From Kirk To Okona, ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Easter Eggs In “An Embarrassment Of Dooplers”

We have already recapped and reviewed “An Embarrassment Of Dooplers” and discussed it on the All Access Star Trek podcast; now we take a deep dive into all the Easter eggs that caught our eyes. In some cases the references are clear, with others it may just be our Trek interpretations; art is in the eye of the beholder.

Obviously… SPOILERS ahead.

 

Riker’s chest shirt finds a home

After arriving at Starbase 25, Mariner went to a shop run by an old acquaintance named Malvus, who was a Mizarian, a race first introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Allegiance.” Malvus accused Mariner of abandoning him on Ceti Alpha IV, which he pointed out “is much worse than Ceti Alpha V.” Khan Noonien Singh and his fellow genetic augments were left by James T. Kirk on Ceti Alpha V in the TOS episode “Space Seed.” Khan was found there years later in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Boimler joins in, pointing out Mariner abandoned him on Rubicun III, the planet where Wesley was almost executed for stepping on some flowers in the TNG episode “Justice.”

Malvus’ shop was full of bits of Star Trek history including a 3D chess set, TOS tricorder, tribbles, a Vulcan lirpa, Starfleet phaser rifles, and even the open shirt Riker wore in the TNG episode “Angel One.”

There was a Lore

Malvus sends the ensigns on a mission to deliver some crates of Limited edition Commander Data bubble bath, featuring bottles shaped like Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Boimler asks “You sure this isn’t a Lore?” holding up one of the bottles that has a bit of an evil grin, identifying it as representing Data’s evil brother Lore. Malvus admits some of the bottles “might be Lores.”

Skant as fashion choice

As they prepared to go to Starbase 25 Boimler suggested they wear skants, showing off the longer uniform variants. Mariner replied, “nobody wears those anymore.” This refers to the unisex skirt-style or “skant” uniform variant seen in the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Although we did see Boimler wear the skant in season one episode “Envoys,” but he also wore pants with it.

Quark is branching out

As Mariner and Boimler tour Starbase 25 they spot a sign for Quark’s bar, with Mariner saying “Oh, they have a Quark’s now.” Originally Quark’s Bar had a single location on station Deep Space 9, but we have now seen Quark’s in multiple locations including Starbase 25 and Qualor II on Lower Decks, and Freecloud on Picard. 

It also appears that Quark has moved into other ventures, including selling models. After blowing up the warp core from their Quark brand model of the Cerritos, Tendi gives Rutherford a Quark brand model of station Deep Space 9, which used typography from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Rutherford also pointed out how the model came “with an Ezri and a Jadzia!” referring to the two Trill Dax hosts featured on DS9.

Morn!

The episode wraps up with all of our characters hanging out in an old bar on the station that felt a bit like a future version of the bar from Cheers. We could even see a passed-out Lurian, which was probably supposed to be Morn, the perennial barfly who frequented Quarks on DS9, and who was himself an homage to the Cheers barfly Norm Peterson.

Like the Cheers bar, the walls were decorated with memorabilia, however, on Starbase 25 instead of sports equipment there were models of classic Star Trek elements including the Phoenix from First Contact, the Guardian of Forever from TOS “A City on the Edge of Forever,” and the Planet Killer from TOS “Doomsday Machine.” Also, like the Cheers bar, there were old photos on the wall, in this case featuring many characters and bits of Star Trek history including M’Ress, Arex, the USS Voyager, Talosians, Sisko’s Bajoran light ship, Bzzit Khaht, and many more.

The biggest connection were the names “Kirk + Spock” carved into the bar itself with the bartender revealing that Captain James T. Kirk and Commander Spock were there in the 2260s, which would put it during the 5-Year Mission of the USS Enterprise as seen in Star Trek: The Original Series.

Kirk’s stuff

The old bartender wasn’t the only one fond of Kirk. In addition to the Amelia Earhart memorabilia, station commander Captain Anderson also had a Mesoamerican statue and obelisk decoration seen in Kirk’s quarters on the USS Enterprise.

Picard Envy

As for Captain Freeman, she had a different captain in mind. When told her California-class ship crew did not qualify for the “Luna-class and above party,” she tells the bouncer “My crew deals with just as much s#!t as Picard’s or any other,” referring to Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who at this time is in command of the USS Enterprise-E. She also later says, “I deserve more respect. I once escorted the Enterprise out of spacedock dammit!”

Okana as Outrageous DJ

As she is being denied entry by Captain Anderson he turns to say “Okona. How are you?” This enrages the Freeman who points out Okona is not even in Starfleet, adding, “This is outrageous!” She is to Thadiun Okona the rogueish independent freighter captain featured in the TNG episode “The Outrageous Okona.” On Lower Decks, he now has an eyepatch and is working as a DJ. But he is still carrying the guidance system module (which looks a lot like a future boombox) he had repaired by the crew of the USS Enterprise-D.

Shelby and OG Kelpien

When he was briefly in the party, Boimler points out “Captain Shelby and her number one.” This reveals the ambitious Commander Shelby who was gunning for Riker’s spot as the first officer of the USS Enterprise-D in the TNG episode “The Best of Both Worlds” finally got her own command. As for her first officer, this was a very deep cut. The multi-eyed alien was inspired by the original design for Saru from Star Trek: Discovery.

Em, bird people, and fish people

There were some more deep-cut aliens, including that bouncer, and some of the waiters, who are from the same species as “Em” or Em/3/Green in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode “The Jihad.”

And in the Starbase 25 Aviary, we met a bickering couple of Aurelians from the TAS episode “Yesteryear.” The design for the Aurelians was also re-used in “The Jihad” for the Skorr.

The station itself was full of many familiar Star Trek aliens, many of which have been seen before on Lower Decks including Bolians, Andorians, Tellarites, Vulcans, and more. During the big car chase scene Boimler did point out some “fish people!” referring to a pair of Antedians, featured in the TNG episode “Manhunt.”

One beep for EP

During the chase the ensigns and pursuing cops had to avoid one person moving along in a classic Captain Pike mobility chair. We have actually seen some of these on Lower Decks before (in “Much Ado About Boimler“) but some fans are thinking this particular resident of Starbase 25 was modeled to look like Lower Decks executive producer – and the man heading up the Star Trek Universe on Paramount Plus – Alex Kurtzman.

Fascinating ships

As for Starbase 25, it was mentioned once in the TAS episode “The Slaver Weapon,” but was not seen until Lower Decks. The design itself closely resembled Starbase Vanguard, from the Star Trek: Vanguard books series. Other ships docked at the station match or at least closely resemble 22nd-century Andorian battlecruisers, a Maquis raider, two Parliament-class ships, and two Daedalus-class ships. Mariner also tried to bluff her way into the party claiming she was from the “Voyager-D,” implying there have been four new versions of the USS Voyager since it returned from the Delta Quadrant only 3 years earlier, so she was almost certainly making that up. Starfleet will eventually launch a Voyager-J, which was seen in the 32nd century.

During their chase Boimler and Mariner also literally drive through a Vulcan ship with a design like the 22nd-century D’kr Vulcan cruiser, but smaller. Of course one of the Vulcans on board said “fascinating.”

Blues ensigns

As for the chase itself, it was a clear homage to the car chases seen in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.

The chase in Lower Decks paid particular homage to The Blues Borthers shopping mall chase. Boimler pointing out the casino, barbershop, and “fine men’s clothing!” were all akin to Jake and Elwood’s banter as they careened through a mall that “just has everything.” The barbershop featured Bolian Barbers, just like the barbershop on the USS Enterprise-D

Tawny and Mike talk Okana

On Sunday Paramount+ released a video featuring star Tawny Newsome and showrunner Mike McMahan talking about the return of the outrageous Okona.

What did you see?

Spot any new Trek references we missed on Lower Decks? Have a favorite? Sound off in the comments below.


New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks premiere on Thursdays on Paramount+ in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. It is available on Amazon Prime Video internationally on Fridays. It will debut in Latin America on Paramount+ in September.

Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.

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Love the Vanguard-like station design.

Also it’s enormous inside just like in the books. The big mushroom section is interior space rather than spacedock. It’s so cool. Here’s the interior diagram for the station that came with the first novel in the series:

The Relaunch Litverse book covers have had great designs for both ships and stations.

Since the Vanguard novel sequence is in the 2270s, they haven’t officially been superseded by on-screen canon. So, it’s good to have a bit of that validated.

I like that while novels still are not canon, they are at least being treated as a resource. There are lots of ideas to be mined from there.

Me too.

There’s a lot of great stuff in the Litverse and ViacomCBS owns all the IP, not the authors or the artists. No need to even acknowledge them in the credits or pay any residuals.

Sometimes I think that it’s the ego or the desire to get creator rather than adapted-by credit that’s keeping the writers from bringing in Litverse material.

I may not have liked what Discovery did with the Control plot line as compared to the novels, but I give them credit for at least taking some inspiration from something bold and well done from the Litverse.

I was amazed and delighted when Lower Decks utilized Sean Tourangeau‘s book cover design for the USS Titan, and again when we learned that was indeed a Brikar appearing as a series regular in Prodigy. And for all my issues with Discovery, I admit to being quite deeply moved by its adoption of the term “Ni’Var” from vintage Trek fandom. Those sorts of incorporations of elements of “beta canon” and fandom creations are really cool.

That’s to say nothing of how tickled I was that the same episode of Lower Decks that gave us the Titan on screen also enshrined in actual screen canon the gloriously ridiculous Space Fun Helmet.

Wow, this image just doesn’t want to go in.

The Memory Beta link in the article has the diagram of the station at the bottom of the article. It really seems like the animators took it and went wild.

There is a watchtower class starbase shown at the start of the remastered TOS episode “the ultimate computer”. Although i think its considerably smaller than Vanguard though.

Yes, Vanguard is an original design that captures some of the ideas Rick Sternbach was playing with for 24th century stations, building on some of the movie and TOS designs.

I had the privilege of seeing a presentation by Sternbach of all his various station designs, many in what he called the “Federation mushroom style” at a CreationCon in the 90s. When I saw the first Vanguard cover, it seemed as though they’d started from there in conceiving the station design for the book series.

In that first image, I think Malvus is holding a laser pistol from the Cage. I looks a lot like one.

I think you’re right!

I love that McMahan implied that Lursa and B’Etor would have been the DJs if they were still alive.

LOL!

Considering that Voyager was declared officially lost for 14 months before the Doctor set the record straight in “Message in a Bottle”, it’s possible that there could have been a Voyager during this time period and even a second Voyager if something happened to the first one on an early mission. Then, once Janeway’s Voyager returns and is made a museum, perhaps the new Voyager will be the Voyager-C with the other 2 being retroactively declared A and B. Then, perhaps this one gets damaged beyond repair and so it may be possible that Mariner wasn’t making up the existence of a Voyager-D.

To lose one Voyager may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose three begins to look like carelessness.

I mean look at how many Enterprises they lost. The NX-01 was a rarity among Enterprises. Even the Kelvin timeline first Constitution-class Enterprise was destroyed, leading to the Kelvin version of Enterprise-A. In the main timeline it went all the way up to Enterprise-E.

However, in Enterprise, it’s even revealed that in the distant future there will be an Enterprise-J (with STO even introducing the Enterprise-F but STO is Beta-canon), which means one of the ones between D and J may have had a longer service history than the rest.

Probably Enterprise-E considering it’s still around in 2408 according to the Star Trek website, which means it’s the Enterprise in service during Lower Decks. Considering the Enterprise-J was in service in the 26th century and the 26th is 2501 through 2600, that means the F through I will probably have particuarlly short service histories, living up to the legacy the way the E didn’t.

I’m really happy now I watched TAS for the first time this year because I’m able to catch so many references of that show on this show lol. And even when I still forgotten a few since I only seen TAS once but can catch most of them.

Lower Decks is great because it seems to be the ‘glue’ to the entire universe now, where every show and movie is included in some way. When TNG was around, that basically fell mostly on them being the biggest show and referenced all the shows back then. DS9 also did a great job of it and certainly had tons of crossovers from TOS and TNG, but TNG manage to get the big guns from Spock to Janeway. Discovery oddly seems to be doing it much more now that it’s in the 32nd century.

But with Lower Decks everything just feel more ‘lived in’ as you are seeing not just the well known people but also some of the most obscure characters and species in the franchise, especially from TAS. Of course we still haven’t seen any characters from DS9 yet but I’m certain it will happen. Obviously its harder to include main characters directly from TOS and ENT but I still think they will find a way to make it happen. But those show’s characters have obviously been referenced multiple times at least, including Kirk and Spock in this episode.

the best TAS reference in LD was in the Season One where an image of Kirk and Spock was from TAS. I loved that

Oh yeah that was great! It was a nice touch to do it in the season finale as well.

I am certain I spotted a variant to the Delta Flyer when Boimler and Mariner beamed onto the Station Promenade.

I’m can’t believe with all the Animated Series and The Cage references in Lower Decks that iTunes still doesn’t offer that series or the pilot episode. They have a box set of the original series advertised as “complete”, but it’s not because it’s missing The Cage. Thought they might have added it as a bonus feature on Disco: S2, but nope. How do we get these added for purchase? Especially TAS because on P+ the audio is all jacked up and the vocals are in one ear/speaker and the effects and music in the other.🙄

Whoa, it’s not? I hadn’t realized since I have the show on Blu-ray, but if they’re calling it “the complete series” then I agree they ought to include “The Cage”.

Perhaps that one has some different legal status with regards to the show, since it wasn’t part of the show’s original broadcast run on NBC from ‘66 to ‘69. Still, if they really want to call it “the complete series”, they should include that episode along with all the rest.

Although TM did an excellent catching the easter eggs, I have to say this week there was just an overload of them, I don’t think they captured them all this episode the way Trekculture did. They managed to find a few more, in even more obscure places and references. The video is already cued up if you want to have a look but warning…it’s long!

https://youtu.be/EythsJoTLIc?t=955

Funny enough though, I think despite all the references there is actually one both TM and Trekculture didn’t catch and that’s the jukebox sitting in the bar in the corner. Now I COULD be wrong, but I think that jukebox is suppose to be the one we see on Voyager when they are celebrating First Contact day. Neelix made the party and have the jukebox playing the tunes Zefram Cochrane was playing before the Vulcans arrived. I included it to so people can have a look and judge for themselves:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRlt8D-32pw

I love Lower Decks so much. I am so very thankful to have it at this particular time when we all need some light and fun. Big congrats to all the creators and creatives who obviously have a deep love and connection to the franchise.

With all the divided opinion and discourse around DISC and PIC I do believe LD is shaping up to be the one series that we can all enjoy as a fandom and that makes me very happy indeed!

Just spotted Talosians in a photo in the bar scene.

The Guardian of Forever can change history and make it so that the timeline you come from never existed. Shouldn’t it be a closely guarded secret (and probably one that’s carefully guarded by a bunch of heavily armed ships), rather than something that would have replica knick-knacks?

I guess comedy means we aren’t supposed to think. :-) Never mind…

Maybe there should be a special spin off of Star Trek called, “Guardian of Love” in the vein of Fantasy Island and the Love Boat. Each week a couple (or more!!) takes a trip with the Guardian only to find out… things are better the way they are!

Please make sure Mr. Kurtzman never hears this suggestion! :-)

Haha you know they get all the good idea over here at Trekmovie!

Hmmm….at a minimum you’ve hit on a great idea for a recurring Halloween special episode.

That idea (“Guardian of Love”) is hilarious.

But that’s the problem…its not lol. I mean the Enterprise just casually beamed down and it spitted out everything it did in minutes. It’s was already billions of years old. How was it not super protected by the 23rd century? It seem like anyone can just approach it at any time. I would imagine something like that would’ve gotten word all through the quadrant. The fact Kirk and company can just stroll up to it at this point already made it pretty absurd.

Kirk and company had never heard of it, and Starfleet had never heard of it, so it’s unknown and forgotten in Kirk’s era. I was assuming that AFTER Kirk reported its existence to Starfleet, Starfleet would classify that report as top, top, TOP secret, and it would station at least two ships around the planet that the Guardian is on, to make sure that no one tries to change history.

So no, nobody in the Lower Decks era should know about the place except a few top admirals and whoever’s stationed nearby to guard the thing.

I mean, can you imagine everyone who’s had a loved one die in a freak accident trying to change history? Everyone who’s lost a battle or a war trying to change it? I’d think making sure the Klingons and Romulans (in Kirk’s era) never hear of it has to be one of Starfleet’s top priorities.

I know the damned thing is fictional, and the possibilities STILL scare me. :-) Of course, I write TOS fan fiction (under another name), so imagining the possibilities of TOS-era things is kinda what I do…

“Kirk and company had never heard of it, and Starfleet had never heard of it, so it’s unknown and forgotten in Kirk’s era. I was assuming that AFTER Kirk reported its existence to Starfleet, Starfleet would classify that report as top, top, TOP secret, and it would station at least two ships around the planet that the Guardian is on, to make sure that no one tries to change history.”

That’s the entire problem with GOF. Something like this should’ve been pretty known throughout the quadrant because it WASN’T a secret already. It never was. I find it even crazier after a billion years Starfleet was the first to find it. It would be different if it was hiding or something but it wasn’t.

“I mean, can you imagine everyone who’s had a loved one die in a freak accident trying to change history? Everyone who’s lost a battle or a war trying to change it? I’d think making sure the Klingons and Romulans (in Kirk’s era) never hear of it has to be one of Starfleet’s top priorities.”

This is literally my point. It’s billions of years old and it just lets anyone go through it without question now. How did no one in or out of Federation never discovered it until now? OK maybe the Klingons or Romulans never found it, but others did. They could’ve changed history MANY times over at this point . How would anyone know?

They could have classified it, but there is nothing to suggest anyone actually did, right? It may just be an open secret the same way everyone knows about the mirror universe in the 24th century which we also know was classified in the 23rd century thanks to Discovery. And it’s been literally a century, even if they did in the 23rd, no telling what happened by the 24th.

And believe it or not, you can still classify something that everyone still knows exists. Put it in real world terms. Area 51 has been classified for 50 years! And yet everyone STILL knows about it lol. It’s been part of popular culture for decades, countless documentaries on it, etc, when it was suppose to be the biggest top secret facility in America. Now getting ON the base is a different story. ;) But you see my point?

So I don’t have an issue others know. It was always ridiculous more people didn’t know about it already.

Well, Area 51 itself is referenced in Deep Space Nine.
Saw it a few days in the episode “behind the lines”:

“A51 – restricted area – authorized personnel only”

I think the one smart thing Discovery did in their revival of the Guardian is that it seems to have no weaknesses and can move as it wishes. For us living with 50 years of TOS, we just need to rethink that it always existed on that planet. — perhaps?

Agreed. That was why I liked they went back to it on Discovery and gave it a little more backstory. Also liked how they tied it to the Temporal wars because people like that WOULD use it for that kind of purpose.

Maybe people hated how cheeky they made it, but they made its actions and motivations a lot more sense than they did on TOS.

I’m with you in this one Tiger2 and Trek in a Cafe.

Discovery’s treatment of the GoF was very smartly done, and called back to some of the elements in the original Harlan Ellison story and script.

While COEOF works brilliantly, some of the underlying machinery of the backstory was problematic. It relies on the rather silly TOS idea that the galaxy was full of galactic historical remnants but that the new civilizations of the Federation, Klingons and Romulans aren’t challenged by the meddling and the legacies of relatively recent civilizations bumping into those artifacts. DS9 corrects quite a bit of it, but it’s darn strange when one thinks about the implications.

As most of us fans know, a major construct of Trek during the 60s was an emulation of Horatio Hornbolower ignited by 60s-era gunboat diplomacy and scientific advancement explaining our own Earth.

Seen in that light, as an allegory for 19th Century exploration, it is totally plausible that Kirk & company re-discover an important artifact on a distant world.

The Trek narrative evolved (not only in TNG but also in Enterprise) mostly because fans wanted to see bigger fleets and to learn more about cultures we only met for a minute. In this light, the Guardian has to have been visited by someone before Kirk – and in the not so distant past.

Yet, for me, it doesn’t make the original story any less plausable. Isn’t the unstated subtext of the original episode that history is always lost and found and perhaps lost again?

That’s helpful thanks.

The discovered and forgotten piece is important, but it also marks a difference between the 60s ethos in which things weren’t real until “discovered” by the predominant culture vs TNG’s shift to placing value on the experiences, records and traditional knowledge of other societies and cultures.

It’s possible the model was created by… *someone, somewhere* who was associated with the Guardian in the first place, and that in the course of some space adventure it was separated from them and somehow wound up here, without anyone at the bar necessarily knowing what it is.

That said, I’m inclined to think someone who works at the bar does in fact know, but not everyone does, and they just keep it there as their own winking little secret for their own enjoyment, while everyone else thinks it’s just a nifty sculpture that doesn’t necessarily represent anything in particular.

On the display in the first screen, the right side has something hidden! Its the device that has the pointless red beam lights that were also in airplane 2

2260’s could also be right *before* TOS.

The bartender called Kirk “the blond one.” I never thought of him as blonde…

I don’t think of Kirk as “blond”, either – to me, blond implies a much lighter, golden sort of color; I think of Kirk as having “brown” hair – but it’s not the first or second time I’ve seen or heard Kirk described as having blond hair. I guess it’s one of those things where different people have different thresholds for what qualifies.

The current Kirk is blond.

Isn’t Okona supposed to be in one of the new series?

Apparently, he’ll be in Prodigy. No less a source than actor Billy Campbell himself said in an interview that he’d be reprising the role for Prodigy.

IIRC, Mike McMahan spoke recently (well before this episode appeared) about how the showrunners confer and share info on what they’re doing, what characters they’re using, etc., to make sure nobody steps on one another’s toes canon-wise, and mentioned that he’d had to change some detail about the appearance of a character he wanted to use in Lower Decks for consistency with another show, which I think was Prodigy. He didn’t identify the character, but I’ve already seen speculation / conjecture that McMahan was talking about Okona, and that the LD team gave him the eyepatch to be consistent with his upcoming appearance on Prodigy.

Nitpick: Wrath of Khan was 15 years after Space Seed, not “three decades”.

The cops look like Judges!

I do like the show, but I would like for them to turn down the shoutouts and easter eggs a bit. Have a little more trust that your characters and stories can carry the show by themselves.

Why do the security guards look like Judge Dredd?