Ever since Star Trek Discovery premiered back in 2017, there has been a subsection of the fandom bitching and moaning about how the show broke canon. They complained about everything. The Klingon design, the ship designs, technology looking ‘too futuristic’ . . . “why didn’t Spock ever mention he had an adopeted sister?” “Why was the Spore Drive never mentioned in any other series?” It was (and still is to a degree) an endless assault on both a story that hadn’t finished being told yet AND visual updates.
To be fair, I don’t think the production needed to change the Klingons. Still, I also didn’t mind the changes, either. The updated look of the technology was absolutely necessary in order to bring the show to a new, modern audience. People who would be jumping into Star Trek for the first time would be just as confused about Starships having toggle switches as older fans are about why they changed it.
While I don’t agree with the people making those complaints, at least I understand them. They were used to a certain look and feel for the show and Discovery just completely upended it. The complaints I can’t understand though, are the ones about how canon has been broken because of all of these new things that were introduced.
As I mentioned above, Star Trek V: The Finale Frontier introduced us to Sybok. Sybok was Spock’s half-brother who didn’t agree with Vulcans suppressing their emotions. Remember, the movie was under two hours long. Spock was surrounded by people who would be surprised by this revelation, so they had to address it pretty quickly. When Discovery premiered (and even still now), no one knew for how many seasons it would last. Likewise, the audience really had no idea how the story would play out. Why we didn’t know about Burnham before, while important, was not immediately important. The show had SEVERAL episodes to reveal what had happened that caused her existence to be unknown. That also goes for the Spore Drive and anything else that supposedly ‘broke canon’.
Spoilers Ahead For Season 2
All of these complaints were levied at the show before it was given a chance to tell its story and reveal in its own time, how it would align with the broader Star Trek universe. Which it did in the Season 2 finale. Out of fear that something or someone else could potentially come after the Sphere data that was now stuck within Discovery’s computer system, it was decided that the ship would need to be completely removed from the equation. Since they couldn’t destroy it (the Sphere data was protecting itself) the only thing solution they could find was to fling it into the future.
The crew of the Discovery, of course, agrees to all stay onboard, joining Michael somewhere around the year 3200. Spock, Pike, Section 31, and everyone else who knows differently commits to the story that the Discovery was destroyed and institutes a rule that nobody is ever to speak of either Discovery or its crew from there on out. While this really just is a convenient plot device, it also serves the purpose of explaining why these things that “broke canon” didn’t actually break canon. Like it or hate it, by doing that, they’ve cleaned up any issues that arose from any of the story related canon issues people had with the show. . . the repairs to the Enterprise even made it look even more like the TOS version.
I’m not saying you have to like what they did. Complain about how you hate what they did it all you want. But the fact is, it’s done. There are now no more plotholes in Star Trek: Discovery than there are in any other Star Trek series. So what’s next? That’s a good question. We don’t really know what the crew is going to be up to yet in Season 3, but I’m pretty excited to find out.