The shows and films of “Star Trek” are among the most creative in the genre of science fiction. Among these tales are winners of Emmys, Oscars, and Golden Globes. The franchise has always been at the forefront of change and dared to try things that other shows and movies would not.
In much of popular culture, a cliche is creeping into everything, and “Star Trek” is not immune. This is when a character meets themselves and, usually, the meeting ends violently. TV Tropes categorizes these as “Mirror Match” arrangements, which earned its name from video games. Programmers would include a villain that looked almost exactly like the main character, with just a few differences (usually color).
Fans everywhere remember the scene from “Avengers: End Game” where Captain America fought himself, then commented on his own butt. This is “Mirror Match” on the grandest scale.
Even before video games were a thing, “Star Trek” was on television with the “Mirror Match” on full display. The following are some of the notable “Mirror Match” situations in “Star Trek.” Please note that these do not include hologram representations.
Kirk vs. Kirk
This has happened on multiple occasions. And why not? Kirk is the best hand-to-hand fighter in the galaxy. He beat up the Gorn, Khan Noonien Singh, and likely would have defeated Spock on Vulcan had Dr. McCoy not given him a sedative. The producers of “Star Trek” knew that William Shatner as Kirk was popular, so more Kirk would only make things better.
Kirk fought Martia (played by Iman), who shape-shifted into another Kirk in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.” The Kirk-copy was so good that McCoy (DeForest Kelley) could not tell who was who.
In the TOS episode, “Whom Gods Destroy,” Spock was faced with an impossible choice — to figure out who the real Captain Kirk was. One was from Iowa, while the other was a duplicate named Garth of Izar. Two Kirks appeared in the episode “The Enemy Within,” where Kirk’s evil and good sides were separated.
Spock vs. Spock
The most famous Spock meetings were in the J.J. Abrams’ films “Star Trek” and “Into Darkness.” These featured Zachary Quinto as Young Kelvin Spock and Leonard Nimoy as Old Prime Spock. The two Spocks did not battle; instead, they helped each other.
Spock also faced a giant clone of himself in a “Star Trek: The Animated Series” episode. Written by Walter Koenig, “The Infinite Vulcan” episode tied into the Eugenics Wars and featured a giant Spock saving the life of normal-sized Spock with a Vulcan mind-meld.
Picard vs. Picard
Though Patrick Stewart did not have to play the part of Shinzon, he technically fought a clone of himself in “Star Trek: Nemesis.” The film’s plot revolved around a clone of Picard (played by Tom Hardy) taking over the Romulan Star Empire and using its resources to destroy as much as possible.
Riker vs. Riker
Thanks to a transporter accident, Will Riker had a clone named Thomas. The meet in the episode “Second Chances.” It’s fair to say that the Rikers didn’t like each other too much. Thomas Riker would eventually become part of the Maquis, the humans who staged terrorist attacks against the Cardassians on “Deep Space Nine.”
Kira vs. Kira
Thanks to the marvelous Mirror Universe episodes on “Deep Space Nine,” fans got to see the dark side of many characters. And some of that story which played out on “Resurrection,” where everyone saw Major Kira (Nana Visitor) face her Mirror Universe self. The goodness of the real Kira eventually won out.
Tucker vs. Tucker
While not exactly a battle royale like the others, a “mimetic simbot” version of Trip Tucker was created by Dr. Phlox to save the real Tucker’s life. The new life form was called Sim by the other characters and eventually had to die to save Tucker (Connor Trinneer). Finally, at the end of the episode “Similitude,” Tucker is awakened from his coma and participates in Sim’s funeral.
Voyager vs. Voyager
Again, not precisely like Kirk vs. Kirk, the episode “Demon” had the crew duplicated by a mysterious living substance called the “Silver Matter.” The entire crew of the U.S.S. Voyager was duplicated, and even the ship was duplicated.