Star Trek Insults DS9's Jadzia Dax (But It Makes Sense)

Warning! SPOILERS for Star Trek: Lower Decks' Season 2 Finale

Although Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) is beloved by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fans, a joke at her expense in the Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2 finale played like an insult to her memory, even though it makes sense in context. Star Trek: Lower Decks has referenced DS9 a few times, including showing a younger Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) enjoying shore leave on the space station, but none of DS9's main cast has appeared in the animated series during its two seasons. It's too bad that the first time Jadzia gets name-dropped, it comes off as a diss.

The intelligent, cool, and beautiful Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax was the science officer on Deep Space Nine and the Trill was a close friend of Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) since the previous host of the Dax symbiont, Curzon Dax, was Sisko's mentor. Jadzia also fell in love with Lt. Commander Worf (Michael Dorn) and their passionate romance culminated in their marriage. However, Jadzia Dax was killed off at the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 6, and Terry Farrell left the series under controversial circumstances. Jadzia was replaced by Lt. Ezri Dax (Nicole de Boer) in DS9's 7th and final season.

Related: Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 Ending & TNG Connection Explained

In Star Trek: Lower Decks' season 2 finale, "First First Contact," Ensign D'Vana Tendi (Noël Wells) feared that Dr. T'Ana (Gillian Vigman) was going to transfer her off of the USS Cerritos. Tendi is stunned to learn the truth that T'Ana feels her skills aren't being fully utilized in Sickbay and the Doctor signed her up to train as a Senior Science Officer. When a stunned Tendi asked, "A science officer? Like Jadzia Dax?" T'Ana replied, "Who the [bleep] is that? I don't know who that is. No, like Spock (Leonard Nimoy)!" It's a funny joke for its rapid-fire crudeness, but it's also hurtful to the memory of Jadzia, who was one of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's best characters that was abruptly written off the series. The Dax reference also stands out since everyone on Star Trek: Lower Decks seems to know everything about Starfleet history, no matter how obscure the reference is.

In an interview with Screen Rant, Star Trek: Lower Decks' creator Mike McMahan addressed Dr. T'Ana's Dax insult: "Of all the times everybody knows everybody, of course, somebody has to not know at one point and it's gonna be Dr. T'Ana." McMahan's explanation indicates that Dr. T'Ana doesn't study Starfleet history the way the ambitious Ensigns in the Cerritos' Lower Decks like Tendi, Mariner, or Ensign Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) do. This makes sense: Star Trek's Caitian Dr. T'Ana is the chief medical officer of a California-class starship and it's logical that she wouldn't know who the science officer of Deep Space Nine was.

In contrast to Jadzia Dax, Spock is a legend in Starfleet and one of the most famous names in the galaxy. By Star Trek: Lower Decks' 24th-century era, Spock is a household name whose exploits aboard the Starship Enterprise commanded by his best friend, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), are known throughout Starfleet and likely the rest of the galaxy. When Dr. T'Ana was thinking of a famous science officer she hopes Tendi can emulate, Spock would naturally be the name who comes to her mind, and the Caitian physician wouldn't even have heard of DS9's Jadzia Dax.

Even so, the way Jadzia Dax's name was mentioned on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine came off as a bit mean-spirited, even if it wasn't intended to be. Insulting Jadzia's memory compounds how DS9's fans are still waiting for their favorite characters to appear on one of the new Star Trek series on Paramount+. Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2 did feature an evil computer voiced by Jeffrey Combs, who was DS9's Weyoun, but DS9's fans have had to settle for sight gags like Mariner and Tendi seeing Quark's Bar during a girl's trip. Hopefully, Star Trek: Lower Decks can do right by Jadzia Dax and her fans by finally having a Deep Space Nine actor voice their character in season 3.

Next: Star Trek: Why Tom Paris & Voyager's Actors Returned (But Not DS9's Cast)

Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 is streaming on Paramount+.

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