Star Trek: Lower Decks Creator Illuminates Holodeck Limitation

Have you ever wondered why the Starfleet crewmembers serving onboard the USS Cerritos on Star Trek: Lower Decks sleep on stacked cots in a hallway full of exposed electrical when the holodeck is only a few decks away? Well, Inkpot Award winner and Marvel Comics writer Dan Slott took to Twitter after asking himself the same question (and lucky for Trekkies everywhere, he got an answer from Mike McMahan himself). But while you might expect that the writer of multiple runs of She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Great Lakes Avengers, and many other beloved Marvel Comics titles would have been awarded the Star Trek equivalent of the No-Prize for pointing out the discrepancy, Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan (Rick and Morty) soon replied with a perfectly reasonable explanation.

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Specifically, Slott sent a tweet on September 4, 2022, asking: “Question: If you have a holo deck, why do the lower deck officers have to sleep in the hallway? Can’t you just cram everyone into the holo deck and run a five star hotel simulation?”

This calls to mind a holodeck program seen on several episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, including “Warlord,” “Darkling,” and “Alter Ego.” The program was known as “Tropical Resort Simulation 3” and originally depicted the Paxau Resort, a luxurious getaway on Talax. The program was created by Voy’s morale officer, Neelix (Ethan Phillips). Later, other crewmembers, including Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) and Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) modified the program to integrate elements from Earth’s Polynesian resorts.

Captain Freeman Would Rather Not Utilize the Power Expenditure on a Holo Hotel

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While the Lower Deckers on the Cerritos might enjoy such accommodations, McMahan sent a response just a little over an hour later explaining why beta shift will just have to sit in their cold hallway cots and keep dreaming of a nice joint like the Paxau Resort.

“Despite them bringing that up, it’s a power expenditure the captain would rather utilize elsewhere,” McMahan tweeted in reply to Slott. “Booooo!” McMahan further responded to the inquiry with a Quote Tweet reading, “Dan obviously spends his time on a MUCH nicer starship.”

However, a ship with a constantly running holodeck isn’t always good news. See the ninth Star Trek movie, Star Trek: Insurrection, for just one example.

Unfortunately, sleeping on an uncomfortable bed in the hallway is only the beginning of the indignities in store for beta shift on Lower Decks. The third season of the animated comedy set in the Trek universe is currently being released for streaming each Thursday on Paramount+.