The next generation of Starfleet adventures in 2021 will almost certainly be animated. In addition to the impending debut of the first animated Star Trek show aimed at kids — Star Trek: Prodigy — the second season of the popular adult animated comedy — Star Trek: Lower Decks — is set to make a hilarious and triumphant return very soon.
Created by Solar Opposites and Rick and Morty funnyman Mike McMahan, the first season of Lower Decks exceeded expectations by providing just as many surprising Trek plot twists as it did inside jokes.
Here’s a quick guide to what’s going on with Lower Decks Season 2, including the release date,the trailer, the Easter eggs, the story, the cast, and how it fits in with the overall timeline of the larger Trek universe.
This there a trailer for Lower Decks Season 2?
Yes! On April 5, 2021, during “First Contact Day,” Paramount+ dropped a new trailer for Lower Decks Season 2. The trailer features Mariner rocking some mixed martial arts armor from the TNG episode “The Icarus Factor,” a Mugato monster from the TOS episode “A Private Little War,” and Mariner escaping from what looks like a Cardassian torture chamber, exactly like when Picard was tortured in “Chain of Command.” (THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!!) Basically, the trailer makes it seem like Lower Decks Season 2 will be just as Easter egg heavy as Season 1.
What is the release date for Lower Decks Season 2?
When Inverse spoke to showrunner Mike McMahan recently, we asked him if Season 2 of Lower Decks was coming this year and he said, point-blank: “It is.”
And now that release date has been confirmed! Lower Decks Season 2 will hit Paramount+ on August 12, 2021. Like Season 1, it will run for 10 episodes.
Who is in the Lower Decks Season 2 cast?
As far as we know the Lower Decks Season 2 cast will pretty much be the same as Season 1, so that includes the voice talents of:
- Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner
- Jack Quaid as (Lieutenant??!) Brad Boimler
- Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford
- Noël Wells as Ensign Tendi
- Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman
- Jerry O'Connell as Commander Jack Ransom
- Gillian Vigman as Dr. T'Ana
But, because the Season 1 finale — “No Small Parts” — ended with the arrival of Captain Riker, Commander Troi, and the USS Titan, it also looks like Jonathan Frakes will be voicing Riker, and that Marina Sirtis will possibly be returning as Troi.
Also (spoiler) because Shax died in the Season 1 finale, Fred Tatasciore is likely not back. But, it also means that the USS Cerritos does need a new security chief! So, expect a new character announced soon.
Will Lower Decks Season 2 take place on two starships?
Short answer: Yes. The surprise ending of Season 1 – in which Boimler accepts a promotion and transfers off the USS Cerritos, will be followed up in Season 2. Meaning, yes, we’ll see Brad on the USS Titan with Riker and company, and follow what’s going on with Mariner, Tendi and Rutherford back on the Cerritos.
As Mike McMahan told Inverse in 2020: “You will be seeing Riker and the Titan, because Boimler is on the Titan. That's where he serves now. I mean, it's Boimler's dream to serve there, and we play that out. We see how that works out for him."
The Season 2 trailer makes it seem like...it’s not working out well at all!
How does Lower Decks Season 2 fit into the Star Trek canon?
As with Season 1, Lower Decks Season 2 is very much a part of Trek canon. In the timeline, Lower Decks Season 1 started in 2380, which is one year after Star Trek: Nemesis and about five years before the earliest Picard flashback. That said, aspects of Season 1 also had some unspecified flashbacks, including Marnier’s time on a different ship that visited Deep Space 9, the USS Quito.
It seems possible that Season 2 will move into 2381, which interestingly puts it pretty close to the birth of Riker and Troi’s first child: Thad Riker, mentioned in Star Trek: Picard episode 7, “Nepenthe.” For the most part, Lower Decks Season 1 didn’t touch Picard Season 1 at all, but now that those timelines are getting closer, it seems possible.
Will the Lower Decks uniforms change in Season 2?
One huge discussion point for Lower Decks was the fact that the show introduced a new style of Starfleet uniform previously unseen in Trek canon. In the Season 1 finale, we saw this uniform was used right alongside the grey-shouldered “First Contact” uniforms from the 2370s. But, because of Picard, we know yet another new uniform style is coming in the early 2380s.
So, will Lower Decks Season 2 address that? In 2020, McMahan told Inverse that he’s got some funny ideas on “great ways in-universe to discuss that.”
“If I get a few more seasons on this,” he added, “I really want to do an episode where they’re testing new uniforms on Boimler."
Is there a Lower Decks Season 3 after Season 2?
That’s a big yes. Though it remained a possibility, Paramount has, as of April 2021, confirmed that Lower Decks was been renewed for “10-episode long third season.”