On October 6, 1967, Star Trek delivered an episode that remains the gold standard for parallel universes. Half a century later, “Mirror, Mirror” remains a timeless icon of scifi storytelling, and one of the best episodes of Star Trek , full stop. Because as cool as the premise is, it’s a reminder of what makes Trek ’s heroes so noble.

The legacy of “Mirror, Mirror” in 2017 is unquestionable. Beyond Star Trek , Mirror Spock’s sinister goatee created a pop culture icon, the now-standard visual language for communicating an evil alternate version of a character. In Trek , of course, the Mirror Universe was revisited multiple times—on TV in both Deep Space Nine and Enterprise , giving us glimpses of what the Mirror Universe looked like before and after the classic episode, while countless novels and comics have given us new insights through the lenses of The Next Generation and even the Kelvin Timeline movies .

But “Mirror, Mirror” could’ve very nearly been nowhere near as impactful as it came to be. Early drafts for the story only featured Captain Kirk being whisked away to a strange, alternate reality, one that was far less sinister than the Mirror Universe we ended up with—instead of showing us what happened to the Mirror counterparts transferred to the “prime” universe. That’s something that would’ve robbed us of the final product’s greatest success, which was not just throwing a larger cast of the regular characters into the Mirror Universe (in the actual episode Uhura, Scotty, and McCoy all joined Kirk), but seeing their villainous counterparts flung into “our” world, too.

The characters in the Mirror Universe are aggressive, mistrustful, and opportunistic in personality. Whereas the Star Trek universe depicts an optimistic future in which the Earth-based United Federation of Planets values peace, co-operation and exploration, episodes set in the Mirror Universe feature the human-dominated authoritarian Terran Empire which values war, despotism, and conquest instead. [7]

The Mirror Universe was later revisited in the Deep Space Nine second-season episode " Crossover ", and turned into a storyarc that spanned into the final season, with five Mirror Universe episodes over the course of five seasons. [4] The show reveals that when exposed to individuals from the normal universe, the Terran Empire began to reform itself for the better, but was overthrown in the 23rd century by an alliance of alien species who took advantage of the Empire's self-weakening and conquered it, enslaving Terrans and Vulcans in the process. [10]

A two-part episode of Star Trek: Enterprise , entitled " In a Mirror, Darkly ", introduces the early developments of the Mirror Universe. [5]

On October 6, 1967, Star Trek delivered an episode that remains the gold standard for parallel universes. Half a century later, “Mirror, Mirror” remains a timeless icon of scifi storytelling, and one of the best episodes of Star Trek , full stop. Because as cool as the premise is, it’s a reminder of what makes Trek ’s heroes so noble.

The legacy of “Mirror, Mirror” in 2017 is unquestionable. Beyond Star Trek , Mirror Spock’s sinister goatee created a pop culture icon, the now-standard visual language for communicating an evil alternate version of a character. In Trek , of course, the Mirror Universe was revisited multiple times—on TV in both Deep Space Nine and Enterprise , giving us glimpses of what the Mirror Universe looked like before and after the classic episode, while countless novels and comics have given us new insights through the lenses of The Next Generation and even the Kelvin Timeline movies .

But “Mirror, Mirror” could’ve very nearly been nowhere near as impactful as it came to be. Early drafts for the story only featured Captain Kirk being whisked away to a strange, alternate reality, one that was far less sinister than the Mirror Universe we ended up with—instead of showing us what happened to the Mirror counterparts transferred to the “prime” universe. That’s something that would’ve robbed us of the final product’s greatest success, which was not just throwing a larger cast of the regular characters into the Mirror Universe (in the actual episode Uhura, Scotty, and McCoy all joined Kirk), but seeing their villainous counterparts flung into “our” world, too.

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Star Trek Mirror, Mirror

Posted by 2018 article

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