Short Treks: A Rundown of Discovery's Mini-Missions

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To keep the Star Trek flame lit during the hiatus, Star Trek: Discovery created four standalone shorts which were released on a monthly basis starting in October.

Diverse in scope, style, and character focus, they provided a tantalizing peek at the past, present, and future of the crew and ship we have gotten to know and look forward to seeing again very soon.

Related: Get CBS All Access via Prime Video Channels for Hit Shows, Exclusive Originals & Live TV!


"Runaway" stars Ensign Sylvia Tilly as she problem-solves a stowaway situation with her usual grace under fire.

"Calypso" mashes up elements of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and Homer's Odyssey to tell the story of healing, friendship, and love.

"The Brightest Star" is Saru's origin story, showing us how he came to be the first Kelpian to join the Federation.

"The Escape Artist" brings back the infamous Harry Mudd in all his wheeling and dealing glory to cement his place as the Federation's Most Wanted.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 returns on CBS All Access on January 17.

1. The Runaway -- USS Discovery

The Runaway -- USS Discovery
The first of the Short Treks takes place before the events of Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 as Tilly has no roommate yet and is still in the early stages of considering the Command program. This makes sense for introducing the idea of these tangential tales, giving us a familiar face in a familiar setting.

2. The Runaway -- A Stowaway

The Runaway -- A Stowaway
I loved the initial element of creepiness as we only glimpse Discovery's newest and unexpected visitor. Great atmosphere.

3. The Runaway -- Tilly

The Runaway -- Tilly
Ah, Tilly. So sweet. So awkward. So caffeinated. Her conversation with her mother's hologram illuminates a lot about her insecurities. (I also get the sense that the Mirror Universe's Captain Killy probably offed her mom early in her career.)

4. The Runaway -- Me Hana Ika Hani Ka Po

The Runaway -- Me Hana Ika Hani Ka Po
"The Runaway" in the title has a double meaning here as Tilly's oh-so-supportive mother reminds her of a humiliating childhood episode where she ran away from a class activity she couldn't do. Of course, the main reference is the prickly young Xahean who has run away after her invention causes huge turmoil on her newly-warp-capable planet. Po's speech about her connection with her planet is simultaneously poignantly poetic and completely nonsensical but succeeds in quickly establishing the sense of Xahea's chaotic environment.

5. The Runaway -- Dilithium

The Runaway -- Dilithium
At the center of the story is quite literally a power struggle. Po's invention, a dilithium incubator which can regrow the essential fuel for warp engines, makes Xahea (in Tilly's words) "the most politically relevant planet in the galaxy." (I'm a little confused how a planet that has been mining dilithium for generations only just established warp technology.)

6. The Runaway -- New Friends

The Runaway -- New Friends
The Bottom Line: This was a lovely little Tilly tale with a positive message about the how insecurities plague individuals of all walks of life whether they are royal or regular, brave or brilliant. (Also, the Discovery apparently has some sort of ridonkulous transporter tech since Tilly's able to send Po home without the ship being in orbit above her Xahea.)

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