Jan 11, 2018

Where no Trek has gone before: lorca’s tin-foil hat universe


Great ‘cast you two!

I’m a long-time Trek fan, across the many iterations. As much as I’m enjoying Discovery in general, and the mirror- universe in particular, I can’t help thinking that we are witnessing a very meta Trek 3.0 reboot. Revisiting many of the Trek cannon’s plot points/arcs (in an almost JJ Abramsian manner) is surely both fun and exciting for the fandom, but it seems that viewership is being asked to re-think HOW we watch Trek in a very 21st century way.

It seems that the new requisite for successful show-running means layering deep plots beneath the already deeper plots.


In that spirit, here’s my tin-foil-hat theory: The Lorca character that we’ve come to know (and distrust), has indeed always been a mirror-universe Lorca!

His motivations have never resonated with the Federation ethos or any character sensibilties of the greater Trek universe that we’ve all come to know over decades.

Who else but a mercenary, savage, mirror-Lorca could be better suited to a shady Area 31 posting. This thery might go a long way to explaining how/why Lorca survived the tragedy that ended his last command and doomed his entire former crew. He didn’t flinch at manipluating Stametz, or in sacrificing Admiral Cornwell, his former lover. What Starfleet officer does that kinda stuff?

This might explain the very suspiscious motivation that has driven him to lead the USS Discovery and her crew into the mirror-universe to begin with - namely, he’s on a single-minded quest to return to his own true universe. He even flat-out said that he had hoped to have found a better (read ’prime-universe’) Lorca there, the subtext being that it was in hopes that his mirror universe command and former crew had survived. The more I think about it the more the pieces fall into place.

On After Trek, the showrunners stated that they had originally conceived of bringing in the mirror-universe in the first half of season one... Is it such a stretch to imagine that they planned for a mirror-Lorca from the start?

So if any of this is true, why not add my crazy prediction? Here goes:

Dr Culber somehow miraculously returns, only to be tapped to treat Lorca for the trauma he suffered in the Agonizer. Culber naturally discovers that Lorca’s very cellular structure does NOT match the quantum signature of the prime-universe. Lorca thus unmasked, it falls to Burnam to wrestle with the cliff-hanging decision of whether to mutiny against yet another parental figure/Captain.

I’d be glued to the edge of my seat for that season finale!


Jan 11, 2018

Kevin, this would indeed be a wild ride. I absolutely believe that these writers are capable of that kind of long-term planning, and this theory explains Lorca's attitudes and cavalier decisions, as well as his fascination with Burnham. If Lorca really is Mirror Lorca, what do you think he's up to? Is he trying to finish the coup that he started and become the new Terran Emperor?


I also really like your idea of how his true nature will be discovered. If you recall, we've already seen Ash Tyler go through a check-up after his torture on L'Rell's prison ship, even putting an image of his very human-looking organs on the screen for us all to see. It would be nice to let the doctors get one right this time!


And you are quite right about how different Discovery is from older incarnations of Trek. As much as I'm loving Discovery, it's hard to imagine myself twenty years from now deciding to watch just one episode the way I do with all the other Treks. Discovery is much more like a novel than a collection of short stories, and it makes different demands on us. But I think it is offering different rewards as well, and this is some of the best exploration of characters I've seen on television in a long time.

Jan 11, 2018

Hey Glenn,

You read my mind... returning to the scene of the coup!

I can’t help thinking that they’re going for the ouzzle-box long con in driving the arc across the whole(?) season.

I was thinking how the Lorca theory explains his seeming-preternatural conviction that the mirror universe even exists, not to mention his maniacal ambition to succeed in getting jump-drive working to take him there.

So the question remains: What spurred Lorca’s original transit to the prime universe? Could it be tied to the appearance of the Defiant in the mirror U? Temporal rifts notwithstanding, it’s a juicy plot addition to the puzzle-box. I can’t wait to see how they hand-wave Culber back into being. Lol

How the Ash/L’rell arc plays into all this I haven’t yet pieced together...


Jan 12, 2018

Ha, yes, it's a dizzying amount of plot happening right now. I'm pretty amazed at how deftly the writers are juggling all of it. For me, the fundamental question about Lorca's motives and objectives in this theory is when Mirror Lorca crossed into the Prime Universe? If it was after the attempted coup, then it wasn't that long ago. Perhaps something with the Buran explosion is what created the rift? I'm also wondering now if Admiral Cornwell's line about Lorca being different than she remembered was a subtle clue to his true nature. And will we get the return of Dr. Culber by encountering his Mirror counterpart?

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