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
Speaking of ships, the Melponar sisters’ flagship was a Valdore-type Warbird introduced in Star Trek: Nemesis.
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.
Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.
KITTY HAWK?? That doesn’t even make any SENSE!
ZERO FREAKING SENSE. This kind of crap just doesn’t respect the intelligence of us fans of the show. Makes no sense at all.
Mike M, can you at least please make your cannon connections somewhat intelligent and not so freaking moronic please? Is that really too much to ask.
KITTY HAWK???…like WTF^2 was that??? Just infantile.
That was the joke. The computer was just making up a story on the fly since Boimler went off script, and the story didn’t make any sense.
Right over his head like a Type VII shuttlecraft.
Dude, you are the one who started this thread by saying it made no sense in all caps. I was agreeing with you.
Make up your freaking mind there, Sybil. Lol
Dude, what they are trying to tell you is that’s the line Boimler says in the episode, nearly verbatim. Dukat is just repeating it because he thought it was funny. You took it as a criticism when he was doing the opposite.And it was written in all caps because Boimler was yelling the line when he said it. And yes that’s the joke, it DOESN’T make any sense lol.
Does that make sense now?
Just go back and rewatch that scene.
And I’m going to say something ‘controversial here’ but maybe just maybe the show is just not for you? I don’t know how old you are, but if you’re older or on the other side of 50, maybe it’s not meant for your demographic. And that’s OK. But I don’t see the point of driving yourself crazy over it.
Actually I have really enjoyed 3 of the eps this season — the first, second and last week’s.
OK but you get what the OP was talking about now, right?
Yeah, NOW I do. But his use of all caps and no emoticons or language to indicate he thought it was funny was certainly misleading. I am not a mind reader…lol
I caught it the second I saw it but yeah tone can be hard on the internet at times. People get sick of seeing posts with stuff like ‘LOL’ etc which I do a lot but then there are many times I don’t include it and someone take a post the wrong way at times. It’s why I do it a lot.
Exactly. That was the whole point of the joke, and it was hilarious.
Lame and nonsensical. I groaned and shook my head in disbelief.
Actually, I think that the Wright Flyer reference might not be that random.
When I first watched the episode, I missed the idea that it was a V’ger reference. Instead, I saw it as a reference to the opening credits of Enterprise, where it appears after the HMS Enterprize. In some sense, the first flight of the Wright Brothers is the beginning of the long road to get from there to here.
So, was that big reveal really an Enterprise Easter Egg wrapped in a TMP Easter Egg?
Yeah I think it makes sense within the Star Trek universe and you’re probably right that it is a call back to both Enterprise and TMP. But it still doesn’t help Boimler find the meaning of life either. ;)
I could argue that the ending was also kinda Into Darkness as well.
The score of the Crisis Point II movie was reminiscent of TWOK.
Well in that case all is forgiven… what a fantastic episode!
Glad you liked it. Changing your mind about Lower Decks?
Last week’s ep and the first two eps of this season give me hope. The rest of this season has stunk pretty bad.
Ah, after reading your other posts, I see you were being sarcastic. Double dumb ass on me.
I would say the punks attacking the crew was sly a nod to the first Terminator movie, more so than the bus punk, which relatively speaking both happened during roughly the same few years 1982/1986. Also, and this is a far-reaching connection but the museum building vaguely resembles the old natural history museum in SF’s Golden Gate park that was featured prominently in the ’79 time travel film Time After Time even down to the banner across the front. Time After Time was the directorial debut and written by Nicholas Meyer and starred Malcom McDowell as a time traveling HG Wells. In the film Malcom’s character emerges from the building and sees a giant banner across the front promoting “HG Wells a Man Before His Time.”
Process trumps substance…sigh!
It’s kind of funny how they beat Discovery to the punch with the speeder bike in the desert scene since we now know DIS will also have one next season too.
And I didn’t even catch the joke with the letter box scene when Mariner stepped over it exiting the holodeck. I had no idea what that was about until I saw a review of the episode on YouTube. So clever.
This show is just fantastic!
I was so glad that Crisis Point 2 reprised the dig at the leads racing on cool vehicles.
Too bad the Discovery writers didn’t take the lesson.
Unfortunately it sometimes takes Discovery a little while to get the lesson lol.
But I’m not that down on it yet personally. But I know its bothering others.
I still have no idea what the joke about the letter box is about. Need to rematch…
Do you mean you don’t understand after you watched the scene or you don’t know what scene is being discussed? Hopefully you rewatched it now and caught it!
Well I thought I knew which scene it was. Mariner exits the holodeck after an argument with Boimler. She says something like “You didn’t like my movie but made a sequel” then she steps over something like a foot high black barrier… but I don’t see a letter box anywhere!
Yes, that’s the scene. Stepping over the letter box shows how Boimler’s ‘movie is formatted differently in the movie world versus the ‘real’ world where it doesn’t exist on Lower Decks.
Thanks. Still don’t get why that black rectangle is called a letter box but I guess that refers to the rectangular aspect ratio of most shows/movies today… like Boimler’s movie has this rectangular ratio but the “real” world Mariner steps into doesn’t… hence the box?
Yes that’s exactly it. It’s just the aspect ratio they are commenting on for movies, when films used to be viewed on more box shaped televisions. But as you noted, most shows are shot in letterbox format now including all the new Star Trek live action shows because TVs are made in wide screen today. It’s always weird to watch an episode of SNW or DIS and then an episode of TNG or TOS next. You really do see how much the format has changed.
They make a joke about the films doing it but in reality a lot of the shows are now doing it too.
Thanks for your help Tiger2!
No worries! :)
I rather liked how the time travel goals went from disrupting the resolution of “Great Soolian Algae Crisis” to blowing up the foundation of the Federation. Kind of like how the Borg’s goal in First Contact went from “attack the Earth in the past to assimilate the future” to “stop first contact”
I always thought those two things were connected, no? They “attack the earth to assimilate the future” BY “stopping first contact.” – in other words, yes, they would attack earth but by doing it BEFORE first contact, they would prevent Earth from having warp capability and having any allies (Vulcans and whomever are the Vulcans’ allies at this point in history) who might be able to help defend Earth.
OMG, So many dumbass canon force-fits just because they’re trying to be cute. After a phenomenal episode last week this may be the worst episode of lower decks that I have seen to date.
Epic fail! Gutter garbage-level Star Trek. What a cluster-F!
We get it. You don’t like the show. How many times you have to post that before you feel heard?
Except that I have liked several of this season’s eps and have commented as such here.
We get it. You don’t pay attention and are overly defensive.
Don’t mince words. Tell us what you really think!
I was belly laughing at multiple points in this episode. “I’m Nik Nak,” the saggy skin, the fact that the holoceck was writing its own B-story. Quintessential Lower Decks with so many things I love about Star Trek. So good!
I believe “Kitaya” was also an Orville reference.
Yes, that is the show where the meaning of Trek is still found!
“Wayfarer” is the name of the (fictional) airline in BREAKING BAD, whose plane crashed thanks to the negligence of John de Lancie’s air traffic controller character.
Whether crashing is an apt metaphor for LOWER DECKS I leave to others to decide. :)
The punk scene was not so much Star Trek IV as it was Terminator. They even looked like the punks in that movie.
There is also a connection to Stargate. The preacher looks like a Prior with his wooden staff and a crystal on top.
William Boimler’s death may have taken insperation from the Star Trek: Enterprise novel The Good that Men Do, retelling the The are the Voyages… but having Tucker fake his death to join Section 31.
As I’ve said in other threads, this series just doesn’t really do it for me, but I have to say that the “stepping over the letterbox to exit the holodeck” gag was brilliant.
Two things that could be Easter eggs:
1. The date when they show up in the past in Sydney-was that the original release date of WOK?
2. When they folded the guys skin together to make the map-reminded me of the joke pages in Mad Magazine.😊😊
Ha! I thought of Mad magazine too!
Yeah, Mad for me too.
Wrath of Khan came out in June, not July.
great episode….top 5 for LD maybe top 2 or 1
Yeah it’s in my top 5 as well. Lower Decks just keep hitting it out of the park!
Am I misremembering that WOK didn’t have a number at first? (I know Star Wars didn’t.)
You are correct, sir!
WOW! So amazing and epic! Definitely one of the greatest Trek episodes EVER!
Not a Trek in-joke, but maybe meant as a historical in-joke:
“Bucephalus” may sound like a super cool name, but it was originally the name of Alexander the Great’s horse, and it means “ox head”!
I wonder if tptb know that the old ‘spock shoots kennedy’ thing, while reported in STARLOG and cited in countless places in the last 40 years, actually is hooey. A friend has the treatment, and while Kennedy features in it, his death happens well after the film ends, and nobody from the crew takes an active hand it making it happen.
HOWEVER … the treatment has got stuff in it that is just as horrible or worse, like Amanda being gang-raped by Klingons who then murder Sarek as he helps the crew escape prior to them going back in time to fix the timeline. It actually sounds a lot like the Jon Povill time travel spec treatment from the mid 70s, only with the crew crashing in the 60s, instead of landing in a late part of the century and seeing things pretty messed up, and then going all the way back to ww2 germany where Scotty apparently changed history in a pretty massive way by introducing phasers into the equation.
Where is this Jon Povill spec treatment? I’ve only heard someone allude to it once before.
It was summarized in a few different places, starting (I think) with a pioneer press book from around 1990 (they did a bunch of unauthorized books of interviews, published by James Van Hise — not a fave of mine, as he had a tendency to build a lot of books out of other people’s work, including mine) that was probably written by Ed Gross.
I just stopped to peruse the net and — 45 minutes later! — realize I can’t find anything describing it, so I’d guess you better hunt up the print book (might be called TREK THE LOST YEARS, no relation to novel of same name.)
I dunno. I get the humor on the show, but it just seems so referential to previous moments of the entire franchise. I suppose that’s the entire point of it. I’m just not into this one, but I do get the humor.
Well I thought specifically the year 1982… The year The Wrath Of Khan was released.
Also Kitty Hawk is a direct reference to ‘The Orville’.
Illustor might be Easter Eggs for Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man and for Marty Feldman.
And I must say: When the Holodeck generated Illustor’s backstory as a story on his back literally, I wheezed and gasped for air as I laughed for several minutes. And upon replaying the scene to see if I had missed anything, I wheezed and gasped for air for another several minutes.
Boy, did that feel good.
I really think that the Galaxy Class and Constitution class meeting each other via timelines or time strings whatever they called them was a reference to the Star Trk Federation book by the Reeves-Stevenses that dealt with Kirk on the original Enterprise meeting Picard on the Enterprise-D.