Star Trek: Lower Decks Easter Eggs Reveal Deep Love of Trek Lore
The new animated Star Trek series aims to go where the franchise has “rarely gone before,” but the trailer is full of Trek references.
It seems very possible that Star Trek: Lower Decks will be the most Easter egg-heavy Star Trek series ever. This is not a problem and longtime fans like me are not complaining. The first trailer for Lower Decks just dropped, and if you love Trek, you’re probably thinking what I’m thinking: Bring it on!
But, even if you’re a hardcore fan, there’s a chance you missed a few very sly deep-cut references in this trailer. Think you spotted every single joke and Easter egg? Maybe not. Here are nine small Trekkie shout-outs in the first Lower Decks trailer. Plus, why these references have made us more excited for the new show than ever before.
Stardate: 57436.2, one year after Nemesis
The trailer opens with Ensign Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) recording a fake “Captain’s Log” by himself. He says the Stardate is 57436.2. The stardate in Star Trek: Nemesis was 56844.9. Often, stardates are bogus numbers, but this one clearly happens after the stardate in Nemesis, so, the chronology seems to match-up.
Dilithium Crystal Planet
At numerous points in the trailer, it looks like the crew of the USS Cerritos is exploring a planet full of dilithium crystals. Later in the trailer, it looks like some angry aliens have spears tipped with dilithium crystals. The warp drives of all the starships in Star Trek can’t function without dilithium, though we’re very rarely shown what dilithium-rich planets actually look like. Famously, Kirk and Bones were sent to a dilithium mine on the asteroid known as Rura Penthe in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Klingon Prison Work
Speaking of The Undiscovered Country, Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) mentions that she is assigned to “holodeck waste removal.” Boimler responds, “That’s Klingon prison stuff.” Again, the most famous Klingon prison was Rura Penthe in The Undiscovered Country, although it was also visited in the prequel series Enterprise (“Judgement”) and featured in a deleted scene in the 2009 J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot.
The USS Cerritos has a few of Picard’s Dune Buggies from Nemesis
When we see a map of the ship, and we learn where the “lower decks” characters live on the ship. Near the shuttle bay, you can very briefly see the outline of a couple of vehicles with wheels that look exactly like Captain Picard’s dune buggy, “the Argo” from Star Trek: Nemesis.
Commander Jack Ransom Ripping Off His Shirt is a Total Kirk Move
Voiced by Jerry O’Connell, the character of Commander Jack Ransom rips-off his shirt while fighting with a large green alien. This scene seems to reference the multiple times Captain Kirk’s (William Shatner) shirt was ripped in Star Trek: The Original Series, starting with the episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” but also notably in “Amok Time,” and “Shore Leave.”
Ransom is also fighting the alien in some kind of arena where other aliens seem to be watching the spectacle. This seems evocative of Star Trek Beyond where Kirk (Chris Pine) fought much smaller aliens in a similar arena, and also ripped his shirt. Later in the trailer, Lieutenant Shaxs (Fred Tatasciore) — the brawny Bajoran security officer — also has his shirt ripped, which means Lower Decks is going to lean heavily on this trope from TOS.
The notion of “second contact” is mentioned in the trailer, too. This might mean that one mission of the Cerritos is to establish diplomatic relationships with alien worlds who previously had zero contact with the Federation, but then had an encounter with a ship like the Enterprise. This happened a lot in Star Trek: The Original Series, Kirk would mention that another Federation ship would return to the planet to help along with guiding the people into the larger political landscape of the Federation. Kirk alludes to this in “A Piece of the Action,” “Return of the Archons,” and several other episodes (although in theory, both of those episodes were also examples of “second contact”).
In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “First Contact” (not to be confused with the film of the same name) Picard actually delays true first contact with the Malcorians. Meaning, “Second Contact,” probably happened at some point in the future.
Star Trek: Discovery played with this concept, too. Although Captain Georgiou made contact with Saru on the planet Kaminar in the Short Treks episode “The Brightest Star,” it wasn’t until the episode “The Sound of Thunder,” in Discovery Season 2 where Burnham and Saru actually did a proper “first contact” with Kaminar.
The point is, in existing Star Trek a lot of “first contacts” are sometimes “second contacts” anyway. Case-in-point, in the film First Contact, it’s established that the Vulcans made first contact with humans in 2063. However, in the Enterprise episode “Carbon Creek,” we learned Vulcans accidentally made contact with humans way earlier, in 1957. See? Even the original “first contact” is actually a second contact!
Starfleet Undercover Outfit and Dress Uniform
Toward the end of the trailer, we see tributes to two variants of Starfleet uniforms made famous in The Next Generation-era. While Ensign Mariner is inspecting the shuttlecraft with the “blast shield,” we see Boimler wearing a dress uniform reminiscent of the kind worn throughout TNG and Voyager. Notably, this means that Starfleet (maybe) got rid of the white dress uniforms from the TNG movies, sometime around 2380.
We also get a glimpse of Ensign Tendi (Noël Wells) wearing an all-black jumpsuit uniform. This is the same type of uniform worn by Crusher, Worf, and Picard in the TNG two-parter, “Chain of Command.” Tendi seems to be attacking some Romulans, so this could mean that she’s going on an undercover mission?
Speaking of the “blast shield” shuttle, the name of that shuttle is “Yosemite.” This feels like a direct reference to Yosemite National Park, the site of the mountain El Capitan, which Captain Kirk attempted to free-climb in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
“Nobody is dying from a spear wound.”
When a crewmember is hit with an alien spear, Ensign Mariner says “We live on a spaceship, nobody is dying from a spear wound.” Ha! This is a super deep-cut. In the TOS episode “The Galileo Seven,” several Enterprise crew members do, in fact, die from spear wounds.