There’s a chance the USS Discovery will be a Franklin-ship when Captain Lorca takes command of the Starfleet vessel, possibly solving the ever-growing mystery of two captains and crews on Discovery.
The USS Shenzhou and the USS Discovery are actually the same ship, the idea is that the Shenzhou would appear in the first episode but undergo some unknown, major duress, leaving it unfit for flight. The ship would be repaired and renamed the Discovery after the aforementioned mysterious duress, and the title of Captain would shift from Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Georgiou to Jason Isaacs’s Captain Lorca.
But then the question becomes: What happens to the crew of the Shenzhou? It’s a hell of a way to go if they all die in the first episode of the highly anticipated series. And that seems doubtful, considering how big of a deal the casting announcements of Shenzhou crew members have been.
Of course this is just another rumour but the story line does sound very dramatic.