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Star Trek: Lower Decks is sure to be something unlike the franchise has seen before, mainly because of the man running the franchise's latest animated series. Lower Decks is written by Rick and Morty's Mike McMahan, who has spent the past few years on the Adult Swim series as it deconstructed some of the most popular science fiction plots out there.
It's natural to assume Mike McMahan may do the same on Star Trek: Lower Decks, but the creator (who also collaborated with Justin Roiland on Solar Opposites) recently revealed there will be differences between this show and Rick and Morty. McMahan told EW one big difference between the two shows, and how this comedy will still stay true to Trek at its core.
The fun of Rick and Morty is that it breaks down sci-fi tropes and is told through Rick Sanchez, who has a very specific, chaotic, nihilistic lens. Lower Decks treats mythological sci-fi things just as important as a regular Trek show, while finding new stories to tell — just from a different angle. It's not disassembling mythological sci-fi things. It's treating them as important for everybody on the starship as it would be in a regular star Trek show.
It sounds like a delicate balancing act for Mike McMahan as Star Trek: Lower Decks will seemingly both poke fun at certain elements of the universe while holding others in reverence. The "different angle" aspect is in reference to the show's primary characters being members of the Lower Decks of the USS Cerritos, and therefore not as in the loop on the day-to-day adventures seen by the typical starship bridge crew.
Adventures in Star Trek shows often affected the entire ship, so I can understand the comedic potential in having low-level workers experiencing some of the crazy stuff that happens on a five-year mission with little to none of the context of what's happening due to their low worker status. Mike McMahan also added that audiences will see workers do a lot of the things a member of the Bridge Crew wouldn't, such as repair replicators or elevator lifts, and I can see some solid content coming from that as well.
Another question some may wonder is just how much Star Trek: Lower Decks will toe the line in terms of humor. Rick and Morty often jumps right over it with some pretty vulgar but hilarious stuff, whereas Star Trek just used the f-word in a series for the first time back in 2017. We no longer have to wonder which side of the line Lower Decks will fall on, as Mike McMahan gave audiences an idea of what to expect.
It's definitely not a kids show, but only because it's a little bit more complex than a kid show would be.
Star Trek: Lower Decks will skew towards an adult audience, though the news thus far is that it will be more PG-13 than rated R. As mentioned, that's not too surprising given the legacy of the franchise, but certainly worth asking considering just how off the rails Rick and Morty can get. Here's hoping the humor can live up to the acclaim Mike McMahan has earned with the Adult Swim original over the years.
Star Trek: Lower Decks will premiere on CBS All Access, and was originally slated to release in 2020. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on Star Trek, and for the latest news happening in television and movies.