Last week’s fall season finale of Star Trek: Discovery ended with a lot of questions. What went wrong during the jump? Is Stamets ok? Where, or when, is the Discovery and her crew.
While we will have to wait until 2018 for the answer to those questions, the midseason finale may have also provided concrete answers to two of the most interesting fan theories that have been building throughout the first season Star Trek: Discovery. Both of these theories involve two major characters on the Discovery, Ash Tyler and Captain Gabriel Lorca.
Ash Tyler’s Identity
Ever since his introduction in Star Trek: Discovery, there has been something off about Ash Tyler. Alongside a somewhat questionable backstory, everything about the newest member of the crew just seems too good to be true. He’s smart, charming, and a skilled fighter. He is also someone who managed to gain the trust of his cohorts, including the ships skeptical captain, almost immediately.
None of this on its own merits any investigation into his trustworthiness, but its timing is what brings about the skepticism. While I go into it more in an article devoted to the theory the SparkNotes is that Ash Tyler’s appearance and timeline match up with that of the disappearance of the shows primary Klingon antagonist, Voq. The theory is that with the assistance of L’rell, his second in command master spy master spy, the Klingon leader is actually Ash Tyler in disguise.
The most interesting thing about this theory is that while everything that has taken place throughout the latter half of the season supports the theory, the mid-season finale seemingly dispels the validity of the idea in more ways than one. First, when Tyler runs into L’Rell again on the ship it spurns PSTD flashbacks of the supposed torture he endured. Alongside that, scenes later show him having sex with the Klingon, much to his own dismay. All of this shows that he truly is suffering from what occurred to him, unlike the previous notion I hinted at that he was simply hiding his emotions.
So how does this prove the theory is still true despite all this? Simple. To become Ash Tyler, Voq’s consciousness was imprinted into him (ok not so simple). This means Ash Tyler is still technically Ash Tyler, but Voq is in there somewhere too, in a sense. There have been plenty of things to happen in the Star Trek universe to make this idea feasible, seen from interactions with both the Borg and Trill. That means instead of being entirely surgically altered to become Tyler, Voq exists as a part of him. Where it gets interesting comes down to their memories.
The sex scene shown between Tyler and L’Rell was likely actually Voq and L’Rell. Tyler’s memories of his childhood when talking to Captain Lorca also seem genuinely to be specific to Ash, especially since Lorca did look into his background, so he’d know if he were lying. Tyler’s conversation with Burhamn about owning some property at Lake Shasta also feels far too genuine to be a lie. The flashbacks of him being strapped to a table could be one of two things. It could be the torture Tyler thinks it was, or it could be the operation that put Voq into his consciousness.
L’Rell’s attitude toward him supports all of this as well, stating “She’d never let them hurt him.” It would seem like an odd thing for a torture to say to their victim. The female Klingon has also never shown to have any love for humans as well. If anything, signs have pointed to the fact that she is romantically involved with Voq.
There are certainly more factors that come into play in support – as well as in opposition – to this theory, so the latter half of the season will hopefully provide some answers. This theory was less surprising than the next one was though, to an extent.
Captain Lorca is from the Mirror Universe
Just like Tyler, Lorca has had an air of mystery surrounding him ever since he was introduced in Star Trek: Discovery. While he is certainly a likable character, his motives and actions at times are not only morally gray, they are suspiciously questionable for a Starfleet Captain.
A theory that seems to have been confirmed by his actions in the finale – as he can be seen typing an override code into his chairs console – is that the Lorca we have grown accustomed to is from the Mirror Universe. This opposite universe has a storied history in Star Trek, as the events of “Mirror, Mirror” in Star Trek: The Original Series saw members of the Enterprise switched with doppelgangers from the universe after an accident.
This universe is revealed to be far more brutal than the one we see in Star Trek: Discovery, as the Imperial Starfleet rules with an iron fist. Like most dictatorships, high ranking officers and officials have to be wary of assassinations in their sleep, as the easiest way to earn a promotion is with the death of a superior. This justifies Lorca’s actions in “Lethe” as he subconsciously might have associated Cornwell’s touch with that of an assassin.
A few moments later, Admiral Cornwell can be heard stating that it’s like Lorca is an entirely different person from the one she knew. There are also multiple different scenes showing Lorca becoming visibly uncomfortable when Cornwell talks about their past, including a conversation about a meteor shower which he immediately changes the subject on as a means of not talking about “his” past. Last but not least, he is completely fine with the fact that Cornwell is captured in the same episode after she reveals her intentions to have Starfleet remove him from his post.
The most compelling evidence of this all comes from pure facts. At a convention, Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes revealed that Star Trek: Discovery would be doing a Mirror Universe episode. Interestingly enough, Frakes has directed one of the later episodes of the show that will air this season.
Expanding upon this, Star Trek: Discovery Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman confirmed to ComicBook.com that the Mirror Universe would be involved in multiple episodes of the series. And the Mirror Universe actually has already been alluded to in the series as well. When Paul Stamets injects himself with the Tardigrades DNA in “Choose Your Pain” the ending scene shows the Lieutenant walk away from the mirror he was looking at, while his reflection remains.
All of this could also explain where exactly the ship is at the end of the mid-season, why they are there, and how they got there. What exactly happens from here, only time will tell, but the seasons second half teaser is certainly interesting.
Do you agree with these theories? Have anything to add? Head to the comments section below to share! And don’t forget to check back to the site in early 2018 each week for individual reviews for each episode of the second half of the premiere season of Star Trek: Discovery.