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Star Trek Discovery: How Can the Klingons Be Defeated?

SPOILERS for Star Trek: Discovery!

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Star Trek: Discovery survived a 4-episode journey to the Mirror Universe only to find things have gone from bad to worse: the Federation has lost the Klingon War! Can Starfleet defeat the Klingons and save the Federation now?

Discovery had won a pivotal victory in the mid-season finale, performing 133 spore drive jumps to destroy the Klingon Ship of the Dead and the Klingon leader Kol along with it, before getting stuck in the Mirror Universe. When the ship jumped back to the Prime Universe, our heroes overshot their goal, arriving nine months from the point when they breached the barrier between realities. In those nine months, without the most advanced ship in Starfleet fighting the war, the Klingon Empire emerged victorious and has overrun the Federation. 20 percent of Federation space is now under the control of the Klingons and Starfleet has lost a third of its ships. The Alpha Quadrant is in trouble like never before.

Related: Star Trek: Discovery: The Story So Far

Though Discovery is back, she has re-emerged without her captain. The Gabriel Lorca who was in command of Discovery and was a key figure in Starfleet's victories over the Klingons was revealed to be a Mirror Universe doppelganger. Mirror Lorca died trying to stage a coup over the Terran Empire, placing First Officer Saru in the captain's chair. Thus, the prospects of peace within the Federation look bleaker than ever.

There are numerous questions now facing the crew of the Discovery as they launch into the remaining two episodes of the season: Who leads the Klingons now that T'Kuvma and Kol are both in Sto-vo-kor? How did the Federation fall to the Klingons? Most importantly, how can Discovery turn the tide, defeat the Klingons, and end the war with a victory for Starfleet? In Star Trek, there are always possibilities, and here are a few...

Emperor Georgiou (This Page)

EMPEROR GEORGIOU

The Discovery returned to the Prime Universe with an unwilling passenger: Mirror Philippa Georgiou, the defeated and deposed Emperor of the Terran Empire. Michael Burnham, unable to watch another Georgiou die in front of her eyes, held onto the Emperor as Discovery's transporter signal locked on. Georgiou is not pleased to find herself in the Prime Universe; she knows the history of the Federation from the files of the derelict U.S.S. Defiant, and the fascist despot opposes the democratic values of the Federation with every fiber of her being.

However, Emperor Georgiou's presence in the Prime Universe could be a blessing in disguise for the Federation. Simply put, Georgiou is probably the most capable and proficient killer of Klingons in both universes at this point. The Terran Empire destroyed the Mirror Klingon Empire under Georgiou's watch, after all. This may be a case where the adage, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" will apply.

Related: Star Trek: Discovery Kills Off Captain Lorca

In the preview for next week's episode, Georgiou is seen to offer Starfleet what will undoubtedly be an appallingly ruthless means to defeat the Klingons, perhaps in exchange for safe passage back to the Mirror Universe. Georgiou's methods will, in turn, undoubtedly be a tactic that goes against the very principles of the Federation. Will Discovery's crew follow the Emperor's advice to defeat the Klingons, even if it costs the Federation their very soul in the process? Even if they turn out to be effective, Georgiou's strategies are probably going to be unreasonably violent and immoral. There are other avenues Discovery can turn to instead...

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Star Trek Discovery: How Can the Klingons Be Defeated?