It took a small wait, but Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 is finally here! The new season, which premiered on Thursday, Oct. 15, is a huge relief given the questions that were left dangling at the end of the CBS All Access show’s second season. As you’ll recall, Control’s (Alan Van Sprang) armada of Section 31 ships threatened to destroy all sentient life in the galaxy. However, they were ultimately defeated by our heroes with help from unlikely allies like Xahian queen Po (Yadira Guevara-Prip), an army of newly-empowered Kelpians, and Chancellor L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) aboard a Klingon battle cruiser.
With the Discovery crew disappearing through a wormhole in order to save the galaxy from the rogue AI, and Spock (Ethan Peck) convincing the Federation to essentially wipe their existence from memory, we were left wondering what this massive time-jump to the future means for the resilient crew. With the new season underway, we’re finally getting a clearer picture of what happened after Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) slingshotted herself — with the Discovery in tow — to the distant future.
Here’s everything we know about Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery so far.
New episodes are finally here! Season 3 of the sci-fi series premiered Thursday, Oct. 15 on CBS Access. New episodes will drop every Thursday.
It’s been renewed for Season 4, which will start production soon. The new season has only just begun, but the Discovery crew is already looking toward the future. Stars Sonequa Martin-Green and Doug Jones, along with co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise, revealed that the series has been renewed for Season 4 and that the cast will return to set on Nov. 2 to begin filming on the next season.
Filming on Season 3 was completed earlier this year. Discovery wrapped filming on Feb. 25, several weeks before more than 100 shows halted production due to the coronavirus pandemic. Producer and director Olatunde Osunsanmi confirmed the news on Twitter, congratulating the cast and crew for “pulling off the impossible” again.
A new showrunner has taken the helm. Writer Michelle Paradise, who joined Discovery midway through Season 2, was promoted to co-showrunner alongside Alex Kurtzman for Season 3. Paradise previously served as an executive producer on The CW series The Originals and the LOGO drama Exes & Ohs.
The new season beams to the future. After the events of the Season 2 finale, in which the Discovery crew disappeared through a wormhole, Season 3 finds them transported 930 years into the future and among a highly advanced but troubled society in dire need of their help. During Star Trek Day, Kurtzman revealed that the U.S.S Discovery crash lands on a new planet and is unable to fly, forcing the crew to venture out and explore their surroundings.
Discovery will break new ground in Season 3. The series will introduce the franchise’s first non-binary and transgender characters this season. New character Adira (Blu del Barrio), who is non-binary, is described as “highly intelligent with a confidence and self-assurance well beyond their years.” Gray (Ian Alexander), who is transgender, is described as “empathetic, warm and eager to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a Trill host, but he will have to adapt when his life takes an unexpected turn.”
Showrunner Michelle Paradise confirmed during Star Trek Day that we will meet Adira in Episode 3 and Gray in Episode 4, though she couldn’t reveal anything about the circumstances surrounding their arrival. We do know that the show will delve into the mythology of the Trill through Gray, who is a member of the humanoid species.
The Federation isn’t what it once was. In the official trailer, we learn that the Federation has been severely diminished in the future following a catastrophic event known as “the Burn” that changed everything. Though the organization still exists, the sneak peek confirms it’s not the massive entity it used to be. With the Federation in the state that it is — a banner from the future shows just six stars, indicating that only a handful of planets remain part of the organization — Kurtzman says the Discovery crew will spend the season working to restore it.
Starfleet may also be in trouble. A Season 3 teaser released during New York Comic Con in 2019 also suggested that Starfleet either barely or no longer exists. In the preview, David Ajala‘s Cleveland Booker notices Burnham’s emblem and refers to Starfleet as a “ghost.”
Burnham and her crew did not arrive in the future together. The Season 3 premiere confirms that Burnham was separated from her crew after traveling through that wormhole at the end of Season 2. Jonathan Frakes, who returns to direct episodes in Season 3, previously hinted that Burnham and the rest of the Discovery crew spent some time apart before eventually coming back together. “We’re far in the future now and Burnham has been separated from the [Discovery] crew, and then they reunite,” Frakes told Star Trek magazine, according to TrekMovie.
Season 3 will have a different tone. Frakes revealed that the series will take on a different tone given what Burnham has experienced after becoming the Red Angel.
“Michael Burnham has found a new core, not to mention a new partner in crime. So again, there’s a big tonal shift on that show, less driven by the pain and guilt of her past and more about the magical reunification of the Discovery crew and wherever she went off to,” Frakes told ComicBook.com. “God knows where she went as the Red Angel. So those two things coming back together is very much the theme, and how grateful everyone is and what’s next. It’s got a lot of action-adventure and not so much pain.”
Kurtzman also hinted at Season 3’s hopeful tone during Star Trek Day while discussing the crew’s mission to bring the Federation back to what it once was. “It’s very reflective of the world we live in now and I believe very reflective of Roddenberry’s essential vision of optimism, that it is in the darkest times that we have to hold that beacon of light up to guide us back,” he said.
Your faves are all back. Stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Mary Wiseman, Anthony Rapp, and Wilson Cruz are all slated to return, as will Michelle Yeoh‘s Captain Georgiou and Tig Notaro‘s Jett Reno. No word yet on whether we’ll also see Anson Mount‘s Captain Pike or Ethan Peck’s Spock this season, but Peck previously told TV Guide that he’d like to come back as the beloved Vulcan. Both Peck and Mount reprised their roles in the Star Trek: Short Trek “Q&A” alongside Rebecca Romijn‘s Number One. Mount also returned in the Short Trek “Ask Not,” which saw him test a young cadet during a simulation. With all three poised to star in their own spin-off, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, we’re holding out hope for the trio to drop by Discovery one last time before setting off on a new adventure.
The crew won’t exactly be the same. During the Star Trek Universe panel at this year’s Comic-Con@Home virtual event, Wilson Cruz teased a “new” Dr. Culber who will approach his relationship with Stamets differently after choosing to stay aboard the U.S.S. Discovery. Season 3 will also see Culber take on new work responsibilities as he shifts his focus to mental health. Meanwhile, Mary Wiseman revealed that Tilly will continue working toward her goal of one day becoming a Starfleet captain, also noting that the crew is “on the edge of the unknown” so their ideas of “what the future holds and who we are and who we want to be are gonna be transformed.”
Say hello to a few new faces. With the show now set in a completely different time, expect to see many new faces, including Supergirl alum David Ajala as Cleveland Booker. Book, as he’s known to his peers, is an original character and, according to Ajala, is “slightly unorthodox.” The show’s official description refers to him as a “smart and capable” man with a “natural charisma and devil-may-care attitude that tends to get him into trouble as often as it gets him out.” He joins original characters Adira (del Barrio) and Gray (Alexander), who will also make their debut this season.
Discovery may never return to the past. The show’s trek into the distant future is sure to be a game-changer not just for the crew, but the series as a whole. “I don’t know if, on Discovery, we have plans to return to the 23rd century,” Kurtzman said during New York Comic Con in October 2019.
“We left our homes and can’t go back” Wiseman added. “Our true home is on Discovery and with the people that we work with on Discovery.”
Star Trek: Discovery’s Season 3 premiere is currently streaming on CBS All Access, along with Seasons 1 and 2. New Season 3 episodes drop every Thursday.