• Characters in Star Trek often make unexpected decisions or reveal hidden truths that surprise the audience.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine contains many shocking revelations due to its lengthy Dominion War storyline.
  • Plot twists in Star Trek can involve characters joining secret organizations or changing loyalties, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.

While Star Trek has never relied solely on big reveals and shock value, that doesn’t mean that Star Trek has not seen its fair share of plot twists and turns. Since Star Trek: The Original Series began airing in 1966, the franchise has made use of many different storytelling techniques. While TOS often led into commercial breaks with cliffhangers or dramatic reveals, shocking twists became more prevalent in the television landscape as shows began focusing more on serialized storytelling. Still, almost every Star Trek series has at least one big reveal.

Many of Star Trek’s most shocking reveals have to do with characters that audiences have come to know. Characters will make sudden surprising decisions or the audience will find out that a character has been lying for several episodes. While some reveals have more foreshadowing than others, many of these twists are difficult to see coming. With its lengthy Dominion War storyline and shifting alliances, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine contains many of the most shocking revelations, but it’s not the only Trek show that managed to shock viewers. Keep reading for 10 Star Trek plot twists that nobody saw coming.

10 William Boimler Joins Section 31 In Star Trek: Lower Decks

Star Trek Lower Decks Boimler Section 31

In Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2, episode 2, “Kayshon, His Eyes Open,” Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) has been transferred to the USS Titan under the command of Captain William Riker (Jonathan Frakes). On one of his missions for the Titan, a transporter duplicate of Boimler is accidentally created. This clone becomes known as William Boimler and joins the crew of the Titan while Brad goes back to the USS Cerritos. In Lower Decks season 3, episode 8, “Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus,” Brad Boimler learns that his clone William died due to a gas leak on the Titan. However, the final scene of this episode reveals that William Boimler fake his death so he could join the Starfleet Intelligence group known as Section 31.

9 Ro Laren Joins The Maquis In Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek TNG Preemptive Strike Ro Lauren

Introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation season 5 episode, “Ensign Ro,” Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes) was a Bajoran Starfleet officer who had recently been demoted to the rank of Ensign after a failed away mission. After she joined the crew of the USS Enterprise-D, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) became her mentor, and he requested that she stay on the Enterprise after her initial assignment. Near the end of TNG, in season 7, episode 24, “Preemptive Strike,” Ro infiltrates the rebel group known as the Maquis for Starfleet, but she soon begins to question her loyalties. Ro eventually betrays Starfleet and joins the Maquis, much to Captain Picard’s disappointment. Decades later, Star Trek: Picard season 3 revealed Ro would later turn herself into Starfleet and eventually become part of Starfleet Intelligence.

8 Captain Lorca Is From the Mirror Universe In Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek Discovery Lorca Mirror Universe

Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) first appeared in Star Trek: Discovery season 1, episode 3, “Context is For Kings,” as the Captain of the USS Discovery. For most of Discovery season 1, the audience and the characters believe Captain Lorca to be the Prime Universe Lorca, despite some of his atypical behavior. When Captain Lorca and Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) go to the Mirror Universe in Discovery episode 12, “Vaulting Ambition,” Burnham uncovers Lorca’s deception. She puts the pieces together to determine that the Mirror Universe Lorca has been using her and the Discovery to get back to the Mirror Universe and take over the ship of Emperor Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh).

7 Jack Crusher Has Borg DNA (And So Does Picard) In Star Trek: Picard

Star Trek Picard Jack Crusher Borg

Throughout Star Trek: Picard season 3, there had been hints that something was wrong with Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers). He had been experiencing strange visions and could occasionally see through the eyes of other officers. The penultimate episode of Picard season 3, “Vox,” reveals that Jack Crusher has Borg DNA in his mind that has been causing these changes. This Borg DNA had been passed down from Jack’s father, Jean-Luc Picard, after Picard’s time as Locutus of Borg. The shocking return of the Borg in Picard season 3 truly brought Picard’s story full circle and followed up on a plotline that began 30 years ago.

6 Lt. Commander Michael Eddington Is Maquis in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Star Trek DS9 For the Cause Eddington Sisko

After the Dominion finally revealed themselves to the Federation in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Starfleet sent Lt. Commander Michael Eddington (Kenneth Marshall) to act as the Security Chief on space station Deep Space Nine. Throughout his time on the station, Eddington worked with Constable Odo (René Auberjonois) and became friends with Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks). Unbeknownst to Sisko or anyone else on the station, Eddington had been in contact with the Maquis for quite some time and sympathized with their actions. A year and a half after Eddington had joined the crew of Deep Space Nine, he defected to the Maquis, stealing a shipment of replicators as he left. Eddington later contacted Sisko trying to explain his choices, but Sisko vowed to have him taken into custody.

5 Seska Is A Cardassian Operative In Star Trek: Voyager

Star Trek Voyager State of Flux Seska

Seska (Martha Hackett) was a member of the Maquis who served with Chakotay (Robert Beltran) on the ship Val Jean. When the Val Jean and the USS Voyager were flung into the Delta Quadrant, Seska reluctantly joined Voyager’s crew. Seska often expressed her dislike of Starfleet and the Federation and didn’t care about following Starfleet’s rules. Seska was injured when she tried to covertly work with the Kazon in the Delta Quadrant, and The Doctor (Robert Picardo) discovered that she was actually a Cardassian who had been altered to appear Bajoran. It was then revealed that Seska was a Cardassian Operative who had infiltrated the Maquis and then been stranded with them in the Delta Quadrant. After her deception was discovered, Seska left Voyager to join the Kazon.

4 Dr. M’Benga Kills Dak’Rah In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Star Trek Strange New Worlds Under the Cloak of War M'Benga

There had been hints throughout Star Trek: Strange New Worlds that Dr. Joseph M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) had been a soldier in his past, but it wasn’t until SNW season 2’s “Under the Cloak of War” that viewers learned more about his backstory. When Klingon War General turned Ambassador Dak’Rah (Robert Wisdom) visits the USS Enterprise, it brings up painful memories for M’Benga and Nurse Christine Chapel (Jess Bush) about the time they spent on the front lines of the Klingon War. M’Benga, in particular, finds it difficult to interact with Dak’Rah, because he knows firsthand the atrocities committed on Dak’Rah’s orders. M’Benga has devoted his life to saving lives as a doctor, but “Under the Cloak of War” ends with a surprising twist as Dr. M’Benga kills Dak’Rah, claiming that some things cannot be forgiven.

3 Dr. Bashir Was Replaced By A Changeling in DS9

Star Trek DS9 In Purgatroys Shadow Dr. Bashir Changeling

In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 5, episode 14, “In Purgatory’s Shadow,” Lt. Commander Worf (Michael Dorn) and Garak (Andrew Robinson) travel to a Dominion prison after Garak decodes a message from an old friend. When Worf and Garak are discovered and taken prisoner by Dominion soldiers, they find the real Dr. Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) has been imprisoned there for some time. This means that the Dr. Bashir back on Deep Space Nine is a Changeling spy. The Bashir Changeling sabotages Deep Space Nine, but is eventually killed when the USS Defiant destroys the runabout he steals. While the timeline of Bashir’s replacement by a Changeling is questionable, it was certainly shocking to see a second Bashir appear in prison when he was supposedly back on the station.

2 Garak Kills The Romulan Senator For Sisko In DS9’s “In The Pale Moonlight”

Star Trek DS9 In the Pale Moonlight Garak Sisko

In one of Star Trek’s darkest episodes, Captain Benjamin Sisko faces some difficult moral choices. The Dominion War continues to rage around Deep Space Nine, and the Federation is not faring particularly well. The Federation and the Klingons need the Romulans to join them against the Dominion if they are to win the war. Sisko enlists the Cardassian tailor – and former spy – Garak to help him persuade the Romulans. They forge evidence stating that the Dominion plans to attack the Romulans’ homeworld, but Romulan Senator Vreenak (Stephen McHattie) discovers their treachery. Garak then kills Vreenak and pins the death on the Dominion, convincing the Romulans to join the side of the Federation. In the end, Sisko helps cover up Garak’s actions, condoning forgery, bribery, and murder in the name of saving the Alpha Quadrant.

Star Trek Balance of Terror Romulans

“Balance of Terror” is widely regarded as one of Star Trek: The Original Series’ best episodes. Not only is it a tense and well-acted hour of television, it also introduces the Romulans, who would become major antagonists in the Star Trek franchise. Before the iconic Mark Lenard appears as the first Romulan seen on screen, Captain James T. Kirk Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) discuss the war that took place a century ago between Earth and the Romulans. Because of the lack of technology at the time, no one in the Federation had seen a Romulan before, but they were said to be “cruel” and “treacherous.” Everyone on the Enterprise bridge is shocked to see how closely the Romulans resemble the Vulcans, with one crew member even beginning to doubt Spock’s loyalty. Later episodes explore the relationship between Vulcans and Romulans, but this first appearance proved to be one of Star Trek’s best twists.

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