With the direction of Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 a mystery, now would be the perfect time to explore the Kelvin Timeline.
Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery took Burnham and the rest of her crew to the 32nd century. For the entire season, the cast of the series had to find their place in this new era, becoming a part of the new Federation, helping rebuild it into the far-reaching organization it once was. Now, as the series gets ready to head into Season 4, the direction of the crew’s next adventure is a bit of a mystery.
All fans have to go on that Burnham will be the ship’s new captain, guiding the Discovery as part of the new future Federation. So, without a clear direction, next season would be the perfect time for the series to venture into the Kelvin Timeline introduced in J.J. Abrams’ cinematic Star Trek reboot.
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The Kelvin Timeline is the alternate universe where all three modern Star Trek films took place. This reality was initially created when the villainous Nero time-traveled back in time through a black hole, arriving the day of James T. Kirk’s birth and altering the events of the main timeline. This created the Kelvin Timeline, another universe that branched off from the main Star Trek timeline. This allowed the big screen movies to divorce themselves from the franchise’s history, not having to worry about continuity established from Star Trek: The Original Series to Deep Space Nine and Enterprise.
But while the Kelvin Timeline has been its own entity for the better part of twelve years, the third season of Star Trek: Discovery made multiple references to this alternate universe. It was revealed that, in the future, the Federation was well aware of this other reality and the series even briefly introduced a character who had traveled from the Kelvin Timeline to the Prime Universe. The references kept coming when talk eventually turned to Burnham’s brother Spock, who died in the Kelvin Timeline. Season 3 confirmed that the final fate of Spock remains a mystery for Burnham, and that could be what propels her to explore the alternate reality in Season 4.
If anything, these teases could have been seeds planted for an eventual trip to the cinematic universe next season, especially since the crew of the Discovery is no stranger to exploring other universes and timelines. After all, in Season 1, the ship spent a great deal of time in the Mirror Universe, a voyage that was made possible thanks to the Discovery’s unique Spore Drive, and in a futuristic timeline that was completely alien in Season 3.
In reality, if any ship has the capability of traveling to the Kelvin Timeline, it’s the Discovery, and the show wouldn’t need to use any of the big screen actors. The Kelvin Timeline could be home to plenty of characters that have yet to be introduced, especially if the crew ends up arriving decades after the events of the movies.
Streaming on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Commander Saru, Anthony Rapp as Lt. Commander Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly, Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber, David Ajala as Cleveland “Book” Booker, Blu del Barrio as Adira, Ian Alexander as Gray, Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou.
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