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Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 Episode 6 Just Pulled Off One Of The Most Amazing Feats In Franchise History

"Star Trek: Prodigy" returned in a big way on Thursday, January 6, with a new groundbreaking episode that is sure to have die-hard Trekkies raving. 

The episode, which is titled "Kobayashi," marks the animated series' return to Paramount+ after a nearly two-month hiatus. We find our young crew of the U.S.S. Protostar — or more specifically, its captain, Dal R'El (voiced by Brett Gray) — embarking on an advanced command training simulation dubbed "Kobayashi Maru." Rather than ask the others for help, Dal chooses to conduct the simulation alone and tells the computer to instead make up a crew with "some of the best you got." This results in the creations of classic characters from years past, including Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Scotty (James Doohan), Odo (René Auberjonois), and Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), all as simulated crew members. But that's not the crazy part. There's actually a much more incredible feat that the episode manages to pull off. 

"There's a story there that works whether or not you understand any of the Star Trek references at all," explained episode writer Aaron J. Waltke in a recent interview with Polygon. "But the fun was, if we're gonna go there, why not pack as much stuff for the super-fans as we can?" 

Almost all of the dialogue for Episode 6 was from existing Star Trek episodes and films

According to Den of Geek, nearly every single line of dialogue uttered by the classic characters in Episode 6 of "Star Trek: Prodigy" was previously used in a "Star Trek" film or television show. The only exception was for Dr. Crusher actor Gates McFadden, who recorded brand new lines for the cameo. Den of Geek notes that representatives for Paramount+ confirmed that dialogue for the other classic characters like Spock, Scotty, and Odo was all archival and had been used in other projects. 

Episode 6 ultimately mirrors a story seen in 1982's "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," which had James T. Kirk (William Shatner) attempting to complete a simulation called the Kobayashi Maru test. "If you look at The Wrath of Khan, it's not just random ensigns or whatever that are at Starfleet Academy," explained Aaron Waltke in his interview with Polygon. "It's literally Spock and Uhura and Sulu. They're there, as this all-star crew."

Waltkle admits that while the idea of bringing in so much nostalgia to "Prodigy" sounded cool, it was a tireless endeavor. "I'm not gonna lie, it was probably one of the hardest writing experiences I've ever had," Waltkle said, noting how he sought out to make "the Trekkiest Trek that ever Trekked" for Episode 6. "Obviously rewarding, but there were cases where I thought I had finally found the perfect line and then I would go track down the audio and the [actor] was just too far away from the 1960s microphones that were recording, or they were rattling something."