Most probably assumed that CBS All Access’ comedic animated series ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ wasn’t expected to be in canon, but it actually is. But creator Mike McMahan, who is a lifelong ‘Trek’ fan, has declared that ‘Lower Decks’ takes place in the year 2380.
‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’s first season took place in the year 2364, with each season moving forward one year. The seventh and final season took place in 2370. The ‘Next Generation’ crew last appeared in the movie ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’, which took place in 2379. Therefore, ‘Lower Decks’ is set one year later. (‘Deep Space Nine’ and ‘Voyager’ happened between ‘TNG’ and ‘Nemesis’.)
The reason is that McMahan’s favorite ‘Trek’ is ‘TNG’, so he wanted ‘Lower Decks’ to be adjacent that that series, but free of any pressure to react to the show and movies’ continuity.
McMahon revealed in a conversation with ComicBook.com:
“I was a [Star Trek: The Next Generation] guy and when I grew up, that was the Star Trek I really loved. I like all Star Trek, but that’s the one that feels most like home to me. I wanted to choose a year that was kind of untouched, was kind of blank slate, that didn’t touch on anything that they might be doing for whenever Picard takes place but also doesn’t get in the middle of anything that was like, ‘Oh, this was happening during the Dominion War.’ Or, you know, ‘This would be happening during [Star Trek: First Contact].’
“For me, it was like what was a little spot where our characters on a less important ship could be having adventures and doing their thing that wouldn’t break anybody else’s favorite show. Everybody else, there’s so many fans. There are people who are huge fans of Deep Space Nine. I love Voyager and Enterprise and everything that came around there, those shows are all amazing. I didn’t want anybody to feel like I was trying to subvert their favorite show by what we were doing. Also, because it was my favorite era, I was like, ‘I’m going to slip in at the very end and get to do just one more little piece of that era. Just one more little growing of the world, just in this different format.’”
‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ features the voices of Jack Quaid as Ensign Boimler, Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Dawnn Lewis as Captain Freeman, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Mariner, Jerry O’Connell as Commander Ransom, Fred Tatasciore as Lt. Shaxs, Gillian Vigman as Dr. T’Ana, and Noël Wells as Ensign Tendi.
‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ is expected to premiere sometime in 2020. More information could be revealed this weekend, as the show will have a panel at the Star Trek Las Vegas con.