Star Trek Just Resurrected A Dead Character To Mock A Franchise Mistake

By Kevin C. Neece | Updated

The latest episode of Very Short Treks brings back Charles “Trip” Tucker III from Star Trek: Enterprise and takes a humorous jab at the ending of that series. The hilarious gag is the pitch-perfect peak of the series of animated shorts so far. Watch the full episode here before reading our breakdown.

The opening scene of the newest Very Short Treks episode, “Holograms All the Way Down,” begins with Trip Tucker, alive and well after his noble and controversial demise on Star Trek: Enterprise. Though he still wears commander’s pips, Archer is nowhere in sight as Trip stands on the bridge, commenting on the successful negotiation of a peace treaty, even though “It’s been a long road.”

The groan-worthy nudge and wink to the Enterprise theme song is upstaged by the return of Connor Trineer as Commander Tucker.

Trip on Very Short Treks

As a Klingon battle cruiser fires on the NX-01, a panel explodes behind Trip, sending him into the air before everything pauses. And here, Very Short Treks begins a very funny string of cameo appearances. The first, of course, is Jonathan Frakes as Commander Will Riker, again pausing an Enterprise holo program and telling Deanna he is ready to go have a talk with Picard, just as he did to end Star Trek: Enterprise.

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Troi, Trip, and Riker in Very Short Treks

Here, Very Short Treks pokes fun at the egregious error committed by Star Trek: Enterprise writers, reducing the series finale to a holodeck program somehow wedged into the background of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was a terrible decision, and the rest of the episode consists of a nesting doll-like series of holo program cameos. The first of these is Armin Shimerman returning as Quark, who is demonstrating to Garak how to make convincing propaganda.

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Quark and Garak in in Very Short Treks

Unfortunately, Very Short Treks does not bring Andrew Robinson back as everyone’s favorite Cardassian tailor, but he wouldn’t have had long to speak as the scene is soon paused. Now the scene changes to reveal characters from Star Trek: Lower Decks—Beckett Mariner standing uncharacteristically silently next to D’Vana Tendi, voiced by Noël Wells. Tendi is shocked to find that this is how the Romulans were convinced to join the Dominion War.

Mariner and Tendi in Very Short Treks

Then Short Treks gives us a lovely gift that is also a little bit sad. Adapting the 3-D CG animation of Star Trek: Prodigy to flat, still images of Gwyn, Zero, and Rahk Tahk, this comedy series brings the recently canceled Prodigy back to limited life. Angus Imrie returns to play the Medusan genius Zero, if only for a moment.

Boimler, Gwyn, Zero, and Rok-Tahk in Very Short Treks

Then it’s off to Star Trek: The Animated Series as George Takei himself returns as Sulu for one of the best cameos of this Very Short Treks episode. Beside him, fittingly, is Uhura, a little tribute to Nichelle Nichols, whom the Star Trek family recently lost. He also name-checks the Animated Series episode “The Practical Joker,” which is a wonderful Easter egg for fans of that series.

Uhura and Sulu in in Very Short Treks

Then it’s a bit of a holo program blitz as Star Trek: Discovery‘s Saru, voiced again by Doug Jones, only manages to tell the computer to freeze the program before Hemmer from Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, played by Bruce Horak, cuts him off with a pause order of his own. And that’s when Neelix pauses his holo novel. Yes, Very Short Treks brought back Ethan Phillips to reprise his Star Trek: Voyager role.

Saru in Very Short Treks
Hemmer in in Very Short Treks
Neelix in in Very Short Treks

But just as Neelix puts his holo novel away and snuggles down under the covers to go to sleep, we hear Trip’s voice again, and the simulation pauses. This time, however, in true Very Short Treks style, Trip is sharing one big body with T’Pol, Spock, Riker, and Uhura, wondering aloud whether they are real or holograms. Before he can find out, the computer herself pauses the whole thing.

Very Short Treks

And this is yet another Very Short Treks cameo, as the computer is voiced by Bonnie Gordon, who plays the voice of the computer in Star Trek: Prodigy. It’s another nod to the beloved series that presently finds itself in distribution limbo. It’s also a climax to the single funniest, most tonally perfect episode of this controversial non-canon series.

Fans have seen Very Short Treks by turns as hilarious and dreadful, as it frequently puts Trekkies off with its envelope-pushing and sometimes gross-out humor. But this episode does everything Very Short Treks promised to do: be irreverently funny but also pay tribute to Star Trek: The Animated Series and to the franchise in general. At long last, “Holograms All the Way Down” strikes the perfect balance and is easily the most successful installment of the series.