So last night, Space showed the Star Trek:TOS episode The Tholian Web. Mr I observed that the ship in the episode, the Defiant, had the same name as the ship in Wrath of Khan but looked nothing the same. I reminded him that the Defiant in this episode was never recovered so it wasn’t the same ship.
Then I remembered that it was in fact, recovered, by the Mirror Universe version of the Star Trek Enterprise crew.
This got me thinking about the Mirror Universe episodes of Enterprise, and it suddenly hit me: the difference between the Mirror Universe and the Prime Universe, appears to be the civilizing influence of the Enteprise D/E crew.
Think about it. When the Enterprise crew meets Zephram Cochrane, he is developing his warp drive purely for the money. He doesn’t want to be the hero the Enterprise crew thinks he is. It is only when they talk up the wonderful future awaiting them that Cockrane rises to the occasion. Plus he knows in advance that the arrival of the Vulcans is a good thing.
Mirror Universe Cockrane on the other hand, hasn’t had any mentoring, and doesn’t know that the Vulcans are benevolent. He decides it is better safe than sorry, kills the Vulcans, and loots their ship.
Take it back another step. Why is the Enterprise D/E in the past? To stop the Borg.
Why do the Borg know about the Federation? Because Q threw the Enterprise D into their path.
So did Q throw the Enterprise into the path of the Borg in order to ultimately send the Enterprise back in time, to make sure humanity would meet the Vulcans peacefully, and thereby laid the groundwork for the Federation?
If so, this would also put a new light on Tapestry, the episode where Q seems to save Picard from dying when his artificial heart failed. It would mean that Q saved Picard because he had to, if Picard died, the Federation’s existence would become a time paradox.
ETA: Perhaps this is why Q puts humanity on trial? He wants to know if the changes he has made have made a significant improvement in their behaviour compared to their Mirror Universe counterparts? Perhaps he is grooming the prime universe version of humanity to one day be like the Q?