This week’s Star Trek: Discovery featured a jaw-dropping sight at the new Federation headquarters: The 32nd-century version of [SPOILER]!
Warning: SPOILER for Star Trek: Discovery season 3, episode 5, “Die Trying”.
Star Trek: Discovery season 3, episode 5, “Die Trying” included an unexpected and jaw-dropping cameo by the U.S.S. Voyager-J! The U.S.S. Discovery arrived at the United Federation of Planets’ secret headquarters and was welcomed back into Starfleet. As the time-tossed starship commanded by Captain Saru (Doug Jones) cruised into the enormous, spherical structure protected by an invisible distortion field, the Discovery’s crew marveled at the sight of Starfleet’s incredibly advanced armada in drydock, and that included the 32nd-century incarnation of Voyager.
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The eponymous starship of Star Trek: Voyager commanded by Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) was one of Starfleet’s first Intrepid-class vessels. It was built at Mars’ Utopia Planetia Fleet Yards and launched from Earth Station McKinley on 2371. Voyager was one of the most state-of-the-art starships of its day and it boasted new technologies like bio-neural circuitry, variable geometry warp nacelles, a warp 9 engine, and the Emergency Medical Hologram (Robert Picardo). Of course, Voyager is legendary for its first mission going sideways so that the starship and crew, which was forced to integrate members of the Maquis and other aliens like the Talaxian Neelix (Ethan Phillips), were stranded in the Delta Quadrant. It took Voyager seven years to travel the 70,000 lightyears back to Earth, but Captain Janeway brought her ship home in 2378 and was rewarded with a promotion to Admiral.
The fact that the U.S.S. Voyager NCC-76456-J remains part of Starfleet means that, like the Enterprise, it has become a legacy starship. Indeed, the Voyager-J is the eleventh generation and the Voyager line has been in service for 800 years. Discovery‘s crew only briefly glimpsed the Voyager-J’s elongated saucer section, but it stands to reason that this incarnation of the spacecraft boasts the technological advances of Star Trek: Discovery season 3’s far-future era. This would likely include a neutronium (and possibly organic) hull, nacelles that are separate from the main body of the starship, and interior consoles made of programmable matter.
There was no mention of who the Captain of the U.S.S. Voyager-J is in 3189 but the very fact that the starship is part of Star Trek: Discovery season 3 must mean that it’s in play from here on out. This was the case when the original U.S.S. Enterprise commanded by Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) played a big role in Star Trek: Discovery season 2 and fought side by side with the Disco. Trekkers could thrill to see Voyager-J in flight alongside Discovery before long, and its pointed appearance seems like a promise that this will indeed be the case in the near future.
However, the Voyager-J‘s presence creates a tantalizing possibility that one of Star Trek: Discovery‘s castmembers could find themselves in command of the vessel. After all, Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) stepped aside so that Saru could become Captain of the Discovery, but season 3 just might see Burnham or someone else from Discovery‘s bridge crew sitting in the 32nd century Voyager‘s Captain’s chair.
There is also another interesting scenario that could come to pass: the upcoming Nickelodeon animated series Star Trek: Prodigy will feature the return of Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway. Some fans speculate that Star Trek: Prodigy is set in the same future era as Star Trek: Discovery. If this is indeed the case, Star Trek: Discovery season 3 introducing the Voyager-J could be a pretext for the starship also appearing in Star Trek: Prodigy, which would fittingly put Janeway back in the Captain’s chair of the future version of her starship. And that still wouldn’t preclude the live-action U.S.S. Voyager-J seeing action in Star Trek: Discovery season 3.
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