Warning: Spoilers Ahead For Star Trek: Discovery
Star Trek: Discovery‘s titular ship has had a rough time of late. After accidentally finding themselves in an alternate dimension and discovering their captain was an imposter, the crew returned home to find the Federation virtually decimated by the Klingons.
As soon as Gabriel Lorca was outed as a figure from the Mirror Universe, it was abundantly clear that the Discovery would need a new leader – especially after Lorca’s grisly demise. Chain of command meant that Mr. Saru was forced to step up to the plate, and the Kelpien did an admirable job under highly testing circumstances.
However, the Discovery is currently fighting a seemingly lone battle against every Klingon house; it’s hardly the right time for a newbie to lead the charge. In their wisdom, Admiral Cornwell and Sarek decided to appoint the Captaincy to the Mirror Universe’s version of Philippa Georgiou – the tyrannical racist dictator Georgiou. Cornwell decided not to inform the Discovery’s crew of this particular development, instead claiming that their version of Georgiou had been found alive and was ready to re-assume command of the ship.
The logic is clear: Starfleet are on the brink of extinction and only a miracle can save them from the Klingons. Extreme methods are called for and Cornwell has the Mirror Universe’s single greatest military figure at her disposal. And yet it seems almost inevitable that this plan will not end well.
Firstly, it’s highly probable that Georgiou will go into business for herself sooner or later. She wants to return to her own world and, failing that, has requested freedom – but this is a woman who had an entire galaxy at her command only days ago. Her lust for power would not have vanished so quickly, and with a Starfleet ship under her control, it feels like Georgiou could make a power grab at any time to reassemble the ashes of Starfleet as a new Terran Empire.
That is, of course, assuming her cover isn’t blown before the ship even reaches Qo’noS. Only Saru, Burnham and random transporter room attendant #2 are aware that the Georgiou currently in the Captain’s chair is from the Mirror Universe, but how long can the cat realistically stay in the bag? The Discovery’s crew are a group of crack scientists, pilots and engineers – are they seriously going to buy that immediately after returning from a world with parallel versions of themselves, their old Captain magically returns from the dead? Stamets and Tilly, at the very least, would surely see through the ruse. If the secret does get out, problems will arise immediately as the Discovery splits between those who believe a strong leader is needed and those who can’t look past Mirror Georgiou’s crimes.
Although the Discovery’s new Captain is almost certain to spell doom for the ship’s fictional crew, it could be positive news for the show and its viewers by providing the means necessary for Star Trek: Discovery to integrate into the franchise canon. Perhaps the foremost criticism of Discovery has been inconsistencies with previous Star Trek lore, especially since it’s set a mere decade before the time of Kirk, Spock and Bones.
It’s possible that Discovery’s new Captain appointment turns out so badly, and such atrocities are committed, that Starfleet scrubs the ship from its official history. Georgiou’s secret conversation with Sarek certainly suggests that the Discovery’s mission on Qo’noS will utilize some of the nastier tactics from the Terran playbook and this could pave the way for the ship to become a Black Ops style, classified piece of history, neatly explaining why the events of the series seem out of sync with those in the sixties original.
Star Trek: Discovery continues February 11th on CBS All Access.
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