The fifth and final season of Star Trek: Discovery will debut on Paramount+ in April, but if you are attending SXSW in March you can catch the world premiere of the first episode.
Disco at SXSW
The annual SXSW conference in Austin, TX highlights “the most important breakthroughs in technology, film, culture, and music.” This year SXSW runs from March 8-16 and the Film and TV Lineup was announced this morning and it includes Star Trek: Discovery. There will be a panel discussion and Q&A but Paramount+ has not yet confirmed details on who will be attending. The specific date for the Discovery season 5 world premiere at SXSW has not yet been set.
Paramount has already revealed a synopsis for the season focusing on the USS Discovery “uncovering a mystery that will send them on an epic adventure across the galaxy to find an ancient power whose very existence has been deliberately hidden for centuries.” The season will see Captain Burnham and the crew on the “hunt” for this mystery, facing competition from “dangerous foes who are desperate to claim the prize for themselves.”
The SXSW site includes more details for the season premiere (previously reported to be titled “Red Directive“), revealing specifically what the USS Discovery is hunting, or possibly the first stage of their season quest. Here is the synopsis:
Captain Burnham and the U.S.S. Discovery are sent to retrieve a mysterious 800-year-old Romulan vessel; until the artifact hidden inside is stolen, leading to an epic chase. Meanwhile, Saru is offered the position of a lifetime, and Tilly’s efforts to help pull her into a tangled web of secrecy.
As Discovery is set in the 32nd century, this would mean the Romulan vessel is from the 24th century, likely from the Star Trek: The Next Generation era. The Romulans were first introduced as a mysterious adversary in the classic Star Trek episode “The Balance of Terror.” They returned in the first season finale of TNG (“The Neutral Zone”), and appeared regularly throughout TNG, Deep Space Nine, and were also a big part of Star Trek: Enterprise, set in the 22nd century. The destruction of Romulus late in the 24th century is also tied into the 2009 Star Trek movie with Star Trek: Picard picking up on the Romulan refugee crisis.
The Romulan ship and chase can be seen in earlier clips
The above description now provides more context for some previously released clips. A Romulan ship, looking a lot like the 23rd century Romulan science ship (as seen in TNG “The Next Phase”), can be seen in this promotional clip from last year, it also looks like the first seconds of the video show us the inside of the ship too.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2023, Paramount released a 5-minute clip of the opening moments of the season premiere. It starts with Captain Burnham facing off with the season 5 villains L’ak (Elias Toufexis) and Moll (Eve Harlow). Apparently this moment is set on this Romulan ship before L’ak and Moll escape with the “artifact” leading to the “epic chase” as described above. In the clip, you can also hear the voice of Starfleet Captain Rayner (Callum Keith Rennie) who is also pursuing L’ak and Moll.
The hunt for the artifact
You can also see more images of this artifact (now known to have been found on a 24th century Romulan ship) in the trailer released way back at New York Comic Con 2022.
Paramount+ announced the final season will debut in April around the world, but they have not yet set a specific date. A clip was released at CCXP last month.
Discovery seasons one through four are currently streaming exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland, South Korea, Latin America, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and Austria. Seasons two and three are also available on the Pluto TV “Star Trek” channel in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel.
Keep up with news for the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.