Star Trek Guide

Discovery Season 3's DS9 Cameo References An Old Star Trek Joke

Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Discovery season 3, episode 1 - "That Hope Is You, Part 1"

Star Trek: Discovery's season 3 premiere has a fun Easter egg for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fans: there's a Lurian who resembles Morn (Mark Allen Shepherd), the beloved barfly who was a permanent fixture at Quark's Bar in the space station's promenade. Star Trek: Discovery season 3 rocketed Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) nearly a thousand years into the future, but despite all of the changes she found in the year 3188, there are still Lurians in the galaxy.

Morn (who was inspired by and named for Norm Peterson from Cheers) was a popular ancillary character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Incredibly, Morn appeared in 93 episodes — 22 more than Cirroc Lofton, who played Jake Sisko, the son of Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), despite Lofton being a series regular. Morn's actual job was a courier of sometimes illegal goods, but he spent most of his time, and his Latinum, at Quark's. In fact, Morn was so important to the bar that when Morn was away on business, the Ferengi proprietor installed a hologram of the Lurian sitting at his favorite stool because it hurt Quark's (Armin Shimerman) business when customers didn't see Morn at his usual spot. Morn was still at Quark's during Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's finale and he presumably remained there long after the series wrapped its seven-season run. Morn was also the subject of one of DS9's best long-running gags: nearly every other character complained that Morn was a raconteur who never stopped talking despite the fact that fans never actually heard Morn utter a single word in the series.

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When Michael Burnham crash-landed on the planet Hima in Star Trek: Discovery's season 3 premiere, "That Hope Is You, Part 1", she and her new uneasy ally Cleveland "Book" Booker (David Ajala) traveled to the Mercantile to trade her antique Starfleet gear for dilithium, crystals used in Star Trekfor space flight. After a series of misunderstandings, Michael and Book ended up being chased all over the planet by Hima's crime syndicate controlled by the Orions and Andorians. No matter where Book beamed himself and Michael using his personal transporter, the mercs followed them — and one of the hired guns was a Lurian who was the spitting image of Morn. Finally, Book saved his and Michael's skins by siccing his cargo, a trance worm, onto their enemies, but the Lurian luckily beamed away before he was eaten.

Like Morn, the Lurian mercenary never uttered a word, which tacitly maintained Deep Space Nine's running joke about their race. The fact that Book also makes his living as a courier, which is a vitally important job in the 32nd century after the Burn destroyed most of the dilithium in the galaxy and led to the collapse of the Federation, is also a fun nod to the fact that Morn was also a courier in DS9's 24th-century era. Morn himself would likely do well if he lived to 3188.

Trekkers may understandably wonder if that Lurian actually is Morn. After all, it was never canonically established how long Lurians live, just that they have multiple hearts and two stomachs. Although Book explained to Michael that time travel technology was banned and destroyed after the Temporal Wars, Morn actually could have a way to circumvent this: the Lurian may have been able to access the Bajoran Orb of Time, which Captain Sisko and his crew once used to meet Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) in the 23rd century in the DS9 classic episode "Trials and Tribble-ations." However, there's no indication that the Lurian in 3188 is actually a time-tossed Morn.

Unlike Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager, which had major characters continue on in Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's cast hasn't had the same good fortune. DS9 and its fans have simply had to settle for minor nods like a shoutout to Quark in Star Trek: Picard, the Bajoran Security Chief Lt. Shaxs (Fred Tatasciore) in Star Trek: Lower Decks, and now, a Lurian who resembles Morn in Star Trek: Discoveryseason 3.

Star Trek: Discovery streams Thursdays on CBS All-Access and Fridays internationally on Netflix.

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