6 Awesome Theories That Totally Change Famous Characters

#3. Spock Is a Descendant of Sherlock Holmes

CBS Television Distribution

If Star Trek were a pop band, Spock would be the mysterious older member who continues to receive moist fan underwear in the mail, and it's easy to see why: Spock is stoic and highly educated, and he'd never bullshit you, which also means that if he claims to be a descendant of Sherlock Holmes, you know he's being serious.

CBS Television Distribution
Same as when he tells Kirk that he's his prison wife now.

In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, there is a scene where the USS Enterprise appears to fire on a Klingon ship despite Kirk being nowhere near the controls or the liquor cabinet, to which the ever logical Spock replies:

"An ancestor of mine maintained that when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. If we did not fire those torpedoes, another ship did."

If that first part sounds a tad familiar, it's because it comes from the 1890 Sherlock Holmes story "The Sign of the Four," a fact most definitely known by Spock, who's well-versed in both Vulcan and human cultures. This means that Spock definitely wouldn't bring up his ancestor if he was just some random guy who at one time appropriated Holmes' famous quote; he'd simply have said, "Sherlock Holmes maintained ..." In this case, we can assume that Spock traces his lineage back to the fictional detective or his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

This obviously gets a bit muddy in our present, where we have since rebooted both the Star Trek franchise and the Sherlock Holmes franchise a bunch of different times, but it's still great to dream that all of these people ...

CBS Television Distribution, Paramount Pictures, BBC, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal Television Distribution

Hey, New Spock, don't trust that dude on the right.

... are related in some way. But that's enough about ridiculous theories and Star Trek.

#2. Kirk Is a Space-Holocaust Survivor

CBS Television Distribution

PSYCH! Fuck you.

You know, for all the problems I had with J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, he at least got the personality of James Kirk down to a T, introducing him as he's speeding away in a stolen car, almost killing himself in the process.

It's a real mystery: After so many years of violating the law and Starfleet directives (often with his penis), how would anyone ever give Captain Kirk command of anything more complex than a broken down go-kart? How does a person even become such a reckless piece of shit with crippling authority issues? If you've paid attention to the title of this entry, you already know that the answer is "surviving a space-Holocaust."

Paramount Pictures
Sadly, his hair didn't make it.

Before the events of the original Star Trek series, James T. Kirk was living on the planet Tarsus IV when a fungus destroyed most of the human colony's food supply. To prevent everyone from throwing a Donner party, the colony's governor came up with an ingenious solution: killing half of the 8,000 colonists on Tarsus and earning himself the cool nickname of "Kodos the Executioner."

CBS Television Distribution
"This is going to get me so much tail."

But merely being an insane mass murderer isn't enough to start drawing parallels between Kodos and Hitler. That's where Kodos' views on eugenics come in, as he only allowed those he personally deemed pure and "worthy" to be spared the slaughter, all in the name of genetic supremacy. (Honestly, that fungus was probably the best thing that's ever happened to Kodos.) For some reason, that also included Kirk, who survived the extermination and later got to confront Kodos in the episode "The Conscience of the King."

And with that episode, the great puzzle that's been James T. Kirk finally stopped resembling a giant, erect penis. The whoring, the insubordination, the apparent disregard for his own life ... who wouldn't turn out like that after his friends and family were killed by a space Nazi? And having to go through all of that when he was just 12? Kirk never had a chance, leaving him with only two ways to silence the traumatic voices in his head: living life to the fullest or manning up and boldly going to the nearest therapist's office.

CBS Television Distribution
He went with the first option.

#1. Optimus Prime Is the Six Million Dollar Robot


Optimus Prime, the heroic leader of the Autobots in the Transformers TV series, has been a hero to a whole generation of kids because he's always felt like a dorky, peace-loving philosopher that's been put into the body of a semi-truck on two legs. That's pretty deep and complex for an '80s cartoon. It's also pretty much the summary of the character's origin.

In the Season 2 episode "War Dawn," a group of Autobots travel 9 million years to the past to Cybertron, where they encounter a naive dock worker named Orion Pax, who appears to be wearing lipstick for some reason.


That robot naturally turns out to be Optimus Prime before he rebranded himself and sanded off a few wrinkles here and there to hide the fact that he's over 9 million years old.

It turns out that a handful of ice ages ago, Orion Pax was a typical a blue-collar guy with a girlfriend named Ariel and a raging hard-on for Megatron, part of the new generation of flying robots. But all of it changed when Pax stupidly led Megatron into the warehouse he was working in, which also housed massive energy reserves. Megatron then promptly killed Ariel and Pax before taking off with the contents of the warehouse, teaching kids everywhere a valuable lesson about never meeting your heroes (because they might kill you).

"I sure hope I'll never have to go through this again."

But as luck would have it, the Autobots from the future came upon Pax and carried him to a machinesmith, who brought him back from the dead as a kickass warrior capable of defeating the traitorous Decepticons. "How did he do it?" and "Why couldn't he do it again to a whole army of Autobots and end the brewing civil war on Cybertron?" are questions that just get in the way of giant robots punching each other.

I'm sure that this origin has been retconned in the comics or other Transformers properties over the years, but going only by the cartoon, it means that the Optimus Prime you know is pretty much a robo-zombie mixed with the alien version of Lee Majors from The Six Million Dollar Man. Huh, no wonder girls never watched this show.

Cezary Jan Strusiewisz is a freelance Cracked columnist and editor. Contact him at c.j.strusiewicz@gmail.com.

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