Analysis: ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Season 4 Trailer Reveals Ferengi Love, Voyager Goo, Orion Knives & More

During Comic-Con 2023, Paramount+ released the first trailer for the upcoming fourth season of Star Trek: Lower Decks, which arrives on September 7.  The trailer is a rapid-fire mashup of moments from the episodic series and we have pored over it to piece together some highlights and insights based on both previously announced details and some educated guesses.

A new threat

According to the official synopsis for the season, the galaxy is facing an “unknown force” which is “destroying starships and threatening galactic peace.” In the trailer, Captain Freeman briefs the ensigns on the threat (with the display screen showing a Bynar ship).

Starfleet intercepted a distress call command thinks could be related to the recent attacks.

Quick cuts show us an alien ship behind the threat.

The voiceover guy warns…

At the edge of the universe… and the brink of destruction

Quick cuts show the alien ship vaporizing Romulan (this ship is based on the early TNG sketches by Andy Probert), Bynar, (what might be) Orion, and Klingon ships.

The briefing wraps up with this exchange:

Ransom: The attacks have all been non-Federation ships, but now someone’s targeting Starfleet.

Mariner: They’re sending the Cerritos? I guess we’re finally getting some respect.

The official season synopsis did say “the crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos isn’t important enough for stuff like that!” However, it does appear that they will encounter this new threat. Later in the trailer, Boimler can seen wearing protective goggles and looking out a window at the ship firing its bright beam weapons.

Promotions, partying, and a grappler on the Cerritos

Of course, galactic issues usually take a back seat to life on board the USS Cerritos, and we get glimpses of what the ensigns are up to in season 4. Boimler complains about getting holodeck waste removal, with new provisional Vulcan crewmember T’Lyn, noting “Your odor will be repulsive.”

While Boimler does the cleanup, Ransom informs him promotions are coming up and he thinks Boimler will be “very happy” assuming “nothing goes sideways today.”

There’s a quick cut to things going sideways as Boimler looks to be trying to dispose of the holodeck waste next to an erupting volcano.

We later see the ensigns lined up with anticipation as they await an announcement, possibly on promotions.

Life on the Cerritos also includes the ensigns continuing to tinker with their pet project, the Sequoia shuttle.

Testing for an NX-01-style grappler on the shuttle doesn’t go well…

Tendi and Rutherford continue to bond as they show they can finish each other’s sentences.

At some point, the crew forms a human/alien pyramid with Tendi on top.

The senior officers also do some bonding, like Ransom and Kayshon…

And Ransom and Shaxs struggle as they reenact a classic Beverly/Troi TNG moment.

The crew parties with what we assume are some members of the planet Hysperia

And of course, we get a classic “Lower Decks!” chant going.

Romantic Ferenginar

Naturally, the crew is going to be heading off to a number of familiar and new alien locations. This includes a trip to rainy Ferenginar with our four ensigns flying over the capital city in a shuttle…

Earlier this year, Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan teased a “very romantic episode” for season 4, and this trip to Ferenginar appears to be that. Tendi and Rutherford visit “Lobes Lodge” and the Ferengi welcome them with romantic confetti.

The pair is also bundled up in a nice bow, and don’t look happy about it.

There is also a quick shot of Captain Freeman and an admiral visiting the Grand Nagus. This appears to show Nagus Rom and his Bajoran wife Leeta.

Ladies night on Orion

McMahan has already confirmed they will be visiting the Orion homeworld, which has not been seen before in any Star Trek show. The trip appears to be for Mariner, Tendi, and T’Lyn and they run into trouble from the start, with what looks like a confrontation with sword-wielding locals when they land the shuttle.

The trio visits a raucous bar, where Mariner seems to be the only one having fun.

There are more blades to deal with when a woman throws a knife into Mariner, but she shrugs it off as “part of the ambiance.”

The ladies (in the same outfits from the bar) find and fly an old Federation Raven-type ship but run into some trouble…

Badgey’s back

The season 3 finale ended with a hint that Badgey had been recovered after being left floating in space within Rutherford’s old eyepiece. There is a quick shot of the evil AI in the trailer as Mariner tries to kick Badgey (but her foot goes through the hologram).

Viral on Voyager (and crossover reference)

Mariner and Boimeler can be seen on board the USS Voyager, now a museum exhibition. Inside one of the panels next to a bio-neural gel pack is one of those giant viruses from “Macrocosm.”

Later on the Voyager bridge, which looks to have been slimed by the virus, Mariner makes a reference to the the Strange New Worlds crossover episode “Those Old Scientists,” saying:

Dude, this is nothing compared to that Pike thing we aren’t supposed to talk about.

Ringworld Menagerie

It looks like Star Trek will be visiting another space megastructure, this time a ringworld like the one from the classic Larry Niven novel. We can see the Cerritos launching a shuttle towards the ring structure…

And that same shuttle crashes into a dock with Mariner (wearing a workout outfit) flying…

The trailer also shows a scene of what appears to be a cute little animal in a zoo, soon revealed to be something pretty scary.

Mariner (still in her workout clothes) is shocked, as are Ransom and Boimler. This zoo appears to have a couple of humans on display behind them.

Big trouble and big eyebrows

Captain Freeman and Commander Ransom visit a world with aliens who have really big eyebrows.

Later there are shots of what looks like clouds crashing down on the planet and causing chaos.


Finally, the trailer ends with Rutherford holding a Betazoid gift box and finding himself stuck in the Wadi game Chula, famed for the annoying “Allamaraine” rhyme.

Watch it again

Check out the trailer. [International version is at]

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Great breakdown! There is so much, I have no idea where to start, but looks like another great LDS season!

You said it bro! Looks like another great season! 👍

“McMahan has already confirmed they will be visiting the Orion homeworld, which has not been seen before in any Star Trek show.”

We potentially have. Pike recalls a visit to Orion in “The Cage,” implying the Orion slave den in the illusion is on that planet. He says “the Orion colony,” but the script to “The Menagerie” specifies that the colony is on the planet Orion.

I think he means actually seeing it as an audience for the first time. Starfleet may have been there before but it’s no the same thing as it being explored on a show.

I presume McMahan means seeing the “actual” Orion homeworld, not merely an in-universe depiction of what it looks like; the scene in “The Cage” was a Talosian illusion, not Pike actually beaming there directly from Talos IV. If “not really Orion, but an incredible simulation” counted, Lower Decks itself could similarly claim to have gone there, since Tendi briefly brought up a holodeck recreation of Adashake Center on Orion in the show’s first episode.

Have to admit, that “Allamaraine” gag was hilarious. “Move Along Home” and that scene in particular were so awful that you can read the actors’ faces as they’re forced to skip and chant and make utter fools of themselves: “What the hell have we gotten ourselves into?”

Lol! I get embarrassed if I’m watching the episode and someone comes into the room.

One of the few DS9 episodes that truly sucked….

I am one of those weird freaks that has always liked this episode. In fact, it was another poster I constantly talked to here who loved it too. It was nice not to feel so alone anymore. ;)

You know I also loved that episode.

It was so bad it was good. A classic.

Enjoy your fantasy hopscotch, freak! 😝

Well there are always people who love these kinds of sucky episodes. I for example still enjoy Spock’s Brain from TOS season 3.

The scene I liked in Spock’s Brain was when Kirk, Checkov, and Sulu are trying to decide what planet to investigate.

I’m the same way. I have a soft spot for the traditionally-considered “bad” episodes like this, Threshold, and Spock’s Brain just because to me they’re good for reasons they didn’t intend haha.

I don’t mind the episode myself, but I admit I skipped it when I was showing the show to my wife; I was afraid it would kill any interest she might have in continuing. :p

On the other side of Rom there appears to be a female version of Maihar’du’s species.

And I hope Armin Shimmerman will voice the Betazoid box again!

Is that Boimler with his natural hair color?!

Allamaraine! Second shap!

If you ever needed to know how ridiculous that Troi/Crusher “exercise” scene was, well, thank you Lower Decks.

I didn’t pick up on a few of those things, but then the times I rewatched the trailer I was looking specifically at the Ferengi scenes and for hints of agimus.

I wonder while they’re on Ferenginar if they’ll find Brunt in their closet. I’d like to find him in mine. But I’m not actually expecting Brunt in this season.

On a similar note, I finished my DS9 rewatch today.

Sweet! I hope Max Grodenchik and Chase Masterson are back as Rom and Leeta!

I can’t imagine that they’d include the characters without their original actors. That’s why we only saw Kira and Quark on DS9.

They have had nonspeaking cameo appearances from Thadiun Okona and Elizabeth Shelby, as well as recasting both Landru and Armus. But the latter two were both characters whose original performers had passed on, and all four were characters with only one or at most two previous appearances each (since Shelby originated in a two-parter), not beloved recurring roles, and none of those four was given away in a teaser / trailer. I’d be very surprised and more than a little disappointed if they have anyone other than Max Grodénchik and Chase Masterson playing these characters, but until we know otherwise it is possibility, as it also is that they just won’t speak at all. But we’ll see!

Wow these characters are really getting around exploring Starfleet history and iconic places first landing on DS9, then going to the (second) original Enterprise and now Voyager. Wow soooo cool! That’s why this is such a great show, it really feels like the glue to all of Star Trek at times.

I am slightly disappointed it looks like there will be no connection to Enterprise next season. I know that’s a weird thing to even mention but because McMahan said in an interview he wanted to do a cross over episode with Enterprise I kind of thought maybe he was preparing us for one, but no big deal. And there is always season 5. ;)

And it looks like we are going to be doing a lot of exploring this season and sadly more than SNW has done so far in season 2.

We didn’t get confirmation about the musical episode on SNW until more than 1/2 way through the season, so they could be holding things back still!

Yeah great point actually. They could just be keeping some of the bigger surprises a secret. I also just remembered we had no idea that Riker and Troi were showing up until the episode aired.

There could be one. We’ll just have to wait and see. Just like I’ll have to wait and see where they’re hiding agimus from me.

Yeah you’re right. They could just be kept a secret. I’m NOT going to assume we will see them but would love to be surprised.

I wonder if Mariner knows Rom and Leeta.

Likely. She knows Quark and she was stationed there. She probably spent enough time in Quark’s to at least be acquainted.

Also agree, she knows Quark so it would be odd she wouldn’t know Rom. And I imagine Mariner would spend plenty of time there playing Dabo so would probably know Leeta too.

Thanks for providing the stills for a closer look. Haha, the expressions on T’Lyn and Tendi’s faces at the bar. The detail of the lobes on the bow (…and would that be adult content?). Ferengi guy with confetti gun looking like a slighly shifty gym adonis. I bet the pirate’s jumping in perfect form could be copied from some 1940s pirate movie. The zoo I’ve seen before, I think on The Orville. Arriving in the rain and Badgey’s hologram nicely animated.

There was a people zoo on The Orville, but there was also one on TAS.

Ah thanks! I am not fluent in TAS so thanks for pointing where credit is due!


Did not notice the Macrocosm callback. That’s a fun deep cut.

I’m not sure what to make of a world where this gets to season 4 and Prodigy gets cancelled :(. I do appreciate that there is some quality to be found in Lower Decks, and I’ve always refrained from posting my personal opinion on it because, well, that’s just what it is. A personal opinion that is no more or less valid than anyone else’s.

But this is clearly a success and Prodigy isn’t. And that makes me very sad.

Prodigy got moved off Paramount+, but there are still another 20 episodes of it coming out somewhere, wherever Paramount decides to place it. And that is just what is known to be produced. It may be that Paramount decides to produce more episodes beyond that.

It is very perplexing and frustrating that Paramount decided to not really be the home of all Star Trek by removing the beloved Prodigy.

I think Lower Decks is probably much cheaper to produce than Prodigy as well. Kate Mulgrew probably costs as much as all the LD cast put together.

Yeah this May well be something to do with it. The style is more basic in LD (not an insult)

I won’t try to take away from Lower Decks’ achievements, but if it’s any consolation, Prodigy has had as many episodes commissioned as has Lower Decks.

I’m not sure that’s actually the case any more. Putting aside the question of whether to count “Lost and Found” as two regular-length episodes rather than the one double-length one it was released as, Lower Decks did at least get as far as a Season 5 renewal order.

It’s unclear to me how far work on that season progressed before the actors’ strike (the WGA strike wouldn’t have affected it, but the SAG-AFTRA one would, unless the actors recorded all their dialogue for it before the strike), but 50 episodes of Lower Decks have at least been ordered (if not necessarily completed) since the show began, versus no more than 40 for Prodigy. Unless I’m missing something (certainly possible)…

I get that. I myself love both shows equally dearly, but I do see a case to be made that there’s arguably a greater “need” for Prodigy or something like it than there is for Lower Decks or something like it, and I certainly agree Prodigy is no less deserving of success than either Lower Decks or any of the other shows, and it saddens me that more Trek fans haven’t embraced it.

Unfortunately, there’s a fairly significant portion of the fanbase (and beyond Trekdom, of consumers of art and entertainment in general) who just don’t “do” animation, and in particular animation that’s expressly aimed at youth and families (which doesn’t apply so much to Lower Decks but decidedly does to Prodigy), no matter how acclaimed it might be. I wish it weren’t so – and not just for this – but there it is. Even before the cancellation was announced, it hadn’t escaped my notice that articles about Prodigy both here and at TrekCore seem to typically garner less discussion than ones on the other shows or even about movies that might or might not happen.

To be honest Lower Decks seems to be the more liked option of nonTrek fans than any of the other nuTrek offerings out there.

I know a LOT of people who have no desire to watch Classic Trek offerings, Discovery, SNW, Picard, yet they watch Lower Decks and enjoy it. They also watch the Kelvin Timeline and, coincidentally, Orville.

That’s interesting because I would think LDS might be harder for non fans to get into with all the inside jokes and references but it’s good to hear.

I will say for a lot of non fans out there many look at Star Trek as too nerdy or stuffy and what keeps them away. Lower Decks proves it can just be playful and have fun and I can see how that would attract first timers.

Bynar ship looks like USB drives. :)

Well, this could be a bummer for some UK fans. I was just looking over the list of titles set to be removed from Amazon Prime UK in the next thirty days and, lo and behold, Lower Decks season 3 is there. Am I wrong or does this suggest that season 4 shan’t be premiering on this service after all? I’d rather not have to subscribe to Paramount + in order to watch this…