Fascinating Ways Star Trek: Discovery Ties Back To Classic Trek Let's see what's out there.
Posted on Jan 12, 2018 04:50pm

If you've been keeping up with Star Trek: Discovery, then you know the references and tributes to past Star Trek series are almost too many to count. But each one brings the series a little closer to the franchise at large and reminds you just how much depth and nuance there is to explore in this wonderful universe Gene Roddenberry has created.

STREAM: Full Episodes Of Star Trek: Discovery On CBS All Access

As Season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery continues on CBS All Access, check out some of the ways the new series (through Episode 9) ties back to classic Trek.

Warning: SPOILERS from Season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery follow...

Episode 1 - "The Vulcan Hello"

Weapons, uniforms, and technology
Since Star Trek: Discovery is set just 10 years before the events of Captain Kirk's five-year mission, it stands to reason that much of the aesthetic pays homage to that time period in Trek canon—from the multicolored uniforms to the iconic lines of starships, and much, much more.

Family ties
One of Star Trek: Discovery's most obvious and talked-about connections to classic Trek is the family dynamic between Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and her adoptive family, Sarek (played here by James Frain), Spock from the original Star Trek, and Amanda. This subject is explored at length over the course of Season 1 and still continues to develop.

General Order One
While on the desert planet of Crepuscula, Burnham makes mention of General Order One—a reference to the oft-cited Prime Directive, which states: "No starship may interfere with the normal development of any alien life or society."

Number One
Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) refers to Burnham by this title—a traditional term for the first officer of a starship. "Number One" is also commonly associated with Commander Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation, though it was also the only known alias of Captain Pike's first officer in the original Star Trek pilot, "The Cage."

Kahless the Unforgettable
In addition to forming the basis for T'Kuvma's (Chris Obi) whole philosophy, "Remain Klingon," Kahless first appeared as an imitation of himself in the original Star Trek episode "The Savage Curtain." He has since appeared and been referenced in other Star Trek series.

Klingon death howl
The Klingons aboard T'Kuvma's ship are seen lamenting their fallen Torchbearer with a collective howl. This is a Klingon tradition seen many times in other Star Trek series and is intended to warn Sto-vo-Kor that a warrior is on their way. (Sto-vo-Kor is the afterlife destination for all warriors who die with honor.)

"We have engaged the Klingons."
This line from Captain Georgiou mirrors a similar (and famous) line by Captain Picard in The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds," in which he says, "We have engaged the Borg."

Cloaking screen
T'Kuvma's ancient precursor to the more powerful cloaking technology the Klingons will ultimately get from the Romulans has been an infamous foil for Starfleet over the course of Trek series.

Vulcan mind-meld
An augmented, interstellar version of this ancient Vulcan practice is used by Sarek on Burnham in her time of need. The more traditional version, involving direct contact between two individuals, was first seen performed by Spock in the original series. The reason Sarek is able to mind-meld with Burnham over great distances is because a piece of his Katra (or a Vulcan's eternal life force) has lived in Burnham since he saved her life when she was a child on Vulcan.

Vulcan nerve pinch
Burnham uses this incapacitation technique in Episode 1—a callback to her upbringing on the planet Vulcan. The move is famously employed numerous times by Spock, and is a common technique amongst Vulcans throughout multiple Trek series.

Chateau Picard
In Captain Georgiou's ready room, there is a bottle of Chateau Picard wine. While this is an actual real-world wine, it also has ties to Captain Picard. It is revealed in that series that he comes from a family of winemakers dating back to before his birth, making Georgiou's bottle canon-compliant.

Episode 2 - "Battle at the Binary Stars"

Vulcan Learning Center
This is the Vulcan school Spock attended in his youth. In Star Trek: Discovery Episode 2, it's revealed to be Burnham's alma mater as well.

Donatu V
T'Kuvma points out that his people and the Federation had not clashed since Donatu V. This battle was referenced in the classic Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles," which also prominently featured Klingons.

"Humans, Vulcans, Tellarites, and filthy Andorians."
T'Kuvma mentions these species in his appeal to the other Klingon houses. In Star Trek lore, these are the four founding species of the United Federation of Planets, as first established in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Zero Hour."

Episode 3 - "Context is for Kings"

Suus Mahna
This handy bit of Vulcan martial arts is demonstrated by Burnham while dealing with some criminals in the Discovery mess hall. The fighting style was first introduced into canon by the Vulcan Commander T'Pol in Enterprise.

Lorca's Tribble
Keen-eyed viewers may have noticed a brown fluff-ball cooing on Lorca's ready room desk. This creature is indeed one of the famed Tribbles, first seen in the Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles."

The Zee-Magnees Prize
Before the destruction of the U.S.S. Glenn, Straal is confident that his and Lieutenant Paul Stamets' (Anthony Rapp) names will go on this Nobel-like award for their work on the mycelial network. Notable recipients of the Zee-Magnees include Dr. Richard Daystrom from the original series episode "The Ultimate Computer" and Dr. Ira Graves from The Next Generation episode "The Schizoid Man."

Lorca's demonstration of the mycelial network
When Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) offers Burnham a glimpse into the possibilities of mycelial spore travel, the whirlwind of images Burnham sees include the planet Ilari, a Preserver obelisk, Andoria, Starbase 11, the Janus VI mining facility, among other things.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Burnham mentions that Amanda read this book to her and Spock when they were children. Spock first mentions his mother's affinity for Lewis Carroll in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "Once Upon a Planet."

Lorca's menagerie
Lorca's own personal collection room displays a veritable treasure trove of exotic objects, weapons, and life-forms referencing other Star Trek series. Items of note include a Gorn skeleton, a dissected Tribble, and Klingon weapons.

Episode 4 - "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not For the Lamb's Cry"

Corvan II
This planet, first referenced in The Next Generation episode "New Ground," is home to a mining colony that produces 40 percent of the Federation's dilithium supply. The colony was saved by the U.S.S. Discovery during a Klingon attack.

House of Mo'Kai
L'Rell (Mary Chieffo) tells Voq (Javid Iqbal) that she is a Klingon of two houses: Mo'Kai on her mother's side and T'Kuvma on her father's side. Mo'Kai is first referenced in Star Trek: Voyager, when Captain Janeway is made up to look like a Klingon from that house in a holographic program. Additionally, other established Klingon houses are referred to by name throughout Star Trek: Discovery.

Captains list
The most decorated captains list requested by Saru (Doug Jones) features the names of Jonathan Archer from Enterprise, Matt Decker from the original Star Trek episode "The Doomsday Machine," and Robert April from The Animated Series episode "The Counter-Clock Incident."

Zefram Cochran
After a risky spore drive jump, Lorca pointedly asks Stamets if he wants to be remembered alongside the Wright Brothers, Elon Musk, and Zefram Cochran. That last one is a reference to the human who invented the first warp drive on Earth.

Episode 5 - "Choose Your Pain"

The Daystrom Institute
While checking life-form DNA sequences in the Federation database, Tilly briefly mentions the possibility of pulling from the classified database at the Daystrom Institute. This research establishment has been referenced many times throughout Star Trek series.

While listing off the Discovery's accomplishments during a briefing, Lorca notes that they broke the Klingon supply lines at Benzar. This planet's inhabitants, known as Benzites, have made appearances in The Next Generation—including Mordock, the first Benzite in Starfleet.

Harry Mudd
This fan-favorite con man and space criminal from the original series manifests once again in Star Trek: Discovery. Here, Mudd is played by the one and only Rainn Wilson.

Episode 6 - "Lethe"

Spock's iconic birthplace is brought to the fore yet again in Star Trek: Discovery.

U.S.S. Enterprise
During her jog with Cadet Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman), Burnham name-checks this renowned Constitution-class Federation vessel—the one that started it all.

"Fortune favors the bold."
A variation on this old saying is said by both Lorca in the Star Trek: Discovery episode "Lethe" and Commander Sisko in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Favor the Bold."

Wee Bairns Whiskey
Lorca's drink of choice also happens to be Miles O'Brien's from Deep Space Nine.

Amanda Grayson
Spock's mother makes her first appearance in Star Trek: Discovery via flashback within Sarek's mind. Here, she is played by Mia Kirshner.

Episode 7 - "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad"

Time loops
This clever plot device is fittingly utilized not once, not twice, but thrice: first in The Next Generation's "Cause and Effect," then Enterprise's "Future Tense," and most recently Star Trek: Discovery's "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad."

Mudd's Andorian helmet
That's no Andorian! But one of their species' helmets does show up in Mudd's possession, as evidenced by the distinctive antennae on top of it.

Anicium-yurium reaction
Mudd uses this chemical cocktail to blow up the U.S.S. Discovery throughout his time-loop scheme. The same compound is also referenced in The Next Generation episode "Night Terrors."

Stella and Barron Grimes
While Stella (played here by Katherine Barrell) is seen recreated as an android in the original series, Star Trek: Discovery marks her first, in-the-flesh appearance, along with her imposing father Barron Grimes (Peter MacNeill).

Episode 8 - "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum"

"The needs of the many..."
There's an iconic line spoken by Spock that goes, "Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." A similar riff of that line is also exchanged by Burnham and Tyler on the planet Pahvo.

Kirsten Beyer
Real-life novelist Kirsten Beyer is well-known for her Star Trek: Voyager books. She also now serves as a story editor on Star Trek: Discovery and penned the episode "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum."

Episode 9 - "Into the Forest I Go"

"Where no one has gone before."
This oft-quoted phrase from the captain's mission statement is uttered once again by Captain Lorca, to Stamets.

Starfleet Legion of Honor
Lorca is awarded this prestigious accolade after defeating Kol and the Ship of the Dead, though he later bestows it to Stamets. The Legion of Honor has also been given to Georgiou, Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy from the original Star Trek, and Lieutenant Data from The Next Generation.

READ: How To Watch Star Trek: Discovery On CBS All Access

Stream the entire first season of Star Trek: Discovery, exclusively on CBS All Access.