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Star Trek Reveals The Mirror Universe Could Have Beaten The Borg

Star Trek: Picard season 2's new trailer shockingly revealed that the United Federation of Planets is holding the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) prisoner, and that implies the Mirror Universe's Terran Empire could have beaten the Borg. In Star Trek: Picard season 2, Q (John de Lancie) changes the timeline so that the Federation is now a totalitarian regime, similar to the Terran Empire in the Mirror Universe. Ironically, the Federation lacking its lofty ideals could have been the key to conquering the Borg and its Queen.

The similarities between Star Trek: Picard season 2's fascist Federation and the Mirror Universe's Terran Empire are likely no accident. Introduced in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Mirror Mirror," the Mirror Universe is a parallel timeline where an Earth populated by cruel humans formed a powerful interstellar empire that conquered the Vulcans and the Klingons, among numerous races. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Mirror Universe episodes revealed that the Terran Empire collapsed and was conquered by a Klingon/Cardassian alliance in the 24th century. Star Trek: Enterprise showed the rising Terran Empire of the 22nd century but Star Trek: Discovery truly delved into the culture and fascism of the Terran Empire, thanks to its focus on Emperor Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and her struggles with her adopted daughter, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green).

Related: Why The Borg Queen Wants Picard In Season 2 (& How Jean-Luc Can Beat Her)

Star Trek: Picard season 2 showed a very different Federation and Starfleet, thanks to Q upending the Prime Universe's timeline. The Federation evolved in a very similar fashion to the Terran Empire in the Mirror Universe, embracing totalitarian black and red instead of the Terrans' shiny gold, but the imagery is eerily identical. But the Borg Queen imprisoned and helpless is a massive surprise. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) also shows that the Federation has harnessed Borg technology to achieve time travel, which fans saw in Star Trek: First Contact. The greater implication, however, is that the Borg did try to invade Federation space the way events unfolded in Star Trek: The Next Generation. However, the Starfleet of Picard season 2's darker alternate timeline must have defeated the Borg outright instead of eking out a victory and stalling another inevitable attack like in TNG.

The undercurrent of Star Trek: Picard season 2 is that a more militaristic and ruthless Starfleet does have the power to stop the Borg Queen. The Borg have always been technologically superior with a unified hive mind and an untold number of drones, and the Federation of the Prime Timeline have been the underdogs against the cyborgs from the Delta Quadrant. In TNG, Star Trek: First Contact, and Star Trek: Voyager, a combination of outwitting the Borg, Starfleet's scientific versatility, and outright luck have let our heroes foil the Borg but never defeat them completely.

But if a fascist version of the Federation was able to humble the Borg, it implies that the Mirror Universe's Terran Empire could have as well. Had the Terran Empire not been its own worst enemy and collapsed it likely would have had the ability to resort to any means necessary to defeat the Borg - something the Prime Universe's Federation will not do because of its principles. The Terran Empire was ruled by Emperors who would have seen the Borg Queen as a worthy opponent whose defeat would have been a prized objective for the glory of the Terran Empire. And, armed with Borg technology, the Terran Empire could even have endured for centuries instead of fading into history.

It's important to note that Star Trek: Picard season 2 is a time travel story; Q changed the Prime Universe's timeline and he didn't send Picard and his friends to the Mirror Universe. Instead, Star Trek: Picard is telling what would happen if the Prime Timeline became similar to the Mirror Universe, which is why Jean-Luc, Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd), Elnor (Evan Evagora), and Cristobal Rios (Santiago Cabrera) have to time travel to the 21st century to set things right. But maybe when Picard does fix the timeline, he brings back the realization that the Federation may need to adopt the Mirror Universe's tactics to beat the Borg once and for all.

Next: Picard Season 2 Trailer 3 Breakdown: 29 Reveals & Story Details

Star Trek: Picard season 2 premieres February 2022 on Paramount+.

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