Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 premiers on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 and, since the release of the first teaser at Comic-Con International in San Diego, news about the sophomore season has come at a fairly steady trickle.
New York Comic Con brought a new trailer, which gave fans an even better idea of what the new season will look like, along with the first glimpse at Ethan Peck’s highly anticipated turn as Spock. There’s also a decent amount of information available regarding storylines unrelated to the arrival of Michael Burnham’s infamous half-brother. Read on for a breakdown of everything we known so far about what to expect from the new season of CBS All Access’ flagship show.
Perhaps most significant in terms of action are the seven signals -- or red bursts -- that have captured the attention of Starfleet and, more significantly, the Enterprise. The signals are of unknown origin and, according to Anson Mount at NYCC, of unparalleled strength. As Pike mentions in one of the trailers, Starfleet’s uncertain whether the signals are a natural phenomenon, a greeting or some kind of aggression.
Their emergence is what prompts Pike to commandeer the Discovery in the first place and are also related to Spock’s disappearance and mental distress. According to showrunner Alex Kurtzman, their existence and the mystery surrounding it will serve as the basis for much, if not all, of the action in Season 2. That’s in keeping with original plans to make Discovery a serialized show, but one following a season-to-season anthology format.
Spock and the Red Angel
Not only do the seven red bursts present a practical threat to Starfleet and the Federation, they also appear to have had a harmful effect on the mental state of the Enterprise’s science officer and Michael Burnham’s half-brother, Spock. In the trailer, his mother Amanda explains to Michael that Spock needs their help, telling her foster daughter that “he had a vision, a red angel.”
Burnham reveals that she’s also seen a similar vision and that, when she did, she had “this unmistakable feeling that everything was going to be all right.” At the TCA’s in January of 2018, former showrunner Gretchen Berg revealed that Season 2 would focus strongly on the conflict and relationship between science and faith.
According to Alex Kurtzman speaking to TrekMovie.com at NYCC, that conflict finds its focal point in Spock:
His experience with the Red Angel and the signals has fried his logical brain. He cannot make sense of it. And he is emotionally ill-equipped to deal with it. So both logic and emotion are failing him, totally. And he is totally unsure of himself and trying to figure out how to make sense of the mystery and where he fits into the world.
It’s possible the red bursts represent something coming into being that defies all the logic Spock has made a cornerstone of his existence, which is why it’s causing him such mental distress and informed his decision to go AWOL from the Enterprise.
It’s Not Romulans
Once CBS released the Season 2 poster and key art, eagle-eyed fans immediately drew comparisons between the red angel figure in the middle of the delta and the sigil of the Romulan Star Empire. That, plus the appearance of a cloaked Klingon battlecruiser (a ship whose design was sold to the Romulans in exchange for cloaking technology), indicated to many that the secretive species might also make an appearance in Season 2 and perhaps have something to do with Spock and Michael’s shared visions.
The prospect was certainly tempting, but when CBR asked Alex Kurtzman about that possibility, he shut down the idea definitively. “There’s no Romulan connection to it,” said Kurtzman. It’s possible he was deflecting, and since we didn’t ask about the battlecruiser it’s also possible that the Romulans could rear their heads in that capacity, but both prospects seem unlikely given how packed this season already looks. Plus, there’s a much simpler explanation for the presence of a Klingon battlecruiser.