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3 sneakiest Star Trek bombshells at NYCC 2019: From old Riker to DISCO Trills!
For the first time since the '90s, there's way more new Star Trek than Trekkies can possibly know what to with. And at New York Comic Con, so much new Trek info was crammed into a 90-minute panel, it almost feels like we've all led an entire lifetime an alien planet in a blink of an eye, just like Picard did the episode "The Inner Light."
Between the new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season 3, a brand new episode of Short Treks, and the second big trailer for Star Trek: Picard, the Trek franchise presented a triple-threat of information overload. But what does it all mean for the ever-changing canon of the final frontier? What's the big nerdy to stuff we should be thinking about?
If your android circuits are overloaded, here's a quick mind-meld that will help hardcore fans focus-in on the most important stuff that mattered, and how these big reveals affect the canon of Star Trek as a whole. Here are three big ways Star Trek canon shook-things-up while making it so at New York Comic Con.
03. Short Treks retconned Spock's first day on the Enterprise
In "Q&A," the latest episode of the minisode anthology Short Treks, it was playfully revealed what Spock's very first day on the USS Enterprise was really like. Without spoiling anything, this episode was delightful because the whole thing was basically one long Easter egg.
As Spock, Ethan Peck channels a very bizarre, and seldom discussed, Spock quirk. In "The Cage" before the character of Spock was really established on the page, Leonard Nimoy tended to sound like he was yelling for no reason. In this episode, Number One (Rebecca Romijn) notes this by saying. "No need to shout, ensign." Later Pike suggests that Spock be "at ease" and Spock says that "isn't my strong suit, sir."
Overall, in the original series, we tended to think of Spock as cool and collected, but in "The Cage" Spock seemed a little on edge, even jumpy. And now, in "Q&A" there's an attempt to show how some of that transition happened. In some ways, this episode even suggests Spock modeled his now-famous cool persona off of Number One.
02. Discovery has a big Deep Space Nine Easter egg
At the end of Discovery season 2, the titular starship jumped 930 years into its own future. And now, in the first trailer, there are several hints at what that future is going to be like. For one thing, it seems like the United Federation of Planets barely exists. One specific scene shows the famous Federation flag, but now there are only six stars on it.
On top of that, one new character, Cleavland Book, tells Burnham that wearing a Starfleet badge must mean she "believes in ghosts." The trailer is thrilling and features the return of the classic Trek aliens the blue-skinned Andorians, and everyone seems to be brandishing new sonic-weapons.
But, that's not the big news. Instead, the trailer also showed some tell-tales spots on the sides of the necks of several characters, which means, the Trill are back!
In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Trill are a race of symbionts, which is a fancy way of saying a humanoid person was joined with an intelligent slug that was, in some cases, several centuries old. And boom: right there, Discovery may have just figured out a way to bring Dax back into the fold. In fact, in more than one scene in the trailer, it looks like Michael Burnham is very specific caves on the planet Trill.
Could she possibly be getting ready to take on a Trill symbiont? If so, she wouldn't be the first human to do it. In The Next Generation episode "The Host" Riker briefly took on a Trill symbiont to keep it alive. Either way, by bringing the Trill back, Discovery figured out a very clever way to bring '90s Trek canon into the far future.
01. Riker and Troi return from The Next Generation
For '90s fans of The Next Generation, the return of Riker and Troi in the new trailer for Star Trek: Picard is easily the best part. We saw the couple get married in Star Trek: Nemesis, and now, based on this scene, it looks like they are totally retired from Starfleet. However, there are two huge canon things worth nothing that you might have missed.
First, the fact that Riker is in the kitchen cooking is a subtle reference to the last time we technically saw Jonathan Frakes on-screen as Will Riker. In the much-derided 2005 finale of Star Trek: Enterprise, Riker insinuated himself into a holodeck version of the 22nd Century NX-01 Enterprise, where he was, briefly, the ship's resident chef! So basically, this is like an Easter egg for not just TNG, but for Enterprise, too!
Second, and kind of more interestingly, we hear what can only be Riker and Troi's son calling to Riker in the kitchen. But, here's the thing: Troi is half-Betazoid, which is why she has empathic powers. Does that mean Riker and Troi's son has similar powers? Can he just sense emotions like his mom, or is this off-screen kid a full-on telepath?
It's probably not a major plot point in Star Trek: Picard, but then again, kids with mind-powers are very popular in science fiction these days. Let's just hope if Riker and Troi's son can read minds, he doesn't reveal any spoilers to fans on the internet.