Star Trek: Discovery is unlike any Star Trek series that has come before and has generated its fair share of fan theories. Depicting the Federation at a time of dire war with the Klingon Empire, Discovery's intense, serialized story and morally ambigious characters sent Trekkers a-tizzy with theories about the show's biggest conundrums. As Discovery prepares to conclude its first season, we can now look back on the awesome fan theories that turned out to be true!
There were plenty of theories about Discovery that were unfounded. For instance, due to the series' updated, feature-film quality visuals, any fans assumed that Discovery would be set in the Kelvin timeline of J.J. Abrams' reboot movies and not the Prime timeline of all of the television series. It turns out Discovery is firmly set in the TV series canon, though it is admittedly an uneasy fit. The technology on board the Discovery, like holograms and the spore displacement drive that don't appear in the other Trek series set after it, begs further explanation (which the producers promise season 2 will tackle).
As Discovery set off on its journey, many of the key characters on the show turned out to be shrouded in mysteries meant to be solved in the latter stages of the season. However, Trekkers are among the most perceptive and detail-oriented fans in fandom. Everything from the costumes, to the sets, to curious ways some characters behaved, to the various references to canon Discovery dropped were inevitably caught, dissected and debated by eagle-eyed and passionate fans. When it came to the big twists the key reveals in season 1's story were built around, Discovery's writers ultimately found that the core fanbase was much harder to surprise and fool than expected. The hardcore Trekkers were onto Discovery from the get-go and were unlocking the show's biggest mysteries well before the episodes unleashed the answers.
And yet, just because a segment of the fans saw them coming - and it must be noted that a larger group of casual fans didn't and were suitably shocked - that didn't lessen the impact or thrills when Discovery's top theories turned out to be true. With this in mind, here are three biggest and most awesome true fan theories of Star Trek: Discovery season 1:
This Page: The True Theory About Ash Tyler and Voq
Voq and Ash Tyler Are The Same Person
As soon Captain Lorca met Lieutenant Ash Tyler in episode 5 "Choose Your Pain" when he was imprisoned by the Klingons, fans quickly suspected there was something off about Tyler. Turns out the fans were right. This was confirmed in episode 11 "The Wolf Inside", which revealed the truth about the biggest theory fans had about Ash Tyler/Voq: they are indeed the same person, with both characters inhabiting the body of Ash Tyler. Ash/Voq claimed he was captured at the Battle at the Binary Stars, survived 7 months of torture, and even had to perform sexual favors for the Klingon captain L'Rell. Putting their sleuthing skills to the test, fans correctly suspected the actor credited as playing the Voq, "Javid Iqbal", didn't actually exist and Shazad Latif, who was originally cast as Voq and then ended up portraying Ash Tyler, was secretly playing both roles. ("Javid Iqbal" turned out to be the name of Latif's father.)
Here's how this went down in the course of Discovery's story: Voq was a Klingon who hoped for glory and ended up suffering unimaginably. A Son of None who hails from no noble Klingon House, Voq became the Torchbearer of the Klingon Messiah T'Kuvma. When T'Kuvma died at the Battle at the Binary Stars, Voq briefly assumed command of the Klingon Ship of the Dead alongside his paramour L'Rell, who hails from a House of Klingon Matriarchs. This was until a more powerful Klingon named Kol stole his troops and ship and banished Voq to die. Instead, L'Rell had a different plan for Voq, which would require him to make the ultimate sacrifice in his bid for glory over the Federation in T'Kuvma's name.
Related: The Truth About Ash Tyler
After a grotesque and immensely painful surgical procedure which left him with PTSD, the consciousness of the real Ash Tyler was harvested by the Klingons and placed over the personality of Voq. Even more traumatizing for the Klingon, the brutal surgery completely refashioned Voq's body to appear human and duplicate Ash Tyler's. Ash/Voq's disguise was convincing enough to pass Starfleet medical exams and psyche profiles for him to be offered a place on board the U.S.S. Discovery. L'Rell's plan, apparently, was to place Ash/Voq as a spy on Starfleet's most advanced starship and ultimately find a way to use it to end the war in the Klingons' favor. But despite integrating nicely with the ship's crew and falling in love with Michael Burnham, the trauma of dueling personalities ravaged Ash's psyche, with Voq's memories and consciousness trying to assert control.
Ash/Voq soon became a danger to himself and others until L'Rell, who was captured as a POW and held on board the Discovery, performed a Klingon procedure that deleted Voq's consciousness and memories from Ash's mind. Now, only Ash Tyler remains, but it's Ash Tyler's memories and personality living in the surgically altered former body of Voq. During one of his psychotic breaks, Ash/Voq murdered Dr. Hugh Culber. Thus, Ash Tyler has been stripped of his Starfleet rank. Now also estranged from his love interest Michael, Ash's future is uncertain. But one thing's for sure: the fans were onto Ash Tyler all along.