Before Star Trek Into Darkness came out, I thought If [REDACTED] isn't about [REDACTED], what else could it be about?
OK, I should explain for the non-Trekkers. The new Trek has one of J.J. Abrams's beloved "mystery box" issues that's since been mostly spoiled across the wide reaches of the Internet. A lot of people guessed correctly, before it was confirmed that, yep, [REDACTED] was in the film but used in a much different way than [REDACTED] had been used in previous Treks. Me, before I saw it, I kept trying to think of what else could've been the basis of a film called Star Trek Into Darkness, and it hit me:
What if it involved the Mirror Universe? That's the other big alternate timeline of Star Trek, introduced in a pretty kick-ass original series episode written by Jerome Bixby, where Starfleet is evil and officers kill their superiors to advance in rank. It's Star Trek gone gloriously wrong, and where Spock finds logical reasons to be evil*.
I justified my theory, while admitting I was probably wrong, due to one moment in a trailer when the Enterprise is confronted with a Starfleet vessel that's larger and (ominously) darker. terri_osborne pointed out that the ship looked kind of like the Enterprise-E from the Next Generation films. What if that ship had come over from the Mirror Universe, sent by the Terran Empire to pound the (in comparison) weak United Federation of Planets and take over this universe?
Then I found out that, yep, Star Trek Into Darkness used Khan. So my theory felt superfluous. A movie throwing in both Khan and the Mirror Universe would've been even more complicated and probably overly "plot-ty" than Into Darkness turned out to be. And having this really strong Star Trek cast that Abrams and Company assembled for these new films have to start playing the evil Mirror versions of themselves so soon into their time playing these characters? That might be unfair to those actors. Let them get even more comfortable and experienced playing these versions of the characters, then have them play their Mirror selves. Make it more likely that their performances could be subtle and not cartoonish "Ooo I'm evil!" posturing. The Mirror Universe, if it's used in new!Trek at all, should at most happen a few films down the line.
But I then had a thought I'd never had: Would there have been a Mirror Universe Khan? What would Mirror Khan have been like? A useful tool? (...not dissimilar to how Khan is used in Into Darkness, come to think. It doesn't fit as badly as I'd thought!) Would he have succeeded in taking over planets, or more? Would he have wanted to? Would even he not be ruthless enough for the Mirror Universe? Would he be even more ruthless than he's been in other incarnations?
I'm kind of afraid to Google "Mirror Universe Khan" to see if fanfic writers have written this. Don't send me links, either.
* Though I get annoyed when people call Spock's facial hair in the episode a goatee. It's a Van Dyke, dammit!