I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested.
End the Shutdown!
After upgrading a character why do you think it is discarded? Do the rules have any reference to Tharp claim?
I'm not sure if you are asking about the character you started with or the one you gained. Here are the relevant definitions from the glossary.
Page 24 wrote:
Gain - Move a card from Starbase to your discard area.
Upgrade - This is short for "Trash the designated card and gain a card from Starbase costing up to the designated amount more than the trashed card".