Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3 Will See The Return Of Deep Space Nine Characters [Comic-Con]

"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" is finally getting its overdue resurgence, thanks to the upcoming third season of "Star Trek: Lower Decks." "Deep Space Nine" was the fourth entry in the "Star Trek" TV franchise, debuting in 1993 while the much-loved series "The Next Generation" was still on the air and before "Voyager" hit TV screens. "Deep Space Nine" shook-up the formula: Rather than following a Federation starship crew, the series focused on a former Cardassian station in deep-space that recently became Federation-controlled, and just so happens to be near a wormhole to the unexplored Gamma Quadrant. While "TNG" has been getting a pop-culture comeback thanks to "Star Trek: Picard" (arguably, it never really left), "DS9" has largely felt forgotten, with many Trekkers to this day feeling frustrated that it never received a proper remastered edition.  

Now, fans of the oft under-appreciated "Star Trek" series have a reason to yell "Qapla'!" — it looks like we're finally getting some of that sweet, sweet Gamma Quadrant action back in the franchise. During the Star Trek panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, the "Lower Decks" season 3 trailer was shown — revealing that the animated series will be returning to the iconic deep-space station that served as a setting for the fourth "Star Trek" TV series, "Deep Space Nine." And it will go beyond a simple cameo. 

As showrunner Mike McMahon revealed: 

"..we ['Lower Decks'] go in to Deep Space Nine, where we walk the promenade, we will enjoy the Cardassian architecture ... and you might see some friendly faces in there."

After an enthusiastic round of applause (because, come on), he added, "It feels to me like one last walk around Deep Space Nine." 

Inside the Deep Space Nine station

At this point, it's unclear who those "friendly faces" may be, although there are plenty of options. Michael Dorn is set to reprise his role as Worf in "Picard" season 3, so he might be pulling double duty. BFFs Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) and Elim Garak would be nice to see as well — even if that doesn't totally work with their ending. Probably the most likely candidates are Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) and Quark (Armin Shimerman). And maybe Morn.

This reveal is very exciting for long-time Trekkers such as myself, especially because the last few years have been hard ones for the "Deep Space Nine" family. Aron Eisenberg, who played the young Ferengi Nog, and René Auberjonois, who played the shape-shifter Odo — one of the most popular characters on "Deep Space Nine" — both died in 2019. The loss of these talented actors was felt among the entire "Star Trek" fan community. 

Still, it feels right to finally revisit "Deep Space Nine" after all these years. The space station was the main setting for a show that lasted 176 episodes over seven seasons. Whether you watched the show originally when it broadcast, or if you first discovered the series via re-runs or even in the era of streaming, getting through the entire series means spending a lot of time with these characters. I personally am still holding out hope for some live-action cameos in "Picard" season 3 — but animated versions are definitely worth getting excited over.

Although "Lower Decks" is not a conventional "Star Trek" series by any means, it is definitely written by fans, for the fans. If anyone can do "DS9" justice, it's McMahon and his team.