Star Trek: Discovery theories – week 8

Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Discovery Seasons 1-3, Star Trek: Picard, as well as for other iterations of the Star Trek franchise.

After a couple of episodes that I wasn’t especially impressed with, Discovery came roaring back this week with The Sanctuary, a busy episode that had plenty going on. It managed to tell both a semi-standalone story as Book returned to his homeworld as well as throw into the mix several ongoing storylines.

In terms of theories, The Sanctuary gave us a lot – certainly the most movement we’ve seen in several weeks. There are two theories being retired, two more being debunked, three brand-new ones, and several significant advancements.

Debunked theory #1: There will be some kind of tie-in with the Deep Space Nine Season 2 episode Sanctuary.

Major Kira in Sanctuary.

When I postulated this theory last week I called it a “total stab in the dark,” and I’m not surprised to see it fail to pan out. Having looked through the episode a couple of times I saw no hint or reference to the Skrreeans, their mythical planet of Ketanna, or their new homeworld of Drayon II.

Because Discovery had used Unification III a week earlier to connect to the two-part episode from The Next Generation, I considered it at least possible that there might’ve been some kind of reference or callback to Deep Space Nine. It was just a thought, though, and has no real impact on the show going forward!

Debunked theory #2: The music Burnham keeps noticing is indicative of having crossed into a parallel universe.

Adira plays the melody on their cello.

We learned this week that the recurring music is connected to the signal coming from the Verubin Nebula. How, exactly, the signal managed to convey a piece of music subconsciously to half the galaxy is unknown, but it’s clearly not connected to being in a parallel universe.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to abandon the idea of Burnham and Discovery having crossed into a different universe, but it does mean that the music is not indicative of that.

So those theories were debunked. Next we have two theories that I’m choosing to retire. While it isn’t fair to call either “debunked,” as there was no on-screen confirmation, the way the story has moved on is now strongly suggesting that neither will pan out.

Retiring theory #1: Booker is a Coppelius synth.

Book and Kyheem use their empathic abilities.

Though never stated outright, the origin of Book seems to be that he’s a Kwejian native. Why he chose to adopt a human name is unclear, as is what the exact nature of a Kwejian native is! Are they descended from humans or a human colony on that world? Are they a different race entirely? Book’s empathic abilities seem to imply the latter, but The Sanctuary didn’t really go into too much detail. Perhaps we’ll learn more on another occasion.

Regardless, it’s looking more and more likely that Book’s abilities are in no way meant to be indicative of a synthetic origin. While it’s technically possible we could learn, in a later story, that the civilisation on Kwejian is synthetic, I doubt it right now. And thus we can officially retire this theory.

As a side note, I don’t feel the storyline we got with Book’s background actually accomplished very much. Though Book had demonstrated his empathic abilities in his first appearance, everything else about him seemed to be human, and though learning the nature of his abilities was something I think a lot of us were curious about, the ultimate resolution to them being “he’s just a new kind of alien from a new planet” doesn’t feel especially interesting. If this was Book’s ultimate destination, why not just have him be up front with Burnham in That Hope Is You about his origins? Why go to the trouble of making us think he could be human only to change it later? It wasn’t like Book’s homeworld or race were significant to the main story of the season; if anything the scenes on Kwejian in The Sanctuary felt like a standalone story, as I noted in my review. I’m not upset about what we learned, but the way in which this story thread unfolded is just a little odd.

Retiring theory #2: Lieutenant Detmer is going to die.

Detmer in control of Book’s ship.

After a narrative that tried to touch on the broad issues of post-traumatic stress and mental health, it seems as though Detmer’s first real storyline has come to an end. The Sanctuary saw her regain much of her confidence as she took the helm of Book’s ship, and as of the end of the episode seemed happier and much more settled.

In truth we’d been seeing movement away from this theory for several weeks, but after there had been so much hinting at a possible unpleasant end to Discovery’s helmswoman in Far From Home I wanted to wait and see how it panned out before striking it from the list. We could certainly still see Detmer killed in some way, perhaps by Osyraa extracting revenge for the attack on her vessel, but if that’s going to happen it would be unconnected to her initial injuries earlier in the season. Since my theory was based on the idea that Detmer was suffering some kind of undiagnosed injury or implant-related condition, I’m now retiring it. I’m not sure how much more we’ll see of her this season now that her arc appears to have been resolved, but as above, if we get new information that again points to this being a possibility, I can always bring the theory back at that point.

So those theories have been retired. If the storyline of the season changes again, it’s possible they could come back. But as of right now they seem to be so unlikely as to no longer warrant inclusion on the official theory list. Speaking of, let’s get into the main list, beginning with those theories that are new or saw major movement this week.

Number 1: A time-travelling (or parallel universe) USS Discovery is at the centre of the nebula – and may be responsible for the Burn.

The USS Discovery in a nebula in the Short Treks episode Calypso.

This is the first of three ideas I have for the source of the Federation signal at the centre of the Verubin Nebula, and it gets to go first because I consider it to be the most likely.

Just to briefly recap, after using a combination of Starfleet black boxes and the data from a secret project codenamed SB-19, Stamets, Adira, Tilly, and Saru traced the Burn’s point of origin to the Verubin Nebula. Something within the nebula is emitting a signal, part of which was a familiar piece of music that many people in the 32nd Century are familiar with, but hidden deep within the signal was a “Federation distress signal.” Adira began the task of decoding the signal, but as of the end of The Sanctuary, the message was still hidden.

In the Short Treks episode Calypso, the USS Discovery was found abandoned in a nebula by Craft. Craft was a soldier in a war against the V’draysh; an alternate name for the Federation in the 32nd Century. Zora, an AI present aboard the USS Discovery, told Craft the ship had been abandoned for almost a thousand years, and not only have we seen the potential creation of Zora earlier this season (from a merger of Discovery’s computer and the Sphere data) but in addition, Season 3 takes place 930 years in the future from Discovery’s original 23rd Century setting. If Discovery had been abandoned at that time, things begin to fall into place.

There are two possibilities for how it could be the USS Discovery – which, of course, has not been abandoned – in that nebula: the ship will be sent back in time, or it has crossed over from an alternate timeline or parallel universe – it could have even crossed over from the prime timeline if Season 3 is itself taking place in an alternate reality!

Time travel and parallel universe stories quickly get complicated, so Discovery will need to work hard to pull this off – if indeed the story is headed in this direction.

Number 2: A familiar starship is at the centre of the nebula – and may be responsible for the Burn.

Could the Enterprise-E be hiding at the centre of the nebula?

If not the USS Discovery, then who could it be at the centre of the Verubin Nebula? How about one of the hero ships from a past iteration of Star Trek? We could encounter the USS Defiant, the Enterprise-E, Riker’s USS Titan, or Star Trek: Picard’s La Sirena among many others. If such a vessel were caught in a temporal anomaly, that would explain their presence in the 32nd Century – and if time travel is involved, from their point of view the Burn may have only just happened, instead of happening 120 years ago.

It’s more likely, though, that any ship Saru and the crew find in the nebula would be deserted so long after the Burn – either abandoned by its crew or having become their tomb. If it is a familiar ship, we could thus see the ultimate end of a significant character (or multiple characters) from a past iteration of Star Trek.

The one exception to this could be La Sirena. This would be totally out of left-field for the Star Trek franchise, and keeping a lid on a secret this big would be difficult. But it would finally accomplish something I’ve been arguing for for a while: simplifying the Star Trek franchise. If La Sirena were discovered, along with Picard and his crew, Picard Season 2 could join Discovery in the 32nd Century. I don’t consider this likely, but it would be a fascinating way for the Star Trek franchise to go!

Number 3: The Red Angel suit is at the centre of the nebula – and may be responsible for the Burn.

Dr Gabrielle Burnham’s Red Angel suit.

Of note was the fact that Tilly described the distress signal coming from the Verubin Nebula as being of “Federation” origin, not Starfleet origin. This could mean that we won’t find a Starfleet vessel there, but rather some other Federation entity.

Burnham’s Red Angel suit was last seen on Hima when she sent it back in time. She ordered the suit to self-destruct, but as we never saw the destruction on screen, what became of the suit after it sent the final Red Burst is unknown. Was it captured, intercepted, or damaged? Could someone have stolen it with a view to weaponising it? It’s at least a possibility.

If Discovery wants to present the Burn as an accident or disaster rather than a deliberate act, having the Red Angel suit malfunction could be one way of doing that. Rather than requiring a villain, the story of the season could instead see the crew unravelling a scientific puzzle, one which points to Discovery and her crew as the origin of the Burn, but in such a way that they themselves are blameless.

Obviously all three of these Verubin Nebula theories can’t be true! If I had to put money on it I’d pick the USS Discovery, but Season 3 has been an unpredictable ride, and it could easily be something entirely different that I’ve failed to predict. What I would say, though, is having set this up as something mysterious, there’s a risk the resolution could feel anticlimactic if it turns out to be a random starship with no connection to anyone on Discovery.

Number 3A: The name “Burn” is derived from the name Burnham.

Burnham in Unification III.

Connected to the theory above, if indeed the Red Angel suit is the source of the Burn, perhaps the name of the event is derived from the name of the wearer of the Red Angel suit – either Michael or Gabrielle Burnham.

As noted above with the music, the signal emanating from the Verubin Nebula has – somehow – subconsciously embedded itself in people all across the galaxy. They first heard the music that way, so what if they also heard part of the distress signal? Present in the signal could be the name of the person issuing it – Burnham. If the distress signal is connected to the Burn’s origin, at the exact moment the Burn occurred, people could have subconsciously heard the name and connected the two events.

The signal could also be the suit – or its occupant – attempting to contact Burnham.

I speculated way back when I looked at possible Burn origins before the season premiered that it was, at the very least, an odd coincidence that in a show all about Michael Burnham there’s a disastrous event called “the Burn.” Could these two seemingly unconnected things actually be related?

I stand by what I said a few weeks ago: if it is somehow Burnham’s fault, calling the event “the Burn” sounds way better than calling it “the Ham!”

Number 4: The Burn was a superweapon – perhaps one the Federation or Section 31 built.

The Burn.

The presence of a Federation distress signal at (or very close to) the source of the Burn would seem to suggest the cataclysmic event was triggered by that starship or person. While that could certainly have been an accident, it may not be. The Burn could be a superweapon – one developed by Starfleet or Section 31, perhaps designed to counter a galactic-scale threat like the Borg or the super-synths from Star Trek: Picard.

It could also have been a revenge attack; some kind of galactic-scale mutually-assured destruction. If the Federation, Section 31, or some other organisation launched an attack against someone, the Burn may be that faction’s retaliation. That would explain the lack of an invader: they were already dead.

Both Admiral Vance and Kovich have stated that they don’t know what caused the Burn, and they don’t consider any of the many theories more or less likely than others. Kovich could be lying, but Admiral Vance certainly seemed genuine. However, given how long ago the Burn was, it’s possible the knowledge of what caused it has been lost or deliberately concealed, either by Starfleet, Section 31, or whichever faction was responsible.

The Federation distress signal strongly hints at Starfleet’s involvement. So the question is this: if the Burn was a superweapon, were they the perpetrator or the target?

Number 5: The Emerald Chain will attempt to steal the USS Discovery and/or the Spore Drive.

Ryn explains the Emerald Chain’s dilithium problem to Tilly.

Ryn confided in Tilly that the reason Osyraa – the Emerald Chain’s leader – is so keen to recover him is because he knows their biggest secret: the Emerald Chain is running out of dilithium. This will undoubtedly make the faction more aggressive as it looks to shore up its position, but now that they’ve seen Discovery able to jump to Kwejian, perhaps Osyraa and her people will begin to suspect that the ship has a powerful new method of propulsion.

This connects with a theory I’ve been talking about for a couple of weeks, that Discovery’s Spore Drive will not remain a secret. Admiral Vance told Starfleet’s senior officers about the Spore Drive in Scavengers, and I picked up at least a hint that not everyone was happy about this disruption to the established hierarchy of Starfleet. Could someone within Starfleet – such as Lieutenant Willa – have passed along to the Emerald Chain details of the USS Discovery?

Even if none of that happens, with Discovery jumping all over the galaxy – to Earth, Trill, Ni’Var, Federation HQ, and the location of the USS Tikhov – how long until some other faction notices? Sensors still exist, after all, and must be pretty good and have decent range by this time period. The Ni’Var learned about the Spore Drive as well, and they are no longer Federation members. Will they keep Starfleet’s secret?

Number 6: Mirror Georgiou has been tampered with by Section 31.

Georgiou in The Sanctuary.

Surely it isn’t a coincidence that Georgiou was perfectly fine until her encounter with the mysterious Kovich in Die Trying. After undergoing a medical examination for her hallucinations/blackouts, Georgiou hacked into Discovery’s medical database and, upon seeing the results, jumped to the conclusion that she is dying.

Dr Culber told her things may not be quite that simple, and for production-side reasons I’m confident that she will survive the season – she’s due to be the main character in the upcoming Section 31 series, after all! But what caused her ailment and why it’s manifested itself now is currently unknown.

Though we only have timing to back up this theory, Kovich stated that he has a fascination with Terrans and Terran physiology, so if anyone we’ve met so far was capable of harming Georgiou, he’s our prime suspect. His uniform was different from anyone else we met in Starfleet, as was his demeanour, and I think it’s possible that he’s an agent of Section 31.

Perhaps Section 31 came to the conclusion some centuries ago that Terrans are irredeemable troublemakers, and the only thing to do is kill them. Or perhaps Kovich/Section 31 had another aim with Georgiou, such as some kind of torturous interrogation, that went awry. Or the hallucinations could have been planted deliberately so Georgiou could be manipulated into working for Section 31. There are myriad possibilities!

Number 7: Mirror Georgiou will travel back in time.

Georgiou has been hallucinating and experiencing blackouts.

One circle that needs to be squared is how Georgiou could be included in the upcoming Section 31 show – which supposedly takes place in the 23rd Century – given her presence aboard Discovery. I’ve been speculating for weeks that she might travel back in time, and perhaps now we’re getting closer to finding out why – and how.

Kovich told us that the Mirror Universe and the current universe have “drifted apart” over the centuries, and crossing over may no longer be possible. If Georgiou wanted to return to the Mirror Universe – or needed to for some reason, such as to cure her ailment and save her life – she would therefore need to travel back in time.

If she took the USS Discovery with her, this could link up with the mysterious ship in the Verubin Nebula as well as the Short Treks episode Calypso. She may even take Kovich with her; he expressed an appreciation for the Mirror Universe and may want to visit for himself.

Number 8: Discovery Season 3 is taking place in an alternate timeline or parallel universe.

“An alternate reality?”

In the past couple of weeks we’ve seen two key elements of this theory fall away: the absence of Dr Gabrielle Burnham and the mysterious music. The presence of the planet Vulcan – now known as N’Var – also removed any possibility that Season 3 is taking place in the Kelvin timeline. However, there are still reasons to think this theory may be borne out.

Burnham mentioned during her debrief that unexplained “gravitational waves” in the time-wormhole pushed her and Discovery off-course, which is why they didn’t arrive at the planet Terralysium. The acknowledgement of problems within the time-wormhole may indicate that they crossed over into a different universe or reality.

There are also hints from past iterations of Star Trek – including Enterprise and Voyager most prominently – that the Burn did not occur in the prime timeline. Discovery could ignore these as they’re all rather ambiguous, but it’s worth acknowledging their existence as we consider these things.

The second half of this theory is that the Burn happened due to the interference of a time traveller or time travelling faction. From Starfleet’s point of view, the timeline in which the Burn occurred is not the “true” timeline, and thus part of the resolution to the Burn may be travelling through time to undo it.

In previous weeks I considered the first half of this theory – the parallel universe part – more likely. The re-emergence of Dr Burnham has shaken that up, however, and now both are about equal in terms of likeliness.

So those theories are new or saw movement this week. As always, to keep everything in one place I’ll now recap the other theories that are still in play. If you want to see any of these in their original theory posts, a complete archive can be found on my dedicated Star Trek: Discovery page.

Number 9: There will be further tie-ins with Calypso (the Short Treks episode).


I don’t believe we’ve seen the last of the Calypso tie-ins after we seemed to get the creation of the Zora AI a couple of weeks ago. However, one thing that’s definitely interesting right now is that the USS Discovery as it appeared in Calypso no longer exists. The ship was retrofitted in Scavengers, and in addition to features like programmable matter interfaces and detachable nacelles, now sports the designation NCC 1031-A.

This is important because, as you can see above, we got a clear look at Discovery in Calypso, and not only were the ship’s nacelles very much attached to the hull, the designation clearly lacks the -A addition. So how will this circle be squared? That is very much up for debate right now!

My theory is that, if indeed Discovery somehow travels backwards in time this season, the crew will very deliberately un-retrofit the ship first, removing any 32nd Century features to avoid polluting the timeline in case of accidental discovery. As mentioned, the biggest indication that this theory may be true right now is the existence of a Federation signal within the Verubin Nebula. Discovery was in a nebula in Calypso – so could this be the way the two stories intersect?

Number 10: Tilly is going to go rogue.

Tilly with Captain Saru and Adira in The Sanctuary.

One line which stuck with me from Unification III was when Tilly asked Saru if he chose her to be his first officer because he believed her to be “compliant.” He ducked the question, but it was at least hinted that he does indeed see her as someone who will do as she’s told. Having experienced the Burnham problem, perhaps that’s a knee-jerk reaction from Saru, and one which, if true, would make me question his judgement. But the line carried with it a potentially serious implication – Tilly may choose, at a certain moment, not to comply.

She may do so to assist Burnham in some way, and if Tilly were to disobey orders – as she stated she would in Scavengers when talking with Saru – I would assume it would be for this reason. But there may be something else that causes her to go rogue, following in Burnham’s footsteps. I can’t say exactly what it could be if not Burnham, but we’ve had two lines that can certainly be interpreted to say that Tilly may be less “compliant” than Saru hopes.

Number 11: The Spore Drive will become Starfleet’s new method of faster-than-light propulsion.

Discovery makes a Spore Drive jump.

SB-19, whether it caused the Burn or not, was an imperfect way to travel when compared to the Spore Drive. At present, only Discovery is capable of using the mycelial network, but that could change. What the implications of that would be on races like the JahSepp, who are native to the mycelial network, is not clear, but assuming it would be safe to use the network to travel, Spore Drives may yet be installed on all of Starfleet’s ships.

At the moment Discovery relies on Stamets as navigator; without him, accessing the mycelial network is not possible. But if, as was hinted at in Forget Me Not, it’s possible to create a non-human navigator, a major obstacle to other vessels using the Spore Drive melts away.

This theory would allow the resolution to the Burn to keep the current timeline intact – there would be no need to go back in time and undo anything, nor would there be a deus ex machina of a sudden discovery of a huge cache of dilithium. Instead, Starfleet could get back on its feet using the Spore Drive – finally finding a proper use for Discovery’s most controversial piece of technology!

Number 12: A character from a past iteration of Star Trek – such as the Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager – will make an appearance.

Robert Picardo played the Doctor in all seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager.

As the season drags on, I must admit that there are fewer chances for this theory to come true. However, as Burnham and Discovery race to the source of the Burn, we have absolutely no idea what they’ll find. If it’s a temporal anomaly of some kind, they could encounter practically anyone from Wesley Crusher to Sybok. There have been subtle hints that the Burn may be connected to time travel, and if it is, that opens the door to practically any past Star Trek character to appear – either with their original actor or, as we saw with Dr Maddox in Picard, having been recast.

As mentioned above, if the source of the distress signal is a ship from a past iteration of Star Trek, that could introduce one or more legacy characters – dead or alive.

Before Season 3 premiered I made the case for Voyager’s Doctor – or rather, a backup copy of him seen in the Season 4 episode Living Witness – being a prime candidate for inclusion. Aside from him, other characters I suggested included Soji (or a synth who looks like her), Lore, Captain Sisko, and Enterprise’s Crewman Daniels – the latter of whom was a 30th/31st Century temporal agent. Any of these could reasonably be alive in the 32nd Century, and characters who have long lifespans or are known to have spent time in the far future are perhaps more likely to appear.

Having seen a tie-in with Picard via the appearance of the Qowat Milat, it gives me hope that Discovery will find more ways to tie itself to the wider Star Trek franchise. A character crossover is a spectacular way of doing that, and as The Next Generation showed with episodes like Relics, the passage of centuries is no barrier to such a crossover in a sci-fi world. Until the credits roll on the season finale, I’ll keep advocating this theory!

Number 13: The ships at Federation HQ represent the majority of Starfleet’s remaining vessels. And they’re all 120+ years old.

Discovery docked at Starfleet HQ.

How many ships were present as Discovery arrived at Federation HQ? Ten? Twelve? It wasn’t much more than that, that’s for sure. In a post-Burn environment, one where the Federation has shrunk considerably and where dilithium is in short supply, it’s possible that these ships are all that remain of the once-mighty Starfleet.

In That Hope Is You, Mr Sahil noted two Federation ships in flight, so perhaps we can say from his comment that there are at least two more! But I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that we’ve seen the bulk of Starfleet. Certainly the Federation seems incapable of either building any more ships nor fielding a large armada right now, which is perhaps one of the reasons why they need to keep their base cloaked.

Because of the catastrophic nature of the Burn, it also seems highly likely that shipbuilding facilities would have been damaged, destroyed, or would be inaccessible. That may mean that the Federation’s fleet entirely consists of ageing vessels, each one over 120 years old and probably not designed for being in service this long. In addition, without fuel what would be the point of expending a lot of resources building a new ship?

Number 14: Burnham’s Red Angel suit has been stolen.

Burnham’s suit departs Hima.

As mentioned above, the Red Angel suit – and possibly Burnham or her mother – could be responsible for the Burn, and could be waiting for Discovery at the centre of the Verubin Nebula through parallel universe or time travel shenanigans!

This has been a theory I’ve been pushing since Burnham sent her Red Angel suit back into the wormhole in That Hope Is You right at the beginning of the season. I was struck by a line in Die Trying: Admiral Vance described the Red Angel suit as being “inaccessible.”

Burnham goes on to say she set the suit to self-destruct, but all this did for me is reinforce the fact that we didn’t see the suit’s destruction with our own eyes. The finale of Season 2 confirmed that Pike and Spock received the final red burst in the 23rd Century, but beyond that we simply do not know what became of the suit.

Number 15: The Dax symbiont is still alive.

Ezri Dax.

This one is looking less likely, because the two locations where Dax could have appeared have both seemingly come and gone without them: most notably the Trill homeworld in Forget Me Not, but also Federation HQ in Die Trying. However, there are hints at a lifespan for Trill symbionts that may be exceptionally long, in which case Dax could very well still be alive in the 32nd Century.

Obviously we won’t see Ezri Dax (barring some bizarre time travel/stasis storyline) but the symbiont itself could have lived this long. When Adira “met” the Tal symbiont’s former hosts in Forget Me Not, one was wearing a Star Trek: Picard-era uniform, hinting that Tal may have lived 700+ years. There are production-side explanations for this Easter egg, and as stated the fact that two of the best opportunities so far to meet Dax have come and gone may mean it won’t happen this season. But I’m sticking to my guns on this one: Dax is alive!

Number 16: The ban on time travel is being flouted – possibly by secretive elements within the Federation.

Could Section 31 be engaging in illicit time travel?

Unless Admiral Vance was straight-up lying to Saru and Burnham in Die Trying, he believes that the ban on time travel is still in effect. But while he’s the head of Starfleet, he may not be in total control. Section 31 was known to be rogue, and Kovich, who interviewed Georgiou in that episode, may well be a Section 31 agent.

It’s impossible to un-invent a powerful, useful, weaponisable technology, no matter how hard you try. Considering how crappy the 32nd Century seems to be, are we convinced that nobody at all is using time travel to try to give themselves an advantage? Not the Dominion? Not the Borg? Not Section 31? Seems unlikely to me, though for production-side reasons of wanting to keep the timeline intact and to avoid overcomplicating the plot we might be told this is true!

Number 17: We haven’t seen the last of Zareh.


Despite being quite content to kill all of Zareh’s goons, Saru balked at the idea of killing the man himself in Far From Home. Instead, he and Georgiou let him go, sending him out into the wilds of the Colony – despite being told by the locals that that’s a death sentence. However, we didn’t see Zareh die. And in stories like these, characters like Zareh tend to pop back up looking for revenge.

So that’s it. Those theories remain in play as we get ready for the two-part episode Terra Firma. The introduction of a Federation distress signal inside a nebula seems to tie in with what we know from Calypso – an episode which has already seen elements from its story incorporated into Season 3. The smart money has to be on the USS Discovery being in that nebula – somehow. Perhaps Mirror Georgiou took it back in time and left it there for the crew to find? But if she did that, what caused the Burn?

As you can see, some of these theories can be made to fit together… kind of. But there are holes in any story I try to construct, as well as a lot of unknowns! The Federation are connected to the Burn somehow, but beyond that we simply don’t know. For all we know, the distress signal could simply be from another Starfleet vessel that was investigating the Burn rather than being connected in any way to its cause. I love how unpredictable Discovery is even as we get deeper into the season. The story could go any one of a number of different directions, and I have no doubt there are more surprises in store.

One final note: no fan theory, no matter how plausible it may seem, is worth getting upset or disappointed over. I put these lists together for fun, and as an excuse to spend more time in the Star Trek galaxy, and that’s all. If something goes completely the opposite way I was expecting, far from being annoyed or upset I revel in that. That doesn’t mean writers should make arbitrary and silly decisions, but it means I like being surprised! If we could all remember to take fan theories with a healthy pinch of salt, there’d be less conflict in fan communities.

Star Trek: Discovery is available to stream on CBS All Access in the United States, and on Netflix in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. The Star Trek franchise – including Discovery and all other properties mentioned above – is the copyright of ViacomCBS. This article contains the thoughts and opinions of one person only and is not intended to cause any offence.