Fan theories: Fans guess where Star Trek will next boldly go
Imagine this: Jean-Luc Picard has been assimilated by the Borg and will become the vanguard in the conquest of Earth. Only Captain William Riker and the intrepid crew of the starship Enterprise stands between the Federation and the greatest threat to sentient life that the galaxy has ever seen. The menacing figure on the Enterprise viewscreen, responsible for the deaths of some 11,000, tries to intimidate Riker more. But Riker, in perhaps his finest moment, doesn’t blink. He gives the command: Fire!
But see, this was 1990. Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet yet, nor did we have cell phones or even DVDs. Words like “text”, “streaming”, “viral” and “spoiler” hadn’t taken on their 21st-century connotations. So when part one of “The Best of Both Worlds” ended, all we could do was wait – and theorize what would happen next.
This was not the first time Star Trek devotees had to get to work on fan theories (How else to reconcile Christopher Lloyd’s Krug in Star Trek III with the far less bumpy-headed Klingons we’d met in TOS, for example…?), but that cliffhanger may have been the epitome, until recently, of all ST fan theories.
The internet has gloriously expanded upon the potential of fan theories. Fan sites of all stripes act as sounding boards for any amount of speculation and is usually received judgement-free with an eye to sparking conversation/debate online. No longer does one have to wait for the next big convention or the upcoming meeting of one’s local fan club.
Indeed, Star Trek: Discovery seems positively fueled on fan theories. Seasons 1 and 2 each had a narrative-twisting mystery at its heart. While much regarding the enigmatic Captain Lorca of Discovery’s first season was sussed out by most fans in online fora, season 2 spawned much fodder for online conversation, particularly vis-à-vis the continuity established in TOS.
So here at Star Trek Guide, we say “Viva the fan theories!” (Hell, two of Os Davis’s earliest contributions to the STG blog were fan theories.) Be sure to check out this page for the latest guesses – going viral, even – at the ST universe’s ever-changing dimensions. You just might get your mind blown – even if the imaginary worlds of Trek fan theories never quite come to fruition…