Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Discovery's Easter Egg Pays Tribute to a Late DS9 Star

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 5, "Die Trying," now streaming on CBS All Access.

With the third season of Star Trek: Discovery taking the franchise the furthest point in canon so far, it's given the show the liberty to not be beholden to previous series. But that doesn't stop them from throwing in references to what's come before, including a particularly heartwarming Easter egg from this most recent episode.

In "Die Trying," the U.S.S. Discovery finally finds Starfleet headquarters. The 3189 Federation is a hub cloaked in an invisibility shield. Inside contains a nexus that is powered by the energy of the slew of ships that inhabit it. The crew gawks at all of the technological wonders on the 32nd-century ships, including detached nacelles, programmable matter, and what seems to be a flying rainforest.

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But perhaps the most eye-catching display comes during a "blink and you'll miss it" shot of the ships. One of the many vessels frequenting Federation HQ is a futuristic ship with the name U.S.S. Nog printed on its hull. Series creator and modern Star Trek franchise captain Alex Kurtzman has also said that the ship is known as an "Eisenberg-class."

Many Trekkies have noticed the callout -- and Kurtzman has confirmed as much himself -- to the character of Nog and his actor Aron Eisenberg. A Ferengi from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Nog initially started out as the troublemaking youth who befriended Jake Sisko, despite their difference in age. But the character began to take a turn a few seasons into the series, as he sought a place in Starfleet to rise above the life he had destined for him in profit-seeking.

The change in Nog gave the character a new lease on life, as future DS9 storylines focused on his studies as a Starfleet cadet and his involvement in the Dominion War. The series ended with Nog being promoted to lieutenant, and some episodes in the far future implied that the Ferengi would eventually see the captain's chair. Unfortunately, Eisenberg did not get the chance to return to Nog in a major capacity, as he died in 2019 at the age of 50.

Eisenberg's shocking death prompted Trekkies to petition Kurtzman and Star Trek at large to pay tribute to Nog in some way, which Discovery did in "Die Trying." Though small, it's a powerful call-out. It's implied that the Ferengi did something in his Starfleet career to earn a ship being named after him, even centuries after his lifetime. It serves as a microcosm of the legacy of Nog and Aron Eisenberg, someone whose impact on the franchise will be remembered for years to come.

Streaming on CBS All Access,Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Commander Saru, Anthony Rapp as Lt. Commander Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly, Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber, David Ajala as Cleveland "Book" Booker, Blu del Barrio as Adira, Ian Alexander as Gray, Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. New episodes of Season 3 air on Thursdays.