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Star Trek Just Made This Deep-Cut TNG Character Into a Captain

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Star Trek Just Made This Deep-Cut TNG Character Into a Captain

Obviously, Gomez is referring to the hot chocolate incident in TNG, but were there other captains she embarrassed herself in front of?

Why Gomez was one of the first “Lower Deckers”

As hardcore fans already know, the animated comedy series Lower Decks takes its name from the Season 7 TNG episode “Lower Decks,” which shifts the focus away from the bridge crew, and onto the day-to-day lives of four junior officers. While the original “Lower Decks” isn’t a comedy, it was the first time an entire episode of Star Trek was devoted to characters who were not the “heroes” of the story. Of course, the tradition of “Lower Deckers” extends back to The Original Series, in which various redshirts, or possibly even Ensign Chekov himself could all be classified as belonging to the same tradition: Scrappy underdogs who don’t always get all the glory. But, Gomez is unique because she was a junior officer who appeared in just two episodes, spilled chocolate on Picard, helped Geordi with the Pakleds in “Samaritan Snare,” and was never seen in the series ever again. True, some Star Trek novels and comics picked up her story later, but for fans of the shows, she was one of the first scrappy underdogs, who simply disappeared.

In real life, there are, of course, various reasons why guest characters don’t stick around on TV shows. But what Lower Decks embraces, is the idea that “background characters” have lives, too. Just because Gomez didn’t appear in TNG again after “Samaritan Snare,” doesn’t mean she didn’t live a full and interesting life. Someone who was a goofy junior officer spilling hot chocolate on Picard in one episode can be a Starfleet Captain, less than two decades later. This notion is not only cool for canon-obsessed Easter egg hunters but also gently reinforces the themes of Lower Decks; the idea that everybody in Starfleet matters.

What’s up with Captain Gomez’s ship?

The USS Archimedes is also its own kind of Trekkie Easter egg. Although it looks like an Excelsior-class ship, showrunner Mike McMahan tweeted that it’s a larger Obena-class starship, which is “inspired by the Excelsior-class.” Interestingly, elsewhere in the episode, Mariner worries about getting a new captain on the Cerritos who could be “some weirdo with a riding crop.” This almost certainly references Captain Styles (James B. Sikking) from Star Trek III: The Search For Spock. Styles was the first captain of the USS Excelsior, and indeed, seemed to carry some weird riding crop under his arm. Of course, later, Sulu became the captain of the Excelsior in The Undiscovered Country, proving, again, that supporting characters often become the star of their own story. 

Source: Den of Geek

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