It sounds like the USS Discovery is in for an extended stay in Star Trek’s mirror universe.
At New York Comic Con, ComicBook.com caught up with Star Trek: Discovery co-creator and executive producer Alex Kurtzman and asked if the experimental spore drive engine being tested on the USS Discovery, which makes the vessel capable of essentially teleporting through space, could be used as a means to set up classic Star Trek style plots involving time travel and parallel universes.
“Well, it sort of leaked that we are going to be doing some episodes about the mirror universe,” Kurtzman said. “And yes, we’re going to be paying homage to the original.”
When Kurtzman says that the information about the Mirror Universe appearing on Star Trek: Discovery “leaked,” he means that Jonathan Frakes, the former Star Trek: The Next Generation star who will direct an upcoming episode of Discovery, let the information slip during a Star Trek convention panel.
However, Frakes indicated that Star Trek: Discovery would have a single episode in its first season that involved the mirror universe. Kurtzman said they are doing “some episodes” about the mirror universe, suggesting that the mirror universe may be involved in an extended arc of Star Trek: Discovery.
The mirror universe first appeared in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Mirror, Mirror.” The episode’s plot involves several members of the Enterprise crew, including Kirk, Uhura, McCoy, and Scotty, being transported to an alternate universe inhabited by mirror opposite versions of the characters from the prime timeline.
In the mirror universe, the Federation of Planets never formed. Instead, the Terran Empire expanded across the galaxy with aggressive and remorseless tactics. That changed somewhat when the prime universe’s Kirk planted the seeds of reform in the mind of the mirror universe's Spock.
Though only featured in a single episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, the mirror universe is seminal to modern pop culture, providing the template for mirror universe stories across various works of fiction for years to come.
Star Trek’s mirror universe was explored further in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. That show’s cast visited the mirror universe in five episodes and found it greatly changed after the era of Spock’s reforms. Star Trek: Enterprise also featured a two-episode story set entirely in the mirror universe, without any of the prime universe cast.
New Star Trek: Discovery episodes are available to stream Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS All Access.