Star Trek Guide

Star Trek Confirms Earth Is The Most Boring Place In The Universe

Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 8 - "Veritas"

In Star Trek, Earth is a paradise, but Star Trek: Lower Decksaffirms that it's also the most boring place in the universe, which is the reason why joining Starfleet is an attractive career choice. The half-hour animated comedy series is set in the 24th-century era of Star Trek: The Next Generation when the United Federation of Planets, which is based on Earth, is at the height of its power and influence. But nearly every glimpse and mention of the Terran homeworld in Star Trek seems to hammer home that paradise is, indeed, a dull place to be if adventure and excitement are what a person craves.

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According to Star Trek's history, the Eugenics Wars of the late 1990s and World War III in the 21st century radically changed the Earth and its people. However, it was humanity meeting the Vulcans on April 5, 2063, as seen in Star Trek: First Contact, that changed everything and set the United Earth on its ultimate path to becoming a galactic power. With the help of the Vulcans, Mankind wiped out famine, war, disease, and the pursuit of monetary gain by the early years of the 22nd century. Starfleet was established and the first NX-01 Enterprise, commanded by Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula), launched the human race's mission to explore strange new worlds and seek out new civilizations. The United Federation of Planets was established in 2161 and Earth became the seat of the new galactic government. By the 24th-century, Earth was recognized as a paradise, where people spend their time in pursuit of the betterment of humanity.

However, Star Trek: Lower Decks confirms that Earth is an incredibly boring place, which is what leads so many to join Starfleet for the chance to explore the final frontier - and get away from Earth. In Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 8, "Veritas", Ensigns Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) argued while they raced to their assignments on the bridge of the U.S.S. Cerritos; Mariner advised Boimler to just nod and agree with Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis), "or we'll all end up getting kicked off the ship and then we'll have to live on Earth, where there's nothing to do except drink wine and hang out at vineyards and soul food restaurants!" Of course, Trekkers immediately recognize Beckett's dialogue as a hilarious dig at Jean-Luc Picard's (Patrick Stewart) family vineyard in La Barre, France, and Sisko's Creole Kitchen, the New Orleans-based soul food restaurant owned by Joseph Sisko (Brock Peters), the father of Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), onStar Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Star Trek: Lower Decks has referenced how undesirable living on Earth is before; Mariner also scoffed at the fate of Ensign Fletcher (Tim Robinson), who was fired from the U.S.S. Titan for incompetence and punished by being sent back to Earth. But Mariner's low opinion of Earth also has merit because Star Trek rarely depicts life on the Terran homeworld as exciting. Outside of showing Starfleet Headquarters and Starfleet Academy in San Francisco, Trekkers' few glimpses of Earth in TNG and DS9 have indeed been limited to Picard's vineyard (where Jean-Luc didn't want to live until he had to after retirement) and Sisko's Cajun restaurant. Joining Starfleet for adventure and excitement in the galaxy seems to be the best alternative to living in the idle contentment of "paradise".

J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movies updated Earth to be more recognizable to our real world, such as depicting people enjoying the nightlife in bars.Star Trek: Picard followed suit and also overhauled the look and feel of Earth; in 2399, Dahj Asha (Isa Briones) lived in a cool apartment in Greater Boston before she was murdered by Romulans, and the Short Trek "Children of Mars" also showed Earth to be a futuristic vision of the world outside our window.

Instead, Star Trek: Lower Decks hews in the direction of the classic TNG and DS9 depiction of Earth, where people seem to spend their time wearing garish future clothing, reading books, listening to classical music, and yes, drinking wine and eating soul food. Life in paradise does seem extremely tedious compared to the final frontier and life aboard a starship, a space station, and mingling with the Klingons, Ferengi, Cardassians, and other assorted, eclectic alien races. Earth may be home to the human race, but in Star Trek, actually living there is indeed more like punishment than a paradise for most Starfleet Officers.

Star Trek: Lower Decks streams Thursdays on CBS All-Access.

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