The Federation Feels the Burn. But What Is It?

David Milburn

The new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 dropped earlier this week during Star Trek Day and with it comes the revelation that the Federation was destroyed.

Its fair to say that in its history the United Federation of Planets has come up against its fair share of doomsday type scenarios, from the Original Series all the way to Discovery it might well seem. It is a staple of science fiction that mankind or some representation of it, will inevitably come up with against a super weapon or alien race capable of our entire annihilation. Star Trek is no stranger to this with the Federation and its fleet of explorers already facing life ending threats such as the Planet Killer from ‘The Doomsday Machine’ of the Original Series, the Xindi’s super weapon used on Earth causing over 4000 kilometers worth of damage from Florida to Venezula   in Star Trek: Enterprise all the way to the lethal potential posed from a device created for good in the Trek movies ‘Wrath of Khan’ and ‘Search for Spock’ in the shape of Genesis. There of course are countless others. A more recent example is from the last season of Discovery in which the crew had to fight it out with an artificial intelligence called Control who wanted to wipe out all sentient life in the universe. Discovery was successful in preventing this which is how it ended up 930 years into the future. The trailer for season three begins with a joyful Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) finding out that indeed life did survive. But not, it would seem, the Federation.

Here is the trailer once more as a reminder.

Now its clear that the Federation has survived annihilation but is severely crippled and according to the new Federation flag, depleted of members. So, although the crew saved life in the universe, something happens within that 930-year jump that has terrible consequences for the Federation. Newcomer Cleveland ‘Book’ Booker (David Ajala) speaks of an event called The Burn in the trailer and its safe to say that whatever the Burn was, will likely be revealed early in the series. There could also be an underlining plot to undo The Burn running through this season.

Fun speculation – Perhaps, with knowledge of the Burn, this is the reason why they send Michelle Yeohs Philippa Georgiou back in time, you know, seeing as she is in her own Section 31 series at some point.

But what is The Burn? At this point of course we have no idea. The name could signal that a star went super SUPER nova and took out a variety of other stars with it, namely those of Federation Members. Another idea could be a super weapon as mentioned above, an advancement in technology over 900 years could see the development of some crazy killing devices and someone or something went rough with a grudge against the Federation and its members.

Ian Alexander

I am however drawn to the Trill element of the build up to this season. They have been seen in the trailer and its known that we go back to the Trill home world at some point during Discovery’s third run. We also have a new character in Gray played by Ian Alexander (“The OA,” “The Last of Us Part II”) who will also be a Trill; they will have a big part to play in the season it seems. I am a big fan of movies and watch a lot of trailers; characters and locations are not normally just shoehorned in unless they are significant to the story. Could it be that a Trill or a collection of Trills had something to do with The Burn? If you think about it a Trill Symbiont is passed from host to host, keeping all their knowledge and skills as they move. Symbionts can live for Hundreds of years and it could be that a Trill, utilising all that knowledge built a device that, in good old Star Trek tradition was intended for good, but was ultimately used for evil.  

That’s my theory on it and It will be very interesting to see how WAY off the mark I am when Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 launches in the US on 15th October and although there has been no official confirmation from Netflix, its rumoured to be on UK screen on the 16th October so here’s hoping.

What do you think the Burn is? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @TrekThisUK

Leave a Reply

Next Post

GalaxyCon: Virtual sessions With Star Trek Alum

Covid19 has impacted so much on the convention scene in 2020 but with the joys of modern technology, we dont need to miss out on seeing our favourite Star Trek stars. San Diego Comic Con, MCM Comic Cons, London Film and Comic Con, Destination Star Trek and many others have […]