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Memory Alpha
Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

For the story with the same name, please see the girl who made the stars.

As a young child, Michael Burnham learns to be brave in the face of the unknown, from a story told by her father about a little girl who fought against her own fears a long time ago.


Michael Burnham, 2230s

Young Michael hugs her stuffed tardigrade

On a distant space station, a young Michael Burnham wakes up frightened and screaming for her father. He rushes in to comfort her, and the little girl asks the computer to turn on the lights. Surrounded by photos of her and her father, Michael grabs her stuffed tardigrade and admits that the dark had scared her. Her father suggests it was the idea of being afraid that was the problem, and tells her the story of the girl who made the stars to help her not be afraid.

The story is set "a thousand centuries ago, in Africa...", where the elephants, zebras, and rhinoceroses of the savanna lived alongside the first people. They celebrated the sun, but feared the dark as there were no stars in the night sky, conceiving of that fear as the "night beast."

Night beast

The night beast

The first people

The first people's village

The first people were hunter-gatherers who had only recently learned to farm, and were discovering that planting on the same land repeatedly meant the land was less fertile. The village and their elders came together and "freaked out."

Michael, imagining herself in the role of brave, creative young girl, suggests that new lands could be farmed. The lead elder reminds her it would take days to get to new land, and that would mean angering the night beast. Despite this, the girl goes off on her own one night with the light of a firefly. The firefly escapes, but just as the darkness is about to envelop the girl, a light in the distance appears to be a ship crashing.

The girl and the orb that made the stars

The being sends the girl back to her people with a gift

The girl overcomes her fear to investigate the mysterious light and meets a being. The being witnessed the bravery in the young girl, and reveals to her that there is a wide universe beyond the valley. The girl asks how to show the others not to be afraid, and the being replies that she must show them, and gives her an orb to bring back to the village. The being's ship is repaired and he flies off into space.

Making the stars

The girl fills the night sky with stars

The girl brings the stars to her people and becomes a great explorer, navigating by the constellations. The people follow the girl, and she becomes a queen, having conquered her fear.

The queen and the beast

Burnham dreams of the queen who conquered fear

Young Michael, in her bedroom on the space station, is inspired by the story and announces that she no longer needs the night light. Her father lets her go back to sleep, where she can dream of the great queen who conquered fear.

Memorable quotes[]

"Computer, aluminum… I mean… lu."
"That’s what I said, make it brighter."

- Michael Burnham and her father Mike Burnham, as she struggles to turn the lights on after awaking afraid

"But, how can I tell everyone that they don’t have to be afraid?"
"You must show them"

- The Girl to The Being, as gives her the gift of the universe

Background information[]


  • The title of this episode was first revealed in a trailer released on 20 July 2019 at San Diego Comic-Con.
  • The release date was announced on 5 October 2019 at New York Comic-Con. [1]
  • This is one of two animated Short Treks in the second season.
  • To date, this is the shortest episode of Short Treks, clocking in at just under eight minutes.
  • Alex Kurtzman stated that this episode and "Ephraim and Dot" are both "tied to Discovery, but in interesting and surprising ways." [2]
  • This short, along with "Ephraim and Dot" which premiered at the same time, are the first animated episodes in the Star Trek franchise since the last episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series, "The Counter-Clock Incident", first aired in 1974.
  • The official episode description describes the spatial disturbance seen around the space station as a "lightning storm in space". That exact phrase was a plot point in Star Trek, where the unique terminology used to describe the phenomenon tipped off James T. Kirk that what he was seeing was linked to the incident in which his father was killed. This description was first noted by a USS Kelvin comm officer, then noted by Christopher Pike in his dissertation on the topic. Lightning-like phenomena in space were also seen in the region in which the USS Discovery found itself in "Calypso".


Links and references[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

  • Anele Lundborg
  • Tukise Mogoje as Multiple
  • Gioya Tuma-Waku as Multiple


Africa; aluminum; Being; Being's orb; Being's ship; bow and arrow; constellation; elder; Elder, The; elephant; explorer; farming; firefly; first people; galaxy; Girl, The; "girl who made the stars, the"; hunter-gatherer; lantern; lion; navigation; night beast; night light; NX-class; queen; rhinoceros; Section 31 uniform; shadow; stars; Starbase 1-type; Starfleet insignia; stuffed animal; tardigrade; Torus 4 Deep Space Research Outpost; warrior; zebra

External links[]

Previous episode:
"Ephraim and Dot"
Star Trek: Short Treks
Season 2
Next episode:
"Children of Mars"