10 Deepest Cuts In ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Season 3 Comic-Con Trailer

The third season of the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks arrives in just a few weeks. There were some big reveals in the trailer released at San Diego Comic-Con and discussed at the panel, including a return of Peanut Hamper, a visit to space station Deep Space 9, and J.G. Hertzler reprising his role as Martok for a Klingon version of Dungeons & Dragons. But this is Lower Decks, so Star Trek references and Easter eggs are baked into the show’s DNA and go deeper. We have gathered what we think are the top 10 deepest cuts from Star Trek and beyond, presented in the order in which they appear in the trailer.

Get your picture as Spock with a Horta

The deep cuts start right away with a number of TOS references at the opening of the trailer where Boimler and Mariner are manning a Starfleet recruitment booth at some kind of job fair. Their booth comes with a nice standee for attendees to take a picture as Mr. Spock from the Star Trek episode “The Devil in the Dark,” complete with a Horta and some eggs. The booth next to theirs for the Archeologists Guild also has a small monolith that looks like it could be related to the Preservers from the TOS episode “The Paradise Syndrome.” And as Mariner calls out to attract people to the booth, she yells, “Discover the undiscovered country,” a reference to the final TOS movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Check out the Stargazer model

When we get closer, you can see a model of the USS Stargazer in the Starfleet booth. Jean-Luc Picard kept a model of his first command in his Enterprise-D ready room, and a new Stargazer appeared in season 2 of Picard.

London Knights score on FNN

Captain Freeman’s trial is covered by the Federation News Network, which was introduced in Picard (and the Short Treks prequel “Children of Mars.”) The FNN crawl includes a reference to the Buffalo Solar Knights beating the London Kings, a future baseball team and favorite of Benjamin Sisko.

Dinner at Sisko’s with some Ketracel White

Speaking of Ben Sisko, there is a visit to his father’s New Orleans restaurant Sisko’s Creole Kitchen, seen in a number of episodes of Deep Space Nine.

Inside the restaurant, Rutherford and Tendi have dinner which includes a bottle of Ketracel White Hot, a hot sauce inspired by Ketracel White, the drug the Dominion used to control their Jem’Hadar soldiers.

Stealing a ship from 3D Chess player

Season three has a connection to Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, as seen on the official poster. This will include a scene where Mariner steals the USS Cerritos from impound as Kirk did with the USS Enterprise in Star Trek III.

The theft can be seen in the trailer, which includes a guard distracted by playing three-dimensional chess on his computer. 3D Chess has been part of Star Trek since the second pilot of TOS.

Indiana Mariner

A shot of Mariner doing some tomb raiding shows her holding a Klingon version of the famed golden idol (also known as the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol) from the classic film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Race with the Delta Flyer

A Delta Flyer-type shuttle can be seen in a race with another craft. The Delta Flyer was introduced in Star Trek: Voyager,  designed by Tom Paris.

Rutherford can be seen at the controls wearing the same white uniform Paris wore when racing the Delta Flyer in the Voyager episode “Drive.”

Mariner’s orbital dive

Mariner dons a gold orbital skydiving suit and takes a dive, ramming into the side (of something) in an homage to a scene from the 2009 Star Trek movie when Kirk and Sulu dove through the atmosphere to disable the Narada drilling rig.

Freeman gets Masked

Captain Freeman looks like she is going to get wrapped up with the D’Arsay Civilization, donning one of their trademark masks from the TNG episode “Masks.”

Stevens’ serpent

And finally, Lt. Commander Stevens gets chased by Kukulkan, the flying serpent creature from the TAS episode “How Sharper Than A Serpent’s Tooth.”

Coming August 25

The third season of Lower Decks arrives on Thursday, August 25, and streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and Latin America and is distributed concurrently by Paramount Global Content Distribution on Amazon Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, India and more. In Canada it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.

While you wait, watch the trailer again and let us know your favorite part in the comments below.


Find more news and analysis for Lower Decks at TrekMovie.

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Remember Jake Sisko’s ugly sweater?
Remember the time-traveling aliens from “Captain’s Holiday” who looked for the “Tox Uthat”?

The return of Kolrami. Make it happen.

they will bust him up

The deepest cut I know in the trailer is in the Starfleet recruitment booth scene, like several others you mentioned, but nearly everyone misses this one (I admit I did as well, until some random stranger on Facebook pointed it out):

Mariner’s line “Prepare yourself for warp-10 excitement!” isn’t (just) a veiled reference to “Threshold”; it’s something that predates that by more than a decade. It’s actually a direct quote of a blurb used on the back cover of the original 1982 printings of Vonda McIntyre’s novelization of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (!).

Nice catch!

Thanks, but I can’t take credit for it, though I wish I could. Like I mentioned, I first saw it pointed out by some stranger on Facebook in one of the Trek groups I’m in there, and unfortunately the post disappeared shortly after I first saw it, so I don’t know whose find it was. Not mine, alas, but I do love that it’s there.

Given this series takes place within the Star Trek universe Canon, why would they be quoting things outside of Canon like promotional lines on the back one of the novels?

That’s a major canon violation.

They cite non-canon things all the time, like the Spock Helmet.

And they’re not the first. Uhura’s and Sulu’s first names originated in non-canon and were incorporated. Discovery has included whole passages from the TOS novel The Final Reflection.

Well it’s one thing to add some detail from ST novels, and quite another think to add wink-wink BS from marketing material quotes.

Sorry, but this just doesn’t pass my BS filter. This is nuts.

Why would quoting ads be canon violation? In this case, that’s certainly not the case but yeah, this show DOES break the fourth wall on purpose and sometimes it can be a bit much (“These Old Scientists”, just say “VOY”, it’s shorter etc…) but this comes with the animated comedy subgenre and it’s not going to get away. It’s going to get far “worse”…

So either stop watching or start wrapping your mind around it. I’ve been in your spot up to about a year ago and I know how it feels but it really helped me liberating my mind by just accepting LDS the way it is, finding mental bridges for the most irritating issues.

LDS is animatedy comedy, it breaks the fourth wall and it absolutely is 100% canon. If your mind can’t work around those facts, delete it from your mental canon, because after all it is official canon now, which means that the universe is a disc carried on a giant koala’s back. :-)

Or alternatively, like any fan on a Star Trek site, I will simply share my personal opinions on what I watch in the Star Trek franchise, including Lower Decks. I love DSC, but I see many fans here who don’t like who keep watching it despite not being able to get their hands around it to enjoy it for what it is, and I accept that.

No worries, dude, just my opinion, and these boards are for us all to share opinions and discuss Trek. Not everyone is going to drink the Kool-Aid on this series, and that’s OK.

PS: The answer to your first question should be obvious. That represents a slippery slope where you would have a Star Trek universe in which Star Trek series and books happened in that universe. That violates canon, not to mention, common sense.

Wow. Huh. I wasn’t sure whether you were making a serious complaint or not, though of course your history of general objection to the show should have been an indication, but okay.

Obviously it’s a wink at the history of the franchise, but if it really bothers you, consider the fact hardly anyone recognizes it as quoting a real-world marketing blurb, and just thinks of it as part of Mariner’s spiel. It’s leaning pretty hard on that fourth wall, but I’d argue it’s not outright breaking it, the way it would be if she just straight-up said something about being a character in a TV show that’s part of this huge entertainment franchise. It’s not really that different from references in the franchise to the Great Bird (of the Galaxy), which go way back long before Lower Decks.

That’s not to say you have to like the show or think it’s good; every one of us is free to go on hating any particular movie, episode, or even entire series that we (don’t) like. But I hardly think this one sneaky reference – or even a slew of them, like this, Xon, etc. shatters canon or internal narrative logic or the cohesion of this fictional universe or anything like that.

Yeah, it hardly breaks canon or even the fourth wall because it makes sense for what it is–you don’t HAVE to know that ad to get it what she’s saying. It’s the kind of reference that filmmakers make all the time, and it only gets truly annoying and kills suspension of disbelief, imo, when the same ref is used over and over and they think we don’t notice. See: using the same scream or bird call in everything and thinking it’s a real inside baseball moment when in fact half the audience either FEELS like it’s familiar or is outright saying “ok guys we got it.”
This is so deep a cut that if it wasn’t Lower Decks I’d think it was a case of convergent evolution creativity.

“That represents a slippery slope where you would have a Star Trek universe in which Star Trek series and books happened in that universe.”

Not really. Just imagine some holodeck series based on real historic Starfleet events… Why wouldn’t the VOY crew not deserve their own holodeck adventures, including collector’s plates? It absolutely makes sense to me, most of it.

It’s just like the MCU: Thor, Iron Man and Co. are real-life people in this universe, but they are also comic book heroes, musical stars etc. Because logically their “real” adventures are turned into entertainment…

Plus, it happens in our own universe ALL THE TIME. We have biopics on Lincoln, Elvis and JFK. We have movies about Pearl Harbor or D-Day. According to your logic, that would be a “canon breach” because real-life history and fictional accounts on those cannot exist in the same universe. :-)

Obviously many of you like these cute gimmicks that are canon questionable at the least, and are willing to rationalize them away given you really love this series. Given human nature, that’s totally understandable and you’re all certainly entitled to have that opinion.

For my part, I’m 100% comfortable in my opinion that that these canon-questionable ‘Easter eggs” are simply gimmicks in a successful and funny cartoon comedy that is on the level of The Simpsons and Family Guy, while trying to pretend that it fits in with the serious Star Trek series’.

Why can’t it be both? JFK and The Simpsons can still be “canon” in the same uiverse, our universe :-) LDS is Star Trek’s The Simpsons, yes, so what?

If you are 100% comfortable in your opinion, then everything is fine. It’s only that I thought you don’t feel too good about this after all.

All I can say is this: when I used to struggle with LDS’ nature, I did not feel too good about it and I’m glad I’ve overcome those resentments. But again, it’s up to you…

I do NOT love the show. It’s far from being my favourite Trek. But I happen to like it well enough. And that’s a good thing because I hate feeling bad about Trek. It wasn’t easy to get here, but I’m relieved I’ve made it this far…

I appreciate your thoughtfulness on this, but it sounds like you kind of forced yourself to make a mental compromise just so you won’t have to dislike one of the Trek series’. I guess I just prefer to call it like I see it, even if it’s a bit of a buzzkill. Also, that’s like given I like Mexican food, I need to lighten up and eat at Taco Bell more often, otherwise my overall enjoyment of Mexican food will suffer?

Additionally, by that sort of logic, a Star Wars fan would need to stop making fun and feeling bad about the 1978 Star Wars Holiday special so as to not contaminate their overall feelings about that franchise. Well, I have yet to meet a Star Wars fan who doesn’t moan and complain about that Special, and they then typically insist to me that the scenes in it are NOT part of the SW universe canon and should be ignored.

LDS is Star Trek’s The Simpsons, yes, so what?

We’ll we agree on this. And that’s a big problem for me — I don’t think Star Trek needs to be like The Simpsons — far from it! What’s next? How about, lets have a po-rn Star Trek series just because we can!

There is no questionable canon. Everything that appears on screen in Trek is canon.

The questionable part is in the choice the production team makes in creating what appears on screen canon. And they’ve really botched that canon creation process with this series.

Also, CBS has the ability to tell us that a series is or is not canon, and here they made a really bad decision in my opinion concerning this series.

Exactly. The melodrama that goes on here sometimes is just silly.

Garth Lorca, the answer is simple: it doesn’t.

Uhhh that is not what a canon violation means. A canon violation would be all of a sudden changing the name of the Enterprise to USS Lollipop. Or changing a major character’s name. But even then, TOS changed canon all the time. (James R. Kirk). Pulling something from the novels, TAS, comics, etc is not a canon violation… it adds it to existing canon. Happens all the time in Trek, my friend.

I totally forgot about that! That is for sure the deepest cut.

LOL wow! That is an amazing catch. Another reason why I love this so much!

This is all supposed to happen in Star Trek’s future history from a supporting crew on the lower decks of a secondary ship? I mean come on, these are more like superheroes given what they are showing them doing in this trailer — and their actions vastly exceed what most main crew would do on a Star Trek series adventure. WTF?

This makes no sense if we’re supposed to treat this all as the canon events of the possible future history of the Star Trek timeline for mankind.

Epic fail!

I don’t even know what you are saying. There is nothing superheroic done by any of our characters in this trailer. the only thing approaching that is a one-armed rope swing by Mariner while holding a Klingon idol – and we don’t even know the context (is that Mariner imagining the Klingon board game they are playing? is that a holodeck adventure, another “workout” for Mariner like in “Strange Energies”?).

As for comparing the events depicted for a second line ship versus a mainline ship: part of what Lower Decks has been trying to tell us all along is that these kinds of crazy things happen to everyone in Starfleet all the time. We have somewhere around 800 individual adventures for the crews of just 10 ships, across the span (for each crew) of no more than 7 years time (subjective). Not to mention all the other crews of ships and bases involved in these or related adventures (who don’t survive, or also get tossed to the Delta quadrant, or are rescued by our heroes, etc.). These kinds of events happen to any type of ship at any time.

Lower Decks just makes is all a little more explicit because they are willing to reference the weird stuff in the history of the franchise. In the one episode “Much Ado About Boimler” we even see dozens (?) of crew from other ships, each affected by medical anomalies. There are so many anomalies of these types there is even a dedicated division and ship to ferry them all to a recovery planet to deal with the results. In the course of 5 minutes (and within a single sensor sweep) in “I, Excretus”, the crew finds or runs into a half-dozen reality altering events. These kinds of things are literally happening to every ship, all the time.

If you don’t like this, then you probably have a problem with the discovery of the excomps of “The Quality of Life”, or the Equinox crew’s adventure in “Equinox”, or the holographic village discovered on a runabout trip in “Shadowplay”, or finding the Jem’Hadar and Vorta on a school science trip on a runabout in “The Jem’Hadar”, etc.

OMG, you didn’t see Mariner re-enacting the opening scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark? WTF was that about? Not to mention the Mariner orbital skydiving scene where she looks very Superman-like — and why would someone with her low rank and supporting role on the crew get that special ops assignment? Lol, come on dude, are you seriously defending all that?

Your other examples are from a collection of stories from one-off eps. Contrast that to LDS where his stuff happens nearly every week on this show, and again, it’s all from supporting crew members. That crap is the rule on this series every week, whereas in other Trek those supporting characters and stories are exceptions to the rules. Apples and oranges.

It’s ridiculous and not believable given CBS tells us that everything we see in these eps are official Star Trek canon. That’s always been my primary issue with this entire series. If CBS just said, “it’s an animated parody of Star Trek,” then I would have no problem it. But instead, I am now going to have be taken out a SNW ep to see a couple of the moronic characters interact with Captain Pike and the Enterprise. Argh! Scotty, beam me out of here! :-)

why would someone with her low rank and supporting role on the crew get that special ops assignment?

Because her relatives are doling out her assignments.

If Trek was actual history and the individual shows depict certain historical events worthwhile telling, then there is a reason this show is made… simply because… yeah, THIS and only THIS particular crew is having these crazy adventures! That’s why they get the show!

Realism… I’m not much into that… overrated :-) I had my quibbles with LDS but it is possible to fabricate the right mental framework to enjoy the show once you are willing to do so. Willing suspense of disbelief is harder than on other shows but it works…

It’s up to you…

Here’s the problem. Star Trek has always been science fiction, albeit not the hardest of scfi, but certainly much more “science fictiony” that Star Wars, which is borderline fantasy. Lower Decks to me is approaching the level of Star Wars, and I find that disappointing and not in the tradition of the future history of Star Trek that I have always respected and treated with some science fiction basis. And yea, that makes me hard to suspend my disbelief.

Okay, this I understand but I don’t share it. My favourite Trek has always been the science fantasy aspect. I’m not a scientist and I regard science more as an inspiration than a rulebook. I like Trek to go out there, give us some colorful journeys and see some awesome places. Realism is none of my concerns. But yeah, different people, different priorities…

Fair enough!

Just because CBS says it’s canon doesn’t mean you have to go along with it. Companies say a lot of things. They also tell us their products are the greatest thing ever and are totally worth your time and money. (Psst, they’re usually not.)

But try to treat it like the cartoon parody it’s coming across as. A bit of fun and nothing more.

Precisely. The concept of a singular “canon” has flown the coop after they decided to plaster the wall with as many off-the-wall Star Trek shows as they could think of.

Well until a cartoon Mariner starts talking to live action Pike during an ep of SNW.

Just when I was finally starting to relax and take a Live and Let Live approach to my feelings on Lower Decks, they go all Who Framed Spocker Rabbit on me. lol

I think the producers have pretty much confirmed that any Lower Decks characters will appear as live action on Strange New Worlds. And Strange New Worlds characters may appear as animated versions on Lower Decks. So you’re beating a dead horse here.

Yeah, thank goodness this is now going to be more like the Star Trek version of The Incredible Mr. Limpet. That makes me feel so much better…lol

While I initially had the same issues with that, I’ve managed to come up with an explanation. You need to reverse arguments.

Instead of saying “What? All of this happens to a supporting crew of a secondary ship just because of this stupid animated show.” it must be somethink like “Oh! This is why we get the show! Because this particular secondary lower decks crew had all the adventures, therefore it is worthwhile giving them their own show!”

I can promise you, making a show about the lower decks crew of the USS Argyle would be really, really boring, because they didn’t have all these adventures!

I see where you are going with this. You sort of have to trick you mind into making the case for all this happening to one particular crew. Let me sleep on that.

The clothing the main four are wearing, aren’t they clothes worn by others in the Star Trek universe? Like Rutherford is wearing something Jake Sisko wore. The one Boimler is wearing looks familiar.

Yes, they’re all wearing clothing some other character has worn during the previous 50 year of the franchise. Let’s give this Robin Williams-level comedic genius an Emmy.

Expect it to get crazier every season. No one is overseeing McMahon, and this series is just getting nuttier and more nonsensical every season.

I never thought I’d say this, but where is Gene Roddenberry’s a-hole lawyer (who pissed off all the showrunners and writers) when we need him? Someone find that guy ASAP! LOL

Well, that comes along with “animated comedy”… It will get a lot crazier over the course of its run. And I can live with that.

BTW: Leonard Maizlish passed away in 1994.

I was asking a question.

I don’t understand the snark except that its a comments section on the Internet.

I think we’re all just agreeing with your original post about how crazy it was that they’re all wearing different stuff from different characters in the franchise? It makes no sense at all and is just another overdone gimmick.

Good observation!

So, seriously, does anyone know which characters/episodes they’re paying homage too.

The fertility idol (repainted) appeared in Dax’s quarters in DS9. (Both Paramount.) Here it looks like a Klingon version.

Remember the Twin Peaks dwarf played Rumpelstiltskin? Remember the dinosaur people from Voyager? Remember Scott Bakula turned into an ape? Remember Lazarus? Remember how The Providers were addicted to gambling?

but what of Lazarus….what of Lazarus?

It didn’t hit me Rutherford was in the Delta Flyer until just a few days ago! I really hope it’s the original ship that Paris loaned Rutherford for a race or something! BTW, could we see more Paris?? Could we????

I can’t believe we’re getting a return of Masks, one of the worst TNG episodes ever. I think it was was worse than Sub Rosa easily and that’s really saying a lot lol. But I can’t wait to see what they do with it here!

Visiting Siskos! That and the visit to DS9 is making this DS9 fanboy’s heart flutter!

SEVEN SEASONS AND A MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Make it EIGHT SEASONS AND SIX MOVIES :-)

LOL! Let’s not get greedy now! ;D

3-d chess? How oldfashioned! I thought they would already use 4-d chess. :-)

That doesn’t happen until the 25th century. ;)

that’s not the Indy idol. It’s clearly Klingon

Also a hug deep cut, the scenes honoring ds9 are also slightly diffused like ds9