The Star Trek Redshirt With The Best Sense Of Humor

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

The uniforms might have changed color since The Original Series, but Star Trek has always had “redshirts” who died suddenly at the hands of the scariest monsters this side of the Delta Quadrant. In Discovery, the first real redshirt is Landry, a shady security officer who died a particularly stupid death at the hands of a giant tardigrade. As it turns out, she’s also the redshirt with the best sense of humor, as Landry actor Rekha Sharma later said she wanted her character’s last words to be a humorous “my bad.”


To properly tell this Star Trek: Discovery tale, we need to quickly review both what redshirts are and what happened to poor Landry. Back in The Original Series, security officers wore red shirts and beamed down to dangerous planets along with their captain.

It became a morbid running theme in the show that these often-nameless characters experienced gruesome deaths from monsters that conveniently never managed to kill main characters like Kirk and Spock.


star trek tasha yar

Star Trek’s earliest films and later TV spinoffs changed the uniform colors around, but “redshirt” remained the pop culture shorthand term for disposable Starfleet officers. For example, on The Next Generation, security officers like Tasha Yar wore gold uniforms. Nonetheless, when she got stupidly and instantly killed in a season 1 episode of TNG, she followed in the fine (if grisly) tradition of all the redshirts who had come before.

The Butcher’s Knife

That brings us to the Discovery episode “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For the Lamb’s Cry.” In this episode, the crew has captured a giant tardigrade, and the shady Captain Lorca is hoping to study it and discover something that can help the ship in the war against the Klingons.

Morally, Lorca never exactly embodied traditional Star Trek values and his security officer Landry always matched his freak, something that would soon earn her “redshirt” status despite her very blue uniform.

Her Bad

At one point, she asks the computer to sedate the tardigrade and then lowers the protective forcefield, intent on cutting off the creature’s claw.

You guessed it: this giant creature was not actually sedated and it fatally attacked her. Just like that, Landry walked in the footsteps of Tasha Yar on a path that took this character straight to the grave. 

On the After Trek episode discussing this Star Trek misadventure, Landry actor Rekha Sharma discussed how she regretted becoming a redshirt and dying so early in the show. She was basically Discovery’s Tasha Yar, and like Yar, she memorably popped up again later outside the show’s traditional universe.

Fortunately, Sharma had the best sense of humor of any redshirt: she said that if she could have rewritten her character’s last words, they would simply be “my bad.”

Landry Wasn’t A Genius

In other words, this Star Trek redshirt knows how stupid her death was–Landry died because she couldn’t help but poke the (water) bear and was too impatient to even verify that the tardigrade was sedated. She led a risky life ultimately capped off by a very stupid death. Honestly, though, what else was anybody expecting from this show’s first sacrificial redshirt?