Even though Star Trek: Discovery takes place ten years before the Original Series, a new rumor suggests a Klingon could be in command of the new starship. And even though it sounds like a mistake, there is one specific way this could make sense: The USS Discovery and its crew are operating totally in secret.
Just after Bryan Fuller confirmed he was stepping down as showrunner for Discovery, new reports emerged about the basic profiles of the characters on the new Trek show. This included at least one gay character who is an Admiral, and a Klingon captain. The idea of a Klingon captain probably comes across as anachronistic since Starfleet and the Klingon Empire were totally in the middle of a cold war at this point in Trek’s history. How could a Klingon be in command of a Starfleet vessel? Worf was “the first Klingon in Starfleet,” and he lived almost a century after the events of the new show.
Well, it wouldn’t be a new Star Trek show if there wasn’t a little bit of retcon. And barring an entirely new dimension or alternate universe, the easy explanation for this is that the ship and crew of this show will be operating under clandestine mission parameters. The mission of the Discovery will be a secret one, probably in an effort to pursue and foster peace between the Federation and the Empire. These people might not be seeking out new life forms and new civilizations, but instead doing interstellar espionage to keep the entire galaxy from erupting into a full-on war. This Klingon captain could be dissident from the Empire who believes that peace is the only way into the “undiscovered country” of the future.
Linking this all up with established Star Trek lore is easy. There have always been peace-loving Klingons in Star Trek, which is what the plot of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is all about. And because Nicholas Meyer (the director Star Trek VI) is in the Discovery writers’ room, it makes sense he’d be dealing events in the Trek timeline that he personally hand in creating. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country established the beginning of peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, which obviously flourished in the time of the Next Generation.
So, if Discovery takes place way before all of that, it stands to reason valiant folks were running around in secret trying to make sure certain aspects of the final frontier didn’t spill over into full-on war. Hence: secret Klingons working with Starfleet easily equals a Klingon captain. Eagle-eyed fans have also been pointing out that the design of the Discovery looks like a Starfleet ship and Klingon ship got together and had a baby. If the two super-powers are in cahoots during the events of this show, than that makes perfect sense. And though Bryan Fuller previously denied the involvement of Starfleet’s spy organization — Section 31 — that now looks like it might have been a ruse.
Finally, as Nicholas Meyer previously said that The Undiscovered Country was a “touchstone” for Discovery, making this Klingon captain rumor more and more likely.