The fifth season of Star Trek: Discovery has now finished airing on Paramount Plus, with a barnstorming finale which brought this chapter in the Trek story to a close.


The series, which stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Wilson Cruz, Blu del Barrio and more, first started airing in 2017, and paved the way for a host of other modern Star Trek series to follow.

But why won't it be returning for a sixth season, what have the cast said about the show ending, and is there a chance that the characters could appear in another series or film?

Read on for everything you need to know about why Star Trek: Discovery won't be returning for another season.

Why won't there be a Star Trek: Discovery season 6?

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham and Callum Keith Rennie as Rayner in Star Trek: Discovery, episode 2, season 5 in red tunics standing at a control panel
Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham and Callum Keith Rennie as Rayner in Star Trek: Discovery. Marni Grossman /Paramount+

Star Trek: Discovery was cancelled after filming on its fifth season had taken place, meaning it wasn't the plan from the show's creatives to bring it to an end at this point.

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No reason has yet been officially given as to why Paramount decided to bring the show to a close, but it has been suggested this could be due to a change of strategy at the company regarding its streaming service, as Paramount Global heads towards a potential sale.

Paramount's CFO Naveen Chopra previously said that 2023 was the company's "peak year" for streaming investment, suggesting it will produce less content for this branch of its output in future years. It seems Discovery's cancellation may have been part of this strategy.

What have the cast and crew said about Star Trek: Discovery ending?

The cast of Star Trek: Discovery season 5 stood in a line and looking at the camera
Star Trek: Discovery season 5. Paramount+

The cast and crew behind Star Trek: Discovery have made clear that the show ending after season 5 was unexpected, but that they have made peace with it and had time to process it since they finished filming.

For instance, Sonequa Martin-Green told exclusively: "We've had a lot of time to process it. We found that after the fact, right – we had shot all of season 5, and thought it was just another season, and then found out a few months later, after we had wrapped [that it would be the final season].

"Then we went back to do a shoot, and really wrap up the series. And yes, it was bittersweet, but I always felt a great sense of peace about it. TV has changed, and we're in the streaming era, and so I feel that five seasons is solid. I think we had a good run, you know? So I always felt peace.

"I've been saying three words, especially, that I feel have really settled in me is a sense of achievement, ownership and gratitude. I think all of us feel that way."

When it was first announced that the show was coming to an end, executive producers and co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise said in a statement: "As lifelong fans of Star Trek, it has been an immense honour and privilege to help bring Star Trek: Discovery to the world.

"The Trek universe means so much to so many – including us – and we couldn’t be prouder of everything Discovery has contributed to its legacy, particularly with representation. If just one person sees themselves, or the possibilities for their future, in a new way because of Discovery, then we think we’d have made Gene Roddenberry very proud.

"Of course, there would be no Discovery without Sonequa Martin-Green and the extraordinary team of artists, both in front of and behind the camera, who have brought this show to life.

"Their passion and determination to make every episode special has been deeply inspiring; so too has their love and support for one another and their genuine love for Star Trek. Discovery has truly become a family over the years – and we couldn’t be more grateful to be part of it.

"To the fans around the world, thank you for joining us on this incredible journey. Your love for these characters and your excitement for every episode, every season, has meant the world to us.

"We can’t wait for you to see what we’ve been working on for this final season; we appreciate your patience in the meantime and trust us when we say it’ll be worth the wait. We love you all! LLAP".

Could the Star Trek: Discovery characters appear in another series?

Doug Jones as Saru and Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery season 5, looking at each of other while stood next to a tree
Doug Jones as Saru and Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery. Michael Gibson/Paramount+

They could, although nothing has been confirmed on that front.

Paradise told SFX magazine ahead of the final season airing: "Spoiler alert: all of our heroes don’t die at the end. So they live on. We have this timeframe. We have these wonderful characters, and I mean, who knows?

"If they wanted to do that, and if the actors wanted to do it, I think that’s certainly a possibility. There are so many wonderful stories that we have told, and so many other stories that we could tell if there’s a desire to do that."

Star Trek: Discovery is available to stream on Paramount Plus. Get a seven-day free Paramount Plus trial at Amazon Prime Video.


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