The following analysis is based on other official releases (including the previous trailer), CC@Home (and previous) commentary from the cast and crew, along with some educated speculation and contains potential spoilers.
More Lower Decking
Star Trek: Lower Decks is a show about low-ranking officers who work on one of the less important ships in Starfleet and the opening sequence of the trailer drives the point home. Ensigns Tendi, Rutherford, Mariner, and Boimler marvel at the wonders of space during a spacewalk, standing on what might be a satellite or subspace relay. Tendi sees a comet and says, “Wow, would you look at that.” With the USS Cerritos in the background, even the jaded Mariner succumbs to the moment, saying “A view like this makes you realize it doesn’t matter what deck you work on, we’re all in it together.”
And then the moment leaves us crushed as the Cerritos warps away, Mariner noting, “And they left us… how much oxygen do we have? A lot? A little?”
The rest of the trailer is a rapid-fire succession of moments, showing that season two of this show is going to be a lot like season one, with just more of everything…
Lower Decks is well-known for gags and references tied to Star Trek canon and this trailer made it abundantly clear they are not slowing down in season two. There are too many nods to go through but just a couple of moments from the trailer give you a sense of how the show is still sprinkling easter eggs around, some of which are pretty deep cuts. Firstly, early on in the trailer we get a shot of our four ensigns at some kind of space Vegas complete with a Quark’s franchised casino, showing that Deep Space Nine’s favorite Ferengi has branched out. While there was also a Quark’s on Freecloud in Star Trek: Picard, this appears to be a different place. Another possibility is Qualor II, home of the four-armed bar piano player Amarie who Riker talks to in “Unification II”; a promotion for a four-armed piano player can be seen in the upper right as the four ensigns enter. There are also a few familiar aliens, including a Galardonian, from the first episode of Lower Decks, so now they’re even referencing themselves.
Later there is a brief glimpse of an action sequence in a museum full of little nods, such as classic Star Trek weapons like a Vulcan Lirpa, Andorian Ice Cutter, Jem’Hadar Kar’takin, and a Klingon Bat’leth and Mek’leth. The back wall also includes Jean-Luc Picard’s Fauvist painting from “A Matter of Perspective.” In addition, there are some gravity boots, which could be a nod to Star Trek VI, and a trombone, which could be related to William Riker.
Just like the first, season two will bring back some familiar characters and actors. The one that made the biggest splash from the trailer is Star Trek: Voyager’s Robert Duncan McNeill, reprising his role as Tom Paris, giving Brad Boimler a Jeffries Tube pep talk with, “C’mon, you’ve been in tougher spots than this.”
The Lower Decks twist is that he appears as a talking commemorative plate. As Plate Paris explains, “I am a little worried about the fumes in here though, you know since you are talking to a plate.” By the way, while the conversation may have been imagined, the plate is soon to become a real product you can buy.
The second cameo was a bit more subtle, in the form of what Brad called “the evil computer,” which appeared to be a computer module ripped out of a shuttle.
The evil computer is voiced by Jeffrey Combs, who has portrayed eight different Star Trek characters, including fan-favorites like DS9’s Weyoun clones and Enterprise’s Shran. And this computer is definitely not winning any friends, telling Mariner, “Friend I am worried about you… my scans indicate you can lose a couple of pounds.”
More Pakleds (with more Titan)
Mike McMahan has said the Pakleds will be a recurring villain for Lower Decks, akin to the Klingons for TOS and that can be seen in the trailer. Season one brought back TNG’s seemingly dim-witted Pakleds as a more serious foe after accumulating enough alien technology to make their ships into the Frankenstein monsters of space. It took Captain William T. Riker of the USS Titan to help win the day in the season one finale battle after which Brad Boimler was promoted and transferred to his dream posting on the Titan. We see the three ensigns left behind on the USS Cerritos missing Brad and pondering “all the fun adventures he is going on.”
DETAIL: Beckett is so at home in the brig she has drawn a castle on the wall titled “Mariner HQ.”
However, life with the Titan doesn’t seem to be as glamorous as Brad may have imagined as we quick cut to him dodging an ax, buried in some rubble exclaiming, “Oh god!” as Riker (again voiced by Jonathan Frakes) and the crew of the Titan try to beam him out.
Things go from bad to worse as a Pakled fires a Klingon disruptor at Brad who is only saved by being caught in a looping transporter beam-up that has him phasing in (and screaming in) and out of the Titan transporter room.
There is also a quick shot of a Pakled ship firing on (probably) the USS Titan. NOTE: Paramount+ promotional photo captions (from episode 202 “Kayshon, His Eyes Open”) misidentified the ship as USS Alhambra.
More TNG bad guys
Mike McMahan is a Star Trek: The Next Generation superfan so it is no surprise the showrunner continues the mine the series for Lower Decks, including some of its best-known bad guys. A scene in a casino (possibly Quark’s from the space Vegas mentioned above) shows Mariner and Tendi dealing with some angry Nausicaans, not unlike a young Jean-Luc Picard did in TNG “Tapestry.” Mariner faces off with bluster, “I know we may not look like a lot, but when it comes to a fight, us Starfleet officers are trained to throwdown and…” Mid inspiring speech Mariner chucks latinum at the Nausicans and bolts from the casino while Tendi continues to hold on to a bundle as it if was very precious.
There is also a brief shot of the USS Cerritos trying to get away from a Crystalline Entity, introduced in TNG’s “Datalore.”
Mariner escapes from a Cardassian interrogator (played by Missi Pyle in episode 201, “Strange Energies”). Jean-Luc Picard found himself in a similar situation in TNG’s “Chain of Command.”
The ensigns have to take on some nefarious Ferengi, TNG’s first attempt at a series villains. Boimler and Ruthford are seen hiding from Ferengi who appear to be capturing members of the crew as Mariner implores, “the Ferengi got everyone else, it’s up to you guys.”
Samanthan and Brad step up to the challenge, with Rutherford wishing they had special powers and Boimler pointing to his head saying they do. Rutherford first thinks “our skin!” with Boimler pointing out he means their brains and Sam shows he gets it, “Right, brains are inside of our skins.”
The ultimate TNG bad guys show up briefly, with Boimler appearing as an assimilated Borg.
More Tendi/Rutherford bonding
Tendi and Rutherford formed a close bond in season one but that was all put into question when Rutherford’s cybernetic implant was reset at the end of the season, erasing all his memories of their friendship. This trailer shows the two have re-formed that friendship with a number of little moments, including building a model of the Cerritos together.
…and sharing a high five.
There is also a curious moment showing Tendi applying shock-therapy to Rutherford, which could be an attempt to reboot his memories.
New Security officer… and the old one too?
The trailer gives us a glimpse of some new things too, with the most prominent being the new security officer to step in after Shaxs’ season one finale sacrifice. In episode 202 (“Kayshon, His Eyes Open”) we will meet security officer Lt. Kayshon (Carl Targ), a Tamarian – the race introduced in the classic TNG episode “Darmok.” The trailer includes his introduction with Captain Freeman welcoming Lt. Kayshon to the Cerritos and the awkwardness created due to his race’s communicating through metaphor as he replies, “Rapungi, as he joined the seven.” Leaving the bridge crew bewildered.
The bridge scene is one of a couple that shows Dr. Migleemo (Paul F. Tompkins) returning from season one, but now possibly as part of the bridge crew.
There is another moment in the trailer that is a bit curious and can’t really be explained. It shows an alien ramping up a crowd with a “good morning, Cerritos!” And when you look at the crowd at the bottom from behind you can see our four ensigns in the center and the bridge crew on the left, including Lt. Kayshon. But we can also see Lt. Shaxs. Both officers being there sort of rules out a flashback, so for now, this is a curiosity.
The season one finale saw the USS Cerritos heavily damaged with the ship in for repairs at the end of the episode. Captain Freeman had requested the ship be restored just as it was at the time, but there are some minor differences that can be seen along the saucer edge and nacelles compared to the original ship.
New sci-fi action stuff
The trailer gives us a lot of glimpses of new situations and action our heroes will have to deal with. This includes…
Mariner and Tendi in a shuttle headed to the Cerritos, with Mariner declaring, “ramming speed!”
Rutherford, Tendi, Mariner, and Jet fighting a robot with big claws. Jet is holding what looks like a stuffed doll version of Lt. Kayshon.
Billups and Captain Freeman are jostled due to an explosion on a colorful ship or station next to the USS Cerritos.
Tendi is absorbed by a giant slimy slug, and then pulled to freedom by Mariner and Rutherford. Beckett offers, “who among us hasn’t been pooped out by an alien creature?” Tendi is not amused, rejecting Mariner with “don’t touch me!”
Tendi also gets into some action with Dr. T’Ana, escaping through the Jeffries Tubes, with Tendi getting knocked unconscious.
Mariner and Jet fight off with a swarm of dangerous-looking disks while in a cave with some pink slime and a big skeleton in the background.
Mariner and Boimler get involved in a Blues Brothers-type car through a space station promenade. (More of this scene was released as a clip earlier in the month)
Tendi also gets turned into a giant insect and rampages through the Cerritos mess hall.
New Captain Mom dynamic
The season finale ended with Mariner and her mother Captain Freeman coming to an understanding. The captain wanted to get to the heart of some issues she saw the Federation and Starfleet and realized Mariner’s way of fighting the system may be a benefit, so they agreed to work together. We see this strange new dynamic (which Tawny Newsome talked about during the CC@Home panel) at the end of the trailer. There is a sort of replay of a scene in season one with Mariner being dragged off to the brig, but here the pair seem to be enjoying the whole thing, ending with “Love you, mom” and “Love you too, never disobey me again.”
Speaking of the Freeman family, Mariner’s Admiral father (voiced by Phil LaMarr) also makes a brief appearance, returning after first appearing in season one. The admiral is asking someone if they are ready for promotion. We will have to wait until season two to see who could be getting a new pip.
The trailer includes a series of cards to tell their story of season two…
All in all a fun trailer showing us that Star Trek: Lower Decks will build on what worked in season one, but also evolve some of the characters in season two. If you were a fan of the show, everything indicates you will have more fun with new Star Trek arriving in August.
Star Trek: Lower Decks season two premieres on August 12 in the USA on Paramount+ and CTV Sci-Fi in Canada. It will begin on Amazon Prime the next day on August 13th in international territories around the world. In Latin America, Lower Decks debuts (both seasons 1 and 2) in September.
Keep up with all the news and analysis for Star Trek: Lower Decks.