For the DIS episode with a similar title, please see "Battle at the Binary Stars".
"We have suffered losses… but the Federation has suffered far more. Leaders, return to Qo'noS. Declare far and wide that the Klingon race fights as a united Empire once again!"

The Battle of the Binary Stars, also referred to as the Battle of the Binaries, was the opening battle in the Federation-Klingon War on stardate 1207.3 between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. (DIS: "Context Is for Kings", "Choose Your Pain")


On stardate 1207.3, The battle was the first time the Federation and Klingons had engaged each other since the Battle of Donatu V in 2245. Prior to the battle, the two powers had barely interacted with each other – barring a few inconclusive skirmishes such as at Donatu V and Doctari Alpha – in a full century. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello", "Battle at the Binary Stars")

The Klingon leader T'Kuvma ordered his ship to disable an interstellar relay on the edge of Federation space, in an uninhabited binary star system six light years from Gamma Hydra, in order to lure out a Starfleet vessel to investigate, so he could provoke a confrontation. The USS Shenzhou responded, and on investigation, Commander Michael Burnham was attacked by the Klingon Rejac, and killed him in self-defense.

Upon her recovery, Shenzhou sent out distress calls to any nearby Starfleet vessels to warn them of the Klingon incursion into Federation space. Meanwhile, T'Kuvma activated the Light of Kahless beacon to call on the twenty-four Klingon Great Houses to unify and send their own ships to aid him. Soon, twenty-four ships dropped out of warp, one from each of the Great Houses, but while the Klingons were debating whether or not to unify into a single fleet, ten Starfleet ships responding to the distress call dropped out of warp behind Shenzhou. Both newly-arrived fleets then faced each other down in a tense confrontation. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")

The battleEdit

The battle began after T'Kuvma ordered his ship to open fire on the Shenzhou, forcing it to take evasive maneuvers and fire in retaliation. To cover the Shenzhou, the starship USS Sioux, along with others, moved up and opened fire, inflicting considerable damage to the smaller Klingon ships. However, Starfleet began to take considerable losses early on in the battle, with the USS Clarke and USS Yeager destroyed, and the Shenzhou heavily damaged and unable to fight. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")

At this point, the Shenzhou began drifting toward the debris field and was left by the Klingons to be destroyed by a collision with a large asteroid. Moments from impact, the USS Europa arrived at the battle and saved the Shenzhou with a tractor beam. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")

Following this, Admiral Brett Anderson made contact with the Klingons and was able to negotiate a brief cease fire. But, while communicating with Captain Philippa Georgiou on the Shenzhou, the Europa was deliberately rammed by a cloaked Klingon vessel. The low speed collision began tearing through the saucer section, ripping it apart like paper. With this happening, the Europa deliberately collapsed its anti-matter containment field, which overloaded the warp core. The resulting breach destroyed both vessels. The cease fire was broken, and the Klingons resumed shooting, and a wave of new Klingon reinforcements warped into the system as well. Several other Starfleet vessels were destroyed, until only the Klingons remained. T'Kuvma told the other Klingon leaders that they should return home and declare far and wide that the Klingons fought as a united empire once again, and they departed – but T'Kuvma stayed behind on his flagship to recover their fallen comrades for proper funeral rites. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")

As the Klingons collected their dead, the crew of the Shenzhou transported an explosive warhead onto the body of a Klingon warrior adrift in space. As the body was tractored into the Klingon flagship, it detonated, severing the "head" of the ship, and inflicting considerable damage. Captain Georgiou and Commander Burnham took this opportunity to board the ship in order to take T'Kuvma prisoner. While searching the ship, the officers were ambushed, and a brief fight ensued. Commander Burnham was knocked down, but was able to overcome her attacker, however, Captain Georgiou was stabbed through the chest by T'Kuvma and killed. Burnham then shot T'Kuvma in the back, killing him. She was then beamed back before she could recover Captain Georgiou's body, and the Shenzhou was abandoned. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")


Ultimately, the battle was a massacre for the Federation, with thousands killed and a number of ships destroyed. The Klingons also took Lieutenant Ash Tyler prisoner and kept him aboard a prison ship. (DIS: "Into the Forest I Go", "Battle at the Binary Stars") While the Klingons also took casualties, T'Kuvma achieved his goal: using a war against the Federation to reunite the Great Houses. However, with T'Kuvma dead, the Klingons were left without a living leader, and T'Kuvma's vessel and its surviving crew, as well as the only extant Klingon cloaking device, were left to drift for months in the debris field of the battle. However, Kol of the House of Kor was able to take command of the Sarcophagus after he bribed the remaining crew to follow him instead of T'Kuvma's protege Voq, and then to abandon Voq aboard the derelict Shenzhou. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello", "Battle at the Binary Stars", "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry", "Choose Your Pain")

After that, L'Rell had Voq taken to the Matriachs of the House of Mo'Kai, where he underwent surgery to pose as Ash Tyler in order to infiltrate Starfleet. Kol later became a general, and consolidated his power over the High Council. (DIS: "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry", "Choose Your Pain", "Lethe", "The Wolf Inside")

After Trek: "Episode 8" erroneously referred to this conflict as the "Battle at the Binary Stars", though it is canonically called "Battle of the Binary Stars" (in "Context Is for Kings" and "Into the Forest I Go") and "Battle of the Binaries" (in "Choose Your Pain").

Mirror universeEdit

In the mirror universe, Captain Michael Burnham made a name for herself as "the Butcher of the Binary Stars" after directing an Imperial assault in the system. According to Voq, she killed thousands of Klingons with a single command. (DIS: "The Wolf Inside")

External link Edit

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