If you were to ask Star Trek fans which past villain they’d likely never see again, I’m sure most would have ranked the whale-loving, alien probe from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. But this week, the bizarre, rocky cylinder returned as a new addition to the Star Trek: Lower Decks opening credits.
When the probe first appears in the show’s opening sequence, it hasn’t extruded the glowing ball which sucked all the power out of Starfleet in the iconic 80s movie.
Given that it’s in a crazy battle with all the powers of the Alpha Quadrant, though, it makes sense that it might want to go full-on and maybe calm down the battle by sucking the power out of everyone’s ship.
The alien probe hasn’t been seen in canon since the end of The Voyage Home when it had a chat with Kirk’s time-traveled humpback whales. It did, however, appear in a non-canon paperback book called “Probe”.
The Probe novel has the Enterprise crew track down the strange object and try to understand it. Spock eventually ends up mind-melding with it, teaching it that humanoids are just as valid as whales.
The probe always been memorable as one of the most powerful objects in the history of the Star Trek. Fans have long wondered what might happen if the probe had to face off with another great power like the Borg, and while Lower Decks doesn’t exactly answer that question, it does give us a taste of what it might look like.