It is clear that Craft is on Discovery after rescued from his pod. He wears the sand t-shirt Michael and Sylvia wear while running laps on board with the label “DISCO” (likely short for the ship’s name); the few pictures we see of its body and interior also affirms this.

The ship’s computer system appears self-conscious, and exhausting the definition of general artificial intelligence. The acts we have been seeing of Discovery throughout the episodes since it obtained the data of the 100,000-years-old organic celestial body also indicate that the data itself has already gained such level of intelligence (think actions made to prevent its deletion).

Discovery was not present for a rough 7 or 8 centuries of the 3rd millennium, and the first about 150 years of the 4th. Yet, Zorah still tells Craft the it has been abandoned for a thousand years. Considering the build year and its disappearing in the future, it is clear that it this episode does not take place in the 3rd millennium. The fact that Craft used a pejorative pidgin slang for the federation also corroborates that it is the same universe where the Federation 1) exists or existed and not the mirror universe of the Empire 2) that the Burn occurred and caused the collapse of it at one point.

It is questionable that the Burnham crew knowing what data it stores would abandon that ship on their own cognizance in fear of any malicious AI obtaining the data. If I’m not mistaken the 32nd century federation admiral was also briefed of the reasons why they needed to time travel the ship so the federation should have had the information about the importance of the data on Discovery and could reasonably assumed to protect it if it is within its power.

Considering all, one theory I would have is that they somehow made it back in the 23rd century, something happened there, and the ship was left adrift for a thousand years so we are back in 3255 or later.

If Discovery never makes it back into the 3rd millenium, and was abandoned then, that must mean that this Short Trek is sometime no earlier than the mid-43rd century.

Is there any direct evidence to this or the contrary?

  • 3
    1000 years in the future according to the actor - startrek.com/article/hodge-goes-it-alone-in-calypso
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 16:09
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    I do believe it highly unlikely the show's plot would take Discovery back to the 23rd century. The end of season 2 showed that all records of Discovery had been sealed and witnesses to its departure sworn to secrecy, presumably to explain why the events and characters from the show were never mentioned in the chronologically later shows. Moving them to the distant future frees the scriptwriters from such limitations. Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 16:25
  • @NKCampbell do you want to make it an answer? It appears like he gives it away — the producers were probably not happy. (The official description doesn’t even admit it’s the ship Discovery) Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 16:46
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    @KortellyZamatosh- That interview is on Startrek.com. I doubt that a single word of his interview wasn't vetted by a committee to ensure that it doesn't give anything away that Paramount don't want.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 17:34
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    Um wasn't this plot severely complicated if not aborted by the discovery refit not matching the short trek ship? (I don't watch the show beyond clips) Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 18:16

2 Answers 2


The actual line from Zora is this

Craft: How long you been out here alone, waiting for the crew to return from wherever they went?
Zora: Almost a thousand years.

The only context we have for when Discovery was abandoned is this line from later on

But there's only one [shuttlecraft] left and it was never flown. We had just taken delivery. It didn't even have a name yet. It's been sitting idle for a thousand years.

The problem is that shuttle seems to be a 23rd century shuttle. So... it's not much of a clue.

The best we can surmise is that the goal of the episode is to let the audience of the show know that

  1. Discovery really can't be destroyed. We saw that on-point in Season 2 (DIS: Such Sweet Sorrow, pt 1), so this just broadens that context
  2. The sphere data is causing the Discovery computer to evolve. We've already seen Burnham in S4 calling the computer Zora.

As to your guess

It is questionable that the Burnham crew knowing what data it stores would abandon that ship on their own cognizance in fear of any malicious AI obtaining the data.

We don't know the context, but given #1 above, it's certainly possible that they need to ensure nobody can find Discovery (i.e. a hostile race wants the data) and flew the ship somewhere remote, where she would be hard to detect. Since Zora indicates that Craft is the first person to be on Discovery since then, it seems their plan was successful.

DIS: …But to Connect (S4E7) makes it clear that Zora

is now considered by the Federation to be a life form, and her preferred form is the ship itself, meaning that they could not, and would not, destroy the ship willingly.

The only guess we can make, based on the episodes of ST: Discovery thus far (mid-season 4) is that it takes place nearly 1000 years from the late 32nd century, making it somewhere in the late the 42nd century. This is all subject to change, but it's the only conclusion we can draw.

  • NKCampbell gave pretty much the answer in the first comment: “ 1000 years in the future according to the actor - startrek.com/article/hodge-goes-it-alone-in-calypso” The only question is whether an author or related person can give an in-universe answer without giving an answer in-universe? We can say the actor has his own opinion, or even that the director of the writer have. I’d also add: We don’t know how many years it was in service since it arrived in the 32nd century. Maybe it was there for hundreds of years plus +1000. Commented Dec 14, 2021 at 6:11
  • I voted up, but I can’t accept it without addressing the above questions — even with the conclusion that we can’t know per se. Commented Dec 14, 2021 at 6:12
  • Good update on the answer based on the latest episode. Have you since considered addressing the actor’s statement: “Now, granted, we are 1000 years in the future from the universe we know, from the Star Trek: Discovery universe.” This is clearly supporting your answer, I wonder why or why not. Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 5:42

Discovery started on the TOS era and jumped some 900-1000 years into the future at the end of season two. Putting it in its era past any that we had explored in any star trek series/movie before.

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    Hi, welcome to the site. Can you edit this answer to cite some evidence to corroborate what you've said here, though? Answers that are backed up by evidence carry a lot more weight than ones that aren't. Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 3:57

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