In many ways, the technology used by Starfleet in the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery seems a bit too advanced for its place in the Star Trek timeline.
Unless…that’s not the case?
A major Trek retcon is on the way, thanks to insights gleaned from a new book about one of the franchise’s best shows – and the offshoots spell out something extremely cool about Star Trek: Strange New Worlds protagonist Christopher Pike. Sweet spoilers ahead for Discovery Season 2.
Here’s the quick version: When the Captain Pike and Spock series Strange new worlds debut, this classic Trek prequel will fully honor an element of technological retcon: the ASU Enterprise under Pike will not feature any holographic technology.
Why is this important and what does it mean? Let’s get involved.
The fake tech of the 1960s future of the classic star trek is, in some ways, still at the forefront of what is possible on Earth in the 21st century. Sure, the classic flip-up communicator used by Kirk, Spock, and even Micahel Burnham might seem a bit silly in a post-cellphone world, but then again, our cellphones can’t call spaceships traveling faster than light, nor do they instantly decipher foreign languages.
The balance between fictional Star Trek technology and the aesthetics of said technology in real life is its own box of Klingon spaceworms. But, what about when Star Trek contradicts her own rules? This probably happened in Discovery Season 1 where we see Federation ships using holographic projection technology — widely, at least.
The problem is that, in the pre-established canon, holographic projectors were still considered a relatively new technology in 2373, at the time of the USS Defiant and Deep Space Nine. Essentially, it took Starfleet 120 years to dust off these holographic projects again.
the Discovery – Strange New Worlds to recover
While Pike is the acting captain of the Discovery of the USS in season 2, he is visited by number one in episode 4, “An Obol for Charon”. In this episode, Number One tells him that the existence of the holographic projectors was at least partially responsible for why the Business lost all power.
Basically, holos are buggy and Pike hates new technology. He orders that he be removed from the Business. Keep in mind that we don’t get any video of people breaking holographic projectors on purpose, but the implication of this scene is that Pike is causing Starfleet to scale down some fancy tech in favor of older, more streamlined, more reliable tech.
How? ‘Or’ What Deep Space Nine fits into
In Deep Space Ninethe USS Defiant was equipped with a holographic projector. And now a new book called Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Illustrated Manual glued these two pieces of a holographic puzzle together into a fairly cohesive new Trek canon.
According to the book, after Pike “ripped” the holographic technology from the Business“Other captains soon followed his lead, and for over 100 years Starfleet considered them an unnecessary luxury not worth the cost.”
The book goes on to say that in 2373, the USS Defiant was retrofitted with an “experimental system” that brought holographic technology back to Starfleet.
The book goes on to point out that holographic projections were quite common in the 24th century and that Data and Picard used holographic interfaces in briefing rooms. Travelerand then picard, introduced holographic characters, but most ships still use old-fashioned flat screens. Through Discovery Season 3, and a time jump to 3188, holographic communication is back. But, the pro-flatscreen bias created by Captain Pike seems to have been pervasive as hell.
That’s the bottom line, actually. Like this new DS9 The book briefly points out, Captain Pike was such a badass that he made everyone throw away their holo-projectors and then start a tradition of not caring about technology that lasted a hundred years. Captain Kirk may be cool, but it seems Pike was the most skilled pioneer in Starfleet history.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Illustrated Manual is available now from Eaglemoss/Hero Collector.