Star Trek: Discovery Is Over, But Here's What Season 6 Could've Been About

This article contains spoilers for the season 5 finale of "Star Trek: Discovery."

It's too early to tell where the finale of "Discovery" will rank among the franchise greats. While "The Next Generation" was allowed the dignity of a proper goodbye (at least, before "Star Trek: Picard" resurrected the series and gave us another drawn-out conclusion, that is) and "Deep Space Nine" was able to go out on its own terms, the same can't be said for instances such as "The Original Series," "Enterprise," or "Star Trek: Prodigy" — a trio of shows that ended up canceled without any real fanfare. As we paid our last respects to Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), Booker (David Ajala), and the crew of the USS Discovery, fans at least were able to enjoy a certain amount of closure ... even if that finale ultimately wasn't the plan for the unsuspecting creative team, as we recently learned.

For better or worse, it turns out there's even more to the story. Since we now know that the writers hadn't planned on ending things with season 5, the natural question then becomes: What would the next season have looked like? If we take our cues from "Trek" lore, there's a solid chance that some alternate universe out there exists where Paramount decided to keep the good times rolling and allow the team to tell their story to completion. Here in the real world, however, we can only go by the word of those who were in the room, mapping it all out.

In a new Variety interview with Michelle Paradise, the "Discovery" showrunner/executive producer revealed that they indeed had plans for a sixth season. By all accounts, the scripts would've focused on a new central idea. Surprisingly, it would've resolved a years-long hanging thread.

Star Trek: Discovery season 6 would've resolved the short film Calypso

While "Discovery" was the most futuristic adventure in the entire canon, the 32nd Century setting technically wasn't the furthest we've ever seen in "Trek." That honor goes to "Calypso." Back when season 1 of "Discovery" had first aired and fans were patiently awaiting the second season, Paramount decided to whet the appetites of Trekkies everywhere by releasing a series of short films, winkingly titled "Short Treks," to fill in various gaps in the series and tell standalone tales further fleshing out the world. One particularly poignant entry starred actor Aldis Hodge ("Black Mirror," "One Night in Miami," "Black Adam") as a "shipwrecked" survivor named Craft who finds himself on a now-derelict USS Discovery a thousand years in the future. Alone with only a sentient artificial intelligence to keep him company, the two grow closer over time and even end up on the precipice of falling in love. The AI is named Zora (voiced by Annabelle Wallis) and she, of course, was eventually incorporated into the action in season 3 of the main series. Talk about calling its own shot.

But, according to Michelle Paradise, the very next season would've brought things full circle with the events of "Calypso." As she explained:

"We always knew that we wanted to somehow tie that back up. We never wanted 'Calypso' to be the dangling Chad ... The [season 6] story, nascent as it was, was eventually going to be tying that thread up and connecting 'Discovery' back with 'Calypso.'"

The finale hints at this by having an older Burnham tell Zora that they're taking the Discovery to deep space and leaving her there indefinitely. It's a bittersweet and ambiguous ending, but one that invested Trekkies can always continue in their own imaginations.