Star Trek: Lower Decks - 10 References You Totally Missed
Star Trek: Lower Decksrecently wrapped up its inaugural season on CBS All Access. As fans look forward to the second season of the animated series, there is still an enormous amount to pour over in season one. It just might have the most references and Easter eggs of any Trek show ever.
While some fans haven't taken to the irreverent comedy series, others enjoy it and mine it for the numerous references within. There are actually too many to count. Here are just a few of the biggest.
Star Trek fans have friendly names for all of the series in the franchise. Discovery is 'Disco', The Next Generation is TNG, and so on. The Original Series is known as TOS in shorthand.
That unofficial fan reference became canon, kind of, in the season one finale "No Small Parts." The crew visits Beta III, a planet from the Original Series, and Captain Freeman says "It's always weird visiting planets from the TOS era." She goes on to say TOS stands for 'Those Old Scientists.'
Lower Decks went for a deep cut with the inclusion of the Exocomps and also tugged hard on fans' heartstrings. These robotic creations first debuted in the TNG episode "The Quality of Life."
These ostensibly simplistic creations eventually gained sentience and with the help of Data, their own rights. One of those Exocomps went on to become a Starfleet officer, featured in the finale of Lower Decks. Peanut Hamper proved their independence by committing mutiny aboard the Cerritos.
Another major reference to The Next Generation - which Lower Decks unabashedly adores - is the Pakleds. These aliens struggle with high concepts, but they're dangerous all the same.
They act as the villains at the end of the first season and are most notorious for stealing technology from other people. They originally appeared in season two of TNG, in the episode "Samaritan Snare." They made cameo appearances in later episodes as well as on Deep Space Nine.
The episode "Crisis Point" features a plethora of Star Trek movie callouts. Some are pretty subtle while others are not. One of the most obvious - and the funniest - is when Mariner screams at the top of her lungs "Therapy!" just as Kirk infamously did "Khan!" in The Wrath of Khan.
Ensign Beckett Mariner's frustration is funny on its own and is a product of her ongoing troubles with her mother, Captain Freeman. The two are always at odds with each other (to be fair, Mariner is... a lot to handle).
6 Argo Vehicle
The movie references in Lower Decks are extensive. One that may not be immediately obvious is the Argo vehicle, first introduced in Star Trek: Nemesis. The Argo shows up in the pilot.
While it may be somewhat unusual for Starfleet to carry around wheeled land vehicles when they can just transport or fly anywhere, it nonetheless exists and the Cerritos has its own. This is an indication that the vehicle is likely standard issue across Starfleet, regardless of its practical value on certain missions.
5 Sign Off
Another great reference to the original Star Trek movies in "Crisis Point" has to do with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Though the title was somewhat nebulous in meaning, there was no doubt about what the film meant: the end of the road for the original cast and crew.
The movie featured a moving tribute to them with a special sign off before the end credits. Proving nothing sacred, "Crisis Point" replicated this but with the names of the Cerritos crew members.
4 Kirk Hands!
In the third episode of the season, "Envoys," Mariner provides a reference that may have a double meaning. Mariner gets into a fight in a bar (very on-brand for her) and takes down an Andorian while yelling "Kirk hands!"
This is certainly a tribute to Kirk's patented fighting style from the Original Series and movies, but it may also be a sly reference to a meme involving the character. A common GIF online expressing shock has Kirk reacting by throwing up both of his hands.
3 Vasquez Rocks
The Vasquez Rocks are a common sight in The Original Series and The Next Generation, serving as an alien landscape for many different worlds (which all just happened to look like the California desert for some reason). Lower Decks made fun of the ubiquitous nature of the famous rock formation by including numerous Vasquez Rocks in just one shot.
The reference occurs in the episode "Envoys." The Vasquez Rocks made their first proper appearance - as the actual rock formation - in the first season of Star Trek Picard.
2 Refit Cerritos
The movie references in "Crisis Point" are too many to count. One that shouldn't be overlooked, and can't really, is the deliberate nod to Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
The first Trek film is often maligned for its story and slow pace (earlier versions might have been better) which was characterized in a loving if patient visual of the refit Enterprise in space dock. Lower Decks replicated the shot - to exacting detail - by doing the same fly around of the Cerritos in space dock.
Lower Decks spends a fair bit of time on the planet Beta III in the season finale. One of the things they discover is a deep-cut reference to The Original Series episode "Return of the Archons." In that episode, Captain Kirk and crew liberate the natives of the planet from the evil machine intelligence Landru.
When the Cerritos returns nearly a century later, the natives have gone back to worshipping the computer. It's a great way of connecting the series to the others in the franchise, but also showing that the internal history of Star Trek is an organic thing and sometimes, closely resembles that of real-world history.About The Author
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