io9 Tries to Figure Out How Discovery's Game-Changing Technology Could Actually Work

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The third episode of Star Trek: Discovery lays the groundwork for the main conflict and characters of the season, while promising a new technology that seems doomed to fail... given that it doesn’t seem to exist anywhere else in the franchise. Jason Isaacs swears we should put our faith in the writers, but io9 Video is taking matters into our own hands.

In the latest livestream, Katharine Trendacosta and Beth Elderkin discuss “Context Is For Kings,” which introduces the U.S.S. Discovery, Captain Lorca (played by Isaacs), and the experimental technology that could result in instantaneous travel across the galaxy using the biology of space. But how could this technology exist if other Star Trek shows have never mentioned it, and exactly how pissed is Captain Janeway right now that she was never told about it? Isaacs told TV Line that the writers have it all worked out, given their intense collective knowledge of Star Trek canon.

Well, we’ve got 10 years. The fact that Kirk doesn’t know about it, or that it was buried somewhere in Area 51, or…. There are a lot of storylines to be played out. There are wars and peacetime adventures, characters’ lives and deaths, before you need to worry about where that technology is stored or what memories of it are kept. You know it’s no longer used, but trust me, they knew that before they wrote it. They’re very clear, in not a cop-out way, to both incorporate this stuff which is exciting and very visual, to make sure that it didn’t rankle canon.


There are a few options as to why the technology wouldn’t exist in other Star Trek shows. One is that the fan theory that the show takes place in a parallel timeline is true. The most obvious one that keeps things in the regular timeline is that Section 31 covered up the technology. What is Section 31, and how does it relate to Discovery’s main conflict of science versus military? Find out in the video, which you can watch below.