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Discovery Proves The Breen Are Scary Once Again


“Never turn your back on a Breen,” Commander Rayner (Callum Keith Rennie) ominously quotes early on in the episode. As it turns out, this isn’t just a Romulan (and admittedly xenophobic) saying well known throughout the galaxy — it’s the “Discovery” writers’ cheeky way of quoting a line directly from an episode of “Deep Space Nine,” which was the first “Trek” series to establish the fearsome alien species as a new threat arriving late in the game of the raging Dominion War. Hidden in the Alpha Quadrant, it was the Klingons who initially discovered to their peril that even their warmongering ways were no match for this then-unknown species. By the time the Breen Confederacy allied themselves with the Dominion (already made up of the Changelings, Cardassians, Jem’Hadar, and other powerful enemies), many considered this the final blow to the Federation’s hopes for victory — and for good reason.

Only known to Starfleet as a formidable group of warriors, the secretive Breen proved to be even more dangerous than anyone could’ve imagined by packing a decisive one-two punch. As befitting their mysterious identities hidden underneath such imposing helmets, the aliens soon left their mark on the war by launching a shocking offensive against Earth and striking at the very heart of Starfleet Headquarters — an act that not even the Klingons had ever dared attempt. The implementation of a new Breen weapon capable of destroying starships with ease (including the fan-favorite USS Defiant) in a subsequent battle only further added to their mystique. Although their forces were ultimately repelled, the symbolism of their incursions affected morale throughout the quadrant and effectively set the stakes for this new wild card.

By the events of “Discovery,” it’s safe to say the Breen’s reputation precedes them.

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