Mike McMahan and Justin Roiland are collectively and separately responsible for some of the best animated shows currently on television. The two have worked together on Roiland and Dan Harmon's Rick and Morty, they co-created Solar Opposites together, and McMahan is the creator of Paramount+'s Star Trek: Lower Decks. All the shows are great on their own, and it's easy for fans to imagine what it would be like if all these projects' characters crossed paths in some way.
As Solar Opposites Season 2 gears up for its run on Hulu, CinemaBlend had the pleasure of speaking with co-creators Mike McMahan and Justin Roiland about all the sci-fi zaniness. I had to ask for their thoughts on one question that's been gnawing at the underside of my brain since Star Trek: Lower Deck's premiere: are there Shlorpians in the Star Trek universe, and is there a chance that these currently disparate universes could ever come together in such a way?
MCMAHAN: You know, I haven’t found them there yet. The Star Trek I’m writing takes place in 2380. The Shlorpians are clearly present day. I don’t know if first contact has been made with the Shlorpians yet...
ROILAND: I’m sure they’re there. I think all these shows are connected, man. It’s all connected, bro.
So officially, there has been no evidence of Shlorpians in Star Trek: Lower Decks to date, and it was later clarified that there are currently zero plans to cross the Paramount+ animated spinoff with Solar Opposites. With that being said, Mike McMahan did share he'd love to reach a point where Shlorpians can appear, though obviously, there are problems about how the creatures would comply with the rules of the Federation.
MCMAHAN: Hey listen, I would love to do that. I would say the Shlorpians don’t respect the Prime Directive. They seem to be actively interfering with a non-warp-capable species. But you know, maybe one day when Star Trek isn’t looking so close, we might slip a couple Shlorpians in the background.
As Solar Opposites fans may know, the planet Shlorp was destroyed long before Star Trek: Lower Decks' timeline began. However, the species dispersed throughout the galaxy via escape pods and were all given pupas that, in time, would terraform planets so they all could eventually live on once more. If one figures that into Star Trek canon, it would stand to reason that a new version of planet Shlorp could feasibly exist somewhere in the Trek-verse, though that's obviously just speculative (and hopeful) on my part.
Justin Roiland is all in on the idea, though it would likely have to be something more small-scale like a blurry background Shlorpian rather than something more obtuse. Both creators have spoken in the past about the licensing issues that bar shows like Star Trek: Lower Decks, Solar Opposites, and Rick and Morty from officially coming together as one big shared universe, regardless of the carryover within the creative minds involved. With a giant brand owning each respective show, perhaps the best fans can hope for is an artist casually sneaking in a reference under executives' noses.