During the First Contact Day celebration yesterday, new trailers for almost all of the upcoming Star Trek shows were released. Among them was a brand new teaser trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season four.
The teaser included a plethora of footage from the new season, suggesting that filming has been plugging right along since November. It also included details that confirm hints given by the showrunners and fan theories about the new season. The biggest reveal, however, was the villain of season four, which is unlike any villain a Starfleet crew has faced in the past.
Fighting Against Space Itself
The trailer begins with several scenes showing the ship severely damaged and the crew fighting chaos. Captain Michael Burnham narrates the scenes, talking about how frayed her crew has become from dealing with “uncertainty” all the time.
Then the trailer cuts to Paul Stamets, who is explaining to the crew that they’re dealing with a “gravitational anomaly” that is more than “five lightyears across.” In the very next scene, the bridge crew of the Discovery floats into the air, confirming a recent rumor about an entire episode or more being filmed with the actors on wires.
As the trailer progresses, fans find out that the gravitational anomaly randomly appears in sectors of space, with little or no warning. Sylvia Tilly, rank currently unknown as it changed so many times in season three, warns the crew that they may never know if the anomaly is about to hit the ship. Her warning is followed by several more scenes of destruction.
Throughout the trailer, several other species are shown dealing with the threat of the gravitational anomaly, most notably the Ni’Varians and the Kelpians. At one point, a Federation representative implies that this new threat will force Federation and non-Federation planets to work together because they’re all at equal risk.
One scene in particular, as shown above, hints that Ni’Var, the Romulan/Vulcan planet once known as Vulcan, might forge a new relationship with the Federation to combat the anomaly. At the end of season three, the relationship between Ni’Var and the Federation was improving but still shaky. It seems as if that’s about to change.
The trailer also suggests that the Kelpians will play a major role in season four. Fans of Commander Saru will be delighted that he made a brief but strong appearance in the trailer, along with another Kelpian character fans haven’t met yet. At the very end of the trailer, a pair of human hands is seen clasping a pair of Kelpian hands.
Though the obvious assumption would be that the hands belong to Saru, the color of the uniform suggests that they belong to someone else. In Saru’s appearance, he’s wearing a dark-colored uniform. The bright red of the uniform worn by the Kelpian hand holder suggests a new character.
Starfleet’s Previous Battles With Space
A few episodes of past Star Trek shows have pitted the crew against space phenomena that wreak havoc on the ship and the crew.
In the season four episode of Star Trek: Voyager entitled “One,” the crew encounters a nebula several light-years across. When they enter it, the crew begins to scream in pain as boils and scabs cover their skin. The bridge crew determines that humans cannot pass through the nebula safely unless they’re in stasis. Seven of Nine, however, is immune because of her Borg nanoprobes. So, Seven and the Doctor run the ship for several weeks as it travels through the nebula.
In a nearly identical episode of Star Trek: Enterprise called “Doctor’s Orders,” the crew discovers a trans-dimensional disturbance. Doctor Phlox determines that passing through the disturbance would cause significant harm to the humans on the crew, so he insists on putting them into medically induced comas.
Both of these episodes, and a few others, put the crews of Starfleet ships up against space phenomena they can’t control. However, unlike the gravitational anomaly in Discovery season four, the nebula and the trans-dimensional disturbance were singular occurrences limited to a specific place. This allowed the crews to make a plan about how to deal with the threat with minimal damage. Such planning isn’t possible with the threat faced by the Federation and their potential allies in Discovery season four.
The last scene of the trailer confirmed that the new season will release before the end of the year, though no specific release date was given.