It's been a long wait for fans of Star Trek: Discovery since the Season 2 finale aired April 2019. CBS still hasn't revealed exactly when fans can expect new episodes, although the broadcaster did drop a coming-soon tease just after the Picard finale on March 26. Since then, we've heard very little about upcoming episodes of the marquee series on CBS's All Access streaming service.
After a season spent hob-nobbing with Spock, Captain Pike, and Number One, Discovery's doing something completely unprecedented for Trek, leaping nearly 1,000 years into the future. The crew have said their farewells to everyone they know and love, but what awaits them at the other side of that wormhole? Judging from trailers, we know the Federation will still exist in some form, but will their altruistic values have endured throughout the centuries? Can we expect any tie-ins with Star Trek: Picard? Most important of all, when will new episodes come to CBS All Access?
Here's everything we know about Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery.
What happened in the finale of Star Trek: Discovery Season 2?
In a desperate bid to thwart the malicious AI behind Section 31 known as Control, the crew of Discovery enter a wormhole that will take them 950 years into the future. In order to prevent anything like this happening again, Spock suggests that Starfleet erase any reference to Discovery in its databases. The black-ops research vessel was already off the books – remember all that secret tardigrade and space fungus business in Season 1? But now, it's extra, extra off the books. Which is why no one in the Original Series era ever bothers to mention it.
Spock, bless his heart, never discussed his secret kinda-sister in three television seasons and seven feature films. (Did she meet Sybok? I guess we'll never know.) Truly, he's a Federation man through and through.
The Discovery crew also left Pike, Spock, and Number One back in the 23rd century. However, it's likely this won't be the last we see of these characters, given the popularity Anson Mount's Pike in particular. A spin-off focusing on his character has long been
What is the release date for Discovery Season 3?
CBS has yet to announce an official release date for the next batch of Discovery episodes. However, we're willing to make an educated guess here and predict it will be sometime in June or July. The first two seasons of the show ran from January to April, though this year's schedule was shifted to make room for the first season of Picard, and post-production has been delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In an exchange on Twitter and Instagram in mid-March, Discovery stars Wilson Cruz and Anthony Rapp commented that putting the final touches on the new episodes was taking "a little longer than we thought."
Just after the Picard finale aired, the official Trek social media accounts and showrunner Alex Kurtzman shared a reminder that Discovery Season 3 was still coming, though perhaps not as soon as it might have in the absence of a global health crisis.
Johnathan Frakes, who will direct episodes 3 and 8, told his Twitter followers filming for Season 3 finished up on February 24.
Is there a trailer for Discovery Season 3?
There certainly is, but it's the same one that's been kicking around since New York Comic Con back in October 2019. You can check it out below if you want a little refresher. It clocks in at over a minute, and shows a broad variety of interior and exterior environments, as well as introducing some new faces. That suggests a lot of filming, at least for the first couple episodes of Season 3, was already complete in October.
We'd expect to see a new, more detailed trailer featuring Burnham and the Disco gang after CBS and the showrunners announce an official release date for Season 3.
What do we know about the plot of Discovery Season 3?
It turns out, the Red Angel the Disco crew was looking for throughout Season 2 was Burnham, sending a message from 950 years in the future. That storyline leads us directly to the show's third season, as Kurtzman told The Hollywood Reporter in April 2019.
There was so much debate about how to tie up the loose ends with canon. We felt pretty strongly that replaying the Red Angel signals and revealing ultimately that Burnham had sent them would be particularly satisfying. Especially when they go full-circle to the premiere, where she sees the Red Angel and it's revealed that she's been looking at herself the whole time. That's the type of story that time travel stories do best if you get the math right.
Remember how the original premise of Discovery was that it took place around the same time as The Original Series? Yeah, so that's not a thing anymore. The third season of Discovery will blaze its own trail, and explore an entirely new period in the Star Trek timeline that no previous show or movie has touched.
"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," Kurtzman explained to THR. "We're very excited to see how you put the elements of Star Trek in an entirely new universe."
In other words, don't expect to see any more Spock cameos, except in the form of dreams or flashbacks, in Discovery Season 3.
Are there any new additions to the cast of Discovery in Season 3?
The biggest new addition to the cast is David Ajala, who will be playing Cleveland "Book" Booker. We've already seen a bit of book in the NYCC preview and some official CBS images for Season 3. Ajala told Variety that "Book is going to be a character that breaks the rules a little bit," at San Diego Comic Con in July 2019.
There's reason to suspect a Burnham-Book romance in Discovery Season 3. In April 2020, Frakes told Comicbook.com, "Michael Burnham has found a new core, not to mention a new partner in crime. So again, there's a big tonal shift on that show, less driven by the pain and guilt of her past and more about the magical reunification of the Discovery crew." We recently took a second look at the October NYCC trailer for Season 3 and found a few distinctly rom-com elements that make us think Book is that "new partner in crime."
Also, there's a good chance we'll see a bit more of Michelle Yeoh's scenery-chewing Philippa Georgiou this time around, even if it's just in a flashback: her Section 31 spinoff wasn't due to start filming until after Disco wrapped its third season.
Which cast members won't return for Discovery Season 3?
The whole "950 years into the future" thing means that a few familiar faces from previous seasons won't be coming along for Season 3. Characters who we know have a future ahead in the 23rd century, like Pike, Number One, and Spock won't be making the trip to the distant future.
It's also doubtful we'll see Shazad Latif’s Ash Tyler, given that he stayed in the 23rd century and took control of Section 31. It's possible we may see him through a flashback, given his super-important new job and his past history with Burnham. But given how things seem to be shaping up with Book, we're gonna guess that Burnham is never, ever, ever getting back together with Ash.
Discovery Seasons 1 and 2 are available now on CBS All Access.