I’ve been thinking about all those saying that Discovery is not Star Trek, how the technology doesn’t make sense in the context of the rest of the ST Universe, etc etc., how it’s just another grimdark Battlestar Galactica.
But we kind of forget that our media is always influenced by its own time, by what came before and by what is actually possible. Especially the latter is so important and that’s why I don’t give a fuck that the technology of Discovery is such a different beast from anything we know. Star Trek and any other Science-Fiction is a refelection of what we deem possible in our time and to ignore that would mean going backwards, disregarding everything that makes this genre so unique and fascinating.
And why would it be so hard to imagine that an experimental drive got lost in history in a universe with a history bigger than anyone could ever learn or imagine? Just looking at how the creature reacted to being used that way might be a big clue to why that technology vanished without a trace in the history known to us.
A lot of people also complain about Star Trek reducing itself to prequels, but quite frankly, that’s why I loved Enterprise, that’s why I love this timeline, the Federation navigating through a universe that hasn’t been tamed yet, that is not yet the utopia we know, that is still in the middle of discovering itself.
Yes, we could jump years ahead and invent some other foe/conflict, but why do that when there is so much history ready to get picked up?
I get the point that it’d be nice to have something new, to see where the Federation stands “now”, but going back in history is not a lazy way of avoiding new ideas, because this series is choke full with new ideas.
Also, Janeway already told us why:

“Space must have seemed a whole lot bigger back then. It’s not surprising they had to bend the rules a little. They were a little slower to invoke the Prime Directive, and a little quicker to pull their phasers. Of course, the whole bunch of them would be booted out of Starfleet today. But I have to admit, I would have loved to ride shotgun at least once with a group of officers like that.”
(“Flashbacks”, Episode 3x02)