest on last week’s episode of the TrekMovie podcast All Access Star Trek to talk about “Rubicon,” and she agreed the DMA controller “looked kind of similar.” She is hoping there is a connection, saying, “I would like to think that it’s tied to that, that they actually have been watching old Voyager episodes and keeping them in mind.”
One caveat to all of this is even with all this talk about boronite, the powerful substances it can create, and the visual on the DMA, there has been no mention of Omega molecules or Starfleet’s Omega Directive. However, Klink suggested this too may track:
I can believe that the Omega Directive no longer exists that far in the future, that they have learned how to control it to some degree, so that it’s not just destroyed on contact. So I would like to think that it is all consistent.
But what of 10-C?
Species 10-C has been built up to be enormously powerful, possibly even as powerful as some superbeings in Trek canon like Q and the Metrons. Still, they remain a mystery. One might imagine there is some connection to the Borg due to their obsession over Omega; so far, there has been no mention of the fate of the Borg in the 32nd century. And it is likely the show will avoid featuring the Borg as they are such an important part of Star Trek: Picard, especially with The Borg Queen being a big part of season two.
Last week, Discovery co-showrunner Michelle Paradise indicated that Species 10-C will actually be something new:
It’s been quite a journey and it was very interesting for us in the [writers’] room to create a species somewhat unlike any we’d seen and to build mystery around the species. And I can say that in the episodes to come, yes, we will learn more, and the mystery will only deepen… It’s unlike anything we’ve done on the show before. And it’s unlike a species we’ve seen before. And it felt important to us to really dig deep with that and explore that in a way that felt right for our show and right for Trek, specifically in the world of Trek.
Mastering Omega would be a simple way of showing just how powerful this new species is.
Locating this source of power used by Species 10-C will likely continue to be an important part of season four. Renegade mad scientist Ruon Tarka has made it his goal to capture this DMA power so he can use it to power a way to a parallel universe. He had hoped to find it inside the DMA, but learned in “Rubicon” the power source lies on the other side of the wormhole back in the Species 10-C home system.
While Starfleet has not expressed an interest in harnessing this same power, the President has mentioned multiple times that the Federation needs to move away from its reliance on dilithium, which is used to regulate anti-matter powered warp drives. The myceliam-fueled spore drive of the USS Discovery has inspired research resulting in the prototype spore drive which Tarka stole to install on Book’s ship. But perhaps this power controlled by Species 10-C could be something the Federation could use as well.
So it looks like everyone is headed out past the Galactic Barrier to find Species 10-C and get a closer look at this power. Of course, The Galactic Barrier itself is another familiar Star Trek detail that goes back to the second TOS pilot. And we should be getting some answers soon as Thursday’s episode of Discovery is titled “The Galactic Barrier.”
Haven’t we heard this before?
Some loyal readers may remember before the launch of season three of Discovery, TrekMovie theorized that Omega may have been connected to “The Burn.” In that scenario, the way Omega detonations could destroy subspace and therefore inhibit the ability to travel by warp did fit, but we later learned it was all due to a shortage of dilithium created via the scream of a single Kelpien child resonating throughout the galaxy. So it’s possible Omega will have no connection again—but if so, there is always season five.
What say you?
Do you buy into the new Omega hypothesis? Do you have your own theory for the DMA and Species 10-C? Let us know in the comments below.
Keep up on all the Star Trek: Discovery news and analysis at TrekMovie.com.
I keep thinking back to Po from DISCO S2- she knew how to use dark matter to help create a scale of power similar to a supernova (as well as how to recrystalize dilithium). I wonder if that process will come back up in this season.
Second Discovery season in a row where TrekMovie’s big theory is Omega molecules.
Hey, at least we’re consistent! We’ll be right eventually!
Who is John Harrison? Omega molecule! No? Awww!
Where is the Arbonath? Omega molecule! No? Awww!
How will Picard stop the invading AI tentacles? Omega molecule! No? Awww!
What’s the DMA? Omega molecule! EHHHHHH, maybe?
We’ll take it.
I think you answered your own question, in a way. DISCO is unique as a Star Trek show because it’s themes are not social or political but emotional. That’s what DISCO is about, and I didn’t really get that until last season when it’s revealed ‘The Burn’ was caused by emotion.
So, I’m guessing the show will continue on with it’s themes of emotional connection and consequences.
Here’s MY theory:
Maybe “species 10-C” is a name like they use in Star Wars, and the species is from TENNESSEE! Maybe it’s Sonny Clemons from the Next Gen episode, “The Neutral Zone,” evolved to a higher plane. He’s stopped looking for a “low-mileage pit-woofie,” and is now harvesting boronite in a quest to make a truly powerful martini.
I like it! They should use that in Lower Decks! :-)
I kid you not, I’d be thrilled for this to be true.
Funny you would mention Star Wars. I made a MEME about the DMA being Darth Sidious 😉👍
I noticed that the Species 10-C controller looked like a revamped version of the buoy cube in TOS episode The Corbomite Maneuver. Could 10-C be what’s become of the First Federation. They were already much more advanced than Starfleet in the 23rd Century. Maybe the ascended a la Stargate.
I have a feeling that this might be similar to what happened to the Borg origin theory in the Control storyline. Control looked like it was written that way, but for reasons unknown they just backed away from it in the end so it just weirdly parallels the Borg (controversy or continuity issues most likely). That might be what happens here, it looks like the Omega molecule story because that’s what inspired it, but in the end they may not make that connection official.
Control was never the origin of the Borg because the Varduaar had known of the Borg 900 years before Voyager’s “Dragon’s Teeth“.
Sure, that’s canon. But I’m talking about the fact that the Writers often don’t know that until it’s too late. They may have also changed the direction of the show during the season, setting them up for their time-traveling continuity escape to the future. So if they had planned a Borg origin story, it wasn’t going to make sense anyway, even if they ignored the “Dragon’s Teeth” VOY episode. That’s why I think the link-up was abandoned, they realized the problems in the story after they were already moving ahead with it. So they just tweaked the story to avoid it which is why it was so peculiar to anybody paying attention to the similarities.
But nothing suggest they didn’t know that either.
Why do people give these writers such little credit, as if they haven’t watched the shows or something? Or the very least, just haven’t looked up the crazy amount of information you can find online? I think they have proven they have stayed on top of canon even if fans are not always happy with how they handled it.
And one of the producers of Discovery is Kirsten Beyer, whose entire Star Trek career started with writing Voyager novels. Everyone define her as the arbiter of Star Trek canon within the new group. She would know all about that since she spent over a decade writing for those characters and still doing it today. She was in the writers room for season 2 and wrote episodes as well. And one of her novels revolved around the Borg. Trust me, she does her homework. It’s how she got the job with Discovery in the first place.
It was never a thing. You talk as if it was some fact or something based on zero evidence. No one has ever remotely suggested Control was anything more than a plot device to get the crew into the 32nd century. The rest was just fan theories like yours, that’s all, just like fans speculated the Red Angel was an Iconians and yes that it was the Omega particles that caused the Burn.
Control being the origin of the Borg made no sense whatsoever. The Borg is super old and on the other side of the galaxy. The idea was silly and just fans who wanted more Borg than a reasonable and logical connection to them. It was never going to happen.
Time travel exist in the ST universe, so it is plausible that Borg is BOTH ancient and originated with Control.
AND there still is the non-canon connection between the Borg and V’ger.
Non-canon being the key word.
The Borg was created in the Delta Quadrant, Control wasn’t. They started out as biological beings just like humans and it took thousands of years for them to become cybernetic. They evolved to what they became, they didn’t just have A.I. components over night.
And then we have to believe somehow Starfleet knew nothing about the Borg when their very own technology is what created them but they were utterly in the dark to their existence a century later.
The Control aspect made no sense on its head for those reasons. Yes it’s Star Trek and if they really really wanted to figure out a way for Control to be the origin of the Borg they could’ve found a half-ass way to do it. But it would still just trying to stick a round peg in a square hole and why it was never a possibility.
Tarka. Why so much hassle to find a way to go to a Parallel Universe if he already has one or possibly two spore drives!? There are other (and more simple) ways to go to a parallel universe. TOS, DS9, Voyager, and Discovery, all showed us different ways to move from one universe to another, without requiring DMA power. To my understanding. He is not trying to do something new.
They said something about the parallel universes drifting too far apart for crossovers last season, so the way that worked in the 2250s wouldn’t work in the 3100s.
Was that all parallel universes, or just the Mirror Universe?
Well they made an oblique reference to the Kelvin Timeline in the same scene, so I thought it was all parallel universes.
Then just acquire time travel tech to first go back to the proper time period. I’m sure that Tarka would be able to get one or build it.
My immediate thought was that the DMA looked remarkably like the eye of a Cestacian. Almost tempted to find my copy of “Probe” as a refresher.
What is a Cestacian? I don’t see a reference to them on Memory Alpha.
Presumably Cetacean. As in whales since Probe was about the whale probe from Star Trek IV.
Oh!! Right, now I feel silly for not picking up on that. Thanks.
Discovery seems to like making new things when linking to existing canon could easily fill in – there’s arguments on both sides about what is more interesting. After they chose a crying Kelpian over a technological reason last season, I wouldn’t put any faith in theories that link to existing canon TBH
“Making new things” is also called “writing.” At one point, all our favorite canon bits, characters and species were also “new things.” When “new things” cause writer’s block, you get the last 45 minutes of “Into Darkness” or crying Kelpian kids causing an energy crisis.
I’m not saying that Su’Kal screaming is bad, just that it was different and a clear departure from modern trek, if anything its a very TOS solution to the mystery. My only problem with it how far spread the effect of it was, the scale of the effect seems off to me.
I wasn’t making a value judgement on new canon vs established canon BTW
If at least they would or could come up with some cool and fantastic sci-fi – concepts like 4-dimensional beings or phenomena or a glitch in a holographic universe.
The Prophets are, for all intents and purposes, 4 dimensional beings as they interact with the rest of the galaxy in 3 spatial dimensions while also existing outside of linear time.
Species 10-C are the toxic fans, they created the DMA to destroy the Star Trek Discovery universe.
LOL, it’s at least a good analogy for them.
And we haven’t seen those before on the show ;-)
I remember in season 3 when fans, including TM obviously, was making theories the Burn was caused by Omega molecules. It just made so much sense on a scientific level and would make more sense maybe an alien race in the 32nd century was experimenting with them when something went wrong on a massive level. Some thought maybe it was even the Borg again up to no good. Pretty exciting stuff.
And then we learned it was due to a crying Kelpian kid. I have defended this show many times in the past, but…
Anyway, since this season’s mystery actually has a direct connection to Omega, it’s at least possible. And maybe the theory so many threw out for the Burn stuck with the producers for this storyline, so you never know.
But looks like I have another reason to rewatch The Omega Directive soon though!
I watched The Omega Directive when it was the trek Movie hypothetical link to The Burn last year, and it holds up as a really good episode. Voyager in general holds up really well has been my rewatching experience.
Yeah, I always loved that episode since it originally premiered. And I did a grand rewatch of the franchise last year and watched Voyager from beginning to end for the first time since the show ended twenty years ago and was amazed how much I enjoyed watching it. It’s currently my third favorite show of the franchise. Despite the show’s flaws, it really does hold up well today; especially when compared to the new shows IMO.
I would have much preferred that The Burn had been an omega particle instead of a screaming Kelpian. Discovery consistently disappoints in its climaxes, so maybe they will finally get it right this season…
Amen to that. Seriously, who thought that was a good origin of the burn? Did the writing room really all sit around and agree, “Yeah! A crying child! That’s IT!.” Ugh.
Actually, in their quest for emotions solving all our problems (and creating a few on the way) the writers have shown no inclination to understand plot development or trek technology. They just don’t care.
That was a letdown, to say the least. And that after the surprise that 900 years in Trek’s future, they still use the same kind of gas for their warp drives (and they forgot how to re-crystallize it).
I guess I’m in the extreme minority that thought the amplified cries of a child felt very Star Trek. I don’t see it as that much different (thematically) than needing a whale to save the Earth, learning the monster of a week was actually a mother protecting eggs, or any of the super-abilitied characters questing to be more human. All of them subvert expectations and tropes while maintaining an emotional center.
I won’t argue that the quality of execution was as good as any of my examples, but I think the theme of the importance of emotion definitely fits the traditions of Star Trek.
That’s a mic drop comment right there!
Haha…no disrespect intended!
I don’t think you’re in the minority, just among loud commenters. I’m not even a huge Trek fan and I remembered that those kinds of themes are perfectly normal for Trek… But the current fashion amongst haters is to care only about “hard sci-fi” tech type plots and to act entitled to having their preferences catered to at every turn.
Oh, this is fantastic.
I very much like all of those stories that you cite. Discovery season 3 did not at all set up that kind of story for me, but I’m glad to hear that it worked for some.
Out of genuine curiosity what did you think of the story arcs of season 1 and season 2 and their resolutions?
Yeah it’s fine others liked it but it’s divisive for a reason and didn’t work for me at all.
And everything is subjective and as long as you like something then that’s all that matters end of the day. No one is stopping anyone from watching shows or movies the internet has deemed unworthy.
If it is linked to Voyager then the Caretaker species is the only logical conclusion. They were super advanced in the Voyager timeframe, were from another galaxy and after 1000 years they are for sure even more developed.
But the Omega particles had nothing to do with the Caretaker itself. They could connect the two but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
That and they already said Species 10c is not a previous seen alien.
There going to find another abandoned Kelpian at the center of the phenomena. ;)
Let’s not get our hopes up that it’s something which could logically be associated with previous Treks. It’s just the Kelpian kid’s long-lost sister screaming inside the barrier.
Oops! I’m not the first to say this ;-)
Yeah, you edgy snarkers always sound extremally derivative and unoriginal, but also like you even somehow think you’re clever, lol. No wonder you think the show will repeat itself!!
Omega mastery would be an incredible and awesome connection to star trek cannon for 32nd Century Discovery lore. I hope that is what they did. It also makes sense given that SP-10C would likely have to keep a firm grip on Omega (i.e. close to home) to ensure it remains stable (no matter how powerful they are). I’m excited that SP-10C is something new and I’m very interested in their arc. I’m willing to bet that their home system lying just outside the Milky Way galaxy means that they could be a highly xenophobic species and ultimately place themselves above all, hence they are apathetic as to the ecological harm they are causing to the Milky Way’s interior residents. In line with that they may end up at odds with the Federation, because of the Federation philosophy of bringing species together. However, this species doesn’t have Romulan level arrogance, so they won’t seek to destroy the Federation. But, know the Federation can’t do anything to affect them at this time either.
Of course it is. I kind of want to be snarky because I’m concerned about a potential let down, but this kind of tie in is actually interesting and I’m curious to see if they can stick the landing. Dare I say it… I’m hopeful?
At this point, ANY explanation for the ‘DMA’ would be better than what was conceived for the ‘Burn’ storyline, whether it’s something that ties into past Trek lore, or whether it’s something completely new. The ‘Burn’ storyline solution was a laughable ‘creative choice’ indeed, so hopefully this will be an improvement.
Absolutely. Nothing can be worse than that.
Agreed. I just want this one to really land and not feel so divisive like the last two seasons.
I believe is the palnet eater from TOS. Their form are similar and we neve ldarnder where didi it come from.
I belive is the planet eater from tos. Their form is similar and we nver learned anything about it´s origin or its creators.
ST Fans: Wow, the Burn in DISCO season 3 sounds like it could be tied Omega molecules. That established galaxy threatening problem introduced in Voyager.
DISCO Writers: Oh interesting theory. Yup. *grabs pen* What episode were these Omega thingies in again?
The substance Species 10c is collecting in the show, Boronite, specifically comes from that episode. It’s not a weird coincidence, that’s its origin and what made up the Omega particles. So obviously they know about the episode and why people feel this will lead directly to Omega.
I know it’s easy for some fans to believe that Discovery writers doesn’t care about or knows about former canon, but the irony is seasons 3 and 4 has been very good with it from all the shows, TOS-ENT. Even if some people don’t like how they have used it (like GoF) they can’t say they are ignoring it either.
Why does it have to be linked to anything at all? Can’t it just be its own thing? I love theorizing as much as the next person – especially since Trek is such a rich universe, but, this would be such an obscure thing to be linked to. Why does everything have to be connected?
Yeah, I found it very odd that they came up with “species 10c” instead seeing it as a phenomena or own thing. In the past they didnt declare V’ger or the planet killer as “species x” or “coming from species x”. They should SHOW and not just tell.
I already gave away the ending of Discovery’s Season 4 finally. The masters of the DMA are the Ferengi.
As one person said on Twitter to the TrekCulture crew, “I guess we’ll find out what God needs a Star ship for.” 😉
I should mention that the Borg referred to the Omega particle as Particle 010, which is perhaps coincidentally echoed by the Federation designation Species 10C.
There are alot of species that we know nothing about, Species 4672, Totality, Seeders (progenitor) Caeliar, the builders of The guardian of forever, etc etc.
I just wonder where is the Klingon in the 32nd century, did they go extinct and did they ever join the federation and in which year ?
10c has some connection to Tarka’s MIA fellow scientist