The Star Trek Universe panel was held in Hall H on Saturday, July 26, 2022 at SDCC 2022. During the Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3 segment, a full trailer was released by Paramount Plus. There’s less than one month until the first episode of the season arrives for streaming on August 25, 2022. But that still leaves plenty of time for reckless speculation based on what we’ve seen so far!

This article is based on guesswork and no episodes of the new season have been viewed. However, if you want to remain completely spoiler-free for the new season of Lower Decks, this article isn’t for you. It will also contain spoilers for previous seasons so tread carefully.

RELATED: Keep up to date on GGA’s SDCC 2022 coverage!

Justice for Freeman

The first episode of Lower Decks season 3 will be called “Grounded.” Between the clip released through the Ready Room and the scenes glimpsed in the trailer, this episode will involve the Lower Deckers searching for exonerating evidence for Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis). Many of the scenes that appear in the teaser feature the still-stripped-down Cerritos and the Lower Deckers in non-Starfleet “casual wear.”

Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome), Ensign Bradward Boimler (Jack Quaid), Ensign Samanthan Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) and Ensign D’Vana Tendi (Noël Wells) each appear in new outfits. These include sartorial homage to the hat worn by Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) in Star Trek: First Contact and one of the sweaters worn by Jake Sisko (Cirroc Lofton). It’s safe to assume these scenes come from “Grounded.”

Lower Decks season 3: Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman in incarceration.

Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2022 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved

While it was upsetting to see our captain arrested at the conclusion of the season two finale, “First First Contact,” evidence suggests justice will be served. We see Captain Freeman in her Captain’s uniform on the Cerritos in some shots of the trailer. Hopefully, this means that she will be reinstated as Cerritos Captain by the conclusion of the third season’s first episode.

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Remote TTRPGs

Several additional scenes in the trailer seem to be from the second episode of the season, “The Least Dangerous Game.” It seems as though the Lower Deckers are playing a tabletop board game. This story may follow a Klingon-themed TTRPG hosted by Martok of the House Martok (J.G. Hertzler) or a Martok simulation.

Thanks to stills released from Paramount Plus and an interview with EW, we also know this episode will introduce a new alien. K’ranch (Nolan North) is a Kromsapiods, a new species, and he “loves his weapons.” According to Mike McMahan, the design takes inspiration from Tosk (Scott MacDonald). Introduced in the fifth episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Tosk was the first visitor to the Alpha Quadrant through the Bajoran wormhole.

Nolan North plays K’ranch and Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler. K'ranch is chasing Bradward.

Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2022 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Nightmare Rocks

Several additional scenes in the trailer seem to be taken from a single episode. These scenes take place on a rocky planet. When several crystals break, dialogue asserts that they are making nightmares come alive.

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This could explain several additional scenes in the trailer that otherwise seem impossible. In addition to Klingon clowns (literally), we also see an Andorian Starfleet officer apparently turned into a werewolf. Plus, Ransom’s little buddy, Lt. Steve Stevens (Ben Rodgers), is being chased by Kukulkan, an alien from Star Trek: The Animated Series.

This episode could fit in neatly with Trek classics like Star Trek: Prodigy‘s “murder planet” episodes, “Dreamcatcher” and “Terror Firma.”

Peanut Hamper’s Revenge?

Another significant-seeming clip from the trailer includes Peanut Hamper (Kether Donohue). This antagonistic exocomp was introduced in the first season finale, “No Small Parts.” Peanut Hamper seemed like the ideal candidate to solve everyone’s problems in that episode. But when faced with personal risk for the benefit of the team, Peanut Hamper bailed out.

Peanut Hamper floating in space in the midst of debris that forms a Starfleet insignia.

Lower Decks season three teaser poster.

Peanut Hamper doesn’t just have an appearance in the trailer. She was the focus of one of the first teaser posters for the season. Could this be a hint that she may play a significant role? Did she frame Captain Freeman? And was Badgey (Jack McBrayer) involved? He loves explosions!

Deep Space Nine

Finally, the trailer revealed that the Cerritos will visit Deep Space Nine. First, we saw clips that pay homage to the DS9 theme song in the trailer. Then, McMahan confirmed at the Trek universe panel that we will be visiting the Promenade and can expect to see some familiar faces.

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Characters who remained on DS9 at the conclusion of the series include now-Commander Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor), Jake, and Doctor Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig). Plus, given that we have seen the expansion of Quark’s in the background of LD season two, Quark (Armin Shimerman) seems a very likely candidate. This could lead to additional appearances by his brother Rom (Max Grodénchik) and sister-in-law Leeta (Chase Masterson).

More Lower Decks season 3 to Speculate On

From Lower Decks season 3, Noël Wells as Ensign Tendi, Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, and Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford. Everyone is wearing casual clothes.

From Lower Decks season 3, “Grounded.” Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2022 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved

There are plenty more intriguing teases included in the Lower Decks season 3 trailer. Captain Bradward and Lt. Commander Rutherford? What could be the Delta Flyer fleeing from a Romulan D’deridex-class warbird? Plus, a skydiving scene that pays homage to Star Trek (2009)!

It’s going to be a long way, getting from here to August 25, 2022.

STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS – SEASON 3 Release Date and Key Art Revealed

Avery Kaplan