In the Enterprise episode "In a Mirror Darkly", the Mirror Universe's First Contact is shown with the Vulcans acting normally, but Zefram Cochrane pulling a shotgun on them and boarding their ship. The future Enterprise crew (under Picard) are nowhere to be seen. In First Contact, Cochrane tells Riker (taken from IMDB)

You wanna know what my vision is? Dollar signs, money! I didn't build this ship to usher in a new era for humanity. You think I wanna see the stars? I don't even like to fly! I take trains! I built this ship so I could retire to some tropical island... filled with
Dr. Zefram Cochrane: naked women. THAT'S Zefram Cochrane. THAT'S his vision. This other guy you keep talking about, this historical figure? I never met him. I can't imagine I ever will.

By the end of the film, Cochrane seems to have been changed, and proves his worth as a great scientist, restoring the original timeline. However, if the Borg and the Enterprise had never been there, would Cochrane have robbed the Vulcans - as shown in the Mirror Universe? This would mean that the Prime Universe is really just an alternate timeline of the Mirror Universe, created by a predestinaton paradox set in motion by the Enterprise-E. Is this possible, or would this contradict existing canon?

  • Weren't the Enterprise-E crew already gone by the time the Vulcans landed? Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 18:03
  • 2
    Riker, Geordi and Troi are shown standing behind Cochrane here as the Vulcan vessel touches down. Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 18:15
  • Interesting thought... But I don't think this question has an answer.
    – Dima
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 18:21
  • 1
    Whao.. Nice theory.
    – user931
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 5:26

4 Answers 4


No, because if the mirror universe did split off from the prime universe, it did so centuries ago. Shakespeare's plays over in the mirror universe are different than in the prime universe (cite: ENT: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part 2), so the split would have to be prior to that point in time. By the time of First Contact, they'd been different for a long time.

It's worth noting that since that information comes from Enterprise, it's true for both the Prime and 2009 film's timelines.

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    Excellent point, which also demolishes my pet theory that the mirror universe was created as a side-effect of the "Hitler won" alternate timeline in ENT. :-) Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 0:37
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    Actually (as your linked article says), Shakespeare was the exception, as his works were equally dark in both universes. It's the comment that other works were not, that is the key. (This doesn't change your answer, just means you justified it wrongly :P) Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 17:17
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit From what I recall, he was the only writer specifically named, and Phlox mentions there are still differences, so it's my quick go-to.
    – user1027
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 17:35
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    All Phlox says is "from what I can tell, his plays were equally grim in both universes". Unless I'm missing something. Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 17:43
  • mirror-Phlox says he found differences in other major works of "classical literature" (we don't know what date range that would encompass), but that Shakespeare's works were grim in both universes: "I was merely researching classical literature. I wanted to compare our major works with their counterparts in the other universe. I skimmed a few of the more celebrated narratives. The stories were similar in some respects, but their characters were weak and compassionate. With the exception of Shakespeare, of course. From what I could tell, his plays were equally grim in both universes."
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 19:59

Short answer: probably not. But maybe. But probably not.

From memory-alpha:

Dating divergence

The credits sequence for the mirror universe Star Trek: Enterprise television series used footage of battles going back at least to the "Age of Sail". The mirror Phlox noted that the "great works" of literature in both universes were roughly the same, except that their characters were "soft and weak" (except for Shakespeare), pushing back the earliest possible date for a divergence to the 16th century. In mirror-Archer's deleted speech from "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", he invokes the favor of the "gods." This, together with Marlena Moreau's statement about "being the woman of a Caesar", in "Mirror, Mirror", suggests that the Terran Imperial tradition extends at least back to ancient Rome. However, given the nature of the mirror universe, these statements should be taken with a grain of salt.


The existence of a "point of divergence" from the traditional Star Trek universe has not been confirmed, though according to the novel Fearful Symmetry, the mirror universe is in fact a parallel quantum universe, as quantum signature scans used to match Worf with his USS Enterprise-D in TNG: "Parallels" were also able to differentiate natives of the mirror universe from those of the prime reality. This suggests that even though the two universes were always separate, they shared a similar past up to some point in their history.

According to the FASA role-playing games and The Best of Trek, the mirror universe diverges from the prime timeline around the Eugenics Wars, while DC Comics' The Mirror Universe Saga comics speculate the Earth-Romulan War was the point of divergence, with Earth having lost that war, and then embarking on a policy of conquest after overthrowing the Romulans (it is not known what kind of contact Sato's Empire had with the Romulans). Still other works, the novels of William Shatner's Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Trilogy (co-written with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens) and the novelization of Star Trek: First Contact seem to indicate that time travel of the Borg to Zefram Cochrane's era might be responsible. This explanation would tie in with ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly" when the Vulcans first arrived and were killed by Cochrane.

Dark Mirror, a Pocket TNG novel by Diane Duane, places the mirror universe as parallel since at least the end of Homer's Iliad, where the mirror universe parallel of Achilles kills old King Priam after the death of Hector when asked to return Hector's body for funeral rites, instead of showing one moment of Humanity. Picard thought that that moment in the original prime universe version as the one time in the poem when "that terrible man showed mercy... but not here." After this there seems to be some sort of "moral inversion". For instance, according to Plato the perfect government is now one in which fear is meted out to the people in proper proportion by a wise ruler. Picard notes that the ending of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice is drastically different: Shylock is awarded, and accepts, the owed pound of flesh.



Nice theory, but it falls apart on inspection.

First of all, previous authors have already pointed out that the universe split happened before 2063.

But we can address your specific theory more easily than that:

if the Borg and the Enterprise had never been there, would Cochrane have robbed the Vulcans - as shown in the Mirror Universe

If the Borg and the Enterprise had never been there, we are led to believe that Cochrane would have been too hungover and too unbothered to actually fly his ship. No Phoenix at warp, no Vulcan first contact.

Seven intimated this in Relativity, that the Enterprise-E didn't just save first contact from the Borg … the Borg themselves were part of the events that ensured first contact were to happen. Without the Borg attack bringing Troi and Riker to Boseman, Cochrane would not have jumped into his ship that day.

Might he had jumped into his ship the following day? Or the day after that? Maybe. But that doesn't appear to be what we saw in In A Mirror, Darkly.

Then again, all this breaks down because that very scene is set in a universe in which the USS Enterprise-E never even exists, let alone comes back in time to follow a Borg sphere. Well, who knows: perhaps the mirror universe had its own analogue of those events. :P

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    Great answer. :-)
    – Praxis
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 15:49

I think the only reason the Borg were part of the First contacted as Seven has described it is because of what they first did when they got there. They shelled the crap out of the settlement, and had it not been for the Enterprise destroying the Sphere, there would have been no launch anyway.

Geordi and Riker were the two sitting inside the Phoenix with Cochrane during the flight. We know from Lily pestering Zefram right before the initial attack that she wasn't going to go up in that thing with a drunken pilot, that had it not been for what happened, she would have been there with him. But what about the third seat? Although it is never said, its most likely the third person was killed or maimed in some way during the attack, but since the Enterprise crew needed to repair whatever damage had already been done by the attack, they ensured the flight went accordingly.

My theory, as there is no way to prove or disprove this whatsoever (unless speaking with the writer), is that the Prime Universe originally went off without a hitch, and the flight went how it was supposed to with all three original crew of the Phoenix. When the Borg went back in time to assimilate Earth, the Enterprise had to fix what was broken. Chances are some differences did occur, although marginal compared to what their present time was before the events of the movie.

As far as the Mirror Universe is concerned, at some point in Earth's distant past, a choice was made that drastically changed something and turned it into an alternate universe. According to Dr Michio Kaku's books: Parallel Worlds and Physics of the Impossible, it is theorized that this would be part alternate universe and part multiverse theory. The fact that there are a million different choices that can be made in any instance is irrelevant to us, as we have already made the choices that brought us to here, but had any one of us done something different, it is plausible to assume that this conversation may not have ever occurred in the first place. From whatever point it may be, it's theorized that those different choices have already happened simultaneous to what we in this universe did, and because all the choices were made, the alternate universe already exists.

The only time, according to Kaku, something becomes an alternate timeline, would be when past events in our universe are changed. If someone goes back into the past and say, kills Hitler before he took power, and tries to come back to his present, he would create an alternate timeline from his own and would not be able to return to his timeline, as he has changed history. The fact that the Borg did what they did in ST:FC changed the timeline, and the Enterprise tried to fix it. Whether it worked completely speculative at best, since it's impossible to know everything that could have changed from their original timeline, but technically, even the Borg's and Enterprise's presence in the past could have changed the timeline without them having done anything. So for Seven to say the Borg played a large role in first contact is true from her perspective, as she would be a product of the "altered" Prime Universe, but if it had never happened, who is to say exactly?

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