In the season two trailer, the character of Starfleet officer Michael Burnham was visited by an alien resembling a “red angel” though no-one knows for sure what this alien was. Understandably fans have been trying to work out what this alien is and where they came from and what they want and why they have appeared, and what their potential connection to the “red bursts” that are the focus of the season. What is known about these phenomena is over seven identical anomalies have appeared and they have spread throughout the galaxy.
Starfleet has never encountered anything like them before, naturally enough, though they had noticed the anomalies have appeared in an almost synchronous manner which indicates an intelligence is behind their appearance.
So far this Red Angel is supposed to be appearing to bring calm and peace to people in hours of need. When Michael Burnham saw the Angel, she felt hope. In the trailer, she said it is visible to those open-minded to see it.
The New Theory about Star Trek Discovery ’s Red Angel
Star Trek fans believe this alien being might actually be an Iconian since it has a startling resemblance to the beings who appeared in the Star Trek Online game. In the series, it is hinted Spock himself has a connection to these “red bursts.” In Star Trek Discovery, it is stated that Michael Burnham’s foster brother and famous friend of Captain Kirk, has been enduring strange visions no-one can explain since childhood which is a new twist in the Star Trek canon. It is also stated Spock will need help for his visions from the Discovery crew.
Spock has found these visions so unusual he has been granted medical leave in order to cope, and he has checked himself into a psychiatric institution. Amanda Grayson, Spock’s human mother has visited, and she has revealed her son has had these visions in the past as well. Apparently, during Michael and Spock’s childhood spent on Vulcan, Michael had run away from her foster family, and a red angel appeared before Spock to guide him to where she was.
In an episode dubbed “New Eden” the Discovery encounters a colony of humans who were somehow transported from Earth to their new world, some 50,000 light years away, long before Zefram Cochrane invented warp drive, and long before the days of Jonathan Archer in the NX Enterprise which led to the founding of the United Federation of Planets.
How did they get there? According to the colonists of this mysterious settlement, a similar red angel appeared before them, like in the visions Spock has been receiving and rescued them. The colonists are the descendants of people hiding in a church from somewhere in World War Two, and they were transported from Earth to this new planet where they were able to survive in peace.
It is too early in Star Trek Discovery for any real clues, so the fans are left to speculate on the identity of these aliens. And then fans came up with a remarkable theory the red angels are in fact the Iconians.
Who are the Iconians?
Labelled the “Demons of Air and Darkness” in Star Trek the Next Generation’s season two episode “Contagion” is an extremely old and highly advanced civilisation. In the two episodes seen on Star Trek that showed Iconian technology, viewers and fans of the Star Trek were shown the Iconians did not travel through space using spaceships. Instead, they used sophisticated transporter technology that opened “portals” showing the vista of different planets in different parts of the Milky Way (or beyond), and you simply stepped across through the portals and you were on that other world.
In a way it is no different from Stargate SG1 Stargate wormholes, only the Iconian portals showed the planets, and the end of the doorway moved from one planet to the next like a slideshow in a powerpoint presentation.
The Iconians have never been seen in person, so if the red angels are the Iconians, it would be remarkable since this particular race has never been seen in person, and their appearances and mentions in the various books, video games, and so on after the last airings of the Star Trek television shows is apocryphal. It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but the mystery in Star Trek Discovery does have a connection to the Iconians.
Evidence the New Theory about Star Trek Discovery’s Red Angel are the Iconians
Forget the books and games about the Iconians. In actual fact, no-one knows a great deal about them. Less is known about the Red Angels that have been appearing. The compelling similarities between the two are too much to ignore.
Firstly, they both know how to travel through space without needing to worry about building spaceships. They just appear out of nowhere, which echoes the Iconians’ ancient nickname “demons of air and darkness” since when the Iconian traveller stepped through their portals, to the inhabitants of a primitive world, it would be as though the traveller had appeared out of thin air!
The Iconians went missing 200,000 or so years before the events in season two of Star Trek Discovery after their homeworld was attacked and devastated out of fear over the technology they used to travel peacefully through space, and they were vilified as conquerors. If they are the Angels, it is possible they have advanced themselves. They have had the time to do so. The Iconian gateway technology was far more advanced than anything seen in the other Star Trek television shows, though there were some pretty impressive technologies.
The next important point is that the planet where the colony of humans rescued from World War Two is pretty much in the same neighbourhood as the Iconian’s former homeworld, though this isn’t exactly evidenced it is the Iconians.
The next point is that the red angels and the Iconians are similar in spirit the Iconians were only explored in books that aren’t exactly canon, the general view of the Iconians is they are an overall benevolent race that has been misunderstood and victimised. They have a philosophy similar to Starfleet’s prime directive where they won’t interfere in the affairs of an alien culture.
The red angels seem to appear at random periods, making it seem they are being cautious when they appear before another race. If they are the Iconians then it would make sense they would be careful given their past. While it remains to be seen whether or not the Iconians and the Red Angels are the same, it is still possible, and it will definitely change everything in Star Trek Discovery.