Star Trek: Discovery is about to “boldly go” with a new season and that means one thing: tons of fan speculation. What will we see in this all new season? What familiar characters will return and which surprising new characters will we meet? One reason the speculation is so high is that not all news is good news. When it comes to certain returning characters, some fans think that they’ve already outstayed their welcome. And as for certain new characters? Well, the show already walks the fine line between being something new and being an homage to something old. So, as always, fan speculation means the fans are at each other’s throats, and it’s more vicious than Kirk vs. the Gorn. None of these online phasers are set to stun, and each group is set on wiping out the other. What can save the day? Will it be a Captain Picard speech, or maybe just one of those weird double-fisted punches?
No, the day will be saved as only Mr. Spock could save it: with pure, cold logic. We’ve put together a definitive guide for the upcoming season, and it covers everything fans will want to know before they boldly go once more. First, we’ve compiled several tantalizing facts that have already been confirmed for the season. Wondering if it’s a cool rumor or something real? We’ve got you covered, and we’ve also put together a solid list of what we hope to NOT see in the next season so it might be even stronger. Sound the Red Alert and keep scrolling to “discover” everything we know about Season 2, and things we hope don't happen.
20 CONFIRMED: GEORGIOU RETURNS
One of the more surprising things about Discovery’s first season was that the mirror version of Captain Georgiou survived. While her mirror colleagues fell like flies, she made it through the season and was even let go to find her own way. Fans were understandably curious if we would actually see her again.
As it turns out, that’s a big “yes:” the character is no longer on her own, but working for Star Trek’s most notorious organization, Section 31. In this way, the Discovery plot comes full circle, as we’ll find out more about what those “black badges” really want aboard the ship.
19 HOPE NOT: HARRY MUDD
For the most part, Discovery has played it cool regarding connections to the Original Series. There are some exceptions, though, including Harry Mudd. This over the top character made multiple appearances in the first season and even headlined his own “short Trek” episode, leaving fans to wonder if he’d be in Season 2.
We’re really, really hoping that is not the case. While Rainn Wilson is a very gifted actor, this character overpowers almost any scene he is in. Plus, too many Mudd appearances so close together makes the character less special. We can’t really miss him if he’s never really gone!
18 CONFIRMED: CAPTAIN PIKE
One confirmed connection to the Original Series is the prominent appearance of Captain Christopher Pike. To those who don’t know, he was the Captain of the Enterprise before Kirk, as seen in the original Trek pilot as well as the 2009 Trek movie.
His appearance also answers another question fans had: why are the Discovery uniforms different from what we have seen before? When Pike shows up, he is rocking a modernized version of the uniforms from the Original Series, and he eventually gets new clothes. This seems to confirm the long theory that different ships of this time period sometimes had different uniforms.
17 HOPE NOT: KLINGON POLITICS
Klingon politics is a tricky thing. Looking back, some of the best episodes of Next Generation and Deep Space Nine revolved around Klingon politics. Hoping to complete the trifecta, the Discovery showrunners made Klingon politics one of the most important elements of Season 1.
This left fans curious: will we be seeing more of that in Season 2? Ultimately, we’re really hoping the answer is “no.” While there are Klingon characters we want to see again, having to sift through subtitles to figure out which great house hates another great house alternates between being boring and annoying. Next major plot, please!
16 CONFIRMED: MEETING “NUMBER ONE”
For fans of a certain generation, the phrase “Number One” probably just means Commander Riker or, more broadly, the position of first officer. However, in the original Trek pilot, Number One was the only name given to Captain Pike’s first officer, played by none other than Majel Barrett Roddenberry.
From the Season 2 previews, it looks like we will be seeing plenty of this character in Discovery. It will be interesting to learn more about her background and maybe even her name. And some fans are holding out hope that there might be a canonical explanation as to how her voice eventually ends up being a well-known computer voice within this universe.
15 HOPE NOT: MIRROR UNIVERSE PLOTLINES
Previous Trek series basically dabbled in the Mirror Universe. The Original Series had one episode featuring that universe, while Next Generation had none. Deep Space Nine had several, but limited to usually one per season; Enterprise had a simple two-parter. Compared to those shows, Discovery went all in on this “evil” universe.
Because of that, fans are wondering if we will see more plotlines revolving around the Mirror Universe (such as finding out what happened to the “real” Lorca). Ultimately, we think this is a bad idea: as cool as those episodes were, we’d rather learn more about the Discovery crew we have than see more of their evil doubles.
14 CONFIRMED: A DIFFERENT KIND OF SPOCK
Another major confirmation for Discovery’s second season is that we would be seeing everyone’s favorite Vulcan, Spock. This character is known for being cold and logical -- it’s kind of his whole deal. However, it looks like we will be getting a different kind of Spock for this show.
First, one preview has Spock confirming to Pike that the Vulcan is smiling. While this is not unheard of in the Original Series, it’s rare enough to make fans wonder what is up. Furthermore, Spock seems to be obsessed with a quasi-religious figure known as the Red Angel. This is quite a departure from the “all science, all the time” Spock we know.
13 HOPE NOT: MORE LORCA
In season one of the show, the “big reveal” concerned Captain Lorca. It turns out he was not the Lorca from “our” universe but instead the mirror doppleganger. This left open the obvious question: just what happened to the real Captain Lorca?
Presumably, he ended up in the Mirror Universe, and our heroes presume him gone. Some fans think he’s destined to come back, but that’s not really a good idea. Not only is Lorca’s story finished, but the “normal” Lorca would likely be boring after the mysterious Mirror double. Sorry, Lorca -- we just don’t love you enough for a double scoop!
12 CONFIRMED: MORE HUMOR
For better or for worse, Discovery’s first season was often described as “dark” and “edgy.” And it’s true that by the standards of the clean and sterile Star Trek: The Next Generation, this show initially came off as very dark and very grim.
To possibly address this concern, it looks like the new season will have more humor. Early trailers showed everything from hijinks with the bridge crew struggling to help away teams to a weird alien sneezing on someone. Is this hard turn to physical comedy a good thing? It looks like we’ll have to watch the season to find out.
11 HOPE NOT: MORE CUTHBERT
One of the most controversial elements of the first season was the demise of Doctor Cuthbert. He and Paul Stamets formed the first gay couple in all of Star Trek history, and many fans pointed to the end of Cuthbert as an example of the ugly “bury your gays” trope of storytelling.
However, the character lived on in a kind of spore dream sequence. While that was sweet, some fans have wondered if he might come back in a more permanent fashion. Honestly, we hope not: as much as love Cuthbert and Stamets together, undoing his surprising end would lower the stakes in the show immensely.
10 CONFIRMED: ASH IS BACK
No character had quite as much of a journey as Ash Tyler. This Klingon in a human body (we’re still not sure how the whole thing worked) was basically a sleeper agent who overcame his programming and ultimately helped the crew save the Federation. However, he ended that season by joining with the Klingons.
Fans may have wondered if they’d see Ash again, but the powers that be have confirmed that he will return. It’s unclear exactly how he will return, though: one episode? Whole season? Or just one juicy arc? No matter how it happens, we are ready for more Ash.
9 HOPE NOT: ONLY ONE STORY
Discovery was the first Trek built with streaming audiences in mind. As such, the first season focused largely on one big story: The Klingon War. Now that we’re headed into the second season, fans are wondering if it, too, will focus mostly on one story (perhaps about this “Red Angel”).
We hope this isn’t the case. Trek is arguably at its best when they are exploring new worlds and meeting new civilizations. Focusing on one existential threat after another means we are less likely to get the Trek exploration we are craving in the first place. Come on, showrunners: the season is long enough for several stories!
8 CONFIRMED: TIG NOTARO
Star Trek has had a rich history of interesting cameo appearances. It’s confirmed that Discovery is getting an interesting cameo of their own: comedian Tig Notaro will be playing a role in the show. While it looks to be a small part, that could easily change.
Notaro plays the chief engineer of another ship, the USS Hiawatha. We don’t know much about the story details, but it looks like she will be bringing her trademark deadpan sense of humor to the Star Trek Universe. In terms of bringing more comedy to the series, this looks like it will be much better than sneezing aliens.
7 HOPE NOT: NO REAL ENSEMBLE
Even casual Star Trek fans don’t have much trouble naming all the members of the crew. This isn’t the case with Discovery, though. The show focused on core characters like Burnham and Saru and Lorca so much that many fans refer to the rest of the bridge crew with weird descriptors (like “robot lady” and “metal implant lady”).
Will this trend of focusing on one small set of characters continue into the second season? We hope now. An ensemble cast is only as strong as the ensemble itself, and the show has so far wasted some cool character designs by giving these characters nothing to do.
6 CONFIRMED: COOL NEW UNIFORMS
Historically, Star Trek has been pretty colorful. This is mostly evidenced by the bright colors of various uniforms. However, Discovery mostly has dark blue uniforms with a bit of gold or silver on them. Sure, we’ve got a white medical variant, but when will we get some variety?
Early previews confirm that we’ll be seeing Discovery versions of the kind of tunics Kirk and crew wore. While it looks like Pike will eventually don the familiar Discovery uniform, we’re excited at the prospect of getting a little more color onto the bridge. Maybe he can throw a few splashes of paint around while he’s there?
5 HOPE NOT: MORE DESTRUCTION
Two very “unTrek” things characterized that first Trek season: destruction. We see crew members lose their lives, get destroyed… heck, we see a few people who seem to have passed away like extras in Event Horizon. Because of this, fans are wondering if the next season will have as much mass destruction.
We’re hoping that the answer is “no.” While it’s fine for Trek to feature death (RIP, all you redshirts), too much destruction risks turning the show into a shallow action vehicle instead of thoughtful sci-fi. Plus, we’d be happier with some more “boldly going” than more “boldly shooting.”
4 CONFIRMED: BIG BAD
Outside of the movies, Star Trek has never really had a “Big Bad.” However, shows like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer popularized the idea of a single bad guy helping to determine the entire arc of any given season and now, it looks like Trek will give it a try.
It’s been confirmed that this new season will have a Big Bad (likely this “Red Angel” we’re hearing so much about). And for better or for worse, it looks like this is likely to dramatically change how Star Trek stories are told on the small screen. Let’s hope this villain is compelling.
3 HOPE NOT: MORE SPORE DRIVE
One major mystery that drove the first season was the “spore drive.” This drive could let the ship instantly go just about anywhere in the universe. Why weren’t they still using this in the future? We eventually find out that the spore network that powers this drive is seemingly dying.
We’re hoping that we will no longer be seeing any more stories revolving around the spore drive. Honestly, it’s a Trek canon nightmare, and we all know how the story ends: eventually, Starfleet will be unable to use it ever again. Once everyone knows the last page, it can be difficult for them to enjoy the rest of the story.
2 CONFIRMED: SECTION 31 RETURNS
Section 31 has only grown in more prominence over the years. This secret organization within the heart of the Federation was once limited to Deep Space Nine appearances. However, it played a major role in Star Trek Into Darkness, and now looks to play a big role in Discovery.
It looks like Georgiou will be returning as a Section 31 operative. How big a role will this be? Well, it was recently confirmed that she will also be headlining an entirely new series focusing on Section 31. Therefore, her season two appearances will be appetizers to the main course of her own show.
1 HOPE NOT: YOUNG KIRK
So, we’ve already seen the Enterprise, and soon we’ll be seeing Captain Pike as well as Spock. Many fans have been asking the obvious question: are we going to see a young Kirk in this show? More than anything else, we’re hoping this doesn’t happen.
Due to the time period this show takes place in, Kirk would be a very young man by this time. Honestly, if we wanted to see “young Kirk being crazy” stores, we’d just watch the Kelvinverse movies again. And if this show really wants to stand on its own two feet, it needs to lean on what came before a whole lot less.