Star Trek: Discovery’s Surprising Connection to the Ferengi

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Since the show time jumped into the 32nd century, fans have been waiting to see more of the Ferengi, a fan-favorite species. Except for seeing an occasional Ferengi Starfleet officer, though, there hasn’t been much new information concerning Quark’s people. However, the recent Star Trek: Discovery episode “Labyrinths” had a secret Ferengi connection in the form of a reference to an entirely different group of aliens known as the Hupyrians.

An Easter Egg In The Archive

To understand how Star Trek: Discovery referenced the Ferengi without actually name-dropping this greedy alien race, you need to know a bit more the episode in question. In “Labyrinths,” Captain Burnham and crew are trying to solve the final mystery that will hopefully lead them to information about the Progenitors, ancient aliens who claim to have created many of the intelligent lifeforms in the galaxy.

Eventually, this leads them to the Eternal Gallery and Archive, a famous library where a former Progenitor researcher (Dr. Derex) ended up working as an archivist later in life.

The Hupyrians

As part of trying to solve this final mystery, the crew looks up some of the texts that Derex accessed within the gallery. One text sure to catch any fans’ ears was A Comprehensive Guide to Talaxian Hairstyles…surely an interesting read for anyone hoping to rock the kind of hair that would make Neelix proud. However, Star Trek: Discovery fans hoping for some kind of update on the Ferengi likely felt their ears perk up (but not in an oo-mox kind of way) at the mention of a book called Hupyrian Folk Tales.

In case that name doesn’t ring a bell, the Hupyrians were an alien race who appeared in a few of the more memorable episodes of Deep Space Nine. While we don’t know much about the wider culture of the aliens, we mostly see them through the lens of the Ferengi, who tend to use the Hupyrians as servants.

Via Grand Nagus Zek and his misadventures, we discover that various Grand Nagi (yes, that’s the pluralization, go look it up!) relied on this alien race for roles ranging from food tasters and servants to bodyguards.

The Ferengi And Hupyrians

star trek quark

While Star Trek: Discovery’s Ferengi might have moved past this kind of thing, the Ferengi of Quark’s time seemingly have had a very master/servant relationship with the Hupyrians. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem like the servant aliens resented this relationship. One of the weirder trivia facts we discover in Deep Space Nine is that when a Ferengi master dies, their Hupyrian servant almost always shows up to the funeral.

A Strange Relationship

We don’t yet know why Star Trek: Discovery included a reference to these Ferengi servants, but we do have a theory as to why the book in question was named Hupyrian Folk Tales. A quirky feature of these aliens is that they take a vow of silence, forbidding them from speaking to anybody but their master. In other words, we never really get to hear these aliens speak for themselves, so mentioning a book of folk tales may be the writers’ winking nod to finally giving the Hupyrians their own voice.

Lots Of Questions Remain

star trek ferengi

As fans of both Star Trek: Discovery and the Ferengi, we admittedly hoped for a more robust update on these acquisition-minded aliens than a throwaway reference to their servants.

For example, we’d love answers about whether Nog’s reforms introduced in Deep Space Nine have completely changed Ferengi culture and whether Quark’s successful franchise of bars has survived into the 32nd century. If that sounds like nothing more than useless trivia, you should remember the 74th Rule of Acquisition: “Knowledge equals profit.”

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