Thursday’s season finale of Star Trek: Prodigy wrapped up a lot of the storylines built up over the 20-episode first season and set up some new stories for next season. It also cued up a big change for the show by introducing a new element tied into Star Trek: Voyager—so the following can be a spoiler for both the season 1 finale and season 2.
The battle of the Living Construct ended when the main characters sacrificed the USS Protostar, with Hologram Janeway volunteering to go down with the ship as the kids escaped in a makeshift shuttle and later found their way to Earth. The Protostar wasn’t the only ship lost by Starfleet; the finale showed the battle had a devastating effect on the rest of the fleet. Admiral Janeway’s ship, the USS Dauntless, was also crippled, and Admiral Janeway even ordered her crew to abandon ship in “Supernova, Part 1” before help arrived. In Part 2 it was revealed that Starfleet was planning to explore the wormhole created by Hologram Janeway which replicated the one that sent Chakotay into the future. The admiral intended to be on that mission, and said she was being given “a ship of my choosing.”
The season 1 finale set up season 2 as a search for Chakotay led by Admiral Janeway, with her new “warrant officers in training” along to help. There were no specifics on her new ship for this mission, although there was a bit of a fakeout when she showed the kids the first of a new Protostar-class vessel, a near duplicate of their former ship. Then Janeway made it clear the new Protostar-class ship wasn’t her new command when she told them, “Oh, I have a much bigger plan for us,” as she looked up to see a ship streaking through the sky.
Co-creators Dan and Kevin Hageman know they have created a bit of a mystery. In their post-finale Ready Room interview, Dan teased, “Admiral Janeway has promised them a new ship, but not the Protostar. So I think that is something fans can speculate.” And Kevin added,”Something much bigger.” Even without a definitive answer, there are some clues regarding the ship, the biggest of which comes about midway through the finale when the kids crash-land in San Francisco Bay. The rescue shuttles that come to save them have the designation NCC-74656-A. Janeway’s original USS Voyager had the designation NCC-74656, so these shuttles clearly came from a successor ship: the USS Voyager-A.
Originally launched in 2371, the USS Voyager returned to Earth after seven years in the Delta Quadrant in 2378, six years before the events of the Prodigy season finale. Its fate hasn’t been established in canon, but in the Voyager finale, “Endgame,” Admiral Janeway from an alternate future said that in her timeline the ship was turned into a museum on the grounds of the Presidio in San Francisco. It’s reasonable to assume that something similar happened to the storied ship in the prime timeline—unless of course, Starfleet R&D kept it to themselves to study all the advanced technology and upgrades provided by future Admiral Janeway. It’s entirely reasonable to assume the USS Voyager was decommissioned prior to 2384.
It has been established that Starfleet commissioned additional ships with the name Voyager. In Star Trek: Discovery‘s third season, set in the 32nd century, Starfleet included the USS Voyager-J (designation NCC-74656-J).
The original USS Voyager was an Intrepid-class ship (so too was the 32nd-century Voyager-J, although it was clearly a new type), designed for long-term exploration. In the finale, Janeway was told Starfleet was planning on sending an “exploratory ship” to the new wormhole. For her part, Kate Mulgrew spoke about her affinity for the original USS Voyager on the Ready Room, saying “I have an absolute fidelity to [the] Voyager Intrepid-class. That is my starship. That is where my captaincy rooted itself. And that’s where Admiral Janeway went down [in “Endgame”].” Even though Intrepid-class ships are likely still in service in 2384, it’s likely a Voyager-A would have a new design, giving the artists on the show a chance to create a new hero ship, as they did with the Protostar.
For now, all we know for sure is Admiral Janeway got to choose her new command, and the ship is “something much bigger” than a Protostar-class ship. Almost any Starfleet ship would be physically larger than a Protostar class, but Janeway’s comment at the end of the episode could be about the ship having a larger importance or possibly personal meaning to her. Putting the pieces together, what would be a better ship for Admiral Janeway on her mission to find Chakotay than the new USS Voyager? It would be a delight for fans and offer the chance to feature a new hero ship with a strong legacy.
Do you agree with the above, or do you think Janeway will get something entirely new, or maybe something entirely familiar? The Enterprise-E or Enterprise-F? Another Dauntless? Or something else entirely? Let us know in the comments below.
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