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Star Trek: Discovery Season 3's DOT-7 Wall-E Robots Explained

What are the DOT-7 robots in Star Trek: Discovery, and why are they reminiscent of Pixar's Wall-E? Already in Star Trek: Discovery season 3, the titular ship has taken considerable damage, initially during its icy crash landing into the 32nd century, and later while being fired upon by Earth's planetary defenses. Since jumping into the future, the DOT-7 robots have become far more prominent in Star Trek: Discovery. These critters scurry around fixing the ship during times of emergency, and their design has been frequently compared to that of EVE from Wall-E.

Released in 2008, Pixar's Wall-E was set on a generation ship in the far future. Mankind had abandoned Earth to live in a giant consumerist spaceship, while robots cleaned up the mess left behind on humanity's home planet. With minimal dialogue, Wall-E weaves a love story between an outdated trash-collecting robot stuck on Earth and a super-advanced scout known as EVE. Together, this lovable duo convince the Axiom ship to return to Earth and give the planet a second chance, leaving the audience blubbering along the way.

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Although the DOT-7s have certainly been more visible in Star Trek: Discovery season 3 (they even pop up during the new intro sequence), the robots appeared previously in Short Treks and Star Trek: Discovery's season 2 finale. The DOT-7 is an automated maintenance and repair unit seen aboard the Discovery and Enterprise, but hasn't appeared in any previous Star Trek series, despite making its chronological debut before the TOS era. Since the DOT-7s don't rush to Discovery's aid during season 1, it's possible this feature was added when the ship returned to Earth following the conclusion of the Klingon war. Pixar fans will notice more than a slight resemblance between Wall-E's EVE and Starfleet's DOT-7 robots. The rear thrusters, pod-like shape, white body and protruding arms are all consistent with Wall-E's girlfriend, and this may not be entirely coincidental.

The Short Treks episode "Ephraim & Dot" affords a DOT-7 top billing, and charts the robot's relationship with a tardigrade. Their adventures in space are heavily influenced by Wall-E's plot, from the protection of a treasured object (the tardigrade eggs/EVE's plant) to the distinctly human emotions displayed by mechanical characters. "Ephraim & Dot" was an animated short, but the DOT-7s look even more EVE-like within Star Trek: Discovery's live-action environment. It's also worth noting that another Short Trek episode owes a great debt to Pixar's dabble in science fiction. In 2018's "Calypso," the Discovery's Zora computer watches 1950s classic Funny Face on repeat, mirroring Wall-E being a fan of Hello, Dolly! and learning about humanity through the film. Once again, this story explores the idea of robots and computers experiencing love for the first time.

Given the strong line of Wall-E influence in Short Treks, it's possible (though as yet unconfirmed) that the similarity between DOT-7 and EVE is an intentional homage to the Pixar classic, rather than a happy accident. Whatever inspired their design, however, it seems the DOT-7 is set for an increasingly prominent role in Star Trek: Discovery season 3. The show has established that these worker robots exist, and every time the Discovery takes a beating from now on, fans will be expecting the floating R2-D2s to appear, and will ask questions if they don't. Perhaps one of them will even strike up a romance with a trash-cubing robot down on 32nd century Earth.

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