Season three of Star Trek: Discovery featured a time jump to the distant future and a mysterious event called The Burn that was partly inspired by a short story.
The third season of Star Trek: Discovery saw the ship and crew flung into the distant future where dilithium was in a rarity due to an event called The Burn. Without dilithium, ships couldn’t go to warp, making travel far harder and far longer.
Eventually, the result of the Burn was revealed to be due to a “lost child” who was grief-stricken at the loss of their parents.
The idea of having a child at the center of such an event wasn’t an original thought. Instead, Discovery’s showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise were inspired by a short story called “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by famed science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin.
Le Guin’s short story wasn’t adapted word-for-word, but merely used the catalyst, an event caused by a child, as the centerpiece of Star Trek: Discovery‘s story.
There will be a connection in season four of Discovery that links it back to Le Guin’s short story, so fans of both should keep an eye out on that.
The events of the fourth season are still largely unknown. Season three mostly ended with Starfleet returning to form to some degree, with Michael Burnham becoming captain of her own ship and a true recovery process from the Burn finally taking shape.
Not much else is known about the fourth season other than that it’ll take a “hybrid” story approach that will be less reliant on interconnected episodes and will adapt a hybrid-episodic format. That means the series will more than likely return to a weekly adventure that prior series have enjoyed success with.