Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Small Details You Missed In The First Look At Star Trek: Lower Decks

Star Trek fans the world over should be preparing to boldly go where no Trek has gone before when CBS All Access' new animated Star Trek seriesLower Decks, hits the streaming platform on August 6. No, this will not be the first animated Star Trek series. The franchise first broke that barrier way back in the '70s when Captain Kirk and crew first took Starfleet to Toon Town for further primetime sci-fi adventures. Rather than simply re-tread that ground, Star Trek: Lower Decks is the first series in Trek's history to focus on the kookier side of Starfleet life, following the ongoing adventures of the self-proclaimed least important ship in the fabled fleet.

That ship is the U.S.S. Cerritos, who's mission is not to discover new worlds, but to follow up with second contact missions, essentially ensuring all the necessary Starfleet paperwork that comes in the wake of first contact is in proper order. And yes, if the series' official trailer is any indication, the adventures of the Cerritos crew will be every bit as funny as that clever setup implies. 

To ramp up anticipation for the series after the release of the official trailer, the creators took advantage of the Star Trek Universe panel at this year's virtual San Diego Comic-Con event to unleash a full scene from Lower Decks' pilot episode. Like the trailer, that scene only cemented the fact that the new series will not only be hilarious, but also genuinely earnest in that singular Star Trek way. 

Once you've had your laughs, we'd urge you to go back and re-watch that scene, because there are a few loving winks to Star Trek past buried in there that even true Trek fans might've missed. Here's a look at some of the smaller details you might've missed in the first look at Star Trek: Lower Decks

A toast to an infamous episode of the original series

Just to set the scene, we'll tell you the brief scene unveiled during the Star Trek Universe panel today involved two crew members of the U.S.S. Cerritos, Ensign Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Ensign Boimler (Jack Quaid), and initially found the ambitious Boimler hiding away in a storage closet delivering a faux Captain's log. He's quickly interrupted by his colleague, who's clearly been on a bit of a bender during her shore leave. She admits as much, claiming she'd been hitting a bottle of high octane Romulan whiskey pretty hard during her down time.

Ensign Mariner goes on to comment that the whiskey is surprisingly blue, noting, "I bet you thought it would be green, but it's blue." Romulan whiskey (as well as ale) is indeed blue, but the interesting part of that statement is Mariner's allusion to a green alcoholic beverage, which is likely a nod to a substance infamously consumed by Mr. Scott (James Doohan) and a few impetuous aliens in an episode of the original Star Trek series. Titled "By Any Other Name," that episode finds the U.S.S. Enterprise being hijacked by a group of intruders capable of holding much of the crew in a state of stasis. 

It also finds Scotty attempting to get the upper hand on the captors in true Scotty fashion, by taking them on a drinking tour of the Federation, which eventually leads to the consumption of a mysterious green fluid that essentially lays them all flat. As it happens, Star Trek: Lower Decks is not the first Trek series to call back to Scotty's boozy moment. In Doohan's memorable one-off appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation, he's actually served a glass of green booze by Data (Brent Spiner) himself, which is pretty darn cool. 

The "guy with an eyepatch" is likely referencing a Deep Space Nine regular

There's an old Star Trek saying: "It's all fun and games until a drunk Ensign gets their hands on a Bat'leth." Okay, that's probably not an old Star Trek saying. But it might become one after Mariner brings a Bat'leth to the party and drunkenly mocks Trek icon Worf (Michael Dorn) in a Lower Decks scene that gets very perilous very quickly. 

We're assuming if you're reading this you're a fan of all things Star Trek, and therefore need not be told who Worf is (see Star Trek: TNG and Deep Space Nine) or what a Bat'leth is (a fancy Klingon sword). Needless to say, it's pretty cool, and utterly ridiculous to see Ensign Mariner wielding one so causally in the Lower Decks teaser, particularly with what happens in the end. It's also kind of hilarious to hear her mocking Worf's storied "death before dishonor" beliefs in faux battle.

What's of particular interest in the scene is Mariner's mention of getting the weapon from "an old guy with an eye-patch." We might be grasping at some of those coarse Klingon hairs here, but we're pretty sure that's a reference to a certain one-eyed Klingon warrior who, over the course of Deep Space Nine's run, eventually ascended to the rank of Chancellor of the Klingon Empire. His name was Martok, and any Deep Space Nine fan would tell you he had a very special relationship with Worf in that series' narrative. 

Now, the only problem with that theory is that Martok was infinitely proud of his battle-earned scars and categorically refused to cover them with an eye patch. But hey, it's fun to think Mariner might've shared a drink or six with the man himself on Star Trek: Lower Decks

A wink to the history of Star Trek models

There's another little nugget we're betting many viewers missed in the opening moments of that Star Trek: Lower Decks teaser scene, and it involves the very space station the U.S.S. Cerritos is docked with. First and foremost, we'd point out that Ensign Boimler notes that the station where the Cerritos is re-supplying for their next mission is called Douglas Station. That name may not mean much to casual Trek fans, but we're pretty sure there are some die hards out there who know that many of the more impressive model work for the original Star Trek series — particularly the deep space stations — were, in fact, done by the Douglas Aircraft Company, the long-running aviation firm designing them on spec for NASA back in the '60s. 

Those models eventually turned into Starfleet's K-7 space stations, which were first glimpsed in one of the original series' best-known episodes, "The Trouble With Tribbles." It's safe to assume they also served as the template for the titular station in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The original K-7 station even made an appearance via that series' tribute episode "Trials and Tribbles," by the way. And as fun as that connect-the-dots space station trip is, it's also clear from the opening shot of the Star Trek: Lower Decks teaser that the Douglas Station therein is influenced by the old school K-7 models — even if the Douglas Station is a pretty massive upgrade.