Lower Decks Episode 2: Every Star Trek Reference And Easter Egg Explained

By Josh Tyler | 1 month ago

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references

With Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 2 now available one thing is clear: Star Trek: Lower Decks is the series Star Trek fans have been waiting for, only a lot of them don’t realize it yet. The show’s trailers make the animation style seem off putting and the fact that it’s a comedy makes it seem like it’s just trying to be The Orville.

However, Star Trek: Lower Decks is the most Star Trek thing we’ve gotten since Enterprise. It’s the first time in a long time that a show or a movie has tried to set itself in the existing Star Trek world, instead of creating a brand new world which is only tangentially related to the Star Trek world we already know.

Lower Decks is steeped in Star Trek and in an effort to convince as many Trekkies as possible to give it a chance, I’ve compiled a list of all the Star Trek references I could find contained in Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 2, “Envoys”. Here we go…

References To Star Trek Past

At one point in Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 2 Ensign Boimler gives up up and decides he wants to quit the ship and just go work on a research asteroid somewhere. Ensign Mariner reacts like this…

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references

The whole exchange is a reference to the classic Star Trek trope of the Enterprise encountering a research asteroid where everyone is dead or dying or about to die. Basically, it’s a Star Trek death sentence to work on one of those things, and Mariner knows it.

Somehow Mariner has also seen Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Or at least she’s dreamed it. Because that’s what she’s talking about in this scene…

Sleeping

Where she’s dreaming and mumbling about being buried alive.

Khan

During his attempt at command training Commander Ransom tells Rutherford to try the Janeway Maneuver…

That is, of course, a reference to Star Trek: Voyager’s Captain Janeway. We don’t know precisely what this maneuver is, but given all the time she spent fighting the Borg it’s safe to assume it’s something pretty good.

National Park Naming

Often shuttlecraft in the Star Trek universe are named after national parks or natural features. Not only does Lower Decks stick to that tradition, they’ve gone a step further and picked a theme. All the shuttles on the USS Cerritos are named after National Parks in California as seen by this shot from Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 2…

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references

Why National Parks in California? Because the USS Cerritos, the ship those shuttlecraft service, is a California Class vessel.

The Warp Core

The warp core on the USS Cerritos is the first actual warp core we’ve seen since Star Trek: Nemesis. We’ve never seen the engine room of the USS Discovery and the ship Picard flys around in on Star Trek: Picard doesn’t really even have an engine room.

So it was important that they get the warp core right. And the did, mostly, showing it off in Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 2…

Warp Core

It has most of the key design elements that make this instantly recognizable as a Starfleet warp core, with a few key differences. First off, the engine room here is MASSIVE. Much bigger than any we’ve seen before. Secondly, there are those tubes coming off the side. The NCC-1701-D Enterprise had those, but they were hidden from view and only can be seen if you look down the warp core shaft as you can see in the photo below…

Warp Core

Those tubes coming off the side are actually more visible in the warp core design of the Enterprise E, which is different from the Enterprise D. Here’s the Enterprise E warp core as seen in Star Trek: First Contact…

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references

Note the white tubes on the sides. And chronologically, the USS Cerritos was built after the construction of the Enterprise E. It all fits together.

The Energy Being Trope

The little energy being we see at the start of Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 2 isn’t a specific reference but more of a general one to a classic Star Trek trope.

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references

That trope is, of course, the one where a strange energy being enters the ship and starts wreaking havoc. You might remember it from such episodes as the Next Generation episode where a ball of energy enters the Enterprise and gets Troi pregnant. Or that one from The Original Series where an energy being which is actually Jack the Ripper skulks around the Enterprise making trouble.

Getting Klingons Right

Klingon

Star Trek: Discovery did its best to ruin Klingons by making them look and act different, but Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 2 is setting things right. This is a Star Trek: Lower Decks Klingon doing something Klingons like to do… drinking and singing with a blood brother…

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references

And here’s a closeup of that Klingon, looking the way a Klingon should.

Klingon

Note the eyepatch, probably inspired by the one worn by General Chang in Star Trek VI…

Chang

Not only do Klingons look the way they’re supposed to again, they’re carrying the right gear. That thing on the Klingons back is clearly a bat’leth, instead of that weird spikey thing Discovery turned them into. And it’s not the only proper Klingon weapon in Lower Decks episode 2. There’s a whole case full of them on display from an arms dealer. Here they are…

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references

Back there you’ll see several varieties of classic Star Trek Klingon disruptors including the kind used on Star Trek: The Original Series and the kind used in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.

Klingon
Klingon disruptor in Star Trek III

On the far right of the disruptor case is even the one used in the Kelvinverse Star Trek, the first time anything from the Kelvinverse has ever shown up in Trek proper.

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references
Uhura holds a Klingon disruptor in Star Trek: Into Darkness

And later on in the episode we got a mek’leth. A proper mek’leth…

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references
Mek’leth on Lower Decks
Dax
Mek’leth on Deep Space Nine

We even got a proper Klingon knife, a D’k tagh like the kind used to murder David in Search for Spock…

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references
Lower Decks D’k Tagh
Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references
D’k Tagh in Search For Spock

If you really want to understand how much effort Star Trek: Lower Decks is putting in to getting Klingons right, then look no further than this photo…

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references

That Klingon luggage is the same Klingon luggage used by the assassin in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country to carry his sniper rifle. Presumably it’s just a standard issue case and there’s not actually a sniper rifle in there. Klingons prefer to kill up close.

The Aliens Of Star Trek: Lower Decks Episode 2

Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 2 is absolutely packed with alien species. Some of them are just in the background, but the show still took the time to get them absolutely right. What’s more, they made full use of the world they are in by mixing familiar alien species from Star Trek past with a few new ones they came up with on their own.

It began with this reference to Star Trek: The Next Generation’s very first episode, “Encounter at Farpoint”.

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references

That shape is a direct reference to Farpoint station.

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references
Farpoint Station

It looks a little different than Farpoint because Farpoint was actually a secret mega-alien and this is actually just a station. But during the course of Farpoint the crew of the Enterprise regularly remarks that the faux station they’re on is the absolute perfect design for an outpost. So it makes total sense that someone would try to construct a better version of it.

Throughout their journey across this outpost they venture through it’s various districts (all of which are clearly visible in the wide shot a great little detail) and one of them is the Risa District..

Risa

That giant statue is a Horg’ahn, a fertility symbol used on Risa to tell someone when you’re seeking jamaharon. They come in all kinds of sizes and it’s not odd for there to be one that big.

Speaking of jamaharon…

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references

Jamaharon is what the alien pretending to be a Risan tells our hero she wants from him in the photo above. In reality she wants to lay eggs down his throat.

Also along the path Mariner and Boimler encounter these guys who they call “isolationists”

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references

They call them Kaylons, which might make fans of The Orville think of the villains from that show. But Star Trek had Kaylons first. They’re a reference to a previous Trek episode.

At one point a Ferengi shows up too and he looks like this…

The way he’s behaving is a deliberate reference to the cartoonish way Ferengi bheaved when they first showed up on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Later they would become more fully fleshed out and less cartoonishly evil creatures, as evidenced by the big reveal at the end of Lower Decks episode 2….

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references

While we’re talking about aliens, we can’t forget the Borg.

They show up in a Smorgasborg training program and it’s perfect. The even have a non-human Borg in there, appropriate since the Borg are equal opportunity assimilators.

This alien standing next to the Andorian…

Vendorian
Vendorian on Lower Decks

Is a direct reference to a shape-shifting alien which appeared in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode The Survivor.

Vendorian on Star Trek: The Animated Series

If you look closely at the bird shaped creature standing by the first in the Lower Decks episode 2 image below you’ll see an Aurelian…

Star Trek Lower Decks episode 2 references
Aurelian in Lower Decks

This is a creature only seen on Star Trek: The Animated Series where again it looked nearly identical…

Aurelian on The Animated Series

Last but not least there are the Andorians which, as always, Lower Decks gets perfectly right. Not only do they look perfect, but their personalities are perfect too, since Andorians are known to be quick to anger…

Andorian on Lower Decks
Andorian on Star Trek: Enterprise

They even get their weapons right! The bladed weapon in the background of the first photo is an Andorian Ushaan-tor.

Andorian Ushaan-tor on Lower Decks

Now compare it with the same weapon in this photo from Star Trek: Enterprise…

Andorian Ushaan-tor on Enterprise

Star Trek Is Always Warm And Accepting

One of the key rules set up for Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry was that there must never be any conflict between members of Starfleet. The idea is that in the future humans have gotten past all that and know how to live with each other in love and acceptance, even if the galaxy on the outside hasn’t.

Star Trek has gotten away from that in recent years but Lower Decks is getting back to it, as evidenced by the two episode 2 scenes in which Rutherford asks to be transferred to another division on the Cerritos.

In each case the show sets up a joke by having Rutherford nervous to ask for his transfer…

Only to discover that he has the love and support of everyone around him, who wants him to choose a career path that will make him the most happy.

Because that, more than anything, is what Star Trek is supposed to be all about.

That’s further reflected in Rutherford’s relationship with Tendi. They both have different interests, but they discover a way to accept each other as they are and still enjoy being together. Because in the end, that togetherness is what really matters.

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