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The Coolest References And Easter Eggs From Star Trek: Lower Decks Season Finale 'No Small Parts'

Star Trek: Lower Decks has spent its previous nine episodes weaving a story about lowly ensigns and what it's like to live on the bottom rung of the ladder on board one of the least important ships in Starfleet.

"No Small Parts" is the summation of Lower Decks' first year, and just like the episodes that came before it, there are a ton of ways the finale is an ode to Star Trek: The Next Generation. In fact, this episode is so packed with TNG Easter eggs that it's arguably more TNG than all the TNG movies combined.

But would you believe that the best reference in this episode isn't from TNG? In fact, the best Easter egg isn't even technically a part of Star Trek canon. Hold onto your janky accessories, because we're about to sprint through the best referenced and Easter eggs "No Small Parts" has to offer — and there are a lot!

The USS Titan brings big names to Lower Decks

Let's get the big, spoilers out of the way first. One of the ways we know that "No Small Parts" is a season finale episode is because it features the return of Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) on board the U.S.S. Titan. The Titan is the ship Riker finally accepted commission to captain during the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, the final Star Trek: The Next Generation film. There's a metric ton of references surrounding the return of TNG's most famous power couple. Riker refers to Captain Carol Freeman as his "cha'DIch" which is Klingon term for the partner you chose to physically fight for your honor while you challenge the Klingon High Council. Worf chose Picard to be his cha'DIch in the TNG episode "Sins of the Father."

There are a few other cool references: The TNG theme plays when the Titan first appears, there's talk about Riker's love for jazz, and they even namedrop the Horgon sex idols from Risa that appear in "Captain's Holiday" after Riker tried to trick Picard into having some guilt-free one-night fun times.

The biggest surprise, however, was the one-off reference to Riker visiting the holodeck to spend time with the crew of the "original" Enterprise. The finale for Star Trek: Enterprise is petty infamous because they brought in Riker and Troi to tie the TNG-to-Enterprise era of Star Trek together. Frakes admitted to being uncomfortable with that decision, and the cast of Enterprise was pretty open about not being happy either. It's all water under the Titan bridge now, apparently! Maybe this means we'll somehow see Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and the gang on Lower Decks next season!

Quality of Life (and death) on Lower Decks

Tendi (Noël Wells) spends a lot of "No Small Parts" training new recruit Peanut Hamper — yes, that's their actual name. Peanut Hamper is an exocomp, one of a group of industrial servo mechanisms from Tyrus VIIA station that gained sentience during the TNG episode "Quality of Life." Apparently, the exocomps have come so far that, just like Data or Nog, Peanut Hamper is now the first of her species to join Starfleet.

The other big spoiler from this episode is that the Cerritos loses a crew member: Lieutenant Shaxs (Fred Tatasciore). Any fan of TNG knows that Shaxs is not the first security chief to die in the first season of a Star Trek show. In the TNG episode "Skin of Evil," Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) was killed by an evil monster called Armus. An alternate universe version of Tasha shows up in "Yesterday's Enterprise," and Crosby plays a half-Romulan daughter of that version of Yar named Sela. Whether or not all those references mean we'll see Shaxs again remains to be seen, but we're not ruling it out.

Interestingly, Mariner (Tawny Newsome) also namedrops Armus at the end of "No Small Parts" when Boimler (Jack Quaid) takes a promotion and a commission on board the Titan — including mentioning a monster that looks like a bunch of trash bags, that's three references to Armus so far this season.

Pakleds and Wolf 359 were an inside job on Lower Decks

Star Trek: Lower Decks references tons of alien species from the franchise's storied history: Borg, Klingons, Ferengi, Vulcans — you name it, they've probably showed up in the background. The biggest surprise of the whole season, however, was how effectively Lower Decks took a silly TNG villain and made them scary.

The Pakleds were the morons of the galaxy so far as TNG mythos goes. They show up in an episode called "Samaritan Snare," and the plot is that they are basically pathetic and incapable of getting along on their own, so the Enterprise sends Geordi LaForge (LeVar Burton) to help them out. Long story short, the Pakleds kidnap Geordi and try to trade him for Starfleet technology.

On Lower Decks, the Pakleds succeed in stealing technology until they become extremely powerful and profoundly destructive. They destroy the U.S.S. Solvang entirely and nearly do the same to the Cerritos. Like the best of TNG, "Lower Decks' uses this reference to Trek's past to explain the dangers of weaponized ignorance.

References are used in a similar way when Mariner encounters Lieutenant Steve Levy, a Starfleet officer who believes Wolf 359 (the event in which Locutus and The Borg wiped out a ton of starships) was an inside job. He also says that Changelings don't exist and that the Dominion Wars didn't happen. That's a reference to Odo (René Auberjonois) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but it's also a reference to real-life conspiracy theories and how even silly-sounding ones can be deceptively dangerous.

TOS and the best Lower Decks Easter egg so far

While Lower Decks loves referencing the TNG-through-Enterprise era of Star Trek, it also never skips out on its TOS references either. In "No Small Parts." there's one big reference, and one Easter egg that's maybe the best thing of all time, and we've got to talk about both.

The episode opens with the Cerritos returning to a planet called Beta III, with which Starfleet first deals in the TOS episode "The Return of the Archons." In that episode, the people on that planet are ruled by an evil computer named Landru. In "No Small Parts," the Cerritos discovers that Betan society has rebuilt Landru and gone back to following it. Just like with the Pakleds, this is a fun way of referencing a goofy thing from Trek's past while pointing out how that goofy thing can cause actual harm if a society becomes complacent.

Enough serious stuff: Let's talk about oddball Star Trek accessories. As the Cerritos is being attacked by the Pakleds, Mariner pulls out every single piece of contraband weaponry she's hidden on board the ship. One of those is a weird-looking helmet with a flashing light and an antennae on top of it.

That is a "Spock Helmet," aka "Official Star Trek Helmet," aka "space fun helmet." A product of AHI, the helmet was part of a line of toys from 1976. The helmet has nothing to do with Star Trek, Spock, space, or fun — it barely has anything to do with helmets! Until "No Small Parts," this helmet was simply not a part of Star Trek canon. Thanks to Star Trek: Lower Decks, however, the Spock Helmet is now and forever an official part of Star Trek lore.