SPOILERS for the most recent episodes of Star Trek: Discovery follow.
Two of the most frequently raised objections to Disco’s storyline are the supposedly canon-breaking spore drive that renders warp drive obsolete and Discovery ending up in the Mirror Universe more than a decade prior to Kirk’s transporter accident.
Based on what happened in recent episodes, particularly “Vaulting Ambition,” it’s possible that the solutions to those problems have already been set in motion.
The spore drive is probably the biggest elephant in the room, since it allows Discovery to travel anywhere in a fraction of a second. Obviously, it can’t be in play by the time TOS rolls around, and the writers have indicated that the major inconsistencies would be addressed at some point.
Stamets learns in “Vaulting Ambition” that Mirror-Stamets had somehow corrupted the mycelial network in his effort to harness the technology for his own gain. He quickly realized how serious the problem was after waking up and finding Discovery’s spore garden in a decaying ruin. The episode ends with Stamets searching for a way to save the network before it’s gone, but we don’t know yet if/how he will accomplish that.
If this decay is the way they take the spores out of the equation, I’m hoping they’ll have Stamets fail to save the network, but preserve a specimen and allow it to begin growing again. The understanding could then be that the spore network won’t be usable for a long period of time—perhaps several hundred years—but could be revisited in a future, post-TNG Trek series.
This one is a a bit more grounded. At first, it seemed as though Discovery’s trip to the Mirror Universe blatantly flew in the face of TOS’ “Mirror Mirror.” How could Discovery have this grand adventure in a parallel universe when Kirk was the first (known) person to cross over?
With the revelation last week that mirror-Lorca has been in command of Discovery all along, we have a pretty solid possibility: Discovery’s trip to the Mirror Universe was either never reported or was classified by Starfleet to preserve the timeline.
Since Discovery is aware of the Defiant’s eventual crossover and the mechanism it used to get there, revealing any or all of the information would alter the timeline. The Defiant crew would undoubtedly take steps to avoid the same fate. That would erase the Defiant’s trip to the Mirror Universe in 2155, mirror-Lorca’s crossover, and his subsequent command of Discovery in the prime universe. The war with the Klingons would unfold very differently, putting billions of lives at risk. The only plausible way to avoid that is to either never report Discovery’s crossover or classify the information.
We’ll see what happens next week!