From Kirk’s Shirt To Spock’s Sensors, ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Easter Eggs In “wej Duj”

We have already recapped and reviewed “wej Duj” and discussed it on the All Access Star Trek podcast. Now it’s time to take our weekly deep dive into all the canon references, nods, and Easter eggs that caught our eyes. In some cases the connections are clear, with others it may just be our Trek interpretations; art is in the eye of the beholder.

Obviously… SPOILERS ahead.


Who’s a good targ?

The episode title “wej Duj” is Klingon for “Three Ships,” and one of those ships was the IKS Che’Ta, a Bird of Prey, which was first introduced in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and has been seen multiple times in the franchise since.

The ship had many classic Klingon elements, including the squirming worm food gagh, the favored intoxicant bloodwine, and Captain Dorg’s targ, a common Klingon pet first introduced in the TNG episode “Where No One Has Gone Before.” M’ach compliment’s the targ, telling the captain it was like Kor’s hound at the Battle of Klach D’kel Brakt, a famous Klingon/Romulan battle first mentioned in DS9’s “Blood Oath,” by Kor, a character introduced on Star Trek: The Original Series.

Chang’s legacy

There were a number of Klingon references tied to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. As he heads to the Pakled ship to complete his plan to incite more conflict between the Pakleds and the Federation, Captain Dorg exclaims, “Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!” a line from Shakespeare’s Julias Ceasar that was also said by Klingon General Chang in the film. M’ach later confronts Captain Dorg with “Other Klingons have tried to sabotage peace before,” referring to the movie’s conspiracy that included General Chang. The film also introduced the purple/pink tint of Klingon blood. “wej Duj” shows some Klingon blood during a fight scene, and to make sure no one missed it, M’ach exclaims, “Klingon blood runs as reddish-pink as ever!”

Spock’s legacy

The other ship of the “Three Ships,” was the Vulcan cruiser Sh’Vhal, with a design reminiscent of the 22nd-century Suurok-class cruisers from Star Trek: Enterprise. 

The interior of the ship contained many familiar Vulcan elements, including a Vulcan lute, a meditation lamp, and a copy of Kir’Shara, the teachings of Surak. All the Vulcans on the ship pronounced “sensors” with the same particular inflection used by Leonard Nimoy as Spock from TOS, and later by Tim Russ as Tuvok in Voyager.

T’Lyn also quotes Spock, saying “Logic is the beginning of wisdom,” something Spock said to Valeris in Star Trek VI. T’Lyn also wore a headband similar to Valeris’.

To the tees

Of course, the first ship of the “Three Ships” was the USS Cerritos. Captain Freeman wore a shirt with “RITOS” on it,  which is apparently a nickname for the Cerritos, and reminiscent of the “DISCO” shirts worn onboard the USS Discovery from Star Trek: Discovery, which are also available to buy at the official Star Trek shop. Presumably “RITOS” shirts will follow.

And speaking of tees, Boimler sported the same “Go climb a rock” shirt worn by Captain Kirk in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Boimler also has rocket boots like Spock’s when he visits Dr. T’Ana and Tendi in a holodeck simulation of climbing El Capitan, as Kirk did in Star Trek V.

The games we play

When looking for something to do, Boimler suggests a  Stratagema tournament, a game introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Peak Performance.” Later, when Boimler is talking to Kayshon in the bar, you can see an officer wearing a Ktarian game headset, the addictive game from the TNG episode “The Game.”

Mariner also has time for games: She and her mom play Velocity on the holodeck. The mix of handball with a phaser range was introduced on Star Trek: Voyager  in the episode “Hope and Fear.” Later, they play a game of Clue set onboard a starship. Mariner guesses, “I think it was the chef, in the bio lab, with a sniper rifle that can shoot through walls.” This refers to the TR-116 Starfleet rifle prototype used in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Field of Fire.”

Luaus and leotards

With the crew taking R&R, Commander Ransom arranged for the Hawaiian crew members to have a luau on the Holodeck. Neelix also put together a Holodeck luau in the Voyager episode “Alter Ego.”

Later, other members of the crew were seen running through the ship wearing various outfits from their own time off activities. This included a pair decked out for Anbo-jyutsu, the game introduced in the TNG episode “The Icaraus Factor.”

There were two officers wearing the same leotards that Dr. Crusher and Troi wore when they did some gymnastics stretching in the TNG episode “The Price.” We can also see a few crew members who look like they’ve been putting on a play by Shakespeare (as the TNG crew did), and one who’s dressed in a 19th-century naval uniform, like the TNG crew in the movie Star Trek Generations.

More bits

  • The Pakleds set off a Varuvian bomb that emanated Metreon particles, which drew the Cerritos and Sh’Vhal to their rendezvous with the Che’Ta.
  • Boimler was worried that lying about being Hawaiian was going to have Ransom “demote me to work at a penal colony where I have to mate with the enemy to form a new civilization.” This could be a reference to the TNG episode “Birthright” and the Romulan prison camp on Carraya IV where they held Klingon prisoners that eventually formed a community.

Bonus Video: Mike talks Disco

In this week’s easter egg update from Mike McMahan, the showrunner talks about the “RITOS” shirt.

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

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I thought that the three ships were the Klingon, Vulcan, and Pakled ones as depicted on the T-Shirt.

Our time with the Pakled lower deckers was brief, but I’m not sure any of us could stand much of that.

There was also a Borg ship, though.

Wasn’t the targ first introduced in The Search for Spock?

actually, that was a “monster dog

Wow. Never knew that . And TSFS is one of my favourites. Thanks.

You are technically correct. The best kind of correct!


Similar, but no. The FX team who created the creature called it a “monster dog” during an interview. The movie script called it “the Beast” (with a capital T). Universal’s Star Trek Adventure ride called it a puppy lizard. And the video game Star Trek III: Starship Combat Game called it a jadashha. Your mileage may vary. :)

One thing I noticed on rewatch…

The Klingon uniforms worn by the bridge crew had a gold trim. The lower deck Klingons wore uniforms with red. So basically they had the “TOS” color scheme of command officers in gold and the lower decks being the “redshirts.”

I was wondering about the penal colony reference- thanks.

I wondered if the chef was a reference to ENT.

Yes, it must be a reference to the ENT chef (a man of influence, as per Riker). It was such a divisive finale, lol.

I doubt it’s a reference to Neelix (aka the Morale Officer)

The chef was a running joke throughout ENT- he was mentioned a bunch, but seen only once (and never heard), and then only his legs

They should make a TOS/TAS episode of Lower Decks too (hallo Short Treks?). I bet we would encounter Chekow as part of the Lower Decks too… and finally get confirmed that he was around in season 1 when they met Khan. ;-)

That would be a cool episode! A Lower Decks version of “Trials and Tribulations” maybe? Where they have to go back and stack some crates with Checkov in season 1 without affecting the timeline.

It’s a minor point, but that crew member appears to be straight up cosplaying as Napoleon Bonaparte himself. That’s not a naval uniform of the era.

An example of how lazy references aren’t humor.