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Star Trek: A Guide to All the Mirror Universe Episodes

What can we learn about Star Trek: Discovery from these previous Mirror Universe-set Star Trek episodes?

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Warning: This article contains Star Trek: Discovery spoilers.

In this week’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery , we got confirmation that the crew of the Discovery has landed in the franchise’s Mirror Universe where, instead of the peace-loving Federation, Earth has its own, tyrannical Terran Empire.

The Star Trek franchise has a history of episodes and arcs that take place in this Mirror Universe. They are often amongst the strongest storytelling of their respective series and build upon the Mirror Universe mythology that has come before.

As we head further into Discovery ‘s incarnation of the Mirror Universe, let’s look back at all of the Mirror Universe episodes in Star Trek ‘s history…

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star trek earth mirror universe

The Original Series’ Mirror Universe

The one that started it all! The Original Series first ventured into the Mirror Universe in Season 2’s “Mirror, Mirror,” when four members of the Enterprise’s crew are switched with their nefarious counterparts in the Mirror Universe.

Discovery has drawn many of its Mirror Universe elements from this original incarnation, including the Agony Booths and the Terran Empire’s preferred method of job promotion: betrayal and murder.

Discovery also borrows “Mirror, Mirror”‘s logic that one does not simply travel to the Mirror Universe, but must switch places. The Mirror Universe’s Discovery has seemingly ended up in  our  Discovery’s universe, which will no doubt cause all manner of problems for the Federation.

There better be at least one goatee in Discovery ‘s mirror universe or I’m asking for a refund. (Though Tilly’s Terran ‘do is a good start.)

star trek earth mirror universe

Deep Space Nine’s Mirror Universe

Deep Space Nine did a deep dive into the Mirror Universe with five separate episodes across five different seasons: “Crossover” (Season 2), “Through the Looking Glass” (Season 3), “Shattered Mirror” (Season 4), “Resurrection” (Season 6), and “The Emperor’s New Cloak” (Season 7).

While the Deep Space Nine Mirror Universe story arc doesn’t seem to have much to do with Discovery ‘s take so far, its thematic foundation of the narrative rested on the idea that those who visited the Mirror Universe had a positive effect on the Terran Empire, which began to reform itself for the better. Could the Discovery’s visit to the Mirror Universe have been part of that path to change?

DS9 ‘s visit to the Mirror Universe also introduced the idea that people who died in the “normal” universe might be alive and well in the Mirror Universe, as we found with Sisko’s wife. In “Despite Yourself,” we met Mirror Connor, another version of the Shenzhou’s ensign. It seems inevitable that we will meet more mirror versions of characters who’ve died in our universe. My favorite theory? That Phillipa Georgiou is the Emperor of the Terran Empire.

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star trek earth mirror universe

Enterprise’s Mirror Universe

Enterprise really hit its narrative stride when it ventured into the Mirror Universe in “In a Mirror, Darkly, Parts 1 & 2,” which saw the show imagining a fate for the USS Defiant, the missing ship the Enterprise is looking for in The Original Series episode “The Tholian Web.” 

What happened to the Defiant, per Enterprise canon? Basically, the crew went crazy, turned on each other, and ended up in the hands of the Tholians. The crew of the ISS Enterprise, captained by a Mirror Universe version of Jonathan Archer, steal the ship from the aliens and attempts to use it to overthrow the Empire. The Defiant has already had a mention in Discovery as a ship that has previously crossed over to the Mirror Universe.

These episodes give us the backstory for the Terran Empire, and how it ended up so different from our universe’s Federation. It imagines the famous first contact between human Zefram Cochrane and the Vulcans going very differently. Instead of a peaceful interaction, Cochrane kills the lead Vulcan and he and other humans loot the ship. Yeah, the Mirror Universe is the worst.

Kayti Burt

Kayti Burt | @kaytiburt

Kayti is a pop culture writer, editor, and full-time nerd who comes from a working class background. A member of the Television Critics Association, she specializes…

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Published May 21, 2019

The Evolution of the Mirror Universe

Starfleet has always changed with the times. Its evil twin does, too. 

Mirrorrverse Cover

As we evolve, so do the stories we tell ourselves — and so do the monsters that lurk within them. Creatures like the vampires that crept into our imaginations hundreds of years ago may share a common ancestry with the ones we write about today, but they represent different dangers each time they reemerge in the zeitgeist. Heck, sometimes they even sparkle.

By comparison, half a century’s worth of Star Trek mythology hardly registers a blip on the grand timeline of human history. But because those 53 years are so well preserved on film, it’s easy to track how each iteration of the franchise shapes itself into a form that a new decade of viewers will recognize. And while there are no vampires in Trek lore (no, the Remans in Star Trek: Nemesis don’t count), there is an entire realm full of similarly alluring sadists who look like our heroes’ lost loved ones, and who’d love nothing more than to seduce them all to the dark side.

It’s got a pretty ironic name, too, when you think about it: the Mirror Universe.

More so than Klingons or Borg, or any other race that's fought the Federation, the people of the Mirror Universe are the closest thing Trek have to a consistent monster myth — partially because they've been around for so long, but mostly because their “evil” nature is the entire reason for their existence. They might be sympathetic as individuals and they’ve shown that they can adapt to cultural norms, but from their very first appearance, they were designed to scare us.

Star Trek: The Original Series | “Mirror, Mirror” (1967)

Mirror Mirror

As with so many now-iconic Star Trek conceits, the Mirror Universe started with a single one-off episode, in which transporter interference from an ionic storm spits Kirk, Uhura, Scotty, and McCoy out into a “parallel” universe from their own. In place of the United Federation of Planets they find the Terran Empire, where mutinous, evil twins of their fellow crew members use the might of the ISS Enterprise to raze alien civilizations across the universe.

The Terrans are coded as foreign, threatening others from the moment the landing party emerges from the transporter. They wear gilded uniforms that fall somewhere between 19th century Persian military outfits and Pirates of Penzance costumes in appearance. Add to that Spock’s ‘60s counterculture goatee and the censor-baiting bikinis (television was a notoriously anti-belly button medium back then), and it would have been abundantly clear to a typical contemporary audience that the Mirror Universe was not a place for Good and Decent American Values.

Still, the easiest way to demonstrate a fictional society’s cruelty is to treat its women poorly ( Handmaid’s Tale and Game of Thrones do this in spades), and the Mirror Universe delivers on that front, too; Uhura quickly finds herself fending off aggressive sexual advances from her coworkers, and Marlena Moreau, the most important crewwoman on the ship, derives her power from her position as “Captain’s Woman” — in other words, from being Kirk’s concubine. Classic Star Trek certainly had its blind spots when it came to gender, but the patriarchal structure of Terran society is clearly meant to be on a completely different level of overt terribleness in comparison.

Eventually the landing party finds a way home, and for good measure Kirk throws in a starkly logical plea that Mirror Spock peacefully reform the Empire to keep it from crumbling in a century’s time (although his suggestion that the Vulcan use a machine that can literally just make people disappear doesn’t quite match up with that whole peace notion). The crew returns to their Enterprise to learn that their counterparts didn’t have much time to wreak havoc before everyone else figured out the mix-up. “It was far easier for you, as civilized men, to behave like barbarians, than it was for them as barbarians to behave like civilized men,” offers the original Spock as an explanation.

Despite the imperialistic rhetoric Spock uses, the message is clear. These “brutal, savage, unprincipled, uncivilized, treacherous” people are just as human as we are, and their evil deeds aren’t too far away from our own. Given that the ‘60s are still remembered for the systematic brutality endured by nonviolent Civil Rights protesters (and, later, antiwar protesters — the Dow Chemical riots happened just two weeks after “Mirror, Mirror” aired, in fact), this warning would have felt especially appropriate at the time.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine | “Crossover” (1994), “Through the Looking Glass” (1995), “Shattered Mirror” (1996), “Resurrection” (1997), and “The Emperor’s New Cloak” (1998)


Although The Next Generation occasionally paid homage to fan-favorite episodes from The Original Series — “The Naked Now,” for example, was a sequel to “The Naked Time,” in which an infection among the crew causes them to behave hilariously out-of-character — the show never attempted its own version of the Mirror Universe. At a 2017 Star Trek Las Vegas panel, producer Brannon Braga explained, “We were a little frightened at doing it, and doing it badly, and maybe never really figured out what The Next Generation take would have been on it.”

But Deep Space Nine , the red-headed stepchild of the Star Trek franchise (or, perhaps more accurately, the cool childless aunt who shows unexpectedly every six years and who you’ve always suspected might be in a long-term relationship with her “roommate”), was willing to take many more risks. Unlike The Next Generation , DS9 kept itself bound to one location, drawing on themes of war and interventionism that would have felt very familiar to globally minded citizens of the ‘90s. Honestly, if you replace the Cardassians with Russians, Bajor with Ukraine, and Starfleet with the United Nations trying to keep everybody in line, it wouldn’t be that hard to transplant entire episodes of the series into the real world of post-soviet politics.

Although DS9 didn’t let its characters sail away from problems as easily as the crew of the Enterprise could, it did let them pop over to the Mirror Universe basically any time they wanted, returning five different occasions over seven seasons. However, each excursion became progressively less unsettling and more ridiculous; by the last visit in “The Emperor’s New Cloak,” the Mirror Universe was used more for comic relief, in stark contrast to the densely serialized war narrative that encompassed the rest of DS9 ’s final season.

Intendant Kira

Which isn’t to say that there’s no interesting meat on the bones of this new mirror. For one thing, the Terrans of DS9 are no longer conquerors; having been conquered themselves when Spock’s habilitated empire was defeated by the equally brutal Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. As such, the Terran lack of empathy manifests not just as cruelty, but as complacence; instead of promoting peace, our heroes nudge their parallel counterparts towards rebellion, transforming them into freedom fighters that band together against a powerful regime (If this is all starting to sound familiar, remember that Star Wars came after the original Trek series and changed pop culture pretty significantly in its wake).

There is one notable exception, of course: Intendant Kira Nerys, who rules Terok Nor with an iron fist, a chaotic sexual hedonism, and loads of manipulative, fake empathy for the Terran slaves she considers to be beneath her. Basically, she’s what you’d get if you took recurring series baddie Gul Dukat and stuck him in Major Kira’s body, right down to the uncomfortable obsession with “good” Kira. A solidly obvious example of the Depraved Bisexual trope (1992’s Basic Instinct changed pop culture a lot, too), the Intendent may not have been Trek ’s first queer-coded villain, but she was certainly the most obvious. She was also, it should go without saying, unbelievably fun to watch, which is why she ended up in every single DS9 Mirror episode whether she was integral to the plot or not. Truly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer 's Vampire version of Willow owes a lot to Intendant Kira’s shining example.

Yet despite all the dystopian camp, these stories were just as invested in grief and trauma as the rest of DS9 ’s sprawling narrative, primarily in the form of interactions between its protagonists (the Siskos and Major Kira, more specifically) and mirrorverse doppelgangers of their dead loved ones (Sisko’s wife and Jake’s mother, Jennifer, and Kira’s lover, Vedek Bareil). Much of Deep Space Nine revolves around how difficult and confusing it is to process loss in the midst a violently changing status quo – what better way to represent that than with living ghosts who don’t act like “themselves” anymore?

Star Trek: Enterprise | “In A Mirror, Darkly” Parts 1 and 2 (2005)

Through A Mirror, Darkly

If Deep Space Nine smoothed the Mirror Universe into a swashbuckling field trip, Enterprise brought it screaming back to its dark authoritarian roots (literally, in the case of Mirror Archer’s pitch-black crew cut). Although Enterprise is sometimes overlooked as a prequel series, it does a wonderful job of taking the familiar trappings of TOS and contextualizing them more deeply – and often, more interestingly. I could, in fact, spend the rest of this article writing about how deeply devoted I am to Enterprise ’s interpretation of the Andorians and how much I yearn for Discovery to follow in its badass baby-blue footsteps, but that’s not really relevant to the issue at hand.

What is relevant is how Enterprise breaks unexpected ground via a two-part story arc that takes place entirely in the Mirror Universe, without any Federation characters to serve as our audience surrogate. The intro opens on recycled Star Trek: First Contact footage of humanity’s fateful first encounter with Vulcans – and then not only devolves into chaos as the humans open fire, but then launches into a completely reimagined opening title sequence that juxtaposes ominous march music with war footage and Nazi airplanes. “Faith of the Heart,” this isn’t.

In some ways, the pre-Kirk Terran Empire confines itself to many of the parameters that TOS set for the Mirror Universe. There are bare midriffs again, made even more hellish this time around by the mid ‘00s trend of low rise pants (On a related note, you can’t convince me that Mirror T’Pol’s hair, with its center-parted bangs and pin-straight length, wasn’t a deliberate jab at the style choices of several contemporaneous pop stars). Hoshi Sato serves as the Captain’s Woman for two different male authority figures — that is, right up until she kills the last man standing in her way and declares herself Empress. Enterprise was definitely on a “women using sex for power” kick around that time; the previous episode in the season, “Bound,” reinvents the Orion Slave Girls as active partners in a conspiracy to ensnare the men of other species with their pheromones.

Through A Mirror, Darkly

Hoshi’s ascension is just the twist ending, though. As is the case of pretty much every show on television during George W. Bush’s presidency, the true villain here is a torture-happy military rising to power on the backs of a marginalized population — this time the Vulcans and other non-Terrans. And Mirror Archer, too, is haunted; not by the dead, but by his own ambition, as an apparition in the form of his newly discovered double (Thanks to some dimension-hopping time shenanigans, post-Federation records from the original U.S.S Defiant end up in the Empire’s possession), egging him on with his far superior personal accomplishments like the Gallant to Mirror Archer’s Jingoistic Goofus.

By this time Enterprise had completely reoriented itself around a post 9/11 narrative, ending its second season with a terrorist attack against Earth and continuing with the Enterprise ’s efforts to reach the far-off civilization responsible for it. “In a Mirror, Darkly,” then, represents a stark examination of America’s more reprehensible actions during that time — and lands much better than previous Mirror Universe episodes as a result.

Star Trek: Discovery |“Despite Yourself,” “The Wolf Inside,” “Vaulting Ambition,” and “What’s Past Is Prologue” (2017-2018)

Discovery Mirror Universe

Since Discovery will return for a third season, there’s no telling how the Mirror Universe might continue to evolve in future episodes. So far, however, it succeeds at combining some of the best tropes of past Terran encounters: elaborate gold medals, super straight haircuts, Starfleet operatives pretending to be their own evil selves, Vulcan rebels with imposing beards, and twice the fun from the new Philippa Georgiou, who’s both an imposing female Emperor (Hoshi walked so she could run, y’all) and a returning dead character whose presence thoroughly freaks out our protagonist.

Best of all, the show hasn’t yet fallen back on over-the-top gender stereotypes or explicitly revealing costuming to get its villainy across — they eat poor defenseless Kelpiens instead. We do eventually learn from Mirror Georgiou that everybody in her world is pansexual, however, herself included (and let’s all admit to ourselves that some of us would have been a little disappointed if she weren’t).

Beyond all the clever nods to continuity, Discovery also returns to an important truth inherent to the Terran Empire: it is the end point to a slippery slope of bad decisions that our contemporary 2019 society could be making at this very moment.That’s why Captain Lorca is such a compelling villain in the first place. His ruthless methods seem understandable, maybe even relatable, in the face of overwhelming threats to the Starfleet way of life — that is, until we realize just how many lines our heroes have crossed along the way. Not to mention that the sight of a fearsome, fascist demagogue attempting to crush a minority resistance feels especially apt in today’s political climate.

Discovery Mirror Universe

“When we were in the Terran universe, I was reminded how much a person is shaped by their environment,” Ensign Tilly says after their escape, to drive the point home. “And I think the only way that we can stop ourselves from becoming them is to understand the darkness within us, and fight it.”

Unless something drastic changes in the timeline after the 24th century,the Mirror Universe is always going to function as an “evil” shadow of the one where Star Trek spends most of its time. But it’s also served as a cautionary tale for the show’s progressively minded fanbase — one that constantly needs to be reexamined in relation to our own surroundings. After all, if we don’t understand our own darkness, how else can we learn to combat it, pushing it down into submission in order to achieve that diverse, equal, post-scarcity future utopia we deserve?

Victoria McNally (she/her) is a writer in Brooklyn and has a lot of opinions about skants. Find her online at or at @vqnerdballs on Twitter and Instagram.

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Everything We Know About the Timeline of  Star Trek ‘s Mirror Universe

James Whitbrook

Star Trek’s Mirror Universe is one of—hell, the—most famous parallel universes in science fiction history. In fact, it almost has a timeline of its own as rich as the prime reality of Trek itself. So if you’ve been confused by all the Mirror-verse happenings in Discovery—and why wouldn’t you be?—we’re here to help put it all together.

The order we’ve explored the Mirror Universe in is, just like Trek as a whole, not exactly chronologically linear. As each Star Trek series has jumped backwards or forwards in time, so has our window into this most famous of alternate realities. Some of the “newest” information on the Mirror Universe is two decades old, while new information about its early years been revealed repeatedly over the course of Star Trek: Discovery’s ongoing first season, which has spent its back half on a new Mirror adventure. So, for convenience’s sake, we’ll be running through this chronologically in terms of the Mirror Universe’s timeline, not by the chronological order of Star Trek series themselves.

Enterprise Era: Origins of an Empire

Just as Enterprise itself reflects some of the earliest years of Starfleet and the eventual birth of the Federation, much of what we learn of the Mirror Universe in both parts of the season four story “In a Mirror, Darkly” is from some of the earliest days of the rise of the Terran Empire.

Although not explicitly shown, the Terran Empire seemingly rose out of a political faction on Earth before humanity took to the stars. The Mirror version of Captain Archer described the Empire as having been around for hundreds of years, and given Enterprise is set in the 2150s, it’s likely some form of it existed pre-human spaceflight or even before the unification of Earth. Either way, the Terran Empire as we know it really began in 2063, when Zefram Cochrane made contact with the first Vulcans to land on Earth, as he does in Star Trek’s prime reality. Instead of offering a handshake, Mirror Cochrane simply shot the first Vulcan he met and then pillaged their ship—stealing technology that sends humanity not just beyond Earth, but on a mission of conquest against the other sentient species of the cosmos.

Just under a century after that first meeting, the Terran Empire was fully established, and the Vulcans, Andorians, Tellarites, Orions, and Denobulans had all been conquered and subjugated by the human regime. And that’s when a temporal accident sent one of the U.S.S. Defiant—a 23rd-century, Constitution-Class cruiser like Kirk’s Enterprise—to the 22nd-century Mirror Universe during the events of “The Tholian Web.” Although it was briefly captured by the Tholians, the Mirror version of Archer’s Enterprise crew took it by force.

The Defiant was wildly more advanced than any other ship known to the Empire at the time, and Archer planned to use its immense power to overthrow the current, unknown Emperor and rule the Terran Empire. Instead, his former “Captain’s Woman” Hoshi Sato betrayed him, poisoned him, and became Empress herself after threatening to bombard Earth with the Defiant’s advanced weaponry, if the current ruling order didn’t submit to her will. They did.

Discovery Era: A New Hope

Roughly a century later, in the 2250s, not much has changed for the Empire when Star Trek: Discovery enters the Mirror Universe in its currently-ongoing story line. The Empire was still the dominant force of the Alpha Quadrant, although apparently the title bestowed upon its ruler had become gender-neutral since the days of Empress Sato, and the Mirror version of Phillipa Georgiou was the current “Faceless Emperor” of the regime. Apparently the Emperor no longer rules from Earth itself (presumably to avoid situations like, say, someone rolling up with a big spaceship and threatening to bomb the planet to bits), because Emperor Georgiou appears on a gigantic cityship that also serves as the Imperial Palace, the I.S.S. Charon, which looks like it’s powered by a giant, star-like reactor .

What we do know more about is the Empire’s opponents. The ongoing rebellion against the Terrans by the races they’d conquered survived the arrival of the Defiant the century prior, and is now joined by the Klingons. Unlike their prime counterparts of the same era, these Klingons successfully united the ruling Houses of their homeworld—led by the Mirror version of Voq, who became a prominent rebel figure known as the “Firewolf”—to form a single front pushing back against the Terran Empire alongside the Tellarites, Andorians, Vulcans, and other species.

Sadly, it seems like much of this fleeting rebellion might have been destroyed, after Emperor Georgiou callously bombed its main base of operations before Voq and his fellow allies could evacuate. Who knows, maybe we’ll learn they survived by the time Discovery’s first season has come to an end?

Speaking of Discovery, the crew, currently trapped in the Mirror universe, spent this weekend’s episode trying to get ahold of the Defiant’s records, hoping to figure out how it mysteriously appeared in the Mirror-verse in the previous century in hopes of using that info to return to the Prime universe. You can learn more about how that went in our most recent Star Trek: Discovery recap .

Star Trek: The Original Series Era: Changing Fortunes

Our first-ever encounter with the Mirror Universe in the original series episode “Mirror, Mirror” is set just a decade after the events of Discovery. But we still get some new information, like the fact that despite the Vulcans had been subjugated centuries ago by the Empire, by the 2260s they could serve aboard Imperial starships—in fact, Spock wasn’t just allowed on-board the I.S.S. Enterprise, but served as its second-in-command. His father Sarek, revealed as a rebel against the Empire in Discovery’s Mirror Universe adventure , was probably whatever the Vulcan equivalent of “royally pissed” is about it.

Otherwise, everything’s the same. The Terran Empire still ruled the quadrant, gleefully putting down rebellions when they arise with an iron fist. It’s not until the end of “Mirror, Mirror” that the seeds are sown for a major change in the future of the Mirror Univers. Near the end of the prime Kirk and team’s sojourn into the malicious alt-reality, Kirk managed to convince Mirror Spock that it’s illogical to serve an Empire that’s doomed to fall one day, and that no galactic rule could perpetually sustain itself on fear and cruelty. The words stick with Mirror Spock, who went on to overthrow Mirror Kirk and eventually spark a revolution that would fundamentally alter the Mirror Universe forever.

Prime Kirk also gave Spock access to a mysterious secret weapon his Mirror counterpart had, called the Tantalus Field, which Kirk presents like it can kill literally anyone in the universe remotely—which seems like it would be a very convenient bit of gear for anyone planning a violent revolution. Yay?

Deep Space Nine Era: New Foes, New Rebels

By the late 24th-century, the Mirror Universe had undergone the most dramatic changes it had ever seen. Good news: Mirror Spock took Kirk’s message to heart, using his position of power (and aforementioned superweapon) to rise to rule the Terran Empire, enacting a swathe of reforms that brought about disarmament and a more peaceful, less warlike version of itself. Bad news: That less aggressive and demilitarized Empire got overthrown by an alliance between the Klingons and Cardassians, which liberated the worlds ruled by the Empire, and proceeded to enslave the Vulcans and Terrans themselves. The Alliance then became the dominating rulers of the Alpha Quadrant, led by Regent Worf.

Suddenly finding themselves ruled instead of ruling, Terrans formed a rebellion quite like the ones they’d spent the prior centuries ruthlessly putting down. Inspired by an accidental trip into the Mirror Universe by Dr. Bashir and Kira Nerys in Deep Space Nine’s “Crossover,” the Mirror version of Benjamin Sisko led an organized revolution against the Alliance forces, striking out at the planet Bajor, a key member of the Alliance following its liberation from Terran hands, and the Cardassian station it was ruled from. Mirror Sisko fell in battle, and was replaced by the Mirror version of Miles O’Brien. With a little help from the Prime reality in the form of plans to for a new I.S.S. Defiant, the Terran Resistance eventually captured Mirror Worf, signaling the downfall of the Alliance’s rule.

Though we last saw the “latest” from the Mirror Universe all the way back in 1999 on TV, ancillary Star Trek material has attempted to try and fill in some extra gaps in the alt-reality’s centuries-long timeline. Everything from books, to video games, to even comics have slotted themselves into the spans of decades left untouched by Trek series, but beyond Deep Space Nine, we don’t really have an idea of where the Mirror Universe went after the Alliance’s downfall.

For the foreseeable future, that’s likely to be the case. The only way we’ll see the future of the Mirror Universe is if Star Trek’s TV adventures travel beyond where past shows have gone before. With Discovery  here to stay , that’s likely not going to happen any time soon.

Mirror Universe Star Trek

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Star Trek's Mirror Universe Explained

Mirror Spock and Kirk

In the iconic narration of  Star Trek: The Original Series ( TOS ), Captain James T. Kirk vows to go "where no man has gone before." Numerous television series and films later, not only does Kirk make good on his promise, but he's joined in his quest to map the unknown by other heroic captains and crews. Whether by accident or on purpose,  Star Trek 's heroes have found themselves lost in distant corners of the galaxy, tossed on the eddies of time, caught in the crossfire of wars waged on other planes of existence, and once — no, really — in Sherwood Forest. 

One of the stranger locations that  Star Trek  keeps bringing its heroes back to is known as the Mirror Universe. The brutal locale makes its first appearance in "Mirror, Mirror" — a season 2 episode of  TOS  airing in 1967. It would take 27 years for Trek heroes to make their way back to the place in  Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 's   ( DS9 ) season 2 episode "Crossover." Since then, the gates to the Mirror Universe have stayed busy. Along with subsequent episodes of  DS9 , the Mirror Universe and its twisted characters have returned in the prequel series  Star Trek: Enterprise  ( ENT ) and  Star Trek: Discovery , and creators of non-canonical Trek media have taken the opportunity to bring the crews of other series to this weird world. 

But what is the Mirror Universe? To find out, keep reading for  Star Trek 's Mirror Universe explained.

WARNING! Spoilers for multiple  Star Trek  series follow!

What is the Mirror Universe?

What if everything was different? What if cowards were heroes, heroes were villains, and villains ruled over everything?  Star Trek  answers this question with its parallel reality, the Mirror Universe.

These days it's tough to have any kind of interest in science fiction and not be familiar with the concept of parallel universes, but  Star Trek 's Mirror Universe isn't just different. As the name implies, the people of the Mirror Universe are often the exact opposite of their Prime Universe counterparts. The  United Federation of Planets  and its hallowed ideals are replaced by the Terran Empire and a barbaric "might makes right" philosophy.  In Starfleet's place is the Imperial Starfleet, and its captains — known for their compassion and tolerance in the Prime Universe — are ruthless, unforgiving, and often xenophobic. The quickest way to get ahead in the Imperial Starfleet is to assassinate your superior officer, and the only consistent forms of discipline are torture — usually in the form of the excruciating agonizer booths — and death.

While the Mirror Universe characters are the opposite of the Prime Universe counterparts, that doesn't always change their roles in terms of being heroes or villains. The Mirror Universe version of  DS9 's Miles O'Brien , for example, is largely depicted as being heroic, though the Mirror O'Brien is willing to do things — like kidnapping — in order to achieve his goals that the prime O'Brien probably wouldn't stoop to. 

The first crossing

In 1996's  Star Trek: First Contact , Zefram Cochrane lays the groundwork for the founding of the Federation when he greets the first Vulcan to visit Earth. But in the two-part  ENT  episode "In a Mirror, Darkly," the Mirror Cochrane instead murders the Vulcan, paving the way for the oppression and brutality of the Terran Empire. 

Fast forward a hundred years later to the Terran Empire's version of the Enterprise ,   where Jonathan Archer is only a first officer. Mirror Archer is much more ruthless than his Prime counterpart, and he stages a coup to take over command of the ship. Among other things, we learn the Mirror versions of Dr. Phlox and Malcolm Reed are the inventors of the excruciating agonizer booths and that T'Pol is working with the Vulcans and other oppressed Imperial races in their rebellion.

Unlike most Mirror Universe episodes, none of the main characters from the Prime Universe cross over ... except in Archer's mind. After learning of the other universe, Mirror Archer has maddening visions of the Prime Archer taunting him. The story cleverly crosses over with the  TOS  episode "The Tholian Web," transplanting the captured USS  Defiant  not only from the Prime Universe but through time. Archer and his crew capture the  Defiant and use its superior technology to cripple the rebellion and to put Archer in the position to take the Imperial throne. In the final moments of the episode, however, Hoshi Sato — who Archer believes to be his loyal concubine — poisons him, taking the throne for herself. 

A Mirror Universe stowaway

For most of  Discovery 's first season, the eponymous vessel is commanded by Captain Gabriel Lorca, a man whose sensitivity to light — we're told — is a result of his injuries aboard the USS  Buran . By the end of the first season, however, we learn Lorca is perhaps the most deceitful captain in the history of  Trek 's   commanding officers . Lorca is, in fact, a native of the Mirror Universe masquerading as his Prime counterpart. His identity as a Terran accounts for his light sensitivity, though this is the first time we learn of this aspect of Terran biology. 

We never learn exactly when the Mirror Lorca crossed over to the Prime Universe, nor do we know the fate of the Prime Lorca. It's speculated he couldn't have survived alone in the Mirror Universe, but we never find out for sure. All we know is that as soon as he learned of Discovery 's unique spore drive, Mirror Lorca did everything he could to find himself in the experimental ship's command chair in order to use the drive to bring himself back to the Mirror Universe and continue his rebellion against Emperor Philippa Georgiou. 

At the end of "Into the Forest I Go," Lorca finally puts his plan into action. When the rest of the crew believes they're using the drive to jump to Starbase 46, Lorca secretly diverts the ship to the Mirror Universe. He reignites his rebellion against the Emperor, only to be killed by Georgiou in "What's Past is Prologue." 

The Emperor's new clothes

In the Prime Universe, Philippa Georgiou was the captain of the USS  Shenzhou — Michael Burnham's commanding officer who died during the Battle of the Binary Stars. But in the Mirror Universe, Georgiou is the emperor of the Terran Empire. While the Mirror Georgiou seems content to die fighting Lorca's followers, Burnham saves her against her wishes, bringing her back to Discovery  and subsequently to the Prime Universe. 

With unmatched combat skills and a devious mind, Mirror Georgiou becomes a great asset to the clandestine operations of Section 31. The official word from Starfleet is that the prime Georgiou somehow miraculously survived the Battle of the Binary Stars. It's agreed that the existence of the Mirror Universe is to be purged from all records because of the concern that in the wake of the devastating war with the Klingons , Federation citizens who learn of the Mirror Universe might attempt to cross over to find counterparts of their dead loved ones. 

While Georgiou resists any attempts by her new Prime allies to make her any less savage, it's clear she holds a special place in her heart for Burnham whose Mirror counterpart is her adopted daughter. Georgiou eventually rejoins the crew of the  Discovery  and becomes an integral part of their efforts against the rogue A.I. Control. She's also among the heroes when they choose to purposely strand themselves in the distant 32nd century. 

Kirk visits the Mirror Universe

In the opening of "Mirror, Mirror," Captain Kirk, Scotty, Uhura, and Bones are on surface of the Halkan homeworld, having tried and failed to negotiate dilithium mining rights. But somehow, due to a raging ion storm, when the four Federation officers are beamed back to Enterprise , they find themselves aboard the version of the ship in the Mirror Universe instead of their own. Meanwhile, their Mirror counterparts are sent to the Prime Universe where they're soon imprisoned. "Mirror, Mirror" takes place approximately a decade after  Discovery 's crossover, but because of Starfleet's decision to keep the place a secret, Kirk and his crew don't know what they're in for. 

On board the Mirror  Enterprise , everyone's in strange uniforms, including female crew members being in much more revealing outfits (and it isn't like the Prime Uniforms were particularly conservative). Most conspicuously, everyone gives each other salutes reminiscent of the infamous Nazi one-arm salute. 

Kirk and his colleagues from the Prime Universe struggle to remain incognito while they search for a way back home. See, rather than negotiating, the Terrans are threatening the Halkans with annihilation if they don't allow them to mine dilithium. And Kirk raises suspicions when he refuses to fire on the planet, inspiring an assassination attempt. The bearded Mirror Spock eventually discovers the identity of the Prime Universe heroes and allows them to return, wanting his own captain back. However, Spock's time with the Prime Kirk proves more consequential than anyone at the time imagines.

The fall of the Terran Empire

In season 2 of  DS9 , heroes from  Trek 's Prime Universe find themselves in the Mirror Universe for the first time in over a century. In "Crossover," Major Kira and Dr. Bashir come across a very different Deep Space Nine. In the Mirror Universe, DS9 is still named Terok Nor, but Odo is a slavedriver, Sisko is a pirate, and the Ferengi bartender Quark doesn't even know what latinum is.

Rather than Starfleet, Terok Nor is ruled by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance (KCA). Bajor is a part of the KCA, and the world's ruler — who also presides over the station — is the cold-blooded and seductive Intendant Kira, one of  Star Trek 's best villains . From the Intendant, Prime Kira learns that Kirk's trip to the Mirror Universe in TOS  had far-reaching consequences. Kirk so inspired Mirror Spock that the Vulcan helped bring about a series of compassionate reforms throughout the Terran Empire. Sadly, their lapsed focus on defense made them easier targets for the KCA. The Terrans are now a conquered people, working as slaves for the KCA and forced to wear clothing bearing the symbol of Earth to identify themselves. Because of this, while Intendant Kira treats her Prime counterpart as a treasured pet, Bashir is pressed into slavery as soon as he arrives. 

Kira and Bashir eventually escape with the help of the Mirror versions of Miles O'Brien — better known as "Smiley" in the Mirror Universe — and Sisko. Like Kirk before them, Bashir and Kira inspire change in the darker universe.  

The Terran Rebellion

DS9 's lead, Captain Sisko, is kidnapped and brought to the Mirror Universe by Smiley in season 3's "Through the Looking Glass". He learns that when his Mirror counterpart betrayed the KCA in "Crossover," the act started a Terran rebellion. Now, Smiley needs Sisko to help the rebellion by pretending to be his Mirror counterpart long enough for one last mission.

DS9  tracks the conflict between the Terrans and the KCA intermittently throughout the series, offering one Mirror episode every season except for its first and fifth. While the group refers to itself as the Terran Rebellion, other oppressed races are part of the struggle.  Star Trek:  Voyager 's Tuvok — a Vulcan — makes a cameo as part of the rebellion in "Through the Looking Glass." Plus, other races are spotted in their gatherings. Like the Maquis of the Prime Universe, they hide in the Badlands, where the KCA's sensors can't find them. Their leaders include much tougher and no-nonsense versions of Bashir and Jadzia Dax.

Things are looking up for the Terrans by the final  DS9  Mirror episode, "The Emperor's New Cloak." By the end of the episode, the Terrans have their own version of the  Defiant ,   complete with a game-changing cloaking device, and they've captured Terok Nor. At the same time, the KCA leadership is in disarray. Intendant Kira is on the run, Garak is dead, and the KCA regent — a much more sadistic and violent version of Worf — is the Terrans' prisoner.

The Mirror Universe rebooted?

Discovery 's season 3 two-parter "Terra Firma" reveals the crew's Mirror Universe native Philippa Georgiou is dying because of their journey to the 32nd century. Because 900 years have passed since Georgiou's crossing to the Prime Universe, the Prime and Mirror Universes are no longer aligned, causing her molecular cohesion to deteriorate. 

Learning of a world with a possible cure,  Discovery  brings Georgiou to a planet where a mysterious man keeps vigil over what appears to be a door leading to nowhere. In the second part of "Terra Firma," we learn this is the Guardian of Forever, who first appears in the classic  TOS  episode "The City on the Edge of Forever," one of  Star Trek 's saddest tales . The Guardian allows Georgiou to rejoin her life as emperor of the Terran Empire, where she tries and fails to redeem the Mirror Michael Burnham and save her life. Her attempts at peace and her compassion toward the Mirror Saru, however, convince the Guardian she's worth saving. The Guardian then sends her back to the 23rd century. 

The Guardian makes it clear Georgiou's trip back in time — which ends in her death — was no illusion. Since her Mirror Universe adventure all takes place before the Mirror episodes of Discovery 's first season, does that mean most of the history of the Mirror Universe has been altered? Or did her actions create another  parallel timeline — a second Mirror Universe?

Time travel — it's confusing and causes problems. 

The untold story of Tiberius

In  TOS ' "Mirror, Mirror," Prime Kirk discovers his Mirror counterpart has been secretly using a device called the Tantalus Field. With it, Mirror Kirk can monitor anyone on his ship and, should he choose, disintegrate them with the touch of a button. His concubine, Marlena, says it's how he became captain, implying he used it to murder his predecessor. But according to the "Before Her Time" documentary on the season 4  Enterprise Blu-ray, there was almost a reveal that the device did something else entirely. 

According to the documentary, rather than the two-parter which ultimately became "In a Mirror, Darkly," the  Enterprise  creators wanted William Shatner to reprise his role as the Mirror Kirk, aka Tiberius. In "Mirror, Mirror," it's said Tiberius got the Tantalus Field from an alien scientist's "plundered lab." The proposed  Enterprise  story would reveal that rather than killing, the device actually sends its victims to a penal colony in the Prime Universe. Tiberius would find himself at this prison, presumably surrounded by a bunch of people he sent there, such as his predecessor, who would likely have been the Mirror Captain Pike. 

Unfortunately, negotiations between Shatner and Paramount didn't work out. However, it's fun to consider the idea of Shatner reprising the role, particularly when you consider how little we see of Tiberius in "Mirror, Mirror." 

Picard's Enterprise in the Mirror Universe

Unfortunately,  Star Trek: The Next Generation  doesn't include any trips to the Mirror Universe. Plus, the history of the Mirror Universe as it's presented in  DS9  would seem to discount any Mirror versions of either the  TNG  or  Voyager   crews since the Terran Empire would've been conquered long before those groups existed. But while it's not considered part of official  Trek  canon, some clever comic book creators found a way to tell the story of the Mirror  TNG  heroes.

In 2017, IDW released the miniseries  Star Trek: The Next Generation — Mirror Broken , written by Scott and David Tipton and with art by J.K. Woodward. We learn that the news of the Terran Empire's demise is the result of exaggeration and rumor. The Klingon-Cardassian Alliance has bitten huge chunks out of the Empire, but it's far from dead.  Mirror Broken  begins with the Mirror Jean-Luc Picard as captain of the  Stargazer , while most of the series follows his efforts to take over the  Enterprise . The motley cast includes a bearded Picard, a spiky-haired Wesley Crusher, and a surprisingly confident and competent Lieutenant Barclay.

Broken Mirror  isn't the last we see of the ISS  Enterprise ,   either. In 2018, the same creative team released two follow-up miniseries –  Through the Mirror and Terra Incognita — that depict the pirates making their way to the Prime Universe.

The Pirate Queen of the Delta Quadrant

The  TNG  crew aren't the only ones to get the Mirror Universe treatment in the comics. In 2019, IDW released  Star Trek: Voyager — Mirrors and Smoke by Paul Allor and J.K. Woodward. A quick prologue explains that Captain Janeway and her crew were part of the Terran Rebellion against the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance before being flung to the Delta Quadrant. Unlike their Prime Universe counterparts, they're quite happy being far from the KCA and decide to stay where they are. 

Voyager 's bloody reputation has earned Janeway the title Pirate Queen of the Delta Quadrant. Mirror Neelix and Kes — Delta Quadrant natives who join the crew in the series — are Janeway's rivals. The ship's command structure is a bit different, as well. In the series, Commander Cavit is replaced by Chakotay as first officer after Cavit is killed, whereas in  Mirrors and Smoke ,   it's Chakotay who murders Cavit in order to climb the command ladder.  

One of the most interesting transformations we see is that of Annika Hansen, aka Seven of Nine in the Prime Universe. Hansen was never assimilated by the Borg in the Mirror Universe, though ironically, she still plots — alongside the Doctor, who's disgruntled from his poor treatment by the Terrans — to take over the ship.

The Mirror Universe in Star Trek Television, Explained


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Created by Gene Roddenberry in 1966, the space adventure franchise Star Trek has endured for generations, spawning dozens of series, movies, and video games, with more related projects in the works. It has featured breezy and comedic episodes, but has also explored sensitive topics like fundamentalism, cloning, mental health, addiction, xenophobia, A.I. control, and bioweapons.

As a staple of science-fiction television, Trek shows have naturally tackled time travel , supernatural beings, noncorporeal lifeforms, space anomalies, and alternative or parallel universes . One of the latter was dubbed the Mirror Universe by fans, and here is how it came to be and what it entails. To clarify, when referring to this particular type of universe, the main timeline and its characters are labeled “Prime,” while their counterparts are slapped with the “Mirror” designation.

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The Mirror Premise at a Glance

In the Prime timeline , most humans aim to live in harmony with as many contacted alien species as possible; the main objective is building a universe of peace and tolerance, where medical advances can cure almost every ailment and injury, and special abilities and superpowers are celebrated and harnessed instead of feared and condemned. As Captain Picard explains to a man from the past:

The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.

Although populated with the same characters and occupying the same space, the Mirror Universe is set in another dimension, and features twisted or strange doppelgängers. Instead of avoiding mass destruction and preaching acceptance, the ruling Terran Empire is a ruthless, fascist regime that goes to great lengths to oppress and subjugate every species.

It even treats its own people in the same manner, punishing officers who commit “mistakes” with a device called the Agonizer, or putting them in the Agony Booth, and mercilessly eliminating any opponents and obstacles. Sometimes, Prime characters venturing into the Mirror Universe can prove beneficial. In Star Trek: Discovery , for instance, an adventure in the alternate timeline helps put an end to the war with the Klingons .

Related: 21 Ways Star Trek Predicted the Future

Another example is when Prime characters in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine influence evil doppelgängers into a change of conscience, leading to political reforms. Unfortunately, it is later revealed that the Terran Empire is overthrown, only to be replaced by an alliance of Klingons, Cardassians, and Bajorans, who enslave both humans and Vulcans.

It's important to note that Mirror characters are not only often polar opposites personality-wise, but they also have subtle biological differences, such as more sensitive eyesight, and they experience faster cellular decay when they stay in the Prime Universe for too long.

Canon Shows with Mirror Universe Episodes

Before diving into the explanation of the Mirror Universe, here is a breakdown of the four canon series of Star Trek that feature this parallel dimension:

Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1969)

Honorable Mention: The Tholian Web: Technically not set in the Mirror Universe, it features the vanishing of the USS Defiant into Tholian space, and the connection to a parallel dimension is established later on, in Star Trek: Enterprise ’s episode, “In a Mirror, Darkly.”

These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Set in the 23d century, The Original Series (TOS) follows Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew, namely First Officer and Science Officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Chief Engineer Scott (James Doohan), and Communications Officer Lt. Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), as they explore the Milky Way and interact with various lifeforms, some more hostile than others.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999)

Star trek: deep space nine.

Deep Space 9 (DS9) is set in the 24th century, and centers on the titular space station located at the end of the galaxy, next to a wormhole connecting Federation space to the Gamma Quadrant. Main characters include Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), Science Officer Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell), Head of Security Odo (René Auberjonois), Chief Medical Officer Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddiq), and First Officer Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor).

Together, they protect the Alpha Quadrant from hostile species like the Cardassians and the ultimate rulers of the Gamma Quadrant, the Changelings, who are fluidic shapeshifters.

Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005)

Star trek: enterprise.

Enterprise (ENT) serves as a 22nd-century prequel to TOS , centering on Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and his crew in the first-ever exploration of the Alpha and Beta quadrants under the flag of the United Earth, aboard the Enterprise NX-01. They save the Earth from the hostile Xindi aliens, establish the guidelines for interstellar diplomacy, and usher in the formation of the United Federation of Planets. It’s basically a prequel to the entire Prime timeline.

Star Trek: Discovery (2017 –)

Star trek discovery.

Discovery (DIS) follows the crew of the titular starship in the 23rd century, a decade before TOS , and later into the 32nd century, after they time travel. Sonequa Martin-Green stars as Michael Burnham, a science officer who starts a war with the Klingon race and then becomes captain of the Discovery . Another key character is her mentor, Philippa Georgio ( wonderfully played by Michelle Yeoh ), the friendly, honorable, determined, and decorated commanding officer of the USS Shenzhou ; she is killed in hand-to-hand combat with a Klingon leader.

The Episode That Ushered in the Narrative

In TOS ’ episode “Mirror, Mirror,” the transporter malfunctions during an ion storm and swaps Captain Kirk and the rest of his landing party, McCoy, Scott, and Uhura, with their villainous counterparts from a parallel universe that exists in the same space. This alternate dimension sees the Federation’s USS Enterprise , now called the ISS Enterprise , as a flagship for the evil Terran Empire.

Disoriented at first, Prime team members decide to play along until they’re able to recreate the same conditions that would send them back home. Before leaving, Prime Kirk reveals to Mirror Spock the existence of the Tantalus Field, Mirror Kirk’s secret device that can monitor and eliminate people with a single touch, so that he can use it as he sees fit to reform the Empire.

It is revealed that Mirror Kirk used the deadly device to get rid of his predecessor, Mirror Captain Pike, in order to take over the ISS Enterprise ; that alone was shocking to both Prime Kirk and the audience, because it was completely out of character for the Kirk we knew, and cemented the darker aspect of the Mirror Universe as a whole.

Related: 23 Coolest Alien Characters in the Star Trek Franchise

The Tantalus Field makes a comeback in the DIS episode “Terra Firma,” when it is revealed that Mirror Georgiou, the Emperor of the Terran Empire, has been using it to spy on her adopted daughter, Mirror Captain Burnham.

To date, “Mirror, Mirror” is still considered the best Mirror episode in the franchise. It is a well-executed, insightful, and intriguing plot, featuring a particularly ruthless Kirk and an edgier Spock. No wonder it became a defining moment in classic pop culture and inspired fans to come up with the Mirror Universe designation in future related chapters.

Planetary data [ ]

Earth, The Blue Marble

"The Blue Marble"

Earth was a spheroid terrestrial planet with a circumference of 24,874 miles (40,075 kilometers ), a mass of 5.98 e24 ×10 24 kilograms and a mean density of 5.517. Its atmosphere had an average temperature of 75 °F (24 °C) and consisted of 78% nitrogen , 21% oxygen , and smaller percentages of krypton , neon , and argon . ( TOS : " Miri ", " Metamorphosis ", " Bread and Circuses ")

The Earth system consisted of a large natural satellite named Luna . ( TOS : " The Changeling ")

Location [ ]


Earth as seen from Luna

Earth's orbit around its sun , Sol , measured more than two hundred million kilometers in diameter. ( TNG : " Relics ") Earth was located in the Alpha Quadrant , less than ninety light years from the boundary to the Beta Quadrant . ( ENT : " Broken Bow ", " Two Days and Two Nights "; Star Trek Into Darkness production art ) It was a little over sixteen light years away from the planet Vulcan, less than ninety light years away from the Klingon homeworld , and approximately ninety light years away from Risa . ( ENT : " Two Days and Two Nights ", " Home ")

In "Two Days and Two Nights", the NX-class Enterprise is depicted as setting a milestone several months after a mission to the Klingon homeworld, Qo'noS (visited by the ship in ENT pilot episode " Broken Bow "), by becoming the first Earth ship to travel ninety light years away from the Sol system . In Star Trek Into Darkness , the location of Sector 001 was labeled on a map displayed on a powerwall in the offices of Admirals Alexander Marcus and Christopher Pike . Lastly, Qo'noS was identified as a Beta Quadrant planet.

According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia , Earth marked the border between the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. A specific display graphic on a PADD in Star Trek: Insurrection seems to confirm this. [1] [2] Canonical lines of dialogue in Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine , however, firmly establish that Earth was located on the Alpha Quadrant side of the border. In his reference book Star Trek: Star Charts (p. 19), Star Trek production artist and designer Geoffrey Mandel wrote, " While the Sol system is divided equally between the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, it is considered to be a part of the Alpha Quadrant. " The star chart seen in the Star Trek: Discovery episode " The War Without, The War Within " sets Earth at some distance from the border, while the star chart seen in the Star Trek: Picard episode " Maps and Legends " sets Earth on the border.

In the late 19th century , the orbit of Earth was depicted on a German map of the inner system. ( Star Trek: Enterprise opening credits )

In 2024 , the position and orbital path of Earth were depicted on a map of the Solar System, which was seen at the gala held for the Europa Mission astronauts . ( PIC : " Two of One ")

In 2254 , the orbit of Earth was depicted on a map of the inner system, which was stored in the USS Enterprise library computer . This was one of multiple records that were scanned by the Talosians in 2254. ( TOS : " The Cage " production art )

In 2259 , the location of this planet was labeled on a stellar cartography chart that was seen on the USS Enterprise 's ready room viewscreen . As the capital planet of the Federation, it was represented by the Starfleet Command seal colored blue . ( SNW : " Strange New Worlds ", " A Quality of Mercy ")

In 2267 , the orbit of Earth was depicted on "Chart 14A: The Sol System", which was stored in the Enterprise library computer. This chart was scanned by the probe Nomad in auxiliary control . ( TOS : " The Changeling " production art )

The planet's location was labeled in a Federation star chart that was in Fleet Admiral Kirsten Clancy 's office at Starfleet Headquarters in 2399 and on the bridge of the USS Titan -A in 2401 . Earth was in or near to Federation space . ( PIC : " Maps and Legends ", " The Next Generation ", " Disengage ")

In 2401, this planet's position was labeled on a star chart used by Captain William T. Riker during his attempt at finding the last known location of the SS Eleos XII . ( PIC : " The Next Generation ")

In 3189 , the location of Earth was denoted on a holographic star chart of the galaxy at Federation Headquarters . ( DIS : " Die Trying ")

In 3190 , the location of Earth was labeled on a star chart used by Commander Paul Stamets for tracking the movement of the Dark Matter Anomaly through the galaxy . ( DIS : " The Examples ")

A star chart seen in TNG : " The Naked Now ", " The Last Outpost ", " Datalore ", and " Conspiracy " – naming stars within twenty light years of Sol – was drawn by Rick Sternbach for the Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology in the late 1970s. Found on page 77, this chart showed Earth commercial and exploration routes after the use of warp drive began. ( For more information, see Federation star charts#LCARS star charts ) "The Explored Galaxy" star chart was first seen, chronologically, in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country , set in 2293 . It was also seen in several Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes set in the 24th century , from the year 2364 to 2370 . ( For more information, see Federation star charts#"The Explored Galaxy" )

The orbit of Earth

History [ ]

Around 4.5 billion years ago , ancient humanoids seeded many worlds in the Milky Way Galaxy , including Earth, with a DNA code to guide evolution to a form resembling their own . Approximately 3.5 billion years ago , the first life on Earth was formed from a group of amino acids that combined to form the first proteins . ( TNG : " The Chase ", " All Good Things... ") Nonetheless, according to James T. Kirk , three hundred million years ago life had not yet emerged on Earth. ( TAS : " Beyond the Farthest Star ")

According to current real-world science, there is evidence that suggests life took hold on Earth already at least between 3.8 and 4.1 billion years ago [3] and flourished in the oceans by at least 3.7  billion years ago. [4] In light of the seeding it is also worth noting that the first appearance of DNA might have postdated the appearance of life.

In the early 21st century, a small group of Human scientists had formed a school of thought that believed Earth's lifeforms originated from Mars . They believed that life was carried from one world to another on rocks blasted off into space by comet or asteroid impacts. This idea was known as lithopanspermia . ( PIC : " Two of One ")

Over four hundred million years ago, in the Devonian period, the genus Eryops was the last common ancestor of both warm-blooded and cold-blooded lifeforms . ( VOY : " Distant Origin ")

According to real-word science, Eryops lived some one hundred million years later during the Permian period.

Approximately sixty-five million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, a comet collided with the planet Earth. This mass extinction event resulted in the death of many reptilian lifeforms. One of the surviving lifeforms belonged to the genus Hadrosaur , which evolved into the Voth. The Voth eventually left Earth, leaving no apparent trace of their civilization , and colonized a world in the Delta Quadrant . Around the same time, mammals rose to prominence on the land and in the sea, eventually leading species like Humans and Humpback whales , respectively. Humans and their immediate ancestors shared the basic humanoid appearance, which may be the result of genetic seeding that occurred long ago, by the first sentient species to inhabit the galaxy. ( Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home ; TNG : " The Chase "; VOY : " Distant Origin "; ENT : " Azati Prime ")

To portray a primordial Earth in "All Good Things…", Dan Curry drew a concept sketch of the landscape. ( Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Continuing Mission , p. 213) The depiction of the prehistoric Earth ultimately consisted of multiple elements. One of these was a small set, on which live-action footage of the actors was filmed. The set contained a pool of water and some miniature cliffs. ( Cinefantastique , Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 63) The set was on Paramount Stage 18 . ( Information from call sheets ) The establishing shot of the planet in its primordial stages was created mainly through a foreground miniature constructed by Tony Doublin , working from photographs of the set that the actors were filmed on. Another element was ocean waves, filmed at Laguna Beach by Dan Curry along with fellow visual effects artists Joe Bauer and David Stipes . Apart from the live-action set, everything in the shot of the primordial Earth was created by Curry, who digitally combined, manipulated and blended the many separate elements, yet another of which was lava . ( Cinefantastique , Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 63) Twenty years later, Roger Lay, Jr. found the "All Good Things…" storyboards Curry had created and discovered that the storyboard of the establishing shot of Earth was virtually identical to the same view of the planet in the televised version. Brannon Braga once commented that, of all the scenes in "All Good Things…", he likely remembered the primordial Earth scene most vividly. Both he and Ronald D. Moore commented the establishing shot of the planet is "not bad." Moore went on to remark, " That's a classic Star Trek look, too. The composition of that, from the cave to the sky piece and the foreground element, that is sort of Trek and the way Trek 's ascetic was. " ( All Good Things (Blu-ray) audio commentary )

Earth produced several major religions , including Christianity , Judaism , Islam , Hinduism , Buddhism , Shinto , and Wicca . Some of these religions, in one form or the other, survived into the 23rd and 24th centuries . ( TOS : " Balance of Terror "; DS9 : " Penumbra "; VOY : " The Killing Game ")

In the 17th century , scientist Galileo Galilei taught the masses that Earth moved around the sun and not the opposite way. For these teachings, he was tried and convicted of heresy by an inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church , and his books were burned. ( DS9 : " In the Hands of the Prophets ")

Earth was also visited, observed, and occasionally manipulated during its history, prior to official First Contact by Vulcans . One of the earliest extraterrestrial visits was by a race known as the Sky Spirits , originally native to the Delta Quadrant. These visits also included those by an ancient humanoid species, the Preservers , descendants of Humans abducted around 4000 BC , and Vulcans themselves, although this was disputed, as there was no proof or evidence offered by the Vulcan High Command . The Humpback whales were being observed by an unknown entity who, upon loss of contact with the species, sent a probe to investigate the absence of whale song . In the 19th century , a race called the Skagarans abducted several thousand Humans from the American West and then used them as slave labor. The El-Aurian Guinan also stayed discreetly on Earth. In the 1930s , the Briori visited Earth and abducted several individuals , including famous pilot Amelia Earhart . In 1947 , three Ferengi inadvertantly crash landed near Roswell , New Mexico . In the 1950s , a team of Vulcan explorers were temporarily stranded on Earth. ( TOS : " Assignment: Earth ", " The Paradise Syndrome "; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home ; TNG : " The Chase "; TNG : " Time's Arrow "; ENT : " Carbon Creek "; VOY : " The 37's "; VOY : " Tattoo ")


Earth in 1969

From the mid- 20th century onward, manned and unmanned spacecraft were launched from either the surface or the orbit of Earth. Several prominent craft that were launched from Earth include Apollo 11 , Nomad , Phoenix , Friendship 1 , Enterprise , and the USS Enterprise . ( TOS : " The Cage ", " Where No Man Has Gone Before ", " The Changeling "; Star Trek: First Contact ; VOY : " Friendship One ")

In 2026, World War 3 fully broke out which caused the eradication of 600,000 animal and plant species and 30% of Earth's Human population. The war decimated Earth causing nuclear winters, the destruction of most of Earth's major cities and natural climate. Radio Isotopes from nuclear weapons were ejected into the atmosphere exposing all life remaining after the war to dangerous radiation. ( SNW : " Strange New Worlds ")

After the war ended in 2053, Humanity slowly began to rebuild civilization and the planet, eliminating sickness, hunger, poverty, and despair within two generations. Earth was mostly restored by the 22nd century as the United Earth Government formed, however there were still some lingering effects from the post atomic horror. ( Star Trek: Enterprise )

By the 23rd century, Earth had been completely restored and even had climate control systems that maintained the weather in certain places, preventing tornados and destructive weather. Some area on Earth such as deserts were also terraformed, allowing people to live there. One notable person to grow up in this kind of environment was Christopher Pike. ( TOS : " The Cage ")

Starting in the 22nd century and continuing on into the 24th, there were major construction projects on the surface and in orbit of Earth that supported the burgeoning expansion of Humans into space. Some of these projects were the Warp Five Complex , the San Francisco Fleet Yards , Spacedock One , and Earth Station McKinley . ( ENT : " Broken Bow "; TOS : " Where No Man Has Gone Before "; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock ; TNG : " Family ")

In 2063 , with the successful flight of the Phoenix , Earth became warp-capable . ( Star Trek: First Contact ; ENT : " Broken Bow "; VOY : " Year of Hell ", " Relativity ", " Homestead ")

Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual stipulated that at least two other species of marine mammals ( Pacific bottlenose dolphins and Takaya's whales ) served on board Galaxy -class class starships as either crew or civilian navigation consultants. This was supported in canon by a hatchway label, seen in " We'll Always Have Paris ", that read "Tursiops Crew Facility".

According to Daniels , while Earth still existed in the 31st century , it did not exist in the same way as it was defined nine hundred years before. ( ENT : " Cold Front ")

Following the Burn in the 31st century , Starfleet became concerned about security on Earth and ultimately moved Starfleet Headquarters off the planet. Earth subsequently seceded from the Federation, and remained independent – even from other worlds in the Sol system such as Titan – as of 3189 . ( DIS : " People of Earth ")

The following year when the Federation kept Earth from being destroyed by a Dark Matter Anomaly , Earth decided to rejoin the Federation, marking the return of another founding world of the Federation. ( DIS : " Coming Home ")

Attacks on Earth [ ]

During its long history, the existence of the planet has been threatened by both natural disasters and actions of alien intelligence.

Ronald D. Moore noticed a trend in Star Trek films in general, which was that many of the films portrayed Earth as being endangered. [5] Chris Black expressed that it's typically difficult to tell such huge story arcs – where the fate of the Earth (or even the universe) was at stake – as they challenged the writers to personalize the plot for the characters involved. (" The Forgotten " audio commentary , ENT Season 3 Blu-ray special features)

  • In 2153 , Earth was preemptively attacked by the Xindi , who were unwittingly helping a faction fighting the Temporal Cold War . Using a smaller, prototype version of the planned Xindi weapon , the weapon destroyed a section of the planet stretching from Florida to Venezuela , killing seven million people. This event began what was later known as the Xindi crisis . ( ENT : " The Expanse ")

The Xindi's preemptive strike against Earth was inspired by the September 11 attacks . The idea of endangering Earth with the Xindi weapon came about after Executive Producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga noticed that two of the most popular Star Trek films , only ten of which had been created by that time, involved efforts to save Earth. The two films were Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek: First Contact . ( Star Trek Monthly  issue 107 , p. 6) Having Earth be threatened was one of the first parts of the season-long Xindi story arc which, at the start of Star Trek: Enterprise 's third season , Braga and Berman envisaged for the rest of that season. (" The Forgotten " audio commentary , ENT Season 3 Blu-ray )

  • On February 14th of 2154 , a working version of the Xindi weapon entered Earth orbit to destroy the planet. The weapon was destroyed by Captain Jonathan Archer before it could complete its task. This marked the end of the Xindi crisis. ( ENT : " Zero Hour ")
  • In 2155 , Terra Prime – under the command of John Frederick Paxton – used the verteron array on Mars to attack Starfleet Headquarters . Thanks to the efforts of Commander Charles Tucker III , the array fired harmlessly into the San Francisco Bay . ( ENT : " Terra Prime ")
  • In 2257 , Earth was the intended target of a Klingon fleet during the Federation-Klingon War , shortly after the fall of Starbase 1 . This attack was aborted shortly before it could begin after L'Rell , the new leader of the Klingon High Council , ordered a cease fire . ( DIS : " Will You Take My Hand? ")
  • In the 2270s , a massive machine lifeform called V'ger threatened to destroy all biological life on Earth, if its demands were not met. The attack was narrowly averted by the crew of the USS Enterprise . ( Star Trek: The Motion Picture )
  • In 2286 , an alien probe of unknown origin wreaked ecological havoc while trying to contact an extinct species of Humpback whale by transmitting massive amounts of energy into Earth's oceans and unintentionally caused them to begin evaporating. The threat was ended when the former crew of the USS Enterprise , having used a stolen Klingon Bird-of-Prey to travel back in time to before the species' extinction , returned to the present with two Humpbacks; after the two whales gave a response to the probe, it departed the Solar System with little, if any, real harm done to the planet. ( Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home )
  • In 2367 , a Borg cube entered Earth orbit following the Battle of Wolf 359 with the intention of assimilating the planet and its population . It was destroyed by the USS Enterprise -D before it could attack the planet. ( TNG : " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II ")
  • In 2373 , a second Borg cube attacked Earth and, after a devastating battle , was destroyed in orbit by a Starfleet armada . As the cube exploded, a Borg sphere escaped from within the craft and subsequently traveled into the past, where its complement of Borg drones attempted to prevent Humanity's First Contact with Vulcans in 2063 . ( Star Trek: First Contact )
  • In 2375 , the Borg decided to create another strategy, since all direct assaults on Earth had failed, thus far. They planned to detonate a biogenic charge in Earth's atmosphere , infecting all lifeforms with a nanoprobe virus , triggering a gradual assimilation . According to the Borg Queen , half the population would be drones before the effects were discovered. ( VOY : " Dark Frontier ")

It is uncertain whether this plan was ever attempted. According to the non- canon novelization of " Endgame ", the nanoprobe virus was brought to Earth and rapidly infected the population.

San Francisco attacked

Starfleet Headquarters on Earth, damaged after a Breen attack

  • Also in 2375 , the Breen Confederacy attacked Earth in a surprise attack on Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco during the Dominion War . ( DS9 : " The Changing Face of Evil ")
  • In 2379 , Praetor Shinzon attempted to destroy all life on Earth using a thalaron weapon built into the Reman warbird Scimitar . The Scimitar was destroyed by the USS Enterprise -E , Valdore , and an unidentified Valdore -type warbird in the Battle in the Bassen Rift . ( Star Trek Nemesis )
  • On Frontier Day in 2401 , the Borg Queen – aided by a band of rogue Changelings led by Vadic – remotely assimilated much of Starfleet and, after disabling Sol Station in orbit, attempted to destroy Earth's population centres via orbital bombardment . The bombardment was narrowly averted by the crew of the rebuilt Enterprise -D, who destroyed the Borg Queen's cube and returned the fleet to Federation control. ( PIC : " Vox ", " The Last Generation ")
  • By 3189 , Earth had left the United Federation of Planets and was under the protection of the United Earth Defense Force . Raiders like Wen made several attacks on the planet for supplies like dilithium . The tensions were settled by Captain Saru and Commander Michael Burnham of the USS Discovery . ( DIS : " People of Earth ")
  • In 3190 , Earth and Ni’Var found itself under attack by the Dark Matter Anomaly , showered by debris caused by its actions. The Federation, lead by Admiral Charles Vance , initiated an evacuation of the planet to save those they could. The Discovery and the team of diplomats were able to convince the DMA’s creators, Unknown Species 10-C , to shut down the anomaly, sparing the planets. As thanks, Earth moved to rejoin the Federation in gratitude. ( DIS : " Coming Home ")

Climate and geography [ ]

Earth map

A map of Earth in the 24th century

Earth was a class M world by planetary classification standards. ( TOS : " Return to Tomorrow "; TNG : " Justice ") It had just about every ecosystem one could think of. ( VOY : " Hope and Fear ") These included ice caps and deserts . There were a number of continents .

By the 24th century , Humans had installed a Weather Modification Net to alter the natural weather patterns , including dissipating destructive weather phenomena such as tornadoes . ( TNG : " True Q ")

Once Humans began leaving Earth in the 20th century, they photographed and drew pictures of the planet for various reasons. These pictures were then displayed in homes, offices, and recreation facilities. The earliest images of Earth were from the space agencies which sent Humans into space. These included official mission photos and insignia. Many of these images were preserved into the 22nd century and beyond. ( TOS : " The Cage "; ENT : " First Flight ")

Alternate timelines and universes [ ]

Earth, 3

Earth in an alternate timeline where an anti-time eruption fills the sky

In 2370 , an alternate past was created for Earth by the anti-time eruption , where 3.5 billion years ago , amino acids never combined with the first proteins , and life never formed on the planet. This was how the Q Continuum fulfilled its judgment to deny Humans existence. ( TNG : " All Good Things... ")

Accidental time travel from 2371 led to the premature death of Gabriel Bell in 2024 . An altered future was created where the more inhumane wars of the 21st century left Earth a pre-warp civilization that never even expanded to the solar system. Consequently, the Romulan Star Empire had expanded to include Alpha Centauri . ( DS9 : " Past Tense, Part I ", " Past Tense, Part II ")

Dystopian Earths [ ]

In two alternate timelines, the history of Earth was significantly altered when Nazi Germany was not defeated in World War II . In one, Doctor McCoy saved the life of Edith Keeler in 1930 . Keeler went on to form a massive pacifist movement in America, delaying the country's entry into World War II, allowing Nazi Germany time to develop the A-bomb first and take over the world. ( TOS : " The City on the Edge of Forever ")

Nazi Territory

Nazi Territory in North America

In another alternate timeline, Lenin was assassinated in 1916 , preventing Russia from turning to communism . This allowed Adolf Hitler to concentrate his war effort on the West. With assistance from the Na'kuhl , France and England were conquered before the American East Coast by 1944 . ( ENT : " Storm Front ", " Storm Front, Part II ")

Earth assimilated

Borg-assimilated Earth

In an alternate timeline, the Borg were successful at preventing First Contact in 2063 and assimilated the Earth. In 2373 , the assimilated Earth had an atmosphere containing high concentrations of methane , carbon monoxide , and fluorine . It had a population of approximately nine billion Borg drones . ( Star Trek: First Contact )

See below for background information .

Confederation Earth

Earth under the Confederation

In an alternate timeline created by Q preventing Renée Picard from joining the Europa Mission in 2024 , Earth became united under a totalitarian government called the Confederation of Earth . With Picard having never made a discovery on Io that allowed Humanity to repair the damage they had caused to Earth's environment, the Confederation resorted to using solar shields to stave off ecological collapse on the planet. By the dawn of the 25th century , the Confederation had enslaved the Romulans and waged brutal wars against alien species throughout the galaxy. ( PIC : " Penance ", " Mercy ")

Devastated Earths [ ]

In 2257 , Spock was shown a possible future where Earth, as well as all other life-bearing worlds, were devastated by Control . Gabrielle Burnham 's mission logs also mention this destruction which Gabrielle had witnessed for herself. ( DIS : " If Memory Serves ", " Perpetual Infinity ")

Earth 31st Century

Earth devastated in the 31st century

When the temporal agent Daniels was instructed to remove Jonathan Archer from the timeline in 2152 and bring him to the 31st century , an alternate future was created where the United Federation of Planets was never formed and the planet where Daniels had come from was almost completely destroyed. ( ENT : " Shockwave ", " Shockwave, Part II ")

In the review reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 370), Mark Jones and Lance Parkin stated that the ruined planet was "deliberately evocative of Ground Zero at the World Trade Centre."

To portray the devastated planet, ruined city vistas and a vast library were created in CGI by Eden FX . The methods they employed for this assignment included the creation and use of digital set extensions. ( Star Trek Monthly  issue 106 , p. 45)

Earth crumbling

Earth, moments before exploding

The Earth was completely destroyed in two alternate timelines. In one of the timelines, Jonathan Archer's brain was infected by interspatial parasites and Earth was destroyed by the Xindi weapon in 2154 . This timeline was erased in 2165 when the parasites were destroyed by a subspace implosion aboard Enterprise – because the organisms existed outside normal space-time, their elimination prevented Archer from ever being infected in the first place. ( ENT : " Twilight ")

Although "Twilight" was initially conceived for Star Trek: Voyager , the annihilation of Earth was included in the plot only once the story was intended to be developed for Star Trek: Enterprise . Michael Sussman , who wrote the installment, stated obliquely about how the episode's final version portrays Earth, " It's always fun when you can toast Earth before the opening titles . " [6] With similar gusto, Brannon Braga rhetorically asked, " What could be better than starting the show off with blowing Earth up? " ( Star Trek: Communicator  issue 151 , p. 30) The script for "Twilight" described the destruction of Earth thus; " The planet starts to literally split at the seams… magma and debris ERUPTING along fault lines! Then, in a blinding flash… the Earth EXPLODES … mountain-sized chunks of debris flying everywhere! "

In an alternate timeline created by the Romulan operative Sera destroying Toronto in 2022 , Humanity became embroiled in a war with the Romulan Star Empire that lasted over two centuries. Earth was first devastated by the war, then occupied by the enemy, and ultimately rendered uninhabitable. ( SNW : " Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow ")

In another alternate timeline, Earth and the entire solar system was destroyed by a massive temporal explosion in the 29th century . The explosion was caused by Henry Starling , when he used the stolen timeship Aeon to travel from the 20th century into the 29th century through an unstable temporal rift . ( VOY : " Future's End ", " Future's End, Part II ")

Mirror universe [ ]

USS Defiant orbiting Earth, 2155

The USS Defiant in orbit of Terra

In the mirror universe , Earth's counterpart, locally named Terra by 2256 , was the throne world of a totalitarian expansionist state known as the Terran Empire . Unlike the Earth of the prime timeline, Terra was still a wasteland from the post-atomic horror and parts of the population still suffered from despair, poverty, famine and disease. Though still damaged, most of the major cities on Terra had been rebuilt. The world was ruled by the Terran Emperor or Empress. ( ENT : " In a Mirror, Darkly ", " In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II ")

In 2256, the Terran Emperor Philippa Georgiou temporarily moved her ruling location onto a giant starship powered by Mycelial spores. This ship was later destroyed, forcing the return of the throne to Terra by the 2260s. ( DIS : " Vaulting Ambition ", " What's Past Is Prologue ", " Terra Firma, Part 1 ", " Terra Firma, Part 2 "; TOS : " Mirror, Mirror ")

History followed a similar yet skewed course on Terra, by comparison to the history of Earth in the United Federation of Planets, with a more violent, war-ridden past. According to Jonathan Archer , the Empire existed "for centuries" prior to 2155 . The main divergence in the timeline was the official First Contact with the Vulcans in 2063; Zefram Cochrane shot the Vulcan who greeted him , and, with the other Terrans present, stormed the Vulcan ship, taking its technology, which allowed the Empire to expand. ( ENT : " In a Mirror, Darkly "; DIS : " Terra Firma, Part 1 ", " Terra Firma, Part 2 "; DIS : " Die Trying ")

The Klingon-Cardassian Alliance conquered the Terran Empire sometime before 2370. ( DS9 : " Crossover ")

Professor Jennifer Sisko had an image of Terra on a uniform she wore while working for the Alliance in 2371. ( DS9 : " Through the Looking Glass ")

Although the script of "Crossover" was co-written by Peter Allan Fields and Michael Piller , it was Robert Hewitt Wolfe who devised Earth's history for that installment. He recalled, " I just thought that if the parallel [mirror] Earth [we saw in Kirk 's time] was that brutal, there had to be a reason. And the reason was that the barbarians [the Klingons and the Cardassians] were at the gate. " ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion , p. 143)

According to William Shatner 's novel Spectre , which deals with the mirror universe, Alliance ships destroyed the Imperial fleet in their version of the Battle of Wolf 359 , and proceeded to reduce mirror-Earth to a barren wasteland. Humans were enslaved by the Alliance.

In Decipher 's Mirror Universe , Earth is subjected to a Klingon planetary bombardment during the fall of the Terran Empire. The western half of North America is reduced to wasteland, Ireland and New Zealand are smashed into tiny islets, and the new continent of East Africa is created when a fault line is cracked open. In the aftermath, Earth's cities are rebuilt by the Alliance as giant labor camps and factory complexes. Kolara (the former site of Paris) houses Alliance officials.

Alternate reality [ ]

Narada fires a mining beam into Earth

Narada firing on Earth

In the year 2258 of the alternate reality , the Romulan mining vessel Narada fired on Earth using a drill platform . Nero was attempting to dig a hole to Earth's core and create a black hole using red matter to destroy the planet. Luckily, Spock was able to destroy the drill well before it could reach the planet's core. ( Star Trek )

A year later , Starfleet traitor John Harrison masterminded a bombing on the Kelvin Memorial Archive in London and then attacked Starfleet Headquarters . He later returned to Earth, having commandeered the USS Vengeance , crashing it into San Francisco. ( Star Trek Into Darkness )

Reverse universe [ ]

Karl Four

Karl Four on the planet Arret

In the reverse negative antimatter universe , where the flow of time was reversed, Arret was Earth's counterpart. In 2270 , Karla Five and her son Karl Four helped the crew of the USS Enterprise to return to the prime universe. ( TAS : " The Counter-Clock Incident ")

Appendices [ ]

Appearances [ ].

A list of all actual appearances of planet Earth (excluding holodecks, simulations, visions, opening credits, etc.)

  • " Tomorrow is Yesterday " (Season 1)
  • " The City on the Edge of Forever "
  • " Assignment: Earth " (Season 2)
  • " The Magicks of Megas-Tu " (Season 1)
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  • " Conspiracy " (Season 1)
  • " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II " (Season 4)
  • " The First Duty " (Season 5)
  • " Time's Arrow "
  • " Time's Arrow, Part II " (Season 6)
  • " All Good Things... " (Season 7)
  • Star Trek Generations
  • Star Trek: First Contact
  • Star Trek Nemesis
  • " Past Tense, Part I " (Season 3)
  • " Past Tense, Part II "
  • " The Visitor " (Season 4)
  • " Little Green Men "
  • " Homefront "
  • " Paradise Lost "
  • " Tears of the Prophets " (Season 6)
  • " Image in the Sand " (Season 7)
  • " Shadows and Symbols "
  • " The Changing Face of Evil "
  • " Caretaker " (Season 1)
  • " Non Sequitur " (Season 2)
  • " Death Wish "
  • " Future's End " (Season 3)
  • " Future's End, Part II "
  • " In the Flesh " (Season 5)
  • " Pathfinder " (Season 6)
  • " Inside Man " (Season 7)
  • " Author, Author " (Season 7)
  • " Endgame "
  • " Broken Bow " (Season 1)
  • " Fortunate Son "
  • " Shadows of P'Jem "
  • " Shockwave "
  • " Shockwave, Part II " (Season 2)
  • " Carbon Creek "
  • " Regeneration "
  • " First Flight "
  • " The Expanse "
  • " Twilight " (Season 3)
  • " Carpenter Street "
  • " Zero Hour "
  • " Storm Front " (Season 4)
  • " Storm Front, Part II "
  • " Borderland "
  • " Affliction "
  • " In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II "
  • " Terra Prime "
  • " These Are the Voyages... "
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • " Will You Take My Hand? " (Season 1)
  • " New Eden " (Season 2) (recording)
  • " Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2 "
  • " People of Earth " (Season 3)
  • " Coming Home " (Season 4)
  • " Strange New Worlds " (Season 1)
  • " Ad Astra per Aspera " (Season 2)
  • " Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow "
  • " The Trouble with Edward " (Season 2)
  • " Children of Mars "
  • " Remembrance " (Season 1)
  • " Maps and Legends "
  • " The End is the Beginning "
  • " Nepenthe "
  • " The Star Gazer " (Season 2)
  • " Penance "
  • " Assimilation "
  • " Watcher "
  • " Fly Me to the Moon "
  • " Two of One "
  • " Monsters "
  • " Hide and Seek "
  • " Farewell "
  • " The Next Generation " (Season 3)
  • " Seventeen Seconds "
  • " No Win Scenario "
  • " The Last Generation "
  • " Where Pleasant Fountains Lie " (Season 2)
  • " Grounded " (Season 3)
  • " A Mathematically Perfect Redemption "
  • " The Stars At Night "
  • " Twovix " (Season 4)
  • " A Few Badgeys More "
  • " Old Friends, New Planets "
  • " Supernova, Part 2 " (Season 1)

Related topics [ ]

  • Earth animals
  • Earth cities and towns
  • Earth insects
  • Earth geography
  • Earth plants
  • Earth regions
  • Duplicate Earth
  • Objects in Earth orbit

Background information [ ]

Origins [ ].

In such episodes as TOS : " The Cage " and TAS : " How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth ", the name "Earth" is used interchangeably with "Sol" when referring to the whole Sol system . Gene Roddenberry preferred that Star Trek writers used the name "Earth" for the planet instead of "Terra". ( Star Trek: Communicator  issue 113 , p. 13)

That Star Trek was obviously to be filmed on Earth led Gene Roddenberry to suggest, in his original 1964 pitch Star Trek is... , the notion of making Star Trek affordable by setting episodes on planets similar to Earth (for instance, those with class M environments as well as those fitting Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development ). He wrote, " It means simply that our stories deal with plant and animal life, plus people, quite similar to that on earth [....] The 'Parallel Worlds' concept makes production practical by permitting action-adventure science fiction at a practical budget figure via the use of available 'earth' casting, sets, locations, costuming and so on. " Among several story ideas Roddenberry proposed in Star Trek is… were "Mr. Socrates" (which hypothesized that Earth of Star Trek 's era may have been secretly under telepathic observation by an alien society over centuries), "Reason" (which seemed to suggest that the decimation of intelligent life on Earth, leaving merely a robot society, had been a "long speculative" issue on Earth) and "Torx" (which pertained to "the first major menace to Earth," a non-corporeal alien being that "devours" intelligence such as that which "the Earth could supply in quantity").

In a fantasy scene included in the script for first Star Trek pilot episode " The Cage " (dated 20 November 1964 ) but not included in that installment, an Earth trader referred to Captain Pike as having sent Earth "blistering" reports about Orion traders. [7] Similarly, in an ultimately unused Kirk voice-over which originally introduced the second pilot " Where No Man Has Gone Before " (for example, in that episode's final revised draft script, dated 9 July 1965 ), Kirk was scripted to say, " Our Earth is but a pinpoint [in our galaxy], one speck of dust. " [8] A filmed but deleted version of this voice-over featured Kirk instead citing the planet as one of multiple "specks of dust" while the Enterprise was on a heading out of the Milky Way Galaxy . ("Where No Man Has Gone Before" (Rare and Unaired Alternate Version), TOS Season 3 Blu-ray special features)

When it came to depicting a digital matte painting of Mojave in the remastered version of "The Cage" and " The Menagerie, Part II ", the ethos behind Star Trek 's presentations of the planet proved inspirational. Dave Rossi , VFX Line Producer for Remastered TOS, clarified, " The whole idea about Earth in the 23rd century is that it's a paradise and [....] that also the environment has changed. So, it was very important for us to make sure that everything looked beautiful and lush and green and living, because that's the planet of the future. " (" The Menagerie, Part II " Starfleet Access , TOS Season 1 Blu-ray )

During the making of Star Trek: The Original Series , representing Earth of the 23rd century was virtually impossible. ( text commentary , Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition) DVD ) Ronald D. Moore noted, " Kirk and company never went to present day 23rd century Earth, their contemporaneous Earth, ever. Gene wouldn’t do it. " [9] This was due to budgetary limitations. ( text commentary , Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition) DVD ) Specifically, portraying future Earth believably would necessitate elaborate sets and matte paintings , all of which would be extremely expensive. Visiting Earth might also involve the use of costly spacedocks and other ships, though these were all in very short supply on TOS. The financial impracticability of depicting Earth resulted in few visits to the planet, with one of the foundations of Gene Roddenberry's concept for Star Trek consequently being that the show almost never voyaged to Earth. Another motive for this was that Roddenberry believed portraying future Earth might also require showing how the planet's political and economic systems had developed. Politically liberal, Roddenberry was anxious that such revelations might bring about arguments with sponsors and others who might not share his views. (" The Menagerie, Part II " text commentary , TOS Season 1 DVD ) Earth of the future was nonetheless imagined as a unified if not peaceful planet, as was implied by the fact that the Enterprise 's "U.S.S." designation were initials that stood for "United Space Ship". [10] Roddenberry also intended for Earth to be metaphorically alluded to aboard the Enterprise , with the planet's many nationalities being represented by the ship's multinational crew. The idea of reflecting the unified diversity of Earth on board the starship was central to Roddenberry's vision of Star Trek . ("The Birth of a Timeless Legacy", TOS Season 1 DVD and TOS Season 1 Blu-ray special features)

In the document The Star Trek Guide , Gene Roddenberry wrote, " For one thing, we'll never take a story back [to Earth] […] and therefore don't expect to get into subjects which would create great problems, technical and otherwise [....] References by our characters to Earth will be simply a logical projection of current scientific and social advances in food production, transportation, communications, and so on. If you want to assume that Earth cities of that future are so splendidly planned with fifty-mile parkland strips around them, fine. But for obvious reasons, let's not get into any detail of Earth's politics of Star Trek 's century; for example, which socioeconomic systems ultimately worked out best. " Despite the instructions that writers not write specifically about the future political state of Earth, the same article did indicate the planet was now a unified if not peaceful place, politically. After making it clear that any stories representing "an autocratic, regimented, inhuman Earth of the future" would be rejected, the article continued by stating, " We must have an optimistic projection from Earth of today if we are to approve of and identify with Captain Kirk, the crew of the Enterprise , and their mission. " [11] Roddenberry later often postulated that the Earth of both Kirk's and Picard 's time periods was a paradise, with no poverty, crime or war. ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion , p. 138)

First serialized depictions [ ]

In a story document dated 21 March 1966 , an undeveloped TOS episode entitled " Kafka's Trial " was described as involving a potential threat to Earth; the Enterprise crew was told by a "universe alien patrol" which invaded the ship that a trial was being held, aboard the vessel, to decide whether Earth would be destroyed.

Amid the making of the first season (i.e., on 5 April 1966 ), writer Barry Trivers pitched a story concept (the genesis of the episode " The Conscience of the King ") in which Earth was established as having been horrifically invaded by "an army of marauders," in James T. Kirk 's childhood. Gene Roddenberry was completely opposed to portraying such a bleak future for Earth, so a similar incident was established as having instead occurred on Tarsus IV . ( These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One )

On 12 April 1966 , Robert Justman sent a memo to Gene Roddenberry which outlined a potential story for the series that centered on Earth as the main setting. The memo read, " The Enterprise is returning to Earth [....] The Enterprise does arrive back at Earth, but this is Earth of 1966 and not of their time [....] Kirk begins to see, by breaking through time, he is starting off a whole sequence of events which will affect the history and civilization of our planet in future years. " The way Earth was featured in this story springboard pre-empted but didn't directly inspire the contemporary Earth setting of the episode " Tomorrow is Yesterday ", which was written by D.C. Fontana and whose first story outline was submitted roughly half a year later (on 3 October 1966 ). ( These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One )

In the final draft script of TOS : " The Naked Time ", Kirk specified that he wanted the Enterprise to head "toward Earth", upon setting the ship on a reverse course during the episode's climax, though he also admitted that the heading was of no consequence. In the final version of the episode, the reference to Earth is omitted, though the rest of that line of dialogue remains exactly as it was in the final draft script.

When the first draft teleplay of "Tomorrow is Yesterday" was delivered on 1 November 1966 (though the script itself was dated 31 October 1966), Robert Justman issued some advice about the upper parts of Earth's atmosphere. Since Fontana and Gene Coon intended the outing to incorporate stock footage of airplanes, Justman suggested to the pair that a limit of up to about 60,000 or 70,000 feet would be possible for the planes and stated, " This is still within the atmosphere limits of the Earth, and there is still daylight up there – we are not in inky blackness at that altitude. " Justman concluded that the sky would also have to serve as the background for several shots of the Enterprise , necessitating the creation of new effects footage. Because the script referred to the Enterprise as being detectable but not discernible from a ground installation using radar, Justman proposed "a large body of water, such as the Atlantic or Pacific" might be under the starship. ( These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One )

Blue screen was used as a replaceable background for the filming of scenes showing the cockpit of Captain John Christopher's jet. Some footage involving Earth's atmosphere, with the Enterprise flying through it, was shot by the Howard A. Anderson Company (though the Westheimer Company was also used for the episode). One such shot, of the ship climbing through the atmosphere, was filmed by the Howard Anderson Company but never used. Also, footage of Earth was reused from the earlier season 1 outing " Miri ", in which the globe had been used to represent Miri . Despite the planet having been depicted without clouds in that installment, clouds were added for the shots of Earth in "Tomorrow is Yesterday". ( These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One )

Even though Gene Roddenberry publicly blamed Harlan Ellison for apparently not being able to write " The City on the Edge of Forever " without making it go hugely over budget, Allan Brennert – a writer and former producer – subsequently assured Ellison that the episode's 1930s Earth scenes clearly necessitated over-expenditure. This was largely because, as Brennert informed Ellison, " The planet's surface […] [and] all the Old Earth interiors had to be constructed. " Brennert went on to say, " Roddenberry had to've known this from the very first [story] treatment, as did the people responsible for budgeting the segment, it didn't take them by surprise, and both they and NBC gave you the green light to go to teleplay first draft. " ( The City on the Edge of Forever , 1996 ed., "Perils of the 'City'")

After receiving the story outline for " Space Seed " (written by Carey Wilber ), NBC executive Stan Robertson enthusiastically wrote to Gene Coon , " There is an exciting blend of past Earth history – the similarity of the plot with the colonization of Australia; [plus] a current problem of our contemporary society – over-population. " How "Space Seed" actually portrayed Earth at first, though, initially frustrated Gene Roddenberry. Following delivery of the episode's second-draft script, Roddenberry commented in a memo to Coon, " It is hard to believe the world of the 1990s sending men off to a penal colony in the stars. Romantic, but impractical. No 'advanced' world of the 1990s would do this; no barbaric or dark ages world of the 1990s would spend the hundreds of millions required to do it, when a simpler expedient for a barbaric world would be simply to put the men to death. So the entire concept is rather shaky to start with. " Instead, a reference in the script to what Wilber termed "The Dark Ages of the 1990s" influenced Roddenberry to devise the era of Earth's Eugenics Wars and suggest that, in the 1990s, the planet had gradually come under the control of Augments . ( These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One )

For stories set on Earth in contemporary times, maintaining the audience's suspension of disbelief could be quite challenging. " It's always a dangerous idea to take the Star Trek characters into the present, " stated Director Marc Daniels , who helmed the TOS installment " Assignment: Earth ". " Suddenly you're in a very tangible situation. The show's reality becomes that much harder to maintain. " ( Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages , p. 63) Such episodes were often extremely successful, though. In a 1968 letter which Gene Roddenberry wrote in an unsuccessful attempt to pitch a new television series based on "Assignment: Earth", he commented, " It is a matter of record that Star Trek 's most exciting and successful audience shows were those three in which Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock returned to 20th-century Earth and played out their story there. " ( Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry , p. 334)

First film appearance [ ]

Shortly before Star Trek: The Motion Picture was written, a story idea which Harlan Ellison verbally pitched to Paramount as one of many ultimately nixed stories , each of which were separately conceived as a potential narrative foundation for the first Star Trek film, was set primarily on Earth. " The story did not begin with any of the Enterprise crew, but started on Earth where strange phenomena were inexplicably occurring, " recorded writer James Van Hise . Both a building in India, wherein a family had been having dinner, and one of the Great Lakes in the United States suddenly vanished. In a public square, a woman suddenly screamed and collapsed to the pavement, where she turned into a form of reptilian creature. Though the truth was suppressed, the Federation realized these sudden changes on Earth were due to alterations in the planet's distant past, caused by an alien race of intelligent humanoid reptiles from a planet in a far away galaxy where snakes had become the dominant lifeform. Earth had been likewise populated by the snake-aliens eons ago, in the Pleistocene period, but the snake-creatures there had been destroyed by early Humans. After submitting the story, Ellison explained, " A snake-creature who had come to Earth in the Star Trek feature, had seen its ancestors wiped out, and […] had gone back into the far past of Earth to set up distortions in the time-flow so the reptiles could beat the Humans. " The mission of saving Earth, journeying into the planet's far past, was made the responsibility of the Enterprise and its crew. ( The City on the Edge of Forever , 1996 ed., "Perils of the 'City'")

Earth was also a setting in another of the multiple stories that were suggested as the first Star Trek film, this one titled Star Trek: Planet of the Titans . In a story treatment which Philip Kaufman wrote for that movie, the planet was described thus; " We have never seen the Earth of the 23rd century before on Star Trek . Seeing it for the first time, we are struck by the progress mankind can make. It's a thoughtful, optimistic world. The industrial revolution has long ago given way to the organic revolution. Much of the surface of the Earth has been restored to nature; man has returned to living comfortably in the earth. The great cities of centuries past are now public parks, their ruins preserved for pleasure and for education. "

Despite Gene Roddenberry's fears about the dangers of portraying future Earth's political and economic systems, later incarnations of Star Trek featured futuristic depictions of the planet more than TOS had. (" The Menagerie, Part II " text commentary , TOS Season 1 DVD ) Though an illusory version of 23rd-century Earth appeared in "The Cage", the first real glimpse of the planet in that century was in Star Trek: The Motion Picture , which includes only a single scene set on Earth's surface. The concept that the first Star Trek film would feature Earth being jeopardized with destruction by a massive object (which eventually became V'ger ) approaching the planet was conceived as early as the writing of the Gene Roddenberry script The God Thing . ( The Longest Trek: Writing The Motion Picture , Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Blu-ray) special features) The opportunity to visit the planet was extremely attractive to Robert Goodwin . " I suggested to Gene that since it had never been done in the series before, that we should come up with a story in which Earth was threatened, " he recalled. " In all the Star Trek episodes before, they never even came close to Earth. " Subsequently, the agenda of depicting Earth fit well with the story for " In Thy Image ", written by Alan Dean Foster . ("The Next Phase", The Fifty-Year Mission: The First 25 Years ) Depicting the planet in Star Trek 's future time period was ultimately made doable in The Motion Picture only because the makers of that film were able to take advantage of the higher budget associated with a feature film project. ( text commentary , Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition) DVD )

At first, Director Robert Wise was attracted to the prospect of directing The Motion Picture specifically because it entailed him doing a science fiction movie imbued with a greater scope than if it had been set entirely on Earth, as The Day the Earth Stood Still had been. ( Star Trek: The Magazine  Volume 2, Issue 8 , p. 14) On the other hand, Wise was insistent that part of The Motion Picture be set on Earth's surface, saying, " It is very important that we show the Earth in this film. " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 173 , p. 63)

In the script for The Motion Picture , a view of Earth as the Enterprise leaves the planet was described as a "lovely bluish, cloud-laced image of Earth." [12]

Various techniques were used to represent Earth in The Motion Picture . ( audio commentary , Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Blu-ray) special features) The planet was depicted from orbit in the film via matte paintings illustrated by Matthew Yuricich . ( The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture , pp. 211 & 212) These illustrations were incorporated into shots via use of a matte. Daren Dochterman – who served as a visual effects supervisor for a director's edition DVD release of the movie – reckoned, " I don't think they built [a model of the planet]. " However, Michael Okuda claimed that the different methods of depicting Earth in the movie included a dome onto which powder was sprinkled to create cloud shadows. ( audio commentary , Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Blu-ray) special features)

Upon creating new views of the San Francisco Bay area for the Director's Edition of the film, the associated visual effects artists took inspiration from how Gene Roddenberry had imagined Earth. " Part of Star Trek 's future is that it's not just more technologically advanced, it's more ecologically advanced, " commented Adam Lebowitz , another visual effects supervisor on the project. " Humans have taken great pains to clean up the planet, to remove the pollution from the atmosphere, and to beautify the landscape. " ( Star Trek Monthly  issue 86 , pp. 52–53) Some new CGI shots featuring the planet as seen from orbit, being encountered by V'ger , were also created for the Director's Edition, generated by Foundation Imaging . ( audio commentary , Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition) DVD )

The movie's only scene set on Earth's surface was met with varying reactions. Michael Okuda described it as " such a simple scene, but it says so much about Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future. " ( audio commentary , Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Blu-ray) special features) Roddenberry himself was unhappy with an establishing shot that, in the film's theatrical cut, begins the scene and is the only establishing shot used to represent the planet's surface. " It didn't really present the look of 23rd-century Earth that Gene was hoping to show, " explained Robert Wise. ( audio commentary , Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition) DVD )

Later portrayals [ ]

Other films and spin-off series showed future Earth even more than it had been depicted in both TOS and The Motion Picture . The growth in visitations to the planet was made possible thanks to advances in visual effects technology and increases in Star Trek 's budgets. (" The Menagerie, Part II " text commentary , TOS Season 1 DVD )

Earth Studio model prepared by ILM staffer Frank Ordaz

Frank Ordaz paints a studio model of the Earth for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

The script for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock poetically referred to "the grandeur of the horizon arc of the great blue marble." [13] In that film, Earth was portrayed using matte painting in some cases and a model in others. Painted by Frank Ordaz , the model had two halves. Clouds and part of the planet's surface were on one half, whereas the other side showed only clouds atop a dark under-layer. The clouds on the latter half were later to be double-exposed over the planet surface at a slightly different rotation speed. ( Cinefex , No. 18, p. 47)

Like the script for Star Trek III , the revised shooting script for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and the revised final draft script for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier also referred to Earth as the "blue marble." Elsewhere in these descriptions, both scripts specified the planet's name and the screenplay for Star Trek V referred to the marble as "big." [14] [15] Also, a visually spectacular journey through the cosmos which was originally to serve as the credits sequence for Star Trek V was intended to culminate in what was scripted as "a breathtaking shot of Earth." [16]

Earth and sun, TNG opening sequence

Earth orbiting the sun , as seen in the TNG opening sequence

Earth appears as the first planet in the opening sequence of Star Trek: The Next Generation 's first and second seasons . It is shown orbiting the sun and is followed by the moon , Jupiter , and Saturn before the USS Enterprise -D starts its exploration of unknown space.

The idea of featuring Earth as the central setting of TNG : " Family " was thought up by Michael Piller . Though many people were extremely hesitant about focusing on the planet in such a way, the concept was accepted by Rick Berman . Piller later recalled, " Rick said, 'I'll let you take Picard to Earth.' " ( Cinefantastique , Vol. 22, No. 2, p. 36) To create views of Earth in "Family", satellite photos of the planet were used. ( To Boldly Go ) Piller ultimately suspected that using Earth as a central setting of the story resulted in the episode having some of the lowest viewing figures in Star Trek history. ( Cinefantastique , Vol. 22, No. 2, p. 36)

When Michael Piller and other members of Star Trek: The Next Generation 's resident writing staff pitched the story for TNG : " The First Duty " to Rick Berman, the fact that Earth was the most used setting in the episode almost led Berman to disallow any subsequent progress on the installment. He furthermore declared that Star Trek was "not about going back to Earth," in Piller's words. Berman was eventually persuaded by Piller into approving the episode, on condition that only three sets were to be used to represent interiors on the planet. ( Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages , p. 242)

Earth is directly referred to in a scene which was deleted from TNG : " Sub Rosa ". ( TNG Season 7 Blu-ray special features)

In a scene which was scripted for DS9 : " Emissary " but not included in that episode's final edit, Commander Benjamin Sisko was to have received a recorded follow-up message from Earth, where a university chancellor told him that an old house he had inquired about, on Moravian Lane, was available if he wanted it. David Carson explained, " There were clear indications that he was being offered a job back at a university on earth. " ( Cinefantastique , Vol. 24, Nos. 3/4, p. 101)

Director Paul Lynch once commented that Earth could easily have been the main setting in DS9: " Battle Lines ", instead of an unnamed moon . Lynch remarked, " It could have happened on Earth, and that's what made it compelling to me. " [17]

In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine , Ira Steven Behr took care not to contradict Gene Roddenberry's view of Earth as a paradise but started having the main characters examine the subject further. Likewise, whereas Roddenberry had been fond of describing the future Earth as a paradise, the DS9 writing staffers were more interested in demonstrating exactly how difficult it was to maintain that paradise. ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion , pp. 138 & 303) " The whole Roddenberry thing was believable when you're living back on Earth, " Behr observed. " We thought it was a fundamental thing to state. " ( Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages , p. 59) He further explained, " The one thing that ST:DS9 has done to its credit – it's probably backfired on us to an extent – is we keep questioning this whole thing that Gene Roddenberry came up with supposedly about the 24th century and Earth being a paradise and 'what is paradise?' We like to test it [....] We're not saying that it's not real or it's not a worthy goal, but paradise is a delicate commodity. " ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine , No. 10)

In DS9 Season 3 installment " Past Tense, Part II ", Special Effects Supervisor David Takemura was tasked with rendering a shot of Earth, with the USS Defiant orbiting the planet. " I used an eight-by-ten NASA transparency of the real Earth to create the footage, " he explained. To make it seem as if the shot wasn't still, Takemura devised a motion-control move in which the transparency panned in one direction while the motion control camera panned in the opposite direction. " I thought it was a nice shot, " Takemura concluded. ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion , p. 202)

Earth was originally set to feature at the end of DS9's third season. " We were planning a big two-part episode where we go back to Earth – maybe the Academy – and realize that there has been changeling infiltration, " René Echevarria recalled. ( Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages , p. 99) Explaining why Earth was chosen as the plot's setting, he admitted, " We'd decided that the scariest thing would be to set the story at home, with people we care about. " The two-part narrative focusing on Earth and events there was at first intended to provide a cliffhanger ending to season three and be concluded at the start of the fourth season . The Earth-based two-parter was thereafter planned, by the DS9 producers, to launch the show's fourth season, but was then delayed again, finally airing as " Homefront " and " Paradise Lost ", midway through season four. ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion , pp. 250 & 253)

In " Little Green Men ", Earth of the past was once again visited, specifically the Roswell Incident of 1947. " It's one of those things that Star Trek can do, " commented Quark actor Armin Shimerman . " It can combine fantasy and history, and do a take on it. That started in the original series when the Enterprise would visit Earth back in the past. " ( Cinefantastique , Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 61) Shimerman particularly liked how the planet was used as a setting for "Little Green Men". " In my wildest dreams, I never saw Quark going to earth ever, " he revealed. " So it was nice, not only to be on Earth, but to be on Earth in the Forties. " ("Period Piece", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine , No. 6) Shimerman also remarked that, for DS9 recurring character Nog , being on Earth full-time (in order to attend Starfleet Academy) implied that Nog actor Aron Eisenberg would have less to do on the series. ( Cinefantastique , Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 47)

During the development of "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost", the DS9 writing staff chose to create a story "focusing on Earth and Humanity, and being on Earth." ( Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages , p. 112) Indeed, the two-parter gave the writers a welcome opportunity to test how paradisical the planet actually was, in the 24th century. " We've tested it on other occasions too in the series, so this was a test to see what it was like, " said Ira Steven Behr. ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine , No. 10) The notion of Earth being infiltrated by Changelings turned out to be popular, but viewers repeatedly pointed out to Behr that the setting wasn't really in the purview of the series. Even Behr himself conceded, " Earth isn't our franchise. " ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion , p. 422)

When it came time to shoot the Earth scenes of "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost", the planet had to be shown on a tight budget. " We had to paint that world a little better and we were really feeling the budget crunch, " Ira Steven Behr related. ( Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages , p. 112) He elaborated, " I wish we could have had a little more location stuff, a little more outside stuff. " ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine , No. 10)

In the first draft script of DS9 : " Body Parts ", Earth was mentioned, Worf advising Miles O'Brien to send his wife and daughter, Keiko and Molly O'Brien , to the planet as that had worked, in Worf's opinion, between himself and Alexander Rozhenko and because Miles was stressed by his wife's activities, since she was pregnant. The planet is not referenced in the final version of that episode, though.

If the DS9 Season 6 episode " Waltz " had ended as it was originally scripted to – with Dukat threatening to kill Jake Sisko – sending Jake to Earth was one of two optional precautions which Ronald D. Moore suspected Jake's father, Benjamin Sisko, would have had to take, the other being the deployment of "a twenty-six-hour guard" to carefully watch Jake. ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion , p. 522)

Earth was on Ira Steven Behr's mind as he invented Section 31 , during DS9's sixth season. " Why is Earth a paradise in the twenty-fourth century? " he pondered. " Well, maybe it's because there's someone watching over it. " ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion , p. 551)

Sending Captain Sisko to Earth was part of the story for DS9 Season 6 finale " Tears of the Prophets " at least as far back as when Ira Steven Behr gathered the writing staff and announced, for the first time, details of the plot to them. A real Native American chant about the planet, entitled "Only the Earth Endures", provided the genesis for a Klingon death chant (referencing Qo'noS instead) in "Tears of the Prophets". ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion , pp. 586 & 588)

Molly O'Brien actress Hana Hatae thought it made sense for the O'Brien family to relocate to Earth in DS9 series finalé " What You Leave Behind ". " Earth seemed like a safe move for a Human family with two young kids, " reckoned Hatae. [18]

Owing to the premise of Star Trek: Voyager , Earth could not be shown as a regular setting in that series. ( Star Trek: Voyager - A Vision of the Future , p. 164) Earth nonetheless did appear on the show. Ronald D. Moore observed, " There have been more episodes [in VOY] that have taken place on Earth, or alternate Earth, or past Earth than I think the original series did in its whole run, and the original series was set over in the Alpha Quadrant. " Brannon Braga even considered permanently returning the starship Voyager to the planet. Moore, who imagined an initial two-parter focusing on the vessel's arrival at Earth, argued against this option, believing it would waste Star Trek: Voyager 's "golden opportunity" to be different from all the other Star Trek series. [19]

Earth was additionally to have been featured in an ultimately undeveloped episode of Voyager . One idea which Brannon Braga concocted for the story was starting it with Voyager apparently above Earth, returning home to the planet, though the craft was actually a biomimetic duplicate of the actual starship Voyager . For the same story, Braga also suggested the planet be a point of convergence for about a thousand similar duplicates of the ship. ( Cinefantastique , Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 49) One reason this story concept was abandoned was that the writing staff thought it would undermine the moment when the real Voyager returned to Earth, which the creative team, even then, intended to eventually have happen. ( Star Trek: Action! , p. 6)

Prior to learning the events of Star Trek: Voyager series finalé " Endgame ", many of the main cast members from that series were hopeful, at the beginning of the show's seventh season , that the crew of the USS Voyager would have time back on Earth to explore the implications of their return home. Tuvok actor Tim Russ perceived both positives and negatives in featuring Earth so prominently towards the end of the series. He said, " It will be very dramatic and exciting to return to Earth, and it has been the focus of our journey. But by the same token, the show will no longer be the Voyager of the series, as we will no longer be on our own in the far side of the Galaxy, making new discoveries. " ( Cinefantastique , Vol. 33, No. 5, pp. 38 & 39)

Actor Ethan Phillips was glad Earth was not the final destination of his character of Neelix , Phillips not being able to imagine Neelix on the planet nor what he would have done there. Phillips also believed that, even if Neelix had ended up on Earth, the planet's population would have included no other Talaxians . [20]

Harry Kim actor Garrett Wang was highly frustrated by the fact Earth is shown from orbit in the last shot of "Endgame", with Voyager approaching the planet. " We don't even step foot on Earth, " Wang pointed out. " Hello! After seven years, I think the fans wanted to see us actually step foot on terra firma. " [21] B'Elanna Torres actress Roxann Dawson felt similarly about the depiction of Earth in Star Trek: Voyager , as one thing she thought would have been interesting for the series to have explored was what Torres and husband Tom Paris were like, once they were back on Earth. [22]

The series that became Star Trek: Enterprise was originally imagined as having an Earth-bound setting. In fact, when series co-creator Rick Berman first approached fellow series co-creator Brannon Braga about the initial concept of the show, Berman referred to it as a prequel series set "in the mud," featuring the construction of Earth's first warp 5 ship. ("To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise , Part I: Countdown", ENT Season 1 Blu-ray special features) The pair wanted at least the series' first season to be set on Earth, proceeded by the launch of the craft. ( Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection , issue 82, p. 12; "To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise , Part I: Countdown", ENT Season 1 Blu-ray special features) Braga once explained that this was their first idea for the show. ( Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection , issue 89, p. 12) The concept was vetoed, however, by executives at Paramount Pictures , who favored a more conventional Star Trek setting. ("To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise , Part I: Countdown", ENT Season 1 Blu-ray special features) Nonetheless, much of the series' pilot episode, " Broken Bow ", was ultimately set on Earth. Braga remarked, " It's really a fun place to be, strangely enough, because it's kind of a fresh setting for us. " The series turned out to be conceived in such a way that more stories than usual were to have ramifications on Earth and references to the planet. " In terms of how close this Earth is to Roddenberry's vision, I think it falls somewhere between now and Kirk 's time. Not everything is perfect, " Braga pointed out. ( Broken Bow , paperback ed., pp. 256 & 250) He and Berman even established that Earth had an antagonistic relationship with Vulcan. ( Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection , issue 55, p. 15) Before it was decided whether the NX-class starship Enterprise would ever fly back to Earth, though, Braga announced that such visits to the planet would not be frequent. ( Broken Bow , paperback ed., p. 256)

Enterprise 's opening titles sequence begins with two shots of Earth. These were initially intended to be two particular IMAX shots taken from a space shuttle. However, Paramount failed to secure the rights to use them, so they asked Eden FX to intricately reproduce the shots exactly in CGI, allowing the visual effects house only two days in which to do so. Eden's Robert Bonchune recollected, " That was kind of tough, to put together Planet Earth and have it look like those IMAX shots [....] Fortunately, we have CG models of the Earth, fully mapped with clouds and everything. We had to up-res some detail on them [....] It had to look exactly like the IMAX shots in terms of cloud patterns and where the glint of the ocean is. That was pretty specific, so it took some work. But I don't think anyone would know, watching those opening shots, that they were pure CG shots of the Earth. " ( Star Trek Monthly  issue 106 , p. 46)

In the first draft script of ENT : " Fortunate Son ", this planet was mentioned when Matthew Ryan asked Captain Archer whether, if Ryan handed over a Nausicaan prisoner he was secretly holding prisoner aboard his ship , Enterprise would "fly all the way back to Earth" to put the Nausicaan on trial.

In the final draft script of ENT : " Detained ", Earth was referenced a few times in dialogue that didn't make it into the episode. For example, Travis Mayweather told a Suliban girl named Narra that he lived on Earth, whereas his backstory actually established him as meanwhile living aboard Enterprise . In a later scene, T'Pol imagined Earth someday establishing "formal relations" with Tandar Prime .

Earth was further discussed between Archer and Zobral in ultimately unused dialogue from the final draft script of ENT : " Desert Crossing ". At one point in the conversation, Archer stated about the planet's ecology, " There's plenty of sea life, but most people live on land. " Archer later referenced the planet again in the script, as part of another excised comment, this time to Charles "Trip" Tucker .

If things had gone according to what the ENT producers had planned, Earth in Star Trek: Enterprise would have been literally left behind. Although that essentially is what happens in the first two seasons of the series, the threat to the planet posed by the Xindi was written to be a significant feature in second season installment " The Expanse " as well as the show's third season. " The irony of season 3 was that even though there was a threat to Earth, we only really spend one episode on Earth [i.e., 'The Expanse'] and then we're out exploring the Xindi, " observed writer/producer Michael Sussman . ( Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection , issue 82, p. 13)

In a deleted scene from ENT : " E² ", Earth was mentioned by Phlox ; he pointed out to Archer that, following the Xindi incident , the crew of a particular version of Enterprise from a specific alternate timeline would probably be happy to return to Earth. ( ENT Season 3 DVD and Blu-ray special features)

It wasn't until the Xindi arc came to an end that the choice to focus on Earth was made. Commented Mike Sussman, " It certainly seemed natural after spending an entire season in deep space saving the Earth from a threat, that we now had to deal with the repercussions of what had happened [....] How is the Earth recovering? " ( Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection , issue 82, p. 14)

When Manny Coto took charge of the Star Trek: Enterprise writing staff for the series' fourth season , he decided to develop stories that showed the links between Earth of "Broken Bow" and the 23rd century of the first Star Trek series. The planet's antagonistic relationship with Vulcan was of great interest to married writing couple Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens when they joined the series in season four. ( Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection , issue 55, p. 15) During the course of that season, Earth was impacted on by Coto intending to establish the specifics of how the Federation had come to be and how Humanity had evolved past xenophobia (resulting from the Xindi threat), both of which resulted in the planet becoming a major setting for stories about those issues. ( Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection , issue 82, p. 17)

When Mike Sussman was given the task of writing ENT : " Home ", setting the episode on Earth was pitched to him as the key component, as it was felt that an installment which took place on the planet needed to be done. This notion took its cue from TNG : " Family ", which is likewise set primarily on Earth. While penning "Home", Sussman considered some aspects of the planet which had never really been answered before, ultimately deciding that Earth's government would be United Earth (which had been canonically referenced beforehand, though hadn't been set up as the planet's government). ( Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection , issue 82, p. 14)

Earth was briefly mentioned in an extended scene from "Home" (included in the ENT Season 4 Blu-ray ). In the deleted portion of the scene, Charles Tucker suggested to Koss , who had never before met a Human, that he visit the planet at some point, to "broaden [his] horizons."

As described in the final draft script of ENT : " Demons ", Earth was to be shown in the episode's first establishing shot of the Orpheus Mining Complex on Luna. However, the planet doesn't appear in the final version of that shot.

If Star Trek: Enterprise had been renewed for a fifth season, how Earth was evolving would have been dealt with in many more stories. Because Manny Coto wanted to show the Earth-Romulan War in ENT, the planet's continual developments would have been portrayed, visibly leading to Earth becoming the center of the Federation and the utopia Gene Roddenberry had promised. ( Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection , issue 82, p. 17)

In Star Trek Nemesis , views of Earth from orbit were derived from 20K NASA images. Though these high-resolution pictures were completely accurate illustrations of the planet surface and visually appealed to Digital Domain Supervisor Mark Forker , the producers and director of the film were initially not entirely happy with them. Recollected Forker, " They requested some changes – England was too small, Italy was too close to Africa, and the boot [shape of Italy] was too big. " Manipulating the images, Digital Domain made the appropriate changes and added digital clouds. " Of course, by the time we added clouds and atmosphere, " said Forker, " the changes weren't that noticeable. " ( Cinefex , No. 111, p. 93)

Earth of the alternate reality [ ]

STID domestic poster

Earth and the planet's atmosphere backdrop an apparently doomed Enterprise in a poster for Star Trek Into Darkness

While the J.J. Abrams movies Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness were being conceived, Earth was considered important to establish as a major setting in the alternate reality . " The Earth needed to play more of a role in these movies, especially in the sense of giving the audience a degree of relatability, " commented writer/producer Damon Lindelof . " I think that in the same way that New York City becomes this anchor point for people in the Marvel movies ; that’s Spidey ’s stomping ground, that was the stomping ground for Tony Stark , that was the stomping ground for The Avengers , it’s New York. We wanted to do the same thing with Earth in the Star Trek movies. " [23]

In the script for the film Star Trek , Earth was metaphorically likened to a gazelle, with a parallel drawn between Nero observing the planet and a lion hunting the gazelle. [24]

For visually depicting Earth in the movies Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness , it was felt important that futuristic cities be kept realistic as much as possible, incorporating practical elements. By way of an example, Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett stated, " It's not a concept art version of […] a city, it's a working version. " [25] To represent Earth in Star Trek Into Darkness , location filming was used, most of which was done in Los Angeles . The locations were picked by Production Designer Scott Chambliss . ( Cinefex , No. 134, p. 72)

Star Trek Into Darkness ' visual effects team created the look of multiple cities on Earth, including London and San Francisco. " Our philosophy about doing cities, and respecting the canon of how the [world] is described by Gene Roddenberry, " explained Roger Guyett, " is that you're only a few [hundred] years into the future. You're not that far away [....] We go through this process of, 'What would have happened? What buildings would they have hung on to? How would it have changed the nature of some of the design choices they made?' We like to take things that are real and try to make the architecture scalable. In other words, a scale that is not just totally ridiculous and massive. At the same time, you want a few landmarks in those shots to get the sense of what city you are in [....] But, at the same time, we want to elaborate on that and use our imagination on how that might have changed. " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 172 , pp. 48–49)

The futuristic cities in Star Trek Into Darkness took a design cue from the previous film. J.J. Abrams recalled, " We wanted terrestrial cities to be consistent with what we had established, but at a much higher resolution. We got to live, breathe and chase within the city streets this time, but we also wanted to maintain a level of potential truth and realism [....] We didn't want to get so fanciful that it felt unrelatable. " Abrams selected recognizable urban landmarks for both San Francisco and London, before Industrial Light & Magic created a model showing each of the two cities, both of which were added to with high-resolution CGI buildings. Abrams also described the challenge of imagining how cities might be changed in the future, based on their present conditions, as "fun." ( Cinefex , No. 134, pp. 72 & 74)

Responding to viewer criticism after the release of Star Trek Into Darkness , J.J. Abrams acknowledged, " I can understand that this movie might not have gone as far away from Earth for as long as some people would have liked. " [26]

Regardless of this, Nyota Uhura actress Zoë Saldana hoped that, in Star Trek Beyond , the crew of the Enterprise would " go back to Earth " and, for the first seven or eight minutes of the film, be shown there in the middle of having a day off. [27] However, Star Trek Beyond actually became the second Star Trek film, the first having been Star Trek: Insurrection , not to feature any scenes on or near Earth. A substitute was invented instead. " One of the notes that J.J. always directed towards us was that the threat in the movie have a very far-reaching effect and that it always come back to Earth, " explained Star Trek Beyond co-writer Simon Pegg . " So how can we make Earth a potential victim of whatever's going wrong here with it being so, so, so far away? Because what we're trying to get across in this movie is that they're not anywhere near Earth any more, and so we created a sort of proxy Earth, which is Yorktown . " ("Beyond the Darkness", Star Trek Beyond (Blu-ray) special features)

According to Star Trek: Star Charts (pp. 32, 36-37, 56-57, & "United Federation of Planets I") and Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library ("Federation Historical Highlights, [ [28] ]"), fifty years after Earth became warp capable, the United Earth government was founded on Earth in 2113 . The government of Earth was divided into six major regional powers that were governed from their respective capitals. These capitals were San Francisco (North America), Paris (Europe), Kyoto (Asia), Lima (South America), Cape Town (Africa), and Christchurch (Oceania). In 2161 , Earth was a founding member of the United Federation of Planets . The dominant species were Humans and Cetaceans. In the census of 2370 , there were counted 4.2 billion Humans and 8.1 million Cetaceans living on Earth.

According to Star Trek: Star Charts (pp. 36–37 & 56-57), Earth was a hub world on the mid-22nd century Earth trade routes. It traded with Alpha Centauri , Altair , Andoria , Denobula Triaxa , Draylax , Ophicus Colony, Tellar Prime , Trill , Vega Colony , and Vulcan . In 2378 , Earth was a hub world on the major space lanes. Points of interest on Earth included the UFP Council Chambers , Starfleet Headquarters , Starfleet Academy , Cochrane Memorial , Yosemite Valley , and Angel Falls .

According to Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library ("The Dominion War: Strategy and Battles, 2373-75"), Earth was raided by the Dominion in August 2375.

David Gerrold verbally drew a parallel between the typical circumstances found on Earth of one particular time period and those of the Federation in TOS. Regarding conditions on Earth of the 18th century, Gerrold explained, " Then too, communications over vast distances were slow and uncertain. The arrival of a courier was always an event. Even if the news he was carrying was several weeks, months, or years old, it was still the most recent news available. When one government had to deal with another, they used diplomatic notes and couriers – and in matters of highest policy, they depended upon their ambassadors. " Also, while criticizing the scientific accuracy of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (or lack thereof), Gerrold commented that "the flat-Earth theory" was slightly more advanced than the film's view of the workings of the universe. ( The World of Star Trek )

Borg-Earth info [ ]

Alex Jaeger creating Borg Earth

The Borgified Earth being created by Alex Jaeger

At a very early stage of Star Trek: First Contact 's development, the film's writers – including Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore (as well as possibly Rick Berman ) – discussed the possibility of beginning the film in a Borg-assimilated city on Earth. ( audio commentary , Star Trek: First Contact  (Special Edition) DVD / Blu-ray )

In its assimilated state as shown in the movie, Earth was represented with CGI done by Alex Jaeger . ( Star Trek: The Next Generation Sketchbook: The Movies , p. 335) He depicted the heavily polluted version of the planet by creating a series of digital matte paintings . ( Cinefex , No. 69, pp. 113 & 117) As Jaeger had only ever worked in the model shop at Industrial Light & Magic before serving as the company's visual effects art director on First Contact , he found the challenge of creating the altered Earth slightly daunting. " They kind of tossed me into this and said, 'Oh, yeah, we're going to need a Borg Earth,' and I go, 'Oh, OK,' so I did a few early Photoshop pieces that just showed a section of the Earth. Then they said, 'Yeah, that's good, but can you just make a texture for the whole planet that we'll just use in the movie,' and I'm like, 'Uhhh, OK – I've never done that before, but sure!' So, basically what I did was, I took a texture map of the Earth – it was this gigantic Photoshop file – and started changing it around. " ( Star Trek: The Magazine  Volume 1, Issue 23 , p. 88)

Included in the assimilated Earth are details hardly visible in the actual film, such as industrial pipes spanning the oceans. ( Cinefex , No. 69, p. 113) " I saturated all the ground so it was gray and I added all these sort of factory-looking sections so it looked like the ground was completely covered by cities, " remembered Alex Jaeger. " Then, I painted little bridgeways across the oceans and turned the oceans brown. [ First Contact Director] Jonathan Frakes kept saying, 'No, the oceans have got to be brown, like they're full of crap! Just, you know, nasty; you don't want to be there.' " ( Star Trek: The Magazine  Volume 1, Issue 23 , p. 88) Jaeger also noted that, in addition to turning the oceans brown and making the land masses "desaturated and gray, as though they have become overrun with Borg power plants and machinery," he also turned the clouds and atmosphere yellowish-green. ( Cinefex , No. 69, p. 113)

Alex Jaeger was ultimately pleased with how he created the assimilated Earth, essentially destroying the planet visibly by doing so. He remarked, " It turned out fairly well [....] And to have something that I actually painted end up on screen, was kind of cool. " ( Star Trek: The Magazine  Volume 1, Issue 23 , p. 88) Brannon Braga agreed that the optical of the assimilated Earth was "very cool." ( audio commentary , Star Trek: First Contact  (Special Edition) DVD / Blu-ray )

Apocrypha [ ]

According to Gene Roddenberry 's novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture , there is a dam across the Straits of Gibraltar. This allowed the level of the Mediterranean Sea to be lowered, creating new farm and park land along the coast, and the world's largest hydro-electric project.

In an alternate future in the Deep Space Nine book series Millennium , Earth was destroyed in 2388 by the violent Grigari. Among the casualties were William T. Riker , Deanna Troi , Geordi La Forge , Beverly Crusher , Tom Paris , B'Elanna Torres , and the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-F .

In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Dominion Wars video game, if the player plays as the Dominion, the Founders destroy the Federation, bombard Earth, and then declare it to be a secondary homeworld from which to rule.

External links [ ]

  • Earth at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • Earth at Wikipedia
  • Re-Used Planets in TOS  at Ex Astris Scientia
  • Re-Used Planets in TNG  at Ex Astris Scientia
  • Re-Used Planets in DS9  at Ex Astris Scientia
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Earth (mirror)

  • Edit source

Earth in the mirror universe was the center and capital of the Terran Empire , with a history different from the primary universe's Earth .

One historical difference arose in 2063 , when Zefram Cochrane made first contact with the Vulcans . His colleagues attacked the Vulcans and stole their technology. ( ENT : " In a Mirror, Darkly ")

The Terran Empire was in existence for centuries by 2155 . (" In a Mirror, Darkly ")

The Klingon-Cardassian Alliance conquered the Empire sometime prior to 2370 . ( DS9 : " Crossover ")

Earth's fate under this regime was never established in any canon episodes or movies.

Nations [ ]

  • British Empire
  • Unionized States of America
  • Confederated States of America
  • Chinese Free States
  • Empire of Japan
  • Soviet Union
  • African Hegemony
  • Greater German Reich
  • Kingdom of Italy

Fan fiction [ ]

  • In Star Trek: Mirror Wars , Earth was the location of the Battle at Mirror Earth .
  • According to William Shatner 's novel Spectre , Alliance ships destroyed the Imperial fleet in their version of the Battle of Wolf 359 , and proceeded to reduce mirror-Earth to a barren wasteland, vaporizing the Great Lakes and other landlocked bodies of water. The Alliance enslaved Terrans .
  • Star Trek: New Empire : Earth was similarly ravaged in this continuity, though not rendered entirely lifeless. Criminals, pirates, miners and various aliens used the barren Earth as a base of operations for different purposes in the late 24th century . Between 2375 and 2385 , Stephen April attempted to rejuvenate Earth using a Genesis device , with apparent failure; however, by 2407 , Terrans had begun to re-colonize their world.
  • In Before In a Mirror, Darkly , the Xindi sent a probe to attack Earth in 2153 , destroying an area between Florida and Venezuela , killing 7 million people. Unlike the core alien worlds of Denobula , Tellar , Andoria , and Vulcan , Earth was not put into lockdown, though aliens not already on Earth could only enter with the permission of a senior official, such as a Starfleet captain . Terran mobs attacked aliens, even in the relatively calm London , with Starfleet Command ironically being one of the few places an alien would be safe.

External links [ ]

  • Earth (mirror) article at Memory Alpha , the canon Star Trek wiki.
  • Earth (mirror) article at Memory Beta , the non-canon Star Trek wiki.
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Star Trek: What Is The Mirror Universe?


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Star Trek delves into the fascinating world of endless possibilities and uncharted mysteries. One of its fascinating concepts is the Mirror Universe, a dark reflection of the familiar realm that captivates sci-fi enthusiasts.

In this parallel dimension, the dreams of peace and diplomatic resolutions are shattered, replaced by a cacophony of mayhem. The revered Federation finds itself subjugated under the oppressive rule of the Terran Empire, a tyrannical version of Earth. Even the franchise’s most beloved characters , once beacons of virtue, now don malevolent masks, exuding wickedness and malice.

RELATED: Darkest Star Trek Storylines, Ranked

The Inception of the Mirror Universe

The allure of the Mirror Universe traces its origins back to the renowned episode "Mirror, Mirror" from the original Star Trek series (Season 2, Episode 4). In this unforgettable installment, Captain James T. Kirk and his crew find themselves unexpectedly transported to a chilling alternate version of their reality.

Here, the once-noble Federation is a distant memory, eclipsed by the bloodthirsty Terran Empire. This twisted parallel reality portrays officers as ruthless manipulators, cunningly plotting their way to the top. The pursuit of power supersedes notions of unity and cooperation. Humanity's darker potential is laid bare, and the consequences of unbridled ambition reverberate through this corrupted universe.

At the heart of this sinister realm stands the malevolent Terran Empire , a brutal dictatorship driven by an insatiable hunger for dominion. The empire subjugates other races, perpetuating its tyrannical rule with an iron fist. Symbolic of humanity's darkest impulses, the Terran Empire thrives on betrayal, backstabbing, and treachery, while acts of kindness are met with suspicion and disdain. Led by power-hungry rulers, the Terran Empire serves as a grotesque counterpart to the Federation's utopian ideals.

Episodes That Shaped the Mirror Universe

Star Trek has continuously explored the mysteries of the Mirror Universe, unraveling new layers of its twisted reality with each exploration. An unforgettable journey into this parallel dimension occurred in Deep Space Nine. The episode "Crossover" (Season 2, Episode 23) reignited the audience's curiosity surrounding this parallel dimension . In this riveting arc, Major Kira and Doctor Bashir find themselves immersed in the enigmatic depths of the Mirror Universe. What made this escapade even more mind-bending was the realization that their actions in this reality could have profound repercussions on their own universe. The intrigue deepened in "Through the Looking Glass" (Season 3, Episode 19), as Benjamin Sisko confronted his own mirror counterpart — the fearsome leader of the Terran Rebellion.

In Discovery , the Mirror Universe played a central role in the storyline. "Despite Yourself" (Season 1, Episode 10) thrust the USS Discovery into the heart of this parallel dimension. With the crew navigating the treacherous terrain, they were forced to adopt the personas of their evil counterparts to survive the deadly dance of deception. However, the trump card of this cosmic masquerade unfolded when the identity of Captain Gabriel Lorca was gradually revealed. A chilling revelation came to light: the man who had been leading them was, in fact, an impostor from the mirror universe, concealing his true identity in plain sight.

The Mirror Universe In Other Media

Beyond the captivating tales that first graced the TV screen, the haunting allure of the Mirror Universe continues to cast its spell on Star Trek enthusiasts. Devoted Star Trek authors have woven this parallel realm into gripping narratives, providing a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of beloved characters entangled in the clutches of their sinister counterparts. Among these literary gems, David Mack's novel The Sorrows of Empire stands as a compelling masterpiece. Readers are transported back to the early days of the Terran Empire's rise to power. The narrative delves deep into the hearts of key characters, exploring the pivotal moments that shaped their destinies.

Yet, the exploration of the Mirror Universe does not merely dwell in the realm of prose; it transcends into the expressive canvas of Star Trek comic books . Here, artists and writers bring to life the haunting imagery of this parallel. One stellar comic that deserves mention is Star Trek: The Next Generation - Mirror Broken . This enthralling tale charts the exploits of Captain Jean-Luc Picard's mirror counterpart, navigating the treacherous waters aboard the I.S.S. Stargazer. The comic thrusts readers into the tumultuous rise of this ruthless captain, entangled in a web of power-hungry machinations in the heart of the Terran Empire.

It that's not enough to quench the thirst of devoted Trekkies, the virtual realm of Star Trek Online offers players a grand and interactive journey through the Mirror Universe. In this sprawling online game, fans are afforded the rare opportunity to traverse the dark reflection and bear witness to infamous characters and the consequences of their actions firsthand. Each mission and storyline invites players to immerse themselves into this fully realized rendition of the Mirror Universe, an immersive playground where they can explore its depths and revel in its intricacies.

The Mirror Universe stands as an enduring and crucial facet of the Star Trek saga. It serves as a haunting testament to the duality of nature, unveiling the unsettling truth that even the most virtuous characters can harbor shadows within. Throughout the diverse series that make up this cherished franchise , the Mirror Universe has been a canvas upon which writers paint the depths of their characters' souls, weaving layers of complexity and intrigue into their personalities.

MORE: Star Trek: The Original Series - Plots That Would Make Awesome Video Games

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Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki

A friendly reminder regarding spoilers ! At present the expanded Trek universe is in a period of major upheaval with the continuations of Discovery and Prodigy , the advent of new eras in gaming with the Star Trek Adventures RPG , Star Trek: Infinite and Star Trek Online , as well as other post-57th Anniversary publications such as the ongoing IDW Star Trek comic and spin-off Star Trek: Defiant . Therefore, please be courteous to other users who may not be aware of current developments by using the {{ spoiler }}, {{ spoilers }} OR {{ majorspoiler }} tags when adding new information from sources less than six months old (even if it is minor info). Also, please do not include details in the summary bar when editing pages and do not anticipate making additions relating to sources not yet in release. THANK YOU

  • Memory Beta articles sourced from novels
  • Mirror universe conflicts

Earth-Romulan War (mirror)

History [ ].

When the Terran Empire first encountered the Romulans , it could not completely subjugate them. The enigmatic Romulans demanded that the Empire left Romulan space as sovereign territory. In response, the Empire fought the Romulans to a standstill.

While Romulan spies and subterfuge provided an early advantage, Starfleet 's overall technological prowess and numbers forced the hand of the Romulans. The Terrans suffered few casualties, among which were members of the influential Stiles family .

In 2160 , threatened with annihilation and a desire to avoid risking total cultural contamination through an extended conflict, the Romulans offered a truce by offering to remain behind a wall of their own space that would be patrolled by Starfleet, but also stated that they would sooner destroy their own world than become subjects of the Empire.

The Empire agreed to the truce, having no desire to continue dragging out a resource-costly war and believing that the Romulans could always be subjugated later when secret technological advancements would either make the cloaking device ineffective or put it into the Empire's hands.

Following the war's end, the Romulans remained behind the Neutral Zone , only making furtive forays into Imperial space, which were easily handled by Starfleet's bases and ships along the border. ( Decipher RPG module : Through a Glass, Darkly )

The Mirror Universe Saga [ ]

In a permutation of the mirror universe in which Admiral James T. Kirk took the USS Excelsior to the mirror universe and pretended to be his counterpart , the Romulans' conflict with the Terrans was long-standing, as the mirror Romulans had also engaged in a 22nd century Earth-Romulan War against Earth , in which the Romulans had briefly established a beachhead on Earth and enslaved Terrans. The Terrans were able to overthrow the Romulan rule and fight them out of their space , establishing the strong interstellar Terran Empire seen in the 23rd century . ( TOS - The Mirror Universe Saga comics : " Masquerade! ", " The Beginning of the End... ")

Dark Mirror [ ]

In another permutation of the mirror universe in which the Terran Empire survived well into the 24th century , the Romulans had been cleansed from their homeworlds by 2367 . The Earth-Romulan War did not end with just the Romulans' humiliating defeat at the Battle of Cheron , but rather Imperial vessels fought all the way to Romulus and, after destroying Remus , offered the Romulans opportunity to become a subject race of the Terran Empire . On the eve of the deadline for the Romulans' reply, the entire population of the planet committed mass suicide . The Terrans gained numerous technological advancements from the sacking of Romulus, including the molecular disassociator . ( TNG novel : Dark Mirror )

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Star Trek » Mirror Universe

As the Trope Maker the Star Trek franchise is full of examples:

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  • The IDW comic story "Mirrored" gives us the Mirror Universe of the Kelvin Timeline Universe. As Captain Spock vanquishes the Klingons in the name of the Terran Empire, Commander Kirk vists Rura Penthe to get revenge on Nero (who in this universe never escaped, and has been there since the attack on the Kelvin ). Then Kirk ends up with control of the Narada , and things get worse.
  • "Succession" deals with what happened in the mirror universe following season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery and what became of the Terran Michael Burnham.
  • More recently, IDW has reimagined Dark Mirror by introducing a new iteration of the ISS Enterprise -D, whose make incursions into the prime universe in their attempts to raise the Terran Empire's fortunes in their conflict against the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. A prequel shows young Jean-Luc Picard aboard the ISS Stargazer . A spin-off features the ISS Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, coming into conflict with Neelix and Kes whilst discovering an unassimilated Annika Hansen, whose references to the Borg pique Captain Janeway's interest, leading to her appearance in Star Trek: Online .
  • The one-shot "Hell's Mirror" depicts the confrontation between the heroic Khan Noonien Singh and the crazed Captain Kirk.
  • The Star Trek: The Next Generation novel "Dark Mirror" explores a Mirror Universe where the Terran Empire, or the United Empire of Planets as its called here, survives well into the 24th century after Spock's efforts to reform the Empire fail. By the 2360s the Empire is running out of space to conquer and makes an unsuccessful attempt to conquer the prime universe. note  Obviously, the novel was written several years before Star Trek: Deep Space Nine explains what really happened to the Empire after Kirk left. However since the episode " Parallels " established that an infinite number of parellel universes existed this could provide an explanation of why the "Dark Mirror" Mirror Universe was different.
  • Star Trek Shatnerverse novels explain that the Klingon-Cardassian alliance was the brainchild of former Emperor Kirk as a means of taking revenge on Spock for deposing him from the throne and to regain the Terran Empire's throne for himself. This was mainly due to Mirror Spock deciding not to kill Kirk after his return. Spock did manage to save the Halkans by claiming they were a client state of the Klingons and that attacking them could lead to a war with the Klingons that the Empire didn't want at the time. This resulted in Kirk getting a commendation for seeing through the Halkan trap.
  • In the Star Trek Novel 'Verse novels set in the Mirror Universe established that Spock was unable to convince Kirk to spare the Halkans and got in a fight with the man. Spock killed Kirk and then disposed of Kirk's body with the Tantalus Field. After Spock's opponents accquired the same habit of disappearing that Kirk's opponents used to have, dissent died down on the ISS Enterprise . Gathering power and influence, Spock rose to command the Empire, which he soon disestablished in favor of the Terran Republic, but the Klingons and Cardassians still wanted revenge for the Empire's acts. Spock died on Earth in the novel verse, but his followers were able to engineer a rebellion that would in time liberate Earth and its allies from the Klingons and Cardassians.
  • Also, the Expanded Universe does show us more than one version of the Mirror Universe, though whether it's intentional or simply the Trek EU not being having nearly as tight continuity as the Star Wars one is unknown. "Dark Passions" is quite incompatible with the Shatnerverse version, for example. Also, one book written well after DS9 features several alternate universes, including one featuring the ISS Enterprise -E of the Terran Empire, which doesn't work with the DS9 incarnation of the MU, so that one is clearly deliberately alternate from the beginning.
  • It also explores how long the unique mindset of the Terran Empire has been around. In Dark Mirror , Picard reads that universe's version of The Merchant of Venice , which has Portia saying "The quality of mercy must be earned ", and pointing how it's silly to expect a pound of flesh not to have blood too, allowing Shylock to get his revenge. Picard sees The Bible and refuses to read it.
  • And was actually an Unbuilt Trope in its first appearance. Even though his mirror counterpart had a Beard of Evil , Spock was, as the show put it, "A man of honor in both universes", and not strictly evil in the mirror universe despite clearly being on the side of the angels in the primary reality. Further, the Aliens Of The Week were Actual Pacifists in both the 'normal' universe and in the Mirror Universe.
  • There were several non-canonical sources made between before DS9 that explored the Mirror Universe. As the setting wasn't as well defined as it was later by DS9 some continuity elements may shock some readers. For example the term "Terran" wasn't coined until DS9 , thus the works refer to the Empire (which was nameless in the original "Mirror, Mirror" episode) as the United Empire of Planets (for example in the TNG novel Dark Universe , in which the Empire is still pretty much fine in the 24th century) and in some countinuities as the Human-Vulcan Empire with Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites having more equal footing in the Empire than was shown in Enterprise . However this might explained why Vulcans shared the punishment and were turn into slaves by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance.
  • Certain other aspects of characters are flipped in the mirror universe as well. In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine , Bashir is a stupid and brutish thug (most likely due to never having been genetically altered), Odo is a sadistic slave overseer , Jadzia is a Psycho Knife Nut who is mirror Sisko's lover, mirror Sisko (while a good guy) has very little in the way of restrained self-control, and mirror Ezri and Leeta (while also not villains, though also not squeaky-clean) are both lesbians. Brunt of all people becomes a Nice Guy . Things get ridiculous when an entirely fictional holodeck character appears as a real person , (perhaps his mirror creator makes androids instead of holodeck characters?) whereupon everyone gives up trying to make sense of things.
  • When the prequel series Enterprise revisited it in "In A Mirror Darkly," it also completely changed its opening credits' entire mood from "Idealistic Yet Not Naive Hope" to "War! Conquest! Exploding Slow Lasers ! " Moreover, since almost everyone except maybe the Vulcans is shown to be evil in one way or another, the ending in which The Bad Guy Wins doesn't really come as a surprise. What does come as something of a twist is it's the bad gal who wins, and then promptly proclaims herself Empress.
  • The episode "Parallels" does show one Mirror Universe from the Bajorans perspective, as in one is them who are the enemies of the Federation (not the Cardassians) and who actually conquest Cardassia and not the other way around.
  • "Living Witness" opened with what appeared to be a mirror universe setting, with a vicious Janeway threatening a planet to get resources. It turned out to be an inaccurate historical record written by this civilization some time in the future, based on an incident with Voyager several hundred years ago. The holographic doctor's backup unit is later activated and sets the record straight. Those familiar with Deep Space 9's episodes likely knew it wasn't the case, those who hadn't been watching...
  • We are also introduced to the one biological difference between a Mirror Universe Terran and Prime Universe human: sensitivity to light . This is how Michael recognizes that the Lorca she serves under is actually from the Mirror Universe. And it retroactively explains why Mirror Universe ships had poorer lighting .
  • We also meet the reigning emperor of the Terran Empire - Phillipa Georgiou, who is as different from Captain Phillipa Georgiou as day from night. When she ends up in the Prime universe, courtesy of Burnham, the first thing she does is nearly shoot Commander Saru for not immediately bowing down to her, as befits a proper slave (he's an alien, therefore a slave in her universe). She then convinces Starfleet to allow her to destroy Qo'noS, just like she did in the Mirror Universe, in order to force an end to the war .
  • This arc does explore some implications that are ignored in the other shows. Given that the Mirror counterparts are bloodthirsty and evil, killing each other any chance they get , and crossovers have been happening for centuries, it starts to stretch credibility that nearly everyone has a living counterpart as well as a somewhat similar background (Kirk is still captain of the Enterprise , O'Brien is still an engineer at Deep Space Nine, etc). Michael discusses with several individuals the oddity of how similar yet different their background remained, and implied some sort of cosmic element keeping the two universes connected .
  • The third season of Discovery reveals that the Starfleet of the fourth millennium has figured out how to scan for the specific genetic differences between humans and Terrans in order to catch any "visitors" from the other universe. Furthermore, they claim to have isolated a protein chain that supposedly makes Terrans evil. Georgiou brushes off their claims as overly simplistic. It's also revealed that the two universes have moved apart, and there haven't been any visitors in 500 years. Going back in time through the Guardian of Forever , Georgiou influences an alternate version of the mirror universe she lived through in season 1.
  • Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard introduces a different Mirror Universe, which is actually the regular timeline, altered by Q changing the past . In this one, the dominant power is the Confederation of Earth rather than the Terran Empire, but it has much the same policies, only it seems to be more efficient because it's a more Lawful and less Chaotic evil. Picard is a ruthless general who collects the skulls of his enemies, Rios is a colonel fighting against the Vulcans, Seven is the President, with Agnes as her chief scientist and Raffi as her head of security, and Elnor is a Romulan freedom fighter. If anything, this is more chilling than the regular Mirror Universe, because while it's usually presented as having always been like that , this universe is specifically the result of something that happened as recently as 2024 . The Confederation of Earth is in many ways similar to the Mirror Universe 's Terran Empire. Both are xenophobic to the extreme, but the Empire focuses on enslavement, while the Confederation prefers to exterminate aliens. There also seems to be a lot less backstabbing in the Confederation, with loyalty to humanity being paramount. An interesting difference is that the Confederation Star Corps seems to use army ranks instead of navy ranks, so we have General Picard and Colonel Rios. This version of Picard is a ruthless conqueror, slayer of many aliens, including General Martok, Gul Dukat, and Sarek. Also, while the Empire was always on the verge of rebellion from the aliens, the Confederation seems to be a lot more successful in stamping out dissent and is even more successful militarily, having managed to defeat the Borg.
  • Star Trek Shattered Universe has Captain Sulu and the USS Excelsior drawn into the mirror universe, where they are confronted by Captain Chekov of the USS Enterprise -A.
  • The Ultimate Universe mod for Star Trek: Legacy includes a bunch of Terran Empire equivalents of Federation ships from the ENT, TOS and TNG eras.
  • The "Mirror of Discovery" arc introduces the Discovery -era Terrans including Captain Tilly.
  • The emperor is eventually identified as Wesley Crusher , though they relinquish the position after the Terran Gambit arc, replaced by Leeta with Marshal Janeway and her borg armies at their side. As mentioned above, this arc draws on concepts from the IDW comics.
  • As part of all this, the player can acquire and fly Mirror Universe vessels. The Tier 5 Mirror ships found in lockboxes are nearly identical to their main-universe counterparts with only minor differences in console configuration and bridge crew seating, while the Tier 6 Terran ships found in the Zen store are entirely new ships not seen before (there are no Tier 6 Mirror Universe Klingon or Romulan ships yet).
  • Star Trek Continues : The episode "Fairest of Them All" is a direct continuation of the TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror" which deals with the immediate aftermath of the episode. Unable to prevent Kirk from destroying the Halkan homeworld, Spock leads a mutiny against Kirk and most of the crew takes Spock's side after Kirk says what he really thinks of the Enterprise crew in a room where Spock had turned on the intercom . Spock gives Kirk and his few loyalists a shuttlecraft so they can reach the nearest habitable world.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks shows Mariner going into a holo-deck simulation of the Mirror Universe which she calls it by that name. The simulation however shows the Terran Empire which by that time was already defeated.
  • Star Trek: Prodigy has some of the crew visit the Mirror Universe with an active Terran Empire and another version of the Voyager A. Given the multiple Alternate Timelines in this episode it might be a different timeline from the one we're familiar with, but a comment on a "new Terran Armada" might suggest a resurgent Empire similar to the one from Star Trek Online.
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star trek earth mirror universe

New Mirror Universe Building: District 56

By rebekah 5 July 2024

star trek earth mirror universe

Commanders, in order to assist you in taking the fight to the Terran Empire in the Mirror Universe, a new station facility has been made available for construction. Next week, Commanders with Operations level 40 or above will be able to construct District 56 , a facility with powerful defensive functions.

New Building District 56

District 56 provides the following benefits to your ships, the strength of the effects increasing with facility level:

  • Increased Apex Barrier in PvP
  • Increased Mitigation stats
  • Enemy Crit Damage reduction in PvP
  • Increased time in the Mirror Universe per entry.

Once constructed, the facility will also provide you with a daily claim in the Mirror Refinery consisting of:

  • Liquid Trellium-D
  • Premium Rift Keys
  • Mirror Universe Entry Vouchers

The amount of Liquid Trellium-D and Premium Rift Keys included in the claim will improve with every 5 levels of the District 56 facility. The Mirror Refinery will also provide you with the materials needed to upgrade the facility.

As you may have come to experience, the greatest enemy of all Commanders in the Mirror Universe is not the dangerous hostiles or the lack of protected cargo, it is the ticking of the clock that limits the expedition. We hope that with the addition of District 56, Commanders will now be better equipped for lengthier excursions into the Mirror Universe! How do you plan to maximize your extra time? Will you try to hunt down a few more hostiles, or will you use the extended timer to mine even more Trellium? Use your extra time wisely!

-The Star Trek Team


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The Most Beloved Classic Star Trek Story Is A Secret Mirror Universe Episode

Posted: July 9, 2024 | Last updated: July 9, 2024

star trek earth mirror universe

For Star Trek fans, one of the most fascinating concepts is the Mirror Universe, an entire alternate reality where almost everything and everyone is twisted and evil. In a fun parallel of the classic nature versus nurture debate, many fans have wondered if this other universe has always been so immoral or if there might have been a single incident in the past that led to characters like Captain Kirk becoming so drastically different.

That has led to the enticing theory that the survival of Edith Keeler in The Original Series episode “City On the Edge of Forever” could have created the Mirror Universe.

star trek earth mirror universe

City On The Edge Of Forever

It’s not a perfect theory (more on that later), but for us to explain it, we must first provide a brief recap of “City On the Edge of Forever.” This was the episode where Dr. McCoy was accidentally injected with drugs and went a bit crazy, hopping through the Guardian of Forever and ending up in the distant past. While there is no explicit mention of the Mirror Universe, his actions in the past create a different reality, one where the Enterprise no longer exists.

<p>Let’s cut right to it: what makes “City On the Edge of Forever” the best Star Trek episode for fans who appreciate great sci-fi? For one thing, this is one of the franchise’s first (and still its best) portrayals of an alternate history, making it a great episode for those who enjoy such novels as the Philip K. D***’s The Man In the High Castle. </p><p>That novel imagines a world where the Axis won World War II, and that’s the exact future that McCoy accidentally causes and that Kirk will do anything to prevent.</p>

Ignoring The Rules Of Back To The Future

Kirk and Spock end up heading through the Guardian to find their friend, and most of “City On the Edge of Forever” focuses on their misadventures in Great Depression-era New York City.

Kirk ends up falling in love with a soup kitchen worker named Edith Keeler, but Spock discovers something devastating: Keeler was supposed to die in a traffic accident, but in their altered future reality, she lived long enough to start a pacifist movement that delayed America from entering World War II, allowing the Germans to develop the atomic bomb first, win the war, and take over the world.

<p>I’m going to delve into some spoilers now, but another reason “City On the Edge of Forever” is great for sci-fi fans is that it never loses sight of its humanity. Some sci-fi can be colder than I’d like (looking at you here, Asimov), and I think the best sci-fi novels are ones with very human and relatable characters (The Handmaid’s Tale and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are tonally very different but both exemplify this). </p><p>In this Star Trek episode, everything comes down to an awful decision Kirk must make, one that both humanizes and haunts this iconic character.</p>

Branching Paths

This culminates in the most horrific moment in “City On the Edge of Forever:” Dr. McCoy has recovered from the drugs and tries to save Edith Keeler from an oncoming truck. Kirk holds him back, allowing the love of his life to die in order to save the future as he knows it. He is successful, but some fans think that the Mirror Universe is an alternate timeline caused by Keeler living and the Nazis winning World War II.

Certainly, that would explain much of the aggression in the Mirror Universe, a reality where Zefram Cochrane initiated first contact by murdering Earth’s first Vulcan visitors and looting their technology.

An explicit Nazi backstory would also explain why the Terran Empire was obsessed with a kind of racial purity in which humans had to be superior to aliens. And the Nazis’ nasty history of experimenting on their enemies might explain why this alternate reality has perfected agonizer technology for so efficiently torturing enemies.

Evil Captain Kirk in the Star Trek: <a>TOS</a> episode “Mirror,mirror

The Start Of The Mirror Universe

With that being said, whether “City On the Edge of Forever” quietly explains how the Mirror Universe began has never been confirmed by the franchise. There is some strong circumstantial evidence: one interpretation of Captain Archer’s comment that the Empire had been around for “centuries” is that it began in 1955, which would be in line with the Nazis winning the war and beginning what would become an intergalactic empire.

But in Discovery, Terran Emperor Georgiou makes it sound like humans stopped being compassionate “a millennia ago,” and Enterprise highly implies that Terran traditions stretch all the way back to the other universe’s Roman Empire.

<p>Your mileage may vary, of course, but as a sci-fi nerd myself, I enjoy stories where characters must balance their personal morality with high-stakes decisions. In choosing to let Keeler (who, incidentally, he had fallen in love with) die in order to save the future, Kirk’s decision reminds me of other sci-fi icons and their own hard decisions. </p><p>In this moment, he is Winston Smith in 1984 betraying Julia–at the same time, he is John in Brave New World, choosing a life of unhappiness rather than everyone else’s vapid fantasies.</p><p>Obviously, taste is subjective, and there are probably some sci-fi fans who wouldn’t grok “City On the Edge of Forever” because it’s less about technology and more about history and humanity. </p><p>However, those are the episode’s greatest strengths, and focusing on these qualities has created some of the best sci-fi stories ever made. </p><p>In fact, I’ll go a step further: by watching this legendary Star Trek episode, you won’t just get a great story–you’ll get a narrative that has charmed and influenced some of your favorite sci-fi writers, inspiring them to create their own timeless tales. </p>

Expect A Future Series To Explain It All

Does that mean that “City On the Edge of Forever” definitively didn’t set up the Mirror Universe? Not exactly: after all, this is a franchise that is constantly retconning what we know about that other universe, with Discovery introducing the strange idea that everyone there hates bright lights. We might yet get a retcon linking the classic episode with this evil universe, but until that happens, this is one fan theory that needs a little more time in the oven–er, replicator.

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Every Star Trek Series Finale Ranked Worst To Best

Strange new worlds does 3 important things that bring back classic star trek, star trek: strange new worlds season 2 ending & cliffhanger explained.

  • The Gorn, a reptilian species in Star Trek, have been a formidable adversary since the 1960s, appearing in various Star Trek projects and evolving into a deadly enemy.
  • Despite initial animosity, the Gorn have become friendly with Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets, with their peace established through moments in the Star Trek timeline.
  • The Gorn have made appearances in multiple Star Trek series, including Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, where they are depicted as a looming threat and are now more realistic and fearsome.

The Gorn have been a deadly adversary in Star Trek since the 1960s and have continued to appear in Star Trek projects over the last few decades, and they show no signs of going away any time soon. The Gorn are a cold-blooded, reptilian species resembling a humanoid Earth lizard. From their first appearance in Star Trek: The Original Series to their continued presence in current Star Trek TV shows , the Gorn have always been one of Starfleet's most dangerous foes.

Just like the Klingons, one of Star Trek's original villains, the Gorn eventually became friendly with Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets. However, this peace didn't happen overnight, and the centuries of animosity ended with some of the greatest moments in the Star Trek timeline . The Gorn have appeared numerous times in the Star Trek canon since 1967 and have evolved to become one of the franchise's scariest and deadliest alien enemies. Set to return in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 3's premiere, the Gorn will seemingly continue their long list of appearances in Star Trek .

Complete History Of The Gorn In Star Trek

The Gorn have become one of the Federation's most formidable foes in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Here's everything we know about them.

8 The Gorn's First Appearance In Star Trek

Star trek: the original series season 1, episode 19 - "arena".

The first appearance of the Gorn in Star Trek: The Original Series season 1 has become a campy pop culture touchstone. "Arena" finds Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) forced to fight a Gorn captain on Cestus III. This showdown is orchestrated by the god-like Metrons, who plan to kill the loser and his crew and let the victor and his crew members live. The battle between Kirk and the Gorn has since been deemed comical and has been parodied often, but it actually showcases Kirk's resourcefulness and ingenuity - as well as Jim's compassion - as the unarmed Captain of the Enterprise outsmart and defeats his monstrous foe.

7 The Gorn Cameo In Star Trek: The Animated Series

Star trek: the animated series season 1, episode 12 - "the time trap".

Until Star Trek : Lower Decks premiered in 2020, Star Trek: The Animated Series was the only animated Star Trek series , running for 2 seasons in 1973 and 1974. The TAS episode "The Time Trap" remains one of the series' most iconic stories, thanks in part to the Elysian Council. As the rulers of the alternate universe Elysia, the Elysian Council maintains peace throughout their universe by involving 123 species in their deliberations. This council includes a Gorn who peacefully works with the other species to keep harmony in their universe, foreshadowing the future peace between the Gorn and humans in the canon timeline.

6 The Gorn Appear In Star Trek's Mirror Universe

Star trek: enterprise season 4, episode 19 - "in a mirror darkly, part ii".

The Gorn only appeared once in Star Trek: Enterprise , but their hatred was depicted in a new and frightening way. The NX-01 Enterprise crew encounters the Gorn in the Mirror Universe Star Trek: Enterprise season 4's two-parter. Unlike the previous version of the Gorn in the 1960s and 70s when they were either a costume or animation, Enterprise used new technology, computer-generated imagery (CGI), to depict a Gorn slavemaster named Slar in a brutal fight with Commander Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula). This new version of the Gorn was a reminder that they were formidable and dangerous enemies.

All good things come to an end, so how do the endgames of every Star Trek series stack up against each other? And what do they leave behind?

5 Captain Lorca Has A Gorn Skeleton In Star Trek: Discovery

Star trek discovery season 1: "context is for kings," "the butcher's knife cares not for the lamb's cry," and "magic to make the sanest man go mad".

The Gorn didn't reappear in Star Trek until 2017 when Star Trek: Discovery premiered and included a sly look at the classic reptilian foe. Star Trek: Discovery season 1 provided a look into Captain Gabriel Lorca's (Jason Isaacs) collection of artifacts aboard the USS Discovery, and among the alien weapons and items in the room is a Gorn skeleton in a display case . How or why Captain Lorca acquired the skeleton is unknown, but its mere presence means that not only did someone kill a Gorn, but that they're humanoid and extremely similar to humans at the structural level.

4 Star Trek: Lower Decks Featured A Gorn Wedding

Star trek: lower decks episodes "veritas," "an embarrassment of dooplers," and "the inner fight".

The fast-paced style of Star Trek: Lower Decks allows the show to include many references and callbacks to classic Star Trek in rapid-fire half-hour bursts. In 6 different episodes, Lower Decks mentions or depicts the Gorn. However, the show is set in the 24th century, and by that time, humans and Gorn had seemingly made some sort of peace with each other . The Gorn are depicted as shop owners and civilians throughout Lower Decks , similar to Star Trek: The Animated Series ' Gorn. The only time the Gorn seem violent is when a Gorn wedding is interrupted in Star Trek: Lower Decks season 1's "Veritas."

3 The Gorn Become Fearsome Enemies In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Star trek: strange new worlds season 1, episode 4 - "memento mori".

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is known for bringing back classic Star Trek by incorporating old characters, themes, and stories and updating them for modern audiences. Notably, Strange New Worlds reintroduced the Gorn to Star Trek canon but did so in a way that built suspense before dealing with the redesigned enemy. Early in Strange New Worlds season 1, the Gorn are established as a looming threat that Starfleet doesn't know how to communicate with or fight. A menacing Gorn ship is depicted in Strange New Worlds season 1, episode 4, "Memento Mori," signaling the Gorn's more significant role in future episodes and seasons.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds establishes a growing connection to classic Star Trek by incorporating these 3 important behind the scenes details.

2 Lt. Hemmer Is Killed By The Gorn In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Star trek: strange new worlds season 1, episode 9 - "all those who wander".

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 1, episode 9, "All Those Who Wander," depicted the Gorn in live-action for the first time since 2004. Not only that, but the Gorn in Strange New Worlds are unlike any other Gorn in Star Trek history. Instead of being a simple costume, animation, or created with CGI, the new Gorn are hand-made, detailed animatronics , which are puppeted and controlled by actual crew members. While some scenes are enhanced with effects post-production, the Gorn are now terrifyingly real creatures who strike fear into the characters in Strange New Worlds , with Lt. Hemmer (Bruce Horak) sacrificing himself to save his friends when he is infected by Gorn eggs.

1 The Gorn Kidnap USS Enterprise Crew Members In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Star trek: strange new worlds season 2, episode 10 - "hegemony".

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 1 depicted the Gorn as Starfleet's newest and most dangerous enemy and set up their continued presence in future seasons. Strange New Worlds season 2 highlighted how dangerous the Gorn are and hinted at an impending war between the Federation and the Gorn . In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2's finale, "Hegemony," the Gorn destroys the USS Cayuga and invades Parnassus Beta. In a nail-biting cliffhanger, the Gorn capture many of the Enterprise's crew members and several residents of Parnassus Beta, leaving Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) with an impossible decision. Will he defy Starfleet's orders to save the hostages?

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2's finale nailbiter brings back the fearsome Gorn and ends with Captain Pike facing an impossible choice.

From a cheesy, comical fight between a humanoid Gorn and Captain Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series to causing the chilling and terrifying death of beloved characters on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds , the Gorn are easily one of Star Trek 's most deadly foes . If nothing else, the Gorn are definitely the species with the most development throughout the entire Star Trek canon.

Star Trek: The Original Series

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Star Trek: The Original Series follows the exploits of the crew of the USS Enterprise. On a five-year mission to explore uncharted space, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) must trust his crew - Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Forest DeKelley), Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (James Doohan), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Sulu (George Takei) - with his life. Facing previously undiscovered life forms and civilizations and representing humanity among the stars on behalf of Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets, the Enterprise regularly comes up against impossible odds and diplomatic dilemmas.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

A spin-off of Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is a television series that takes place before the events of the original series and follows Captain Christopher Pike as he mans the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The show focuses on this previous crew of the Enterprise as they explore the galaxy with returning characters from Discovery.

Star Trek: Lower Decks

"Star Trek: Lower Decks" focuses on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet's least important ships, the USS Cerritos, in 2380. Ensigns Mariner, Boimler, Rutherford and Tendi must keep up with their duties and their social lives, often while the ship is being rocked by a multitude of sci-fi anomalies. The ship's bridge crew includes Captain Carol Freeman, Commander Jack Ransom, Lieutenant Shaxs and Doctor T'Ana. This is the second animated spin-off in the franchise after 1973-74's "Star Trek: The Animated Series," but has a decidedly more adult tone and humor.

Star Trek

Prodigy Season 2 is the Most Epic Star Trek Season In Years

In Prodigy Season 2, the cuts are deep, and the scope is big — but paradoxically small.

The USS Voyager-A in Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2.

Even among the most diehard Star Trek fans, there is bound to be some part of the vast franchise that gets missed. With 13 films, various shorts, countless novels and comics, 11 distinct TV series — and a 12th in production — not knowing about every corner of the Final Frontier is understandable. But, unlike a franchise like the MCU, Star Trek’s different facets aren’t as overtly interconnected as one might think. Despite a perceived barrier-to-entry for some iterations, most Trek is fairly easy to drop into, as long as you're okay with just catching up as you go along.

In this contradictory manner, Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 might be the most welcoming set of new Star Trek episodes since Strange New Worlds Season 1 in 2022. Although co-produced by Nickelodeon with the intention of being aimed a a younger audience, Prodigy Season 2 is as much for grown-up, longtime Star Trek fans as it is for children. With some astoundingly deep, deep cuts to canon, Prodigy Season 2 accomplishes the stated goal for the entire series: to serve as an introduction to the general world of Trek, but also, be its own thing. With all 20 episodes of Prodigy Season 2 now on Netflix, any kind of person remotely interested in Star Trek can suddenly get a crash course in pretty much every flavor that Trek has to offer, all through the lens of a quirky, warm-hearted, and epic new season.

A fresh start

Ma'jel and Gwyn in 'Star Trek: Prodigy' Season 2

A new Vulcan cadet, Ma’jel (Michaela Dietz), and Gwyn (Ella Purnell) contemplate their future in Prodigy Season 2.

Back in 2021, Prodigy launched on Paramount+ with a handful of episodes that began as a somewhat generic space adventure, featuring a crew of misfit alien tweens, who, because they need to escape from a forced-labor camp, steal a slick, abandoned Federation starship called the USS Protostar . Because those early episodes found the kids in the distant Delta Quadrant, the crew only gradually started to encounter more and more familiar Star Trek-y things. By the end of the first 20-episode run, Dal (Brett Gray), Rok (Rylee Alazraqui), Zero (Angus Imrie), Gwyn (Ella Purnell), Jankom (Jason Mantzoukas), and the adorable slime-creature Murf (Dee Bradley Baker) all end up on Earth, after saving Starfleet from near total destruction. Yes, like many Star Trek season finales of late, Prodigy Season 1 ended with a big fleet, locked in a big battle, but this one turned out all right, mostly because the kids decided to sacrifice their adopted ship to save the day.

That said, in Season 2, you mostly don’t need to know about any of that. Or, to put it another way, anything you missed in Season 1 (or forgot about) will be recapitulated anyway. In an odd meta-textual move, the primary storyline of Prodigy Season 2 is all about a time paradox that might prevent our heroes from meeting in the first place. Therefore, the stakes of Prodigy Season 2, are, on some level, about making sure that Prodigy Season 1 happens at all, which strangely matters less to your enjoyment of the new episodes than maybe it should. This all gets even more meta when you consider that Prodigy fighting for its basic existence has also happened in real life, too. The show was removed from Paramount+ last year and has only found a new life, and a home for Season 2 on Netflix, very recently.

But, if you put all of that aside — and you probably should — what you’ll find in Prodigy Season 2 is a surprising amount of variety packed into a big serialized arc.

Unapologetic Star Trek Hits

Rok and a whale named Gillian in 'Star Trek: Prodigy' Season 2.

Never forget that Star Trek loves humpback whales.

Although Prodigy Season 2 has a very large and interconnected arc, the 20-episode-long run means it’s capacious enough to have several stand-alone-ish episodes, many of which employ classic Star Trek tropes. Without spoiling any details, we get a Mirror Universe episode, a Tribble episode, a doppelgänger episode, a new Vulcan character, and even talking whales (the latter of which are interestingly more than just an Easter egg).

Prodigy also features the return of one major character from The Next Generation (and Picard ) in a role that is much larger than a cameo. This detail, revealed roughly midway through the season, makes perfect sense once it happens, both thematically and in terms of the story. And once you’re settled in for this ride, Prodigy Season 2 isn’t shy about getting deep into the weeds of Trekkie canon, including a coda that ties directly into events from very recent other Star Trek series set around the same time. If, while you’re watching, you’re doing the math about when exactly all of this is happening relative to some of the other shows — and thus, wondering if certain events will take place from a different point of view — you’ll find that Prodigy almost goes out of its way to accommodate all of those questions. Because Prodigy’s goal in Season 2 is to preserve its own continuity by fixing the timeline, it also seems to go the extra mile (or lightyear) and clean up other canon problems for other shows, too. For fans who are down with this kind of minutiae, and worry about uniform inconsistencies or even different Starfleet combadge usages, Prodigy oddly has your back.

Whether you’re paying very close to attention to Trekkie details, or sitting back to enjoy the ride, this season bridges the gaps between Star Trek’s two audiences with surprising ease. In the end, the show seems poised for a triumphant third season in which everything we’ve seen so far could become a kind of protracted backstory. Whether that happens or not is unclear. But for now, Prodigy has humbly delivered 20 Star Trek episodes that are more consistent and thrilling than its entire first season, and many of which give other episodes from all the other shows a run for their money.

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 is streaming on Netflix.

Phasers on Stun!: How the Making — and Remaking — of Star Trek Changed the World

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'Star Trek: Prodigy' Season 2 Review: How Could Paramount+ Let This Show Go? 


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Editor's note: The below review contains major spoilers for Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2.

The Big Picture

  • Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 is a thrilling and heartwarming continuation of the series, featuring time travel and strong character development.
  • The animation and storytelling are top-notch, with themes that resonate with both children and adults.
  • The series deserves more recognition and attention for successfully capturing the essence of Star Trek and its endless potential.

A year after Star Trek: Prodigy was cancelled at Paramount+ , the series has delivered one of the best 20-episode runs of television in recent memory with its long-awaited Season 2 premiere. It’s hard to believe that the home of Star Trek would let Season 2 — which is, by all rights, a love letter to the entire franchise, past and present — go to another streamer. Now Netflix will reap the rewards of the flawless, exhilarating storytelling it delivers, which will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. With its second season, Star Trek: Prodigy has taken the very best parts of a nearly sixty-year-old franchise and infused them with vibrant joy, hope-punk optimism, and fresh perspectives. Whether you’re a seven-year-old experiencing Star Trek for the very first time, a millennial who was raised on Star Trek: Voyager , or a die-hard Star Trek: The Next Generation fan, there’s something for everyone spread out across this season, and it will be a crying shame if these characters’ stories end here.

Season 2 picks up shortly after the close of Season 1, with Dal ( Brett Gray ), Jankom Pog ( Jason Mantzoukas ), Rok-Tahk ( Rylee Alazraqui ), Zero ( Angus Imrie ), and Murf ( Dee Bradley Baker ) adjusting to their new lives in San Francisco as official Starfleet cadets. Some of them (namely, Rok-Tahk) are thriving within the structured educational system, while others (unsurprisingly, Dal) are struggling to find their strengths. Dal is also still reeling from the loss of Gwyn ( Ella Purnell ) as she embarks on her quest to prevent Solum’s future civil war. Dal and Gwyn remain the heart and soul of Star Trek: Prodigy and neither distance nor time travel chaos nor promotions bring an end to their sweet flirtations.

Admiral Janeway’s ( Kate Mulgrew ) quest to find Chakotay ( Robert Beltran ) continues throughout the season, and it honestly delivers one of the most satisfying storylines for these characters by paying off seven seasons of their dynamic from Voyager . Whether you wanted Janeway and Chakotay together romantically or preferred for them to remain just friends, you’ll be happy with how their reunion and the preceding antics are handled. With Hologram Janeway in Season 1, Star Trek: Prodigy felt like a spiritual successor to Voyager , but Season 2 is closer to a true continuation of that series, as Dal and his team are assigned aboard USS Voyager-A with Admiral Janeway at the helm and the Doctor ( Robert Picardo ) in sickbay.

Star Trek: Prodigy

A group of enslaved teenagers steal a derelict Starfleet vessel to escape and explore the galaxy.

‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Turns Wesley Crusher Into the Doctor

Across the first handful of episodes, Dal and the team face some pretty dire time-travel mayhem that sees Gwyn nearly erased from existence and the terrifying Loom threatening to eat up a host of timelines. For a series that is aimed at seven year olds, Star Trek: Prodigy is incredibly smart about how it introduces the concepts of quantum realities, temporal mechanics, and everything else that comes with jumping across timelines, jettisoning through wormholes, and coming face-to-face with the evil versions of Janeway and Chakotay in the Mirror Universe. But perhaps the most exciting wibbly-wobbly thing that Season 2 does is finally turn Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) into a roguish time traveler , following through on that Star Trek: Picard Season 2 tag that felt like it was going to get lost to time itself.

About halfway through the season, Wesley is revealed to be “the entity” that has been guiding Dal and the team (but specifically Murf) through their time travel antics. He's like Star Trek’s answer to Doctor Who , complete with a world-weary attitude that comes from being burdened with the knowledge of every timeline’s triumphs and tragedies, an upbeat sense of humor to combat that emotional baggage, and a healthy dose of mommy issues. This may actually be the best version of Wesley Crusher we’ve encountered thus far, and it’s made even better by how incredibly realistic the animation is. His character feels real in ways that the series has yet to successfully render Janeway and Chakotay; almost as though Wesley Crusher has jumped between not only timelines but the lines between live-action and animation.

Following her introduction in the back half of Season 1, Asencia ( Jameela Jamil ) proves to be a rather formidable foe for Gwyn. Not only does she ensure that Gwyn barely exists by toying with the timelines, but she also capitalizes on her own knowledge of how things will play out to gain insurmountable power and control on Solum, which threatens to destroy not just Gwyn and the Voyager’s new crew, but the whole of the Federation and their timeline. It’s quite fun to see a villain, who is remarkably similar to one of the young heroes, prove to be such a true threat . The fact that she is able to best even a Traveler like Wesley really underscores just how difficult she is to defeat this season. This plotline also allows for some really beautiful followthrough on Gwyn’s dynamic with her father ( John Noble ) that was first introduced in Season 1, and it heals the wounds left by how terribly he treated her.

Characters Remain At the Forefront of the Storytelling in 'Star Trek: Prodigy' Season 2

Star Trek: Prodigy ’s overarching plot for Season 2 is fixing the broken timelines and ensuring that everyone returns to their rightful place in time, but it also ensures that each character’s individual subplots are given ample time to develop and evolve as the cast grows up before us. At the end of the day, the series is about a ragtag bunch of teenagers who have been thrust into political turmoil and the daily dangers of Starfleet and the Federation, but it’s still a teen drama with all of the dressings of one.

Zero’s subplot is one of the most compelling arcs in Season 2 . From the first episode, Prodigy introduces the Medusan’s desire to be like those around them: able to feel and experience all of life’s little pleasures. There are a lot of throwaway lines about wishing they could know what touch feels like, some of which are met with empathizing from the Doctor, while other moments are just pining for those connections. Early on in the season, Zero forms an unexpected connection with the newcomer Maj’el ( Michaela Dietz ), a young Vulcan aboard Voyager-A who becomes a quick ally to the former crew of the Protostar. By Episode 8, Zero gets their chance to experience life as a caporal being when the crew arrives on a mysterious planet occupied by fellow Medusans. Zero gets a few episodes to fully enjoy all of life’s little pleasures within this body before tragedy strikes, forcing them back into their metallic container. Fortunately, they receive a much-needed upgrade that allows them to still feel touch (including Maj’el’s). The entire plotline feels so very Trek, as it grapples with themes of existence and what makes for a fulfilled one. It’s heartening to have a series aimed at a younger demographic that is so unafraid to tackle such larger-than-life themes with so much heart.

Another notable subplot is Chakotay’s. When Dal and co. finally come to his rescue, he’s been marooned for roughly a decade, in a very “New Earth”-style situation, and he’s very closed off and hardened by what he’s faced. As with everyone who encounters the former crew of the Protostar, Dal and his friends inject a much-needed dose of hope into Chakotay’s life, which pushes him to reflect on things. This plotline also allows Prodigy to explore grief through the loss of Chakotay’s first officer, Adreek ( Tommie Earl Jenkins ), which further forces him to face the situation head-on and process how it might affect the relationships around him. And because Season 2 relies heavily on bouncing around through different timelines , it also means we get to enjoy storylines where Chakotay doesn’t make it off Solum and how that affects Janeway; how Dal and co. are processing the loss of Hologram Janeway; and what it might be like for Chakotay to face off against a truly evil version of himself (courtesy of the one and only Mirror Universe).

How Does ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Season 2 End?

There is no guarantee that Star Trek: Prodigy will receive a much-deserved third season ( or a seventh season ), which doesn’t make sense considering how incredible Season 2 is. Despite ending with a tease about what might lie ahead for these characters, the final episode feels like a bittersweet goodbye . It features a beautiful montage of some of the best and brightest scenes from across the two seasons, as the timeline is knit back together, and crisis is averted, and it’s a tear-jerker, despite being a joy-filled moment.

With the time travel chaos in the rearview mirror, Admiral Janeway has new plans for her band of proteges . She, alongside Chakotay and the Doctor, summons the newly minted Starfleet ensigns to the shipyard to see the brand-new U.S.S. Protostar that has been deemed “only suitable for exploration.” Luckily, she’ll fly in a new pilot program that Janeway is putting together, and we’re looking at the crew who will become a “beacon of light” wherever they travel, much as they have been a beacon of light to this franchise for the last three years. While Dal has spent forty episodes envisioning himself as the captain of his own ship—just as he was aboard the Protostar—he comes to realize that his true place is as the first officer to Captain Gwyndala. It’s a natural progression from the dynamics first laid out in the premiere, and a perfect reflection of an era of Star Trek first established by Voyager .

Star Trek: Prodigy begs the question: what is Paramount doing with the Star Trek IP, if they aren’t going to wholeheartedly embrace the series that are doing Star Trek best? It may be a series aimed at children, but aren’t they the future of all franchises? Shouldn’t we be investing in them, capturing their interests, and leading them into the storied halls of a franchise that has so much to offer? Prodigy isn’t the only Star Trek property that’s been left with a giant question mark above its future. It’s unclear if Paramount+ ever intends to follow up the masterpiece that was the final season of Star Trek: Picard , but at least Star Trek: Prodigy delivers a moment that fans were desperately hoping to see. As the final episode of Season 2 draws to a close, Wesley takes Janeway’s advice and drops in to see his mother, Beverly Crusher ( Gates McFadden ), who introduces him to his baby brother, Jack Crusher. It’s a beautiful moment that really underscores how well Prodigy has striven to connect all the various Star Trek series in unexpected ways.

This may not be goodbye for good, but Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 certainly feels like a goodbye for now. However, we part ways knowing that these kids are out there spreading the joy they’ve brought for two seasons, and at the end of the day, this franchise has always had endless potential. Whether it returns for Season 3, in a novel or comic, or ten years down the line in live-action, Star Trek: Prodigy has delivered top-tier storytelling that deserves to be remembered as some of the best this franchise has to offer.

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 sees Dal and co. face off against timeline-eating monsters and reunite with beloved characters from Star Trek: Voyager.

  • Season 2 balances the nostalgia of bringing in more Star Trek: Voyager and The Next Generation characters with the cast of Prodigy.
  • The animation feels even more elevated compared to Season 1.
  • The plot comes to a natural conclusion while leaving the door open for future adventures.
  • The storylines deliver so much: heartbreak, grief, love, friendship, and the core themes that make this series one of the best.

Star Trek: Prodigy is streaming now on Netflix.

Watch on Netflix


  1. Star Trek's Mirror Universe Explained

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  1. Mirror universe

    The mirror universe was a parallel universe widely recorded as first being visited by James T. Kirk and several officers from the USS Enterprise in 2267, though in reality already encountered by the USS Discovery around a decade earlier. This parallel universe coexisted with the prime universe in the same space, but on another dimensional plane. The mirror universe was so named because most ...

  2. Earth (mirror)

    For the primary universe counterpart, see Earth. In the mirror universe, Earth was the capital world of the Terran Empire and later, for a brief time, the Terran Republic. (ENT episode: "In a Mirror, Darkly"; TOS - Mirror Universe novel: The Sorrows of Empire) In 2155, Earth suffered the worst attack in over a century, when rebels took advantage of the absence of the powerful warship, the USS ...

  3. Mirror Universe

    The Mirror Universe is the setting of several narratives in the Star Trek science fiction franchise, a parallel universe existing alongside, but separate from, the fictional universe that is the main setting of Star Trek.It resembles the main Star Trek universe, but is populated by more violent and opportunistic doubles of its people. The Mirror Universe has been visited in one episode of Star ...

  4. Star Trek: Mirror Universe Explained

    Trek 's Mirror Universe debuted in the original series Season 2 episode "Mirror, Mirror.". One of those pesky transporter anomalies sends Captain Kirk ( William Shatner ), Dr. McCoy ...

  5. Star Trek: The Mirror Universe's History Explained

    The Mirror Universe is one of Star Trek's most intriguing concepts.The franchise has wisely used the Mirror Universe sparingly since it was introduced in Star Trek: The Original Series so that each appearance is an event. The alternate reality where nearly every beloved Star Trek character is the opposite of who they are in the Prime Universe has spanned TOS, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star ...

  6. Star Trek: A Guide to All the Mirror Universe Episodes

    Deep Space Nine's Mirror Universe. Deep Space Nine did a deep dive into the Mirror Universe with five separate episodes across five different seasons: "Crossover" (Season 2), "Through the ...

  7. The Evolution of the Mirror Universe

    As with so many now-iconic Star Trek conceits, the Mirror Universe started with a single one-off episode, in which transporter interference from an ionic storm spits Kirk, Uhura, Scotty, and McCoy out into a "parallel" universe from their own. In place of the United Federation of Planets they find the Terran Empire, where mutinous, evil twins of their fellow crew members use the might of ...

  8. Everything We Know About the Timeline of Star Trek's Mirror Universe

    Star Trek: The Original Series Era: Changing Fortunes. Our first-ever encounter with the Mirror Universe in the original series episode "Mirror, Mirror" is set just a decade after the events ...

  9. Mirror universe history

    Mirror universe history, including Terran history, concerned historical events as they occurred in the mirror universe. In the 32nd century, Doctor Kovich had been fascinated by Terran history and methodology ever since he was a young boy. (DIS: "Die Trying") Pre-2063 The flag of the Terran Empire, which displays the imperial symbol rendered in gold on a field of crimson, is planted on Luna ...

  10. Star Trek's Mirror Universe Explained

    One of the stranger locations that Star Trek keeps bringing its heroes back to is known as the Mirror Universe.The brutal locale makes its first appearance in "Mirror, Mirror" — a season 2 ...

  11. A Brief History of STAR TREK's Mirror Universe

    But the best known parallel timeline in Star Trek lore is the so-called Mirror Universe, introduced 50 years ago in the beloved original series episode "Mirror, Mirror," which aired on October ...

  12. The Mirror Universe in Star Trek Television, Explained

    The Mirror Universe in Star Trek Television, Explained. Created by Gene Roddenberry in 1966, the space adventure franchise Star Trek has endured for generations, spawning dozens of series, movies ...

  13. Mirror universe

    The Mirror Universe Saga had the Empire come about because the Romulans conquered Earth and enslaved humans for almost a decade. When Earth overthrew the Romulans, it embarked on a program of conquest itself, and became the Terran Empire. The Bajorans and Trill had empires until they were conquered by Earth.

  14. Star Trek 10's Best Mirror Universe Variants

    The Mirror Universe in Star Trek is home to the darker and more twisted versions of some of the franchise's best-loved characters. The Mirror Universe was first introduced in a memorable episode of Star Trek: The Original Series that brought the "darkest timeline" and a bearded Spock (Leonard Nimoy) into the pop culture imagination.It established the brutal Terran Empire in Star Trek canon, a ...

  15. Star Trek: History of the Mirror Universe

    A brief history of the Mirror Universe, which shared a special connection to the Prime Universe, containing the United Federation of Planets. Based in the Un...

  16. Earth

    Earth as seen from Luna. Earth's orbit around its sun, Sol, measured more than two hundred million kilometers in diameter.(TNG: "Relics") Earth was located in the Alpha Quadrant, less than ninety light years from the boundary to the Beta Quadrant.(ENT: "Broken Bow", "Two Days and Two Nights"; Star Trek Into Darkness production art) It was a little over sixteen light years away from the planet ...

  17. star trek

    Now, unless someone shows up with a reference to some event in Star Trek canon which actually depicts the rotation of Earth in the mirror universe, or something that could be used to imply it (e.g. a scene occurring at a particular time of day in which the position of the sun can be established), I don't think you can make any sort of ...

  18. Earth (mirror)

    Earth in the mirror universe was the center and capital of the Terran Empire, with a history different from the primary universe's Earth.. One historical difference arose in 2063, when Zefram Cochrane made first contact with the Vulcans.His colleagues attacked the Vulcans and stole their technology. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly") The Terran Empire was in existence for centuries by 2155.

  19. Star Trek: What Is The Mirror Universe?

    The Mirror Universe stands as an enduring and crucial facet of the Star Trek saga. It serves as a haunting testament to the duality of nature, unveiling the unsettling truth that even the most ...

  20. Mirror Universe

    In the mirror universe, the earth is a sphere, but the Mirror Self of The Brigadier has a cool eyepatch. ... Mystery Science Theater 3000 explicitly parodies the Star Trek mirror universe in their "Last of the Wild Horses" episode. Tom and Gypsy are swapped with their evil counterparts. In the evil universe, Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank are ...

  21. Earth-Romulan War (mirror)

    For the primary universe counterpart, see Earth-Romulan War. In the mirror universe, the Earth-Romulan War, also known as the First Romulan War and Terran-Romulan War, was an interstellar war fought between the forces of the Terran Empire and the Romulan Star Empire in the 22nd century. When the Terran Empire first encountered the Romulans, it could not completely subjugate them. The enigmatic ...

  22. Mirror, Mirror (Star Trek: The Original Series)

    "Mirror, Mirror" is the fourth episode of the second season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek. Written by Jerome Bixby and directed by Marc Daniels, it was first broadcast on October 6, 1967.. The episode involves a transporter malfunction that swaps Captain Kirk and his companions with their evil counterparts from a parallel universe (later dubbed the "Mirror Universe").

  23. Mirror Universe / Star Trek

    The Star Trek: The Next Generation novel "Dark Mirror" explores a Mirror Universe where the Terran Empire, or the United Empire of Planets as its called here, survives well into the 24th century after Spock's efforts to reform the Empire fail. By the 2360s the Empire is running out of space to conquer and makes an unsuccessful attempt to conquer the prime universe. note

  24. New Mirror Universe Building: District 56

    Mirror Universe Entry Vouchers; The amount of Liquid Trellium-D and Premium Rift Keys included in the claim will improve with every 5 levels of the District 56 facility. The Mirror Refinery will also provide you with the materials needed to upgrade the facility.

  25. The Most Beloved Classic Star Trek Story Is A Secret Mirror Universe

    Certainly, that would explain much of the aggression in the Mirror Universe, a reality where Zefram Cochrane initiated first contact by murdering Earth's first Vulcan visitors and looting their ...

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    The Gorn only appeared once in Star Trek: Enterprise, but their hatred was depicted in a new and frightening way.The NX-01 Enterprise crew encounters the Gorn in the Mirror Universe Star Trek: Enterprise season 4's two-parter. Unlike the previous version of the Gorn in the 1960s and 70s when they were either a costume or animation, Enterprise used new technology, computer-generated imagery ...

  27. Prodigy Season 2 is the Most Epic Star Trek Season In Years

    Even among the most diehard Star Trek fans, there is bound to be some part of the vast franchise that gets missed. With 13 films, various shorts, countless novels and comics, 11 distinct TV series ...

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    Like, there's a thing called Tribbles. There's time travel episodes. There's a thing called a Mirror Universe. These are fantastic, fun elements to Star Trek to reintroduce to a whole new audience."

  29. 'Star Trek Prodigy' Season 2 Review

    A year after Star Trek: Prodigy was cancelled at Paramount+, the series has delivered one of the best 20-episode runs of television in recent memory with its long-awaited Season 2 premiere.It's ...