The Star Trek Age Discrepancy No One Ever Mentions

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

star trek lower decks

The premise of Star Trek: Lower Decks is as simple as it is refreshing: instead of following a starship bridge crew as they embark on crazy cosmic adventures, we follow the adventures of the junior officers who generally get all of the gross and generally boring assignments. Correspondingly, our four main characters (newly promoted lieutenants Boimler, Mariner, Tendi, and Rutherford) are junior officers who most fans consider to be young, fresh out of Starfleet Academy officers in their early 20s. Youthful Boimler once declared he and Mariner to be the “same age,” but here’s the thing: she’s about a decade older than him. 

How Long Has Mariner Been Marinading?

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Exactly how old Mariner is supposed to be was one of the early mysteries of Star Trek: Lower Decks. Most of her junior officer colleagues seem fresh out of Starfleet Academy, which is why they treat being stationed aboard the USS Cerritos as a very big deal. However, Mariner slowly revealed a variety of facts about her own life and work history that hinted at her being much older.

Examples Of Mariner’s Advanced Age

star trek lower decks

For example, she knows Commander Riker very well, and he owes her a debt of gratitude for helping him score some contraband goods. She even served aboard Deep Space Nine, racking up a major unpaid bar tab with Quark. On a darker note, this Star Trek: Lower Decks character also fought in the Dominion War, and her ongoing trauma from that war is one of the primary reasons she has consistently resisted promotions to higher ranks (until recently, that is).

Did She Make It So?

As those keeping track at home already know, Star Trek: Lower Decks takes place after the end of Voyager and Nemesis and about two decades before Picard. Mariner’s career details are a dead giveaway that she has served in Starfleet many years before her colleagues joined the Cerritos. Still, the show spent plenty of time playing coy about how old she was, and this led to many fan theories such as Mariner having served as an ensign under Captain Picard.

Finally, Some Answers

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Last season, Star Trek: Lower Decks finally answered this burning question about Mariner’s age, but like a good nerd show, it forced us to do a bit of math. We learn that Mariner went to Starfleet Academy at the same time as Wesley Crusher and his renegade friend Nick Locarno. The episode helpfully points out that Mariner was in her first year at the time and that this was 13 years ago, so assuming Mariner was about 18 when she enrolled in the academy, she would now be 31 years old.

Boimler And Mariner

Obviously, there is no shame in Mariner’s lack of interest in advancing her career, but it’s rare to see a Trek character who is in her 30s and still an ensign. To drive this point home even harder, as we’ve seen in Star Trek: Lower Decks, one of Mariner’s Starfleet Academy friends has now made captain. This revelation about Mariner’s real age really puts her hatred of promotions into stark relief and also reveals Boimler to be a major liar when he claims he and Mariner are the same age.

Mariner Is Growing Up

Fortunately, it seems this Star Trek: Lower Decks character is eager to make a change. Not only did she happily (more or less) accept a promotion to lieutenant last season, but she also had a breakthrough regarding her war-related PTSD and the need to stop self-sabotaging. It will be fun to see how the new Mariner interacts with Boimler, and we promise to keep it on the down low that she’s about a decade older than her best friend.