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How Star Trek: Discovery season 3 will pick up after its major time-jumping cliffhanger

The CBS all-access hit makes its flip from prequel to sequel

Star Trek: Discovery - Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham James Dimmock/CBS Interactive
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Star Trek: Discovery’s second season may have brought back Original Series mainstays like Spock and Captain Pike, but the CBS All Access hit ended its second season by leaving all of that baggage behind. In the season finale, Michael Burnham and the loyal crew of the Discovery saved the galaxy — and rocketed themselves through a quantum singularity and into the far future.

Discovery, once locked into the firm ground of established Star Trek continuity, is positioned to lay the first new foundations in the franchise since Star Trek: Enterprise. Showrunner Alex Kurtzman confirmed at the Star Trek Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con this Saturday that the show takes place 1000 years in the future. That jump would place the show in the 33rd century, the latest confirmed time period depicted in Star Trek canon.

Most intriguing is how the time jump could explain the appearance of the USS: Discovery, abandoned in the far future, as depicted in the Star Trek: Short Treks episode “Calypso.”

But in the meantime, Star Trek: Discovery’s success has paved the way for numerous spinoffs. Six new episodes of Star Trek: Short Treks are on their way, including ones that feature fan-favorites Spock and Captain Pike, as well as a prelude for the upcoming Star Trek: Picard, which stars Patrick Stewart in his iconic role. Kurtzman shared a teaser for the shorts, which appear to include an episode focused on a tribble infestation.

CBS is also producing an animated comedy called Star Trek: Lower Decks, and, after the filming of Discovery’s third season, an unnamed series focusing on the Federation’s shadowy Section 31, starring Michelle Yeoh’s Emperor Phillipa Gorgeiou.

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