With a snap of your fingers, Q can change the fabric of reality. We hope to see John C. Lancie’s villain in a prominent place in season 2 of Star Trek: Picard early 2022. But before that happens, the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery Season 4, “The Examples,” just gave Q Continuum a big appreciation and in doing so may have sparked an upcoming plot development for Picard Season 2.
Here’s how that reference to the Q Continuum in Discover It fits into the Star Trek timeline, plus the details about those other space gods that were mentioned as well. Spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Discovery Season 4, Episode 5, “The Examples”.
For Discovery Season 4, the biggest reveal of “The Examples” comes pretty soon. The superdestructive DMA (dark matter anomaly) is not a naturally occurring space phenomenon. Instead, it looks like this suction cup was manufactured. So if the DMA was created by someone, the question is, who?
At the beginning of the episode, Admiral Vance (Oded Fehr) marks a few options; mostly people in Star Trek canon who possess the technology (or borderline magic) to fabricate a wandering black hole that smashes worlds. Starfleet knows that this is not the kind of thing the Emerald Chain could have prepared. It has to be some of the alien species from Star Trek at the space god level like …
The Metrons – Vance mentions “the Metrons”. These were the divine aliens who staged a fight between Captain Kirk and the lizard-like Captain Gorn in the classic episode “Arena”. Interestingly, the episode “Arena” takes place in 2267, and at the end of the episode, the Metrons told Kirk that in “several thousand years” the Federation might be worthy of a “deal”.
At the end of the episode, Kirk says, “Maybe in a thousand years or so, we can prove it,” meaning that humanity and the Federation could prove they weren’t “savage.” Discovery Seasons 3 and 4 take place in 3189,922 years (almost a thousand!) After the events of “Arena”.
The Nacene – Vance also refers to “the Nacene”. These are a group of aliens more commonly called “the caretakers”. In the first episode of Traveler (called “Caretaker”) the Caretaker takes the ship halfway across the galaxy. Because the major encounters Starfleet had with the Nacene involved things moving great distances instantly, it makes sense that they would have been on the list of people who could have created the DMA.
The Iconian Empire – Before starting to talk about the Q Continuum, Vance mentions “The Iconian Empire”. This long dead organization originates with the TNG episode “Contagion”, in which the Business discovers an “Iconian Portal”, which basically allows people to move through the planets simply by walking through a door. Another Iconian Portal appeared in a DS9 Season 4 Episode 22, but beyond that, the Iconians haven’t really appeared in on-screen canon, because their civilization has been extinct for hundreds of thousands of years before Star Trek begins.
However, the star charts in the first season of Discovery It seems to indicate that in the 2250s, Starfleet considered certain areas of space under Iconian influence. Also, in the ongoing MMOG Star trek online, the Iconians are major antagonists and are revealed to be very active in the 24th and 25th centuries. Because Vance seems to be thinking of the Iconians as viable candidates as creators of the DMA, this could quietly imply that the Iconian backstory Star trek online it could be pseudocanon.
What about the Q Continuum?
So the most interesting detail Vance leaves on this list is easily this statement: “The Q Continuum was considered … but there has been no contact for 600 years.”
This is an interesting figure. Vance did not say “since the Burn” or “in a century”, he said that it has been 600 years since the Federation heard from someone in the Q Continuum. First introduced in the first TNG Never episode, “Encounter at Farpoint”, the Q are a race of almighty space gods, and yes, they are all called “Q”. The most famous member of the Q was played by John de Lancie, who appeared in numerous episodes of The next generation, Voyagerand an episode of Deep space nine. More recently, Q has appeared in Lower covers and he’s ready for a big comeback in Picard Season 2. But, thanks to this disposable phrase in Discovery, now we know something about the future of the Q, from the perspective of the Picard time frame.
Picard Season 1 took place in 2399, which means that, time travel aside, the present tense of the series will be the years after 2399. So, at some point, Picard will leave the 24th century for the 25th century. Discovery Seasons 3 and 4 take place in the 32nd century, which puts Picard Y Discovery 789 years apart.
That means a century after the events of Picard, (approximately 600 years before Discovery Season 4) the Q Continuum, for some reason, it will stop watching over humanity. Star Trek canon has now created an interesting cap on the amount of Q that can appear in canon posts.Picard. If the Qs don’t make contact after the year 2500 or so, that leaves them a lot of leeway to show up for a whole century after the events of Picard. That sounds like a long time, but on Star Trek, it really isn’t. The amount of time separating the time period from Picard and this Q Continuum cutoff date is about the amount of time that separates The original series from The next generation.
So, here’s the jump: Discovery just intentionally poking fun at something big that will happen with the Q in Picard Season 2? Could the events of Picard Did season 2 lead directly to Q Continuum severing all contact with the galaxy as we know it? Because Picard Season 2 comes out in just a few months (February 2022), it seems this mention of the Q could have been more than an Easter egg. Discovery has been based on the canon of Picard twice this season: once for Gray’s new body and once for the return of the Qowat Milat. But now, the opposite may be happening. In a small way Discovery I could be joking with something in Picard for a change.
Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 is now airing on Paramount +.