‘Star Trek: Discovery’ & Section 31: Top Theories & Clues

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During episode three of the new Star Trek: Discovery, fans picked up on some hints that Section 31 might be involved in the ship’s journey. The clues come together to make a pretty compelling case.

First, we have the black badges.

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Then we have the “above top secret” tech that may be defying typical Federation rules, guidelines, and ethics. We only know of one group within the Federation that works this way. Secrets are the hallmark of Section 31.

What do we know about Section 31 so far? Quite a bit, in fact.

It’s a clandestine group that protects the security interests of the United Earth and later the Federation. It’s a black-ops division of Starfleet that operates outside the knowledge of Starfleet intelligence. We first hear about it, chronologically speaking, in Enterprise. Section 31 recruited Malcolm Reed, but  he was no longer active by the time he joined the Enterprise crew. It was working with a Klingon colony to try to find a cure for the augment virus.

Section 31, in an alternate timeline, discovered augments in stasis and woke up Khan Noonien Singh, recruiting him to develop weapons. That story is told in Star Trek Into Darkness. 

Then we see Section 31 again in Deep Space 9. They attempted to recruit Dr. Bashir, but he wasn’t interested in joining a group that violated the core values of the Federation. Bashir ended up joining Section 31 as a spy for Sisko. Section 31 often operated with the idea that the ends justify the means, even if it meant taking actions like engineering diseases.

In a nutshell, Section 31 operates outside of Star Fleet’s core values, attempting to neutralize threats that jeopardize the Federation’s survival. Its actions are highly classified and known by very few.

Section 31 is accountable to no one. If the Discovery’s Captain is with Section 31, this might explain why he seems to have so much power to defy laws and do whatever he wants. It might also explain the extreme secrecy.

Do you think Discovery is affiliated with Section 31? Let us know in the comments below.