In addition to the big news about and the Star Trek: Discovery sneak peek and Kate Mulgrew in Star Trek: Prodigy news the Star Trek Universe virtual NYCC event included a panel discussion with the cast of Star Trek: Lower Decks along with creator Mike McMahan talking about the season finale, which debuted today, along with providing some hints about what is to come. This panel was hosted by Wil Wheaton and has been released as a new version of The Ready Room, along with a bonus message from McMahan. We have broken down all the hints and confirmations, and you can also watch the full Ready Room video below.
Warning: This article covers major spoilers for the season finale of Lower Decks.
Season two: bigger, funnier… still Trek
During the panel McMahan also talked about what it’s like for the team to move into a new season:
It’s even bigger and it’s even funnier, and it’s still very Star Trek… We’re very proud and we are very careful. It is amazing to be part of Star Trek. And it is mind-blowing… We know that it is bigger than us and we have to be very careful with it. And we want it to be very funny good and very surprising. So we are working very hard to make something special for everybody.
And in a post-panel message, Mike said:
There is more Lower Decks on the way. We have way more adventures and way more stories to tell.
Boimler starts season two on the Titan
The end of the season finale saw Brad Boimler promoted to lieutenant and transferred to his dream assignment on the USS Titan, under the command of Captain Riker (voiced by Jonathan Frakes). Mike McMahan revealed that is where season two will pick up:
Boimler’s on the Titan. We don’t undo that. We start the season and Boimler’s on the Titan. You’ll be seeing Riker again at the beginning of next season for sure.
In a post-panel message, McMahan also brought this up when talking about season two, saying:
I think the craziest thing is: what is Boimler’s life like on the Titan.
Frakes will be back, was encouraged to “go wild” as Riker
Jonathan Frakes was the teased “surprise guest” for the Lower Decks panel and both he and Jack Quaid indicated they would be working together again for season two. The Riker that showed up in the season finale was a bit looser than the Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series and films, and this was by design. Frakes revealed the direction he got from show creator Mike McMahan:
When I go to go into the studio [Mike] encouraged me to do what I always wanted to do for thirty-five years, which was let Riker be a wild, insane character. You know who I am… Riker is a lot more serious. So, this has been a blast.
McMahan also weighed in on what it was like for him — a man who has a cat named Riker — to actually write for the real thing:
It was a joy. Riker on Lower Decks is… Lower Decks is an enhancement of things that already existed in Star Trek. It was something that was always there, but we just kind of exaggerated it a little bit. Our Riker is the Riker that is expressing joy all the time. He loves jazz, all the time. He is having a great time. He is truly in love Deanna and they have a great relationship and they are on a ship together and we justed to imply this whole era of post-[Star Trek:] Nemesis joy that they have being on the Titan, their own ship.
And Jonathan came in and it was a party. It was as much fun as you can have recoding for an animated show. And he was so game. He just got it! He has played this character for so long, to then shift into a comedic version of it that still remained true blew us away.
Season two will have some different character matchups
The first season of Lower Decks often paired up Boimler and Mariner, and Rutherford with Tendi. When discussing the approach for season two, McMahan talked about shaking that up:
The second season is what we knew is we love their characters. Right off the bat we were like, let’s get Mariner and Tendi in a story. What does that look like?
The Cerritos is getting a new security officer, Shaxs really is gone
One of the big surprises of the season finale was Lt. Shaxs sacrificing himself in a blaze of glory to save Rutherford. And in a post-panel message on The Ready Room, Mike McMahan made it sound pretty definitive:
We have a new head of security I am excited for you to see because we lost poor Shaxs.
And when actor Fred Tatasciore was asked if Shaxs’ was permanent or just a “Star Trek death,” Tatasciore also indicated his time with the show was over:
I can’t tell you how many times my characters die in things. I have died so many times. That is my job, is to die. So this was one of those, and when you get that in a character – what a great character to have played and what a great scene for it to have happened. From a theatrical point of view, it’s awesome. From a viewpoint where I want to stay in, yeah, it’s sad. You don’t want to, you don’t want to leave. But it was such a thrill to play out this guy to his inevitable end.
Watch The Ready Room
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Lower Decks news and analysis at TrekMovie.com.