The last words of former USS Enterprise officer Gary Mitchell confirms the true nature of the Star Trek universe’s biggest threat. Something, or someone, is killing the franchise’s godlike beings – Gary Mitchell among them – and in the landmark Star Trek #400, released by IDW Publishing, readers see his last moments. Gary confronts the threat head-on, and with his dying breath, gives shocking insight into the franchise’s newest and most terrifying villain.
Gary Mitchell has only made one canonical, on-screen appearance, in the classic series episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” Gary, who was a longtime friend of Kirk’s as well as one of his senior officers, was exposed to a mysterious form of energy when the Enterprise breached the Galactic Barrier. As a result, Gary obtained godlike powers, including an advanced intellect, which he used to menace his crewmates. Kirk, taking advantage of a moment of weakness on Gary’s part, defeated Gary by the skin of his teeth, leaving his former friend behind on an empty and barren planet. Yet, as revealed in Star Trek #400‘s ‘A Perfect System,’ Gary survived as an elevated being. Sadly, his return is short-lived, as he comes face to face with the ultra-powerful god-killer.
Since his return, Gary Mitchell has moved beyond threatening all life, and has transformed into a benevolent creator, one capable of creating entire solar systems. As the god-killer looms close, Gary reflects on the progression of galactic history, starting with Zefram Cochrane in the 21st century and stretching all the way to the 24th century, when the story is set. Human history is one of moving forward, exploration, and discovery – and Mitchell reveals that in time, they too will ascend to his level. Furthermore, it will not just be one human ascending, it will be all of them. As Gary begins to expire, he tells the god-killer the world the Federation wants to build has a place for “everyone and anything.” However, in Mitchell’s eyes, the god-killer represents the one idea that won’t be welcome – the desire to eradicate meaning. As Gary draws his final breath, he tells the god-killer: “It has no place for you.” The story was written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly and drawn by Ramon Rosanas.
Star Trek’s God-Killer is the Federation’s Opposite
Star Trek’s god-killer, at its core, represents a threat to the Federation’s ideals and principles. The Federation stands for diversity and celebrating difference. Mitchell is correct: there is a spot in the Federation for everyone who wants to join. Races in the Federation range from humanoids such as humans and Vulcans, to non-corporeal species, such as the Medusans – this diversity is what drives the Federation. Yet the god-killer stands for nothingness and the absence of meaning. The god-killer’s nihilistic mission puts it in direct opposition to the Federation’s philosophy of tolerance, understanding, and progress.
Mitchell’s assertion that humans will one day ascend to god-like status has been mentioned several times throughout the franchise, most notably by Q in The Next Generation’s series finale. If this is true, and humanity is evolving into the same beings the god-killer is after, then it represents an existential threat to the very notion of humanity as well. While fans still don’t know the identity of the god-killer, Gary Mitchell’s last words reveal why Star Trek‘s huge new threat is the dark opposite of the Federation.