Ever since it was revealed that Star Trek: Discovery’s Captain Lorca was, gasp, secretly from the franchise’s sinister Mirror Universe, having swapped places with his prime-reality self in a transporter accident aboard his ship, the Buran, fans have expected — nay, practically assumed — that one day Jason Isaacs would return to Star Trek. Even if the last we saw of Mirror Lorca was him being mortally wounded and punted into the heart of the Terran Empire’s flagship, disintegrating into itty-bitty arsehole bits.
But that, of course, just means that there’s another Lorca that Isaacs could play. After all, while we know that Mirror Lorca survived the destruction of the Prime timeline’s Buran early on in the Klingon-Federation war, we don’t actually know what happened to Prime Lorca beyond the fact he was transported over to the Mirror Universe in Arsehole-Lorca’s place. We just assumed that, as a (presumably) good-natured Starfleet Officer, Prime Lorca would’ve had an inevitably doomed fate of not being able to cope with suddenly having to live his life pretending to be the level of “this fascist xenophobic Empire just isn’t quite fascisticly xenophobic enough” evil his Mirror self is.
But what if he did? What if, somehow, he’s still alive?
Jason Isaacs himself would like to think he is, and that there’s still a chance for him to play the role.
“Where is Prime Lorca? Well, I admit that we talk. It’s not like when Mirror Lorca bit the bullet there wasn’t a clamoring for Prime Lorca, but the thing is, it has got to be a great story,” Isaacs speculated in a recent appearance on the Empire Film Podcast. “Pike is already there! We know what he is like. We have seen him and he’s great. We don’t know who Prime Lorca is.”
It wouldn’t be the first time Isaacs has had the chance to dive into that potential, of course — he actually played Prime Lorca when he reprised his role for a storyline in the free-to-play MMORPG Star Trek Online. But Isaacs went on to stipulate that the only way he’d want to come back (and fit in the Discovery uniform) in a live-action capacity is if there was an interesting story to be told with the Prime version of Lorca. “If he is Mirror Lorca’s [milquetoast Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em character] Frank Spencer-like cousin, then nobody wants to spend time with him,” the actor continued. “He is going to have to be as interesting, as ballsy, and you have to find him a ship and find him a context to bring him into a story. So, we talk. And when and if we come up with something we think is fabulous I will happily go on a starvation diet required to slip into the snakeskin uniform again.”
Given that Discovery itself has jetted off its titular ship and the crew to the far flung future of the 32nd century for its third season, it’s unlikely Prime Lorca would make an appearance there. But, as the actor himself noted, there is the upcoming Pike…interquel show? Strange New Worlds will be set after the events of Discovery season two, following the Enterprise back in the years before James Kirk would come aboard as Pike’s replacement and go on that famous five year mission depicted in the original Star Trek. So the timing there would be better for Prime Lorca to somehow either make his way back over from the Mirror Universe, or for Pike, Number One, and Spock to go over and find him.
It would be kind of funny if Spock knew about the Mirror Universe before “Mirror, Mirror” and just…never deigned to tell everyone about it when Mirror Kirk and his fellow ISS Enterprise officers showed up a few years later. Rude, Spock! At least maybe it’d mean Ethan Peck could regrow that Discovery beard, give or take some trimming?