Now that the big spoiler is out there — Carl is actually the Guardian of Forever — let’s speculate a little bit. Since the writers at Discovery made using this sacred Trek icon useable once more, we’d like to see what sort of crazy stuff can happen with the Guardian of Forever on Lower Decks.
A little background: The Guardian of Forever was created by the noted science fiction author Harlan Ellison, who wrote the script for the episode, “The City on the Edge of Forever.” The Guardian was actually supposed to be some sort of giant, and there were supposed to be more than one. This article on StarTrek.com details some of what could have been, had Ellison and other producers gotten their way.
Anyhow, the Guardian served as a way for Kirk, Spock, and McCoy to transport through time into the Great Depression-era United States. “City” went down as one of the greatest episodes for The Original Series, and has been honored over the years with several awards.
Later, legendary Trek writer D. C. Fontana created a sequel to “City,” where Spock used the Guardian to travel back in time when he was a child growing up on Vulcan. This episode, “Yesteryear,” is remembered as one of the best from The Animated Series.
So, now that the shackles are off, we’re wondering what kind of mischief Mariner and Boimler could get into with events from the past. Could the team from Star Trek: Lower Decks use the Guardian in Season 2?
YES! They might be working on this exact story right now. Mike McMahan spoke on the record with Trek YouTuber Ketwolski a few weeks back on what he and the Lower Decks team are doing, and they are still developing the shows we’ll see for the next season.
It makes sense that since McMahan said that the characters within Star Trek actually watch Star Trek, that Boimler would know about the Guardian. Mariner would not, and she would get them sucked into a hilarious situation in the past.
The discussion between Mariner and Boimler would probably be like how Maj. Kira and Dr. Bashir talked about “that time Kirk went to the Mirror Universe” during the episode they went to the Mirror Universe. The Deep Space Nine episode “Crossover” proves that McMahan is correct — Trek characters do watch Trek. And his Lower Decks people dropped hints throughout the first season indicating that.
Discovery and Lower Decks share jokes
Another point is that Lower Decks and Discovery writers appear not to have the same reign over their plots and jokes as those who work in the Marvel Universe. Is Alex Kurtzman less of a controlling force than Marvel’s Kevin Feige? Maybe.
We saw for ourselves that both Captain Freeman and Captain Saru both were looking for their new catchphrase when jumping to warp. Could we see a similar plot point happen on both Lower Decks and Discovery as well?
I admit, that this article contains on circumstantial evidence and conjecture, but wouldn’t it be hilarious if Mariner sassed the Guardian the same way that she backtalks her mom… I mean Captain Freeman? It would be Trek comedy gold!
Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Discovery are both available on CBS All Access.