A new licensed “Star Trek” book penned by prolific fandom author Una McCormack answers a question that fans have wondered about for a long time. For years, fans of “Star Trek: Discovery” have theorized that Captain Jean-Luc Picard must know about the existence of Michael Burnham and the events that took place on the USS Discovery because he mind-melded with Sarek, Spock’s father, who was well aware of what happened to the ship and its crew.
The finale of “Discovery’s” second season revealed a cover-up that finally explained why no one in the other “Star Trek” series knew about the USS Discovery. When the crew of the Discovery decided to jump into the future to save the universe, the people who stayed behind, including Burnham’s foster brother Spock, vowed to cover up the ship’s disappearance. Since the Discovery had classified technology, Starfleet made all the records related to the vessel classified.
So, when “Star Trek: The Next Generation” took place, over a century later, it made sense that no one knew about the Discovery or its crew, even though Burnham had been Spock’s foster sister.
McCormack’s book, “The Autobiography of Mr. Spock,” finally reveals whether or not Picard knows about Burnham and Discovery, but it’s not the answer many fans predicted.
Spock Told Picard Everything
TNG fans know that Ambassador Spock and Captain Picard met in person for the first time during the events depicted in “Unification Part I” and “Unification Part II.” Picard helped Spock with his efforts to unify the Vulcans and the Romulans, foiling a Romulan plot in the process. After that, the two became very close friends.
In the preface of “The Autobiography of Mr. Spock,” which is written in the first person from Spock’s perspective, Spock reveals that he is recording his memoirs for an audience of one — his old friend Captain Picard. Because he was writing for a close personal friend, Spock shared all the details of his life throughout the book, even those he swore he’d never share with anyone; even the details of his relationship with his foster sister and the mission she went on to save the world. So, Picard definitely knew about Burnham, her childhood on Vulcan, and the missions she took part in as a crew member on the Discovery.
Picard was a deeply private person, and he took the confidence of his friends very seriously. So, it makes sense that he wouldn’t divulge his knowledge of Spock’s personal life to anyone. His silence also makes sense given that he’s a dedicated Starfleet officer above all else and wouldn’t want to expose anything the organization had deemed classified.
A Retelling of Spock’s Life
“The Autobiography of Mr. Spock” retells the story of Spock’s life taking into account all the information given in the legacy “Star Trek” shows as well as the contemporary “Star Trek” shows.
Spock tells Picard about his foster sister, recounting all the interactions that were shown in “Discovery.” However, the book also honors the canon presented by the other shows. The tale of Spock’s kahs-wan, which was depicted in the “Star Trek: The Animated Series” episode “Yesteryear,” is also in the book. Spocks talks about events depicted in “Star Trek: The Original Series” alongside events that were depicted in “Discovery” and “Star Trek: Short Treks.” He even talks about some of the events depicted in the J.J. Abrams Trek movies.
“The Autobiography of Mr. Spock” is a true blending of all the stories Trek fans have ever seen about Spock. Though this may rub some fans the wrong way, especially ones that like to insist “Discovery” happened in another timeline, it gives a definitive answer to whether or not the contemporary Trek shows are in the same canon as the legacy shows.
However, “Star Trek” books are often considered outside the official “Star Trek” canon. The events of the books are never mentioned in the shows and are usually considered their own canon. If that’s the case, then “The Autobiography of Mr. Spock” doesn’t provide any official answers.
As with all things in the Trekverse, fans will decide for themselves whether or not the book fits within their personal Trek canon.
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