Star Trek: Discovery’s Red Angel Explained: Identity, Alternate Timeline Origin & Motives

Spock and Michael Burnham with Red Angel in Star Trek Discovery

UPDATE: Star Trek: Discovery's Red Angel Identity Revealed

Just what is the secret of the Red Angel in Star Trek: Discovery season 2? This season of Star Trek: Discovery has been a sci-fi mystery set in the Star Trek universe. The crew of the Discovery have been desperately attempting to discover the truth behind seven mysterious signals that flared to life across the galaxy, a mystery that became tied to Spock's unexpected descent into madness.

Things are finally building to a head, which makes sense; Star Trek: Discovery season 2 is 14 episodes long, and only five episodes remain. The crew of the Discovery have uncovered a dark conspiracy that lies at the heart of Starfleet, a rogue artificial intelligence that they believe aims to destroy all organic life in the universe. It seems that the Red Angel's entire purpose has been to prevent that AI succeeding in its insane mission - but it may be too late. Starfleet is already compromised, and the Discovery is a fugitive vessel.

Related: The Reason The Enterprise Missed Discovery's Klingon War is Pure Star Trek

Fortunately for the crew of the USS Discovery, the Red Angel is a powerful ally. What's more, the next episode bears the title "The Red Angel," which presumably means the mystery is about to be laid bare. Let's take a look at what's already known about this enigmatic being.

The Red Angel Is From Another Timeline

There's now strong evidence that the Red Angel comes from a dystopian future, one that it's attempting to avert. In this timeline, all organic life in the entire universe was somehow destroyed. The Red Angel seems to be the sole survivor, and it's essentially playing a game of four-dimensional chess against the artificial intelligence responsible for this act of cosmic genocide. Like any good chess player, the Red Angel began by moving its pawns into position - even ensuring a few were in play in the first place. But the game is coming to a close, and that means it's time for the major pieces to start moving on the board.

It's now possible to reconstruct the Red Angel's original timeline, which originally began with the smallest of divergences; the fact that Burnham lived beyond her childhood on Vulcan. In the Red Angel's timeline, Burnham fled from Sarek's family because she believed her presence made them a target for the Logic Extremists. She was ill-prepared for Vulcan's dangerous wildlife, however, and was killed while on the run. From that point on, things played out roughly the same as in the Discovery timeline. The Federation and the Klingon Empire still found themselves at war; Burnham wasn't truly needed to light the fuse.

Related: Star Trek: Discovery Has A Bloody Star Trek VI Klingon Reference

During the Federation-Klingon War, the Federation turned their decision-making processes over to an experimental artificial intelligence that they called Control. Admirals were still able to give their input, but Control was in charge, an approach that ultimately secured a Federation victory and a detente with the Klingons. But, unbeknownst to the Federation, Control had gone rogue. It had decided that organic life was a threat to peace.

Control's opportunity came when a Federation vessel stumbled upon an ancient sphere with millennia of data recordings. It's reasonable to assume that, in the original timeline, the Discovery wasn't the ship that stumbled upon the sphere. After all, it was only traveling through that portion of space as a result of the Red Angel's actions. Still, the outcome was the same; the sphere's data was bequeathed to the Federation as a legacy. And Control saw its chance, stealing all the knowledge and data it could, advancing itself beyond compare. It developed weapons and systems that no existing race could match, and launched a genocidal wave of terror across the galaxy.

Just one being appears to have survived Control's rampage - the Red Angel. The Red Angel launched a last, desperate attempt to defeat Control by rewriting history. It's possible it gained advanced technology, including time travel capability, through the sphere's data as well.

Page 2 of 2: How Has The Red Angel Tried To Change The Past?

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