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.