The past two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery’s Mirror Universe excursion have given us a lot to chew on, with major revelations for several of the show’s main characters.
In last week’s “The Wolf Inside,” we received final confirmation of the popular fan theory that Lt. Ash Tyler is a surgically altered Voq. More surprisingly, however, we found out in this week’s “Vaulting Ambition” that Captain Gabriel Lorca is actually the Gabriel Lorca from the Mirror Universe!
With only three episodes left I have no idea where things are headed next, but let’s take a look back over these two episodes and how they referenced or connected to previous Star Trek canon.
Early in “The Wolf Inside” we discover that Saru serves aboard the ISS Shenzhou, but rather than the science officer-turned executive officer of the Prime Universe, Saru is a slave aboard Discovery. T
he Mirror Universe has had a long history of slaveholding, most prominently in the 24th century following the collapse of the Terran Empire when humans are kept as slaves by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance.
After nearly an entire season of teasing we got our first look at the Andorians in Discovery in “The Wolf Inside.”
The updated look is very faithful to previous appearances of the Andorians in the Star Trek TV shows and movies, and while not as active as they were when seen during Enterprise, the Andorian’s antennae can be seen moving slightly in several scenes.
Alongside Andorians, Vulcans, and Klingons, the resistance to the Terran Empire also includes the Tellarites, who are present at Mirror Voq’s council on Harlak in “The Wolf Inside.”
The makeup for the Tellarites is another relatively faithful update, with the addition of tusks that give the race more of a boar-like appearance than the more pig-like depictions we got in The Original Series and Enterprise.
4. Vulcan Facial Hair
One of the leaders of the resistance against the Terran Empire is Sarek, and like his son, Spock, Sarek wears a goatee in the Mirror Universe during his appearance in “The Wolf Inside.” This Vulcan style choice has been popular among males of the species dating back at least a century, seen on Soval in “In a Mirror, Darkly.”
Interestingly, father and son seem to have taken different paths in the Mirror Universe just like in the Prime Universe, with Mirror Spock serving in the Terran Empire’s Starfleet and Sarek actively working against it.
5. Command Training Program
While working to cure Lt. Stamets of his spore-induced coma during “The Wolf Inside,” Cadet Tilly asks First Officer Saru if he will recommend Tilly for the Command Training Program.
A very similar program, the Starfleet Academy Command School, was referenced by Captain Janeway in the Voyager episode “Parallax,” and Deanna Troi took a similar educational path in “Thine Own Self,” studying for, and finally passing, the Bridge Officer’s Test to achieve a command status aboard the Enterprise-D.
6. Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius
Empress Georgiou is introduced in “Vaulting Ambition” by the name, “Imperial Majesty, Mother of the Fatherland, Overlord of Vulcan, Dominus of Kronos, Regina Andor, All Hail Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius.”
According to episode writer Jordon Nardino, “Iaponius” is Latin for Japanese. Nardino indicated this was meant to be a reference to the previous Terran Empress seen in canon, Hoshi Sato, who was of Japanese descent.
7. Interphasic Space
At the beginning of “Vaulting Ambition,” while traveling by shuttle to the Imperial flagship, Burnham and Lorca discuss the classified data on the USS Defiant that they stole from the Shenzhou in the previous episode.
The data shows that the Defiant crossed into the Mirror Universe through Interphasic space, depicted in The Original Series episode “The Tholian Web” and the Enterprise two-parter “In a Mirror Darkly.”
8. Commander Jonathan Archer
During the same scene in “Vaulting Ambition,” we are briefly shown the heavily redacted data file about the Defiant. While large portions of the text are redacted, as detailed by Burnham in dialogue, the opening paragraph describes the ISS Enterprise NX-01’s trip into Tholian Space under command of Jonathan Archer to capture the Defiant – the plot of “In a Mirror Darkly, Part I.”
9. Georgiou Describes “The Tholian Web”
After Burnham reveals herself to Empress Georgiou as originating in the Prime Universe in “Vaulting Ambition,” she tells Georgiou about the Discovery’s plan to recreate the method the USS Defiant used to cross into the Mirror Universe.
However, Georgiou quickly dashes Burnham’s hopes by describing how the Defiant’s travel through interphasic space created a temporal anomaly and sent the crew of the Defiant insane. The temporal anomaly was not known until Enterprise, but the Enterprise NCC-1701 under the command of Captain Kirk discovered the fate of the Defiant’s crew during the episode “The Tholian Web,” in which the starship first vanished.
We’ll be back with our next round of Canon Connections soon as Star Trek: Discovery continues! The next episode, “What’s Past is Prologue,” arrives this Sunday on Space and CBS All Access, and debuts on Netflix Monday for global audiences.