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Star Trek Discovery Theory: Michael Burnham is the Red Angel

Star Trek Discovery Michael Burnham Red Angel

Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery is firmly dedicated to the mystery of the "Red Angel" that keeps appearing across the galaxy - and some fans think it could be none other than Michael Burnham herself. The Red Angel seems to somehow be connected to Michael's adoptive brother, Spock, who is currently on the run after allegedly murdering multiple people during his escape from a psychiatric facility.

The search for the Red Angel began with Captain Christopher Pike's arrival on the Discovery in the season premiere. Seven red markers had appeared in far-flung locations across the galaxy, and with the Enterprise out of commission, Pike commandeered the Discovery in order to carry out a search for the meaning behind these markers. After visiting three of the marker locations, a clear pattern has emerged: the Red Angel is leading the crew of the Discovery to save people's lives. First the crew of a crashed Starfleet ship on an asteroid; then a human colony whom the Red Angel saved from annihilation during World War III, and whose planet was in danger; and most recently, the Kelpiens on Saru's home planet, who had spent centuries being culled by a more technologically advanced species.

Related: Star Trek Shorts Secretly Reveal Discovery Season 2's Story

During this last mission, Saru - whose eyesight is more acute than that of humans - was able to get a good look at the Red Angel, and realized that it's some kind of humanoid wearing a tech suit. Since the Red Angel appears to approximately match Burnham's proportions, fans have theorized that some version of Discovery's own protagonist could be the mysterious being that they're searching for. But how?

The Red Angel Could Be Burnham From The Future

Many of the theories surrounding the identity of the Red Angel involve time travel, since the entity has manifested across time as well as space. It transported humans from Earth to New Eden in 2053, appeared to Spock when he was a child, and appears to use technology that's far beyond anything the Federation is aware of in the mid-23rd century, when Discovery is set. If the Red Angel is a character that we know, traveling backwards in time from the future, then Burnham seems like a likely candidate - simply because the Red Angel seems to have a personal connection to her. Reddit user silenttd has pointed out that in Burnham's first meeting with her adoptive mother, from the start of season 2, Amanda was wearing a red dress that closely echoes the Red Angel's appearance. It seems unlikely that this is just coincidence.

Not only did the Red Angel appear to Spock, Burnham's adoptive brother, as a child and then again as an adult, Burnham was also the first member of the Discovery's crew to see the entity up close, in the season 2 premiere, "Brother." The Red Angel appeared after Burnham was injured on the asteroid, as if checking on her wellbeing, and only vanished when Pike arrived to rescue her. If the Red Angel is indeed a future version of Burnham, it would make sense that she would want to protect her past self from harm. Then there's the fact that the Red Angel chose to save Saru's species - his sister included - from their systematic murder by the Ba'ul. Burnham considers Saru to be her chosen family, and is closer to him than anyone else on the Discovery

If the Red Angel is a version of Burnham from the future, there are a couple of possibilities as to what that could mean. It could simply be an older version of Burnham, traveling back from a time when the Discovery's highly advanced scientific research has made the Red Angel suit possible. However, there's also another, more likely possibility: that Burnham somehow ends up at a point in the distant future. After all, the Discovery has jumped through time once already; when returning from the Mirror Universe, it ended up nine months in the future from the point it had left. Tilly and Stamets have only started to uncover the scope and potential of the mycelial network and the spore drive, so is further time travel really so far-fetched?

Page 2: The Red Angel Could Be Burnham From the Mirror Universe

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