One of the biggest mysteries that Star Trek: Discovery left unanswered by the end of its midseason break—other than, is everyone on this ship crazy or good now, I can’t tell—is just what’s happened with Voq, the mysterious Albino Klingon who could be a secret spy within the Federation. This poster either hints at that, or is just hilariously bad.
Last night, CBS released a series of four posters to tease the second half of Star Trek: Discovery’s first season, which returns to All Access in January. The first three, featuring Michael Burnham, Captain Lorca, and First Officer Saru, are all typical hero shots—back towards the camera, heads looking over shoulders, all mystery and toughness and what have you.
Bog standard poster fare. So far, so normal.
Then you have the one for Voq—who has not been seen in the show since its third episode, which ended with duplicitous Klingon L’Rell promising a way to strike back at the Federation, by learning techniques from her House of spies and espionage agents that would cost him “everything.” And... it’s just bizarre:
Yes, it’s a slick poster of the back of a Klingon! It honestly looks like someone forgot to tell him where the camera was. Could he just... not turn his head in that Klingon makeup, which we already know is kinda responsible for why most of the Klingon scenes in the show so far are just people standing talking to each other and being boring? It doesn’t fit with the theme in the other posters... unless there’s a very specific reason we’re still not meant to be seeing Voq’s face.
If you’re not familiar, one of the strangest and longest-prevailing rumors surrounding Discovery is that Lt. Ash Tyler—played by Shazad Latif, who debuted the episode after Voq’s disappearance as a conveniently-placed Starfleet prisoner rescued from Klingon capture alongside Captain Lorca—isn’t actually a Starfleet officer, but a radically transformed Voq. The Manchurian Klingon, if you will, tasked with being turned into a facsimile of his enemy in order to infiltrate their most secret weapon in the Federation-Klingon war.
This is a theory mainly driven by the fact that Latif was first cast as a Klingon on the show before being recast as Tyler, and down to the fact that Javid Iqbal, the actor credited as Voq, doesn’t seem to actually exist. They have no credits to their name beyond Discovery and no pictures of them outside of in makeup as Voq, and Latif was originally born with the surname Iqbal. It’s wild and insane, but also at the point of prevalence that fans watching Discovery basically accept it as one of the show’s biggest open secrets.
So with the context of that absurdity, this cryptic poster of the back of a Klingon’s forehead suddenly makes it seem like CBS is telling us that Voq’s identity is something they want to hide. Almost as if, say, this is The Trouble With Tribbles Redux and he really is a human-disguised-Klingon!
Or it’s a really silly looking poster that just looks kind of laughably terrible. Who knows? We’ll find out more when Star Trek: Discovery returns January 7.