Star Trek: Lower Decks was one of our surprise favorites last year, and it’s back and looking better than ever for round two. And that means more jokes, more delectably silly references to Trek’s past, and more earnest Starfleet vibes than you can wave an accidentally-set-to-disintegrate phaser at.
Dropping in on Star Trek’s animation-focused San Diego Comic-Con @ Home 2021 panel today alongside Star Trek: Prodigy, the new trailer for the rapidly incoming season sets the stage for what’s to come in the wake of last season’s climactic status quo shift. After Captain Riker and the U.S.S. Titan came to rescue the Cerritos from a nasty encounter with the Pakleds at the end of season one, Boimler found himself scouted by Riker for a promotion, which would mean a move aboard the Titan. Choosing to not tell anyone, the ensign-turned-lieutenant left his friends behind seemingly for good—and much to the fury of Mariner, who’d spent the whole episode learning how much she valued being aboard the Cerritos and among her friends. Check out the trailer below—international audiences can see it here.
“We left a lot of bills to pay with characters, and with what was going on in the world. You know, we just keep at it. We were saying this earlier but there is a really great mix of serious Trek and silly Trek,” Mike McMahan, Creator of/Executive Producer on Lower Decks, said of season 2 in the show’s joint appearance alongside Star Trek: Prodigy. “Because if you’re on a Starfleet ship, you don’t know if you’re going to encounter the Jem’Hadar or a guy who traps you in a game, you know what I mean? You’ll see some familiar faces, you’ll see a lot of new stuff. The Cerritos goes through some real rigamarole. I’m just excited for August.”
It seems like we won’t have to wait too long to see Mariner, Tendi, and Rutherford (who’s still suffering from the amnesia he was afflicted with in season one’s climax thanks to his head implant being ripped out) reunite with Boimler at least. And that Boimler’s going to learn very quickly just how stressful being on a “hero” ship like the Titan, especially under the command of someone like Will Riker, can be. But there’s so much more going on here—the arrival of the Cerritos’ new Tamarian security chief, tussles with the Cardassians, Ferengi, and maybe even the Borg, and, perhaps most delightfully, Boimler hallucinating a chat with a licensed Tom Paris Star Trek: Voyager plate, voiced by none other than Robert Duncan McNeill himself. But one big returning threat? The Pakleds from the end of season 2, who will become akin to Lower Decks answer to a big bad, a suitably silly but still somewhat threatening foe for our heroes.
“The Pakleds, we kind of treated a little bit like how the Klingons were in TOS or maybe the Romulans were in TNG, you know, kind of a big bad force that’s been growing, that’s out there that has to be dealt with,” McMahan revealed. “But remember, the Cerritos isn’t necessarily in charge of the big missions. So every once in a while, because they did encounter the Pakleds first, they do get involved in some stuff. But you’ll see the Titan kind of having to deal with more Pakled stuff.”
Star Trek: Lower Decks returns for its second season in a few weeks, arriving on Paramount+ starting August 12.
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