Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1, Episode 11 – « Asylum »The farthest Starfleet base in Star Trek: Prodigy brings back memories of Commander Michael Burnham’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) arrival in the 32nd century in Star Trek: Discovery season 3. In Star Trek: Prodigy’s midseason 1 premiere, the teenage alien crew of the USS Protostar made contact with Starfleet and docked at CR-721, the United Federation of Planets’ furthest comm replay outpost bordering the Delta Quadrant. Dal R’El (Brett Gray), Gwyn (Ella Purnell) and their friends met Lt. Barniss Frex (Eric Bauza), a Denobulan like Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley) of Star Trek: Enterprise, and the station’s lone Starfleet Officer.
Barniss Frex living alone on CR-721 and unexpectedly visited by Starfleet (or six kids who want to join Starfleet) calls back to when Michael Burnham arrived alone in 3188 after she and the USS Discovery permanently time-traveled from the 23rd century. Burnham and Cleveland Booker (David Ajala) made their way to a Federation relay station that was damaged, along with the rest of the galaxy, by The Burn. The station’s lone inhabitant was Aditya Sahil (Adil Hussain), who diligently maintained the facility despite not being a Starfleet Officer. Commander Burnham was so inspired by Sahil’s dedication to the Federation that she gave him a Starfleet commission as the station’s acting communication chief in a touching moment. At the end of Star Trek: Discovery season 3, Burnham solved the mystery of The Burn and gave warp travel back to the Federation. In turn, Adita Sahil was formally welcomed to Starfleet as a Lieutenant, and he reunited with now Captain Burnham.
What Happened To Star Trek: Discovery Season 3’s Federation Relay Station
In Star Trek: Discovery season 3’s future, Aditya Sahil became the sole caretaker of his Federation relay station in 3148, and he maintained the facility for 40 years, despite never meeting another person during his adult life until Michael Burnham and Book. After the USS Discovery-A brought warp travel back to the Federation, presumably Sahil’s relay station was eventually repaired, and it likely gained new personnel. Sahil left the relay station and traveled to Federation headquarters where he was formally commissioned as a Starfleet Lieutenant. Sahil is presumably performing his duties despite not appearing in Star Trek: Discovery season 4.
Unfortunately, CR-721 met a very different outcome in Star Trek: Prodigy’s midseason 1 premiere. The Protostar’s young crew and even Hologram Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) were unaware that Gwyn’s sinister father, the Diviner (John Noble), hid a doomsday weapon aboard the Protostar. The weapon activates once the starship is near Federation technology, forcing it to turn on itself. CR-721’s weapons systems activated and destroyed the relay station. Barniss Frex fled in an escape pod but, thankfully, the Protostar’s crew was rescued and escaped safely.
Will Barniss Frex Return In Star Trek: Prodigy?
Since Barniss Frex managed to get away in an escape pod before CR-721 was destroyed, he may well return later in Star Trek: Prodigy season 1. After all, Admiral Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) is now in the Delta Quadrant and searching for Captain Chakotay (Robert Beltran) aboard the USS Dauntless. It’s very likely the Dauntless will detect the destruction of the Federation’s only relay station in the sector, and Frex may be sending a distress beacon as well. Barniss would then be able to clue Janeway in that the Protostar is now crewed by a half-dozen alien teenagers who are posing as Starfleet Officers. It doesn’t seem like Barniss Frex will be a friend to Star Trek: Prodigy’s heroes the way Adiya Sahil was to Micael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery.
Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.