As confirmed by series star Sonequa Martin-Green and showrunner Alex Kurtzman, the next season of Star Trek: Discovery will find the titular starship in a brand new time period, 950 years in the future, sometime around the year 3200. Other than the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Living Witness," the Trek universe has never gone this far head for very long. But now, after the events of the Season 2 finale, "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2" the USS Discovery will have to explore this strange, new world of the future on its own. But what will that look like?
Based on what we actually know from Trek canon and the first two season of the show, here are three predictions for Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery.
Spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Discovery Season 2.
The ship’s A.I. will evolve and become benevolent
This one is a freebie because the Short Treks episode "Calypso" has already shown an abandoned version of the USS Discovery adrift in the far future.
In "Calypso," the central computer of the ship has named herself Zora, though writer Michael Chabon indicated he felt the computer could have gone through a variety of personalities over the years. Unlike the aggressive A.I. known as Control, Zora was very clearly loyal to biological life. In "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1," we also saw the USS Discovery prevent its own destruction, meaning, that on some level, this self-awareness glimpsed in Short Treks is already happening.
Mirror Georgiou might need to travel back in time
Everyone's favorite former Emperor of the galaxy, the Mirror Universe version of Philippa Georgiou, is interestingly along for the ride to the far future at the end of this season. But, as many fans are aware, Michelle Yeoh is supposed to star in her own Section 31 series after Season 3 of Discovery. If Georgiou is trapped in the far future, how can she run Section 31? It seems unlikely that the Section 31 show will happen in the 31st century, which would mean that at some point in Discovery Season 3, Georgiou will have to travel back in time. Unless the Georgiou Section 31 show isn't really set in one time period at all and could instead feature a bunch of time travel.
Back before Discovery was fully developed by CBS, series created Bryan Fuller wanted to do an anthology show version of Star Trek where each season would have taken place in a different timeline. If Georgiou ends up traveling through time, maybe something similar will happen. And if the Section 31 show does become a time travel series, then it could be like a dark version of Doctor Who. Either way, it seems likely Georgiou will leave Discovery after Season 3.
The Federation and Starfleet might not exist
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, published just after the Season 2 finale, showrunner Alex Kurtzman said this: "There will be canonical references to everything that has happened in the various shows; we're not erasing that. But we're so far past that point that all of that is a very distant memory... We're now completely free of canon, and we have a whole new universe to explore."
Kurtzman also made references to the idea that the crew of Discovery now only has "each other" to rely upon. This could mean that in this future, the United Federation of Planets doesn't exist. It could also mean that human beings — or, at least, what we think of as human beings — may not be around anymore. In the classic episode "Arena," an all-powerful race of beings called the Metrons mentioned that they might decide to contact the Federation in roughly 1,000 years time. Presumably, that meant a really advanced alien intelligence wouldn't bother with Starfleet or the Federation until humans had changed their ways.
With this, along with the "blank slate" comments from Martin-Green, it seems like anything is possible. And, if Starfleet and the Federation don't exist, then Discovery will suddenly become the scrappiest, boldest entry in the Star Trek franchise, ever.