It’s still unclear how exactly Star Trek: Discovery will fit in the rest of Trek canon, but if it does end up existing in a timeline that results in 24th century of The Next Generation, then its possible that Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) “remembers” everything Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) did in the 23rd century. And it’s all thanks to a mind-meld he had with Michael and Spock’s father, Sarek.
On Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con, it was confirmed that Sarek is the adoptive father of Michael Burnham, meaning she is Spock’s human sister, just not by blood. (If you count Sybok from Star Trek V, the house of Sarek is starting to feel like the Royal Tenenbaums in space.) The new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery also briefly showed Burnham mind-melding with someone, presumably her “father” Sarek. Also, because Sarek raised Burnham, it makes sense that he would have mind-melded with her more than once, since that’s what nice Vulcan families do.
Here’s the rub: assuming Discovery takes place in the same timeline as The Next Generation, then over 100 years after this show, Sarek will mind-meld with Captain Picard, which means, Picard could have picked-up Burnham’s memories during that transference. In the 3rd season TNG episode “Sarek,” the old Vulcan comes on the Enterprise and is batshit crazy. Only a mind-meld will cure him, so Picard takes on Sarek’s crazy repressed pain. This episode was notable, because it was the first time an original series character (Sarek) was featured in a big role on The Next Generation, and the first time Spock’s name was mentioned. In reliving Sarek’s emotional pain over not being able to connect with his son, Picard cries like crazy. But could Picard have experienced Sarek’s pain about his adoptive daughter, too?
Picard was such buddies with Sarek after their mind-meld that he even visited the venerable Vulcan on his death bed in the big Spock two-part episode “Unification.” Later, Picard mind-melded with Spock, giving Spock his father’s memories of love and pain. So, if Picard can transfer Sarek’s memories to Spock, then it stands to reason some of Burnham’s memories were in Sarek’s mind, which means Picard might have those memories, too. In Star Trek: II and Star Trek III it’s established that a mind-meld can transfer a person’s entire personality: Spock puts his mind into Bones’s brain in like less than two seconds. And, there’s additional evidence that Picard might remember something that Burnham was specifically did.
In the 4th season episode “First Contact” (different from the Trek movie of the same same name) Picard lectures about how Starfleet fucked-up the first major contact with the Klingons. He talks about this after his mind-meld with Sarek. Interestingly, all the trailers and synopses heavily imply Burnham is directly invovled with an incident with the Klingons that starts a war with the Starfleet and the Federation. Meaning, it’s possible Picard literary remembers this, thanks to his mind-meld with Sarek.
Obviously, this assumes a lot: mainly that the timelines of these two Star Treks synch-up at some point. But if the Sarek of Discovery is the same man who exists in all other parts of the Trek canon, then the memory Sonequa Martin-Green’s Burnham could now be retroactively living long and prospering under Picard’s famous head.
Star Trek: Discovery debuts on CBS and CBS All-Access on September 24.