This part has always confused me.

The AI in Discovery was said to have destroyed all organic life in the galaxy. However, that's obviously not true, since Dr. Burnham lives on Terralysia, which is lush and green. Indeed, she intentionally brought the Terralysians into the future, presumably to start a civilization there to support her.

So what was it that was actually destroyed?


The first thing is, control didn't destroy all organic life in the galaxy;

Control destroyed all "sentient" life from the galaxy

This has been mentioned on several occasions throughout Season-2.

BURNHAM: It appears this person is attempting to change the outcome of our current time line.

SARU: And what is that outcome?

BURNHAM: A future in which all sentient life in our galaxy has been eradicated.

Season 2 Episode 8: If memory serves


Do you have any idea why the Red Angel chose you to receive these visions?

BURNHAM: I do not. I have asked myself that question many times.

Any idea what they mean?

BURNHAM: Someone or something is going to end all sentient life in the galaxy.

And when you say the end of all sentient life, you mean?

BURNHAM: I mean precisely that. No humans, no Vulcans, no Federation. No conscious life of any kind.

Season 2 Episode 9: Project Daedalus

Thus, the "lush and green" Terralysium is quite obvious.

So the second part is, why Terralysium ?

Burnham finds the details in her mother's logs that

Gabrielle sets up a base on a Class-M planet (Terralysium) 50000 light years away in the Beta quadrant, and that wherever she jumped, the suit would return her there. She should be safe there; there was no preexisting technology, so Control wouldn't find her there.

And this is also the reason why she transported the humans from the past to this planet - TO SAVE HUMANITY AND SENTIENT LIFE IN THE GALAXY.

But then she found that the Humans she had transplanted to the planet were not only surviving, but thriving. This led her to conclude that the future could be changed leading to her sending all sorts of signals.

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Nothing much, really.

First, a small notice: I don't remember anywhere saying that Control has destroyed things in the future; Control is supposed to evolve as soon as it accesses the sphere data, and then start to destroy things immediately. Dr. Burnham jumps into the future and finds the Galaxy in that state, after Control has done what he's supposed to do. So both her and Terralysium are not that much out of place, after all.

Anyway, aside from this, we have pretty much good evidences that Control couldn't have destroyed much, and that Dr Burnham is a very bad scientist with some serious lack of knowledge about the galaxy and extremely poor math skills. Follow me...

First problem

We know for certain, from all the different ST series, that the galaxy is inhabited by a lot of "god-like" figures. Luckily there is no need to stretch it too much and work on opinions [1], when we have already evidence that some of those beings would intervene for sure. For example there's a guy on Rana IV who can -and has/will have- erase entire civilizations from existence with simply a thought, to protect himself and his loved ones.

So, according to ST canon Control hasn't lasted long: we could already stop here. But anyway...

Second problem

The second half of the second season of Discovery is just a collection of plot holes, bad ideas and completely messed up stuff, using hyper accelerated dialogues and MichealBay-esque camera movements to distract the viewer and cover for all of it.

Hard facts:

  1. ST is set in our reality, in our galaxy, the Milky Way.
  2. The current estimated count of planets in the Milky Way is 100 billions, and growing.
  3. If we count a second (more on this later) for every planet, we get a total count of 3170 years

What does that mean? Well, first, to be able to affirm that Control has eradicated every form of life in the galaxy, Dr Burnham should have checked every single planet. To do that, even if she manages to teleport close enough to a planet and scan all of it for life signs in just a second (rotfl), it would take her 3170 years. Yep, good luck with that.

So the first evidence we have is that we cannot possibly know what Control has achieved. And keep in mind that I'm hand-waving away other life forms, like those that navigates in the void of space, the ones that cannot be found without specific instruments, and so on. Dr Burnham has obviously no idea of how big the Milky Way is, nor she can do a simple division to realize she hasn't checked anything meaningful of sort.

And, if she can't cover the entire galaxy in a life time...it goes without saying that Control cannot realistically have destroyed it all. No matter how detailed the sphere data was, to be sure to destroy all life in the galaxy it has to physically reach every planet, check if it contains life, and then proceed to destroy it. And unless it has invented a way to teleport and extinguish all life on a planet in less than a second, we're back to square one: 3200 years. Sure, it can build other ships or use existing ones, but it still has to teleport around and fight, even if for a few minutes, and then sterilize the entire planet. It may be possible, sure, after all it's SF, but still...highly unlikely.

Uh, by the way: if our galaxy is like the others, there are probably trillions planets in the Milky Way, not just a hundreds of billions...

[1](e.g. would really the Q allow for a bunch of circuits to extinguish life in the Milky Way?)

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    How Control did it was explained decently well - antimatter missiles or some such, all launched at the same time. So the 3200 year thing isn't really valid. I agree that Dr. Burnham didn't possibly check everything, but she also could have deduced it from there being no transmissions/other indications. – Michael Stachowsky May 13 '19 at 12:44
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    Your Hard facts, there are billions of planets in the Milky Way. Totally agree. But what are the odds that all support life? Since you’re applying real life cases, if you apply the Drake equation to determine the number of habitable planets in the galaxy, we get a value probably between 1000 and a million. So that’s not so difficult to a civilization that has warp technology. – Shreedhar May 13 '19 at 15:44
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    Moreover, control has “terminator-genesys” kinda tech nanobots and all. All it has to do is infect the existing tech on a planet and use its weapons against itself. And the Sphere contains all info; the coordinates, history and current data about the said planets. So control would have no problem eliminating all sentient life. – Shreedhar May 13 '19 at 15:47
  • -1 This answer is mostly a rant. – Lexible Sep 30 '19 at 3:59

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