What We Learned From Star Trek: Short Treks’ Runaway


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Star Trek: Discovery returned last night with a featurette titled “Runaway,” in which an over-caffeinated Tilly survives a cafeteria food fight with an teenaged alien drama queen (and actual queen). Yes, you read that right.

The first in a series of mini episodes scheduled to air every month leading up to the Discovery Season 2 premiere, “Runaway” goes all out with a storyline that involves Xahian royalty, dilithium crystals, ice cream, and a hormonal space rabbit as a cover story. Here’s what we learned:

Tilly is totally cut out for leadership (despite what her mother says)


After being awarded the Starfleet Medal of Honour and admitted into the Command Training Program, Tilly is living her dream—until her discouraging hologram of a mother shows up and tries to kill it. It’s enough to make Tilly give up on the program, but the way she handles the alien stowaway she finds on the Discovery proves she can take whatever the training program throws at her.

Teenagers are universally impossible


The irrational, angry, boastful mood-swingers we have here on Earth can be found across galaxies. Thankfully, they all like a nice bowl of ice cream on the eve of their impending sweet sixteens/high school graduations/royal coronations.

The short gives us some insight into Trek canon


Discovering that there’s an APB out for her new friend, Tilly digs deeper and manages to get not only her story out of her but a key piece of Star Trek canon, too. The girl is from the planet Xahia. She’s an engineering genius who’s built an incubator that can recrystallise dilithium (the key ingredient in powering the series’ iconic warp drive engines). Now everyone wants the tech and its inventor is worried they’ll strip mine her beloved planet if they have it. With Tilly’s help, the idealistic teen realizes she’s the only one who can protect Xahia, and Tilly gets her home without anyone being the wiser. We love a happy ending.