We have already recapped and reviewed Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3 episode 8, “Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus,” and discussed it on the All Access Star Trek podcast. This week’s episode was a sequel to the season one episode “Crisis Point,” and just like that episode, it was a loving homage to the Star Trek film franchise. Most of the action takes place inside a “movie” on the holodeck, this time one written by Boimler. So now we take a deep dive to look at the movie connections that caught our eye, sorted in the order of the film franchise itself.
[NOTE: In some cases, the Trek connections are clear, with others it may just be our Trek interpretations; art is in the eye of the beholder. And, obviously… SPOILERS ahead]
After Boimler split off from his original movie script, he went on a journey to find Ki-ty-ha, and after finally finding this potential source of all the answers, he went inside Ki-ty-ha to find it was really the Wright Flyer, with a smudged plaque (only showing the KI TY HA) for the first powered flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Boimler said “That reveal doesn’t make any sense,” which is true, but it is an homage to the big reveal in the first film in the franchise, Star Trek: The Motion Picture when it is revealed that V’Ger (the entity threatening the Earth in search of its creator) was actually being driven by the VOYAGER 6 probe, with its own smudged plaque showing V GER.
The Wrath of Font
There were a lot of connections to the classic film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in “Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus,” starting with the opening credits for Boimler’s movie. While the title itself and rainbow background (above) were in the style of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the credits for Crisis Point II used the new typeface introduced in Star Trek II, along with the Roman Numeral system (which was used for the name of Boimler’s movie, but not the actual episode title).
The Star Trek II connections continued with the visit to the Starfleet Temporal Laboratory, which resembled the top portion of the Regula I research station.
The interior of the Temporal Laboratory also matched Regula I, as did the uniforms of the scientists.
The estranged hot scientist
Sticking with Star Trek II, the character of Dr. Helena Gibson was an analog of Dr. Carol Marcus who had a romantic past with James T. Kirk. Mariner said of Gibson’s character, “This gorgeous scientist is the estranged love interest? Yeah, sure.”
As an exposition character Gibson explained the Chronogamai, which was the main MacGuffin of the movie, like the Genesis Device in Star Trek II. And her demonstration used the same exact style of graphics as the Genesis demonstration in Star Trek II. Things got a bit meta when Rutherford commented “Whoa, these graphics are mind-blowing!” as this sequence was one of the first uses of CGI in a feature film and a milestone in the history of ILM.
The last Star Trek II reference was the cliffhanger ending with the dead William Boimler in a Starfleet torpedo casing coffin. Just like the dead Spock on the Genesis Planet at the end of Wrath of Khan. And just like Spock in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, William was “resurrected.”
When Tendi’s group travels back in time to the 1980s they are assailed by a group of punks, including one with a boombox, just like the Punk on the Bus who bothered Kirk and Spock when they traveled back to the 1980s in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
Save the Octopus
And their 1980s mission was also similar to Star Trek IV as they were there to visit an aquarium to save an octopus ancestor of Ambassador Koro, someone critical to the Federation in the future. In Star Trek IV the crew went back to the 1980s to save a couple of whales from the Cetacean Institute, which was shot at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Boimler’s movie quest for Ki-ty-ha and the meaning of life ended on the third moon of “Shatanari.” This is all a reference to Sybok’s quest for meaning on Sha Ka Ree in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, directed by William Shatner.
When Boimler finally found the Ki-ty-ha “god” the scene was set like when Sybok found “god” in Star Trek V. And Ki-ty-ha was a rock creature like the “Rock Men” Shatner wanted for his Star Trek V, but were cut for budget reasons.
Is this heaven?
The connections continue into the Next Generation era movies including one of the final moments of Boimler’s quest when he finds himself on a ranch with a Kirk mailbox, which was the same ranch where Captain Picard found Captain Kirk in Star Trek: Generations.
Picard’s meeting with Kirk was inside the Nexus, and as Boimler searches the ranch he finds Captain Sulu, and asks Sulu: “Is this heaven? The afterlife? The Nexus?” A nice detail is that Boimler can tell he is no longer in his movie because the world has returned to the normal aspect ratio and not the cinematic one for all the scenes inside his movie.
Another connection comes with the Melponar sisters, the main villains of Crisis Point II. The Romulan triplets and their plunging necklines are a call back to the Klingon Duras Sisters who had their final appearance in Generations.
Gotta get back in time
The sisters’ evil plan was a reference to the next movie in the series, Star Trek: First Contact when the Borg went back in time to destroy the Federation, with the Enterprise following them through a temporal vortex. Tendi’s group did the same, following the Romulans through an “origamic threshold.”
New movie means new stuff
First Contact was TNG crew’s first movie without any TOS connection and it gave them a chance to introduce a number of new things, including a new ship in the form of the Sovereign-class Enterprise-E. And in Crisis Point II Boimler’s Captain Bucephalus Dagger commands the Sovereign-class USS Wayfarer, and it had a dramatic entrance just like that of the Enterprise-E during the Battle of Sector 001, including one member of the crew calling out “It’s the Wayfarer,” just like Adam Scott’s character called out the Enterprise in First Contact.
And just like in First Contact, Boimler’s crew gets brand new darker Starfleet uniforms, more suited for film cinematography.
Nemesis stuff too
And the Romulan bomb Rutherford diffused looked like the device in Nemesis used by Shinzon to disintegrate the Romulan Senate.
Finally, the desert chase sequence was a nod to the Nemesis chase sequence with the Romulans grav-buggy designed like Argo ground vehicle introduced in Nemesis. And the Gravcylces used by Tendi’s group resembled the police bikes in the chase scene in the 2009 Star Trek movie.
The Kelvin move era was not ignored as things got more meta when Mariner started getting concerned about the “Vindictaverse,” including questioning Boimler’s sequel as “an alternate cinematic timeline that runs concurrent to our own, but with, like, different people playing younger versions of us?” which is a reference to the alternate timeline set up by the 2009 Star Trek movie. Mariner’s concern about the integrity of her “Vindictaverse” is also a nod to fandom itself, and various debates over the Star Trek Universe and canon.
Another meta moment was Mariner scoffing at the time travel plot (used in multiple Star Trek films), quipping “Don’t tell me we’re gonna have to go back and assassinate Kennedy because that is not happening.” This is a deep cut based on a pitch from Gene Roddenberry for a follow-up to Star Trek: The Motion Picture that included Spock killing Kennedy. The meta connections to movies continued with talk of extras, background characters (including one named “Acolyte 2”), set pieces, act structure, and Mariner having to step over the cinematic “letterbox” to leave the holodeck.
More than a movie
Of course, being Lower Decks the episode still had nods beyond just the Star Trek movies. Here are some quick connections:
- Boimler peppered Sulu with questions about Spock, Uhura, sword fighting, and if it was “weird to use the crystal buttons on the Enterprise.”
- William Boimler was killed with Neurocine gas, the same used by the Cardassians to quell worker uprisings on Deep Space Nine.
- One of the preachers on Tatasciore IX (named for Fred Tatasciore) talked of Minooki, which is part of the D’Arsay mythology from the TNG episode “Masks.”
- Another preacher said “The koala smiles on us all,” referring to the mystical Koala that is part of Lower Decks mythology.
- When Kayshon bursts in on the Romulans he yells out “Temba” in Tamarian from TNG.
- William Boimler mocks the black badges used by Section 31, first seen in Star Trek: Discovery.
- One of the stops during the time travel adventure to the Founding of the Federation, seen on Star Trek: Enterprise in “Zero Hour” and the series finale.
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 Latin America, 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.
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