Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Trailer Confirms Unexpected Character Return

And, no, we're not talking about Tom Paris, who is teased in plate form in the delightful trailer for Star Trek: Lower Decks' second season.

Star Trek: Lower Decks crew
Photo: Paramount

This article contains spoilers for the ending of Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, and (apparently) Season 2.

There’s a lot to look forward to in Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2, which picks back up on August 12th after the surprisingly high-stakes drama of the Season 1 finale. What happens after Captain Riker and the U.S.S. Titan swoop in to save the Cerritos after their encounter with the Pakleds? Paramount+ just dropped a trailer for the upcoming second season as part of its Comic-Con@Home “Peak Animation” panel, and it includes a major reveal for Season 2, specifically the unexpected return of a character assumed to be dead after the Season 1 finale. Spoilers to follow…

In addition to teasing some general fun and mayhem aboard the U.S.S. Cerritos, as well as a cameo from Voyager‘s Robert Duncan McNeill as the voice of a licensed Tom Paris plate, Lower Decks Season 2 trailer includes a shot of the one and only Lieutenant Shax, whom we genuinely thought had blown up in the Season 1 finale. However, the character can be in the crowd at around the :21-:22, which seems to confirm he will be back for Season 2.

Shax is the hot-tempered Bajoran tactical officer who has never met a problem he didn’t want to fight his way out of. In the Lower Decks Season 1 finale, “No Small Parts,” he seemingly sacrifices his life for the crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos when they are besieged by a hostile Pakled ship while responding to a distress call. In the fight, Shax goes with Rutherford to protect him as the cybernetically-enhanced ensign works to upload a virus designed to disable the Pakled ship computers. When things go wrong because of Badgey’s sabotage and the ship is set to self-destruct, Shax forces Rutherford onto a shuttlecraft and into space, while Shax stays behind to finish the mission. Shax continues to fight off the Pakleds until the ship explodes, killing the Lieutenant along with the Pakleds. Or so we thought…

Ad – content continues below

Should Shax really be back for Season 2, fans may have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, he is a great character and this would mean more opportunities to see the nuance and growth of the prickly lieutenant. On the other hand, Shax’s death in the season 1 finale packed a real emotional punch, and gave the series a sense of stakes that could be disappointing to back down from. That being said, we don’t know the manner of Shax’s apparent return. If this show has taught us anything, it’s how creative and bonkers it can be in how it works through its narrative problems. For now, I am glad to see Shax back, and excited to see what it means for this show and his character.

What do you think about Shax’s possible return? What were your favorite parts of the Season 2 trailer? Let us know in the comments below…