Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ “Among the Lotus Eaters” calls back to the start of the franchise.
“Among the Lotus Eaters” is the latest episode from Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and in it, we see the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise travel to Rigel VII after discovering the ship’s Delta symbol on and around various buildings on the planet. Upon arriving, the crew begins to forget, a phenomenon that affects those on the ship as well. The heroes save the day, but it wasn’t the story that got fans excited, as it was rather weak, but it was the location of the story.
Rigel VII is of course the first planet mentioned in the infamous failed pilot of Star Trek. At the start of “The Cage”, the first pilot episode of Star Trek, we find out that the crew had just left Rigel VII weeks before, and are still nursing their wounds from a massive fight. A fight referenced in “Among the Lotus Eaters”. The end of this battle would eventually turn into the events of “The Cage”, where the Enterprise ends up heading to Talos IV, where they would end up meeting the Talosians, and high stake shenanigans ensue.
While “Amont the Lotus Eaters” doesn’t tell that story, it does shed light on the events.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ “Among the Lotus Eaters” gives Rigel VII more significance
During the events of “Amon the Lotus Eaters”, we find out just how bad the fight on Rigel VII really was, with Spock getting so wounded that he was on the verge of dying. This decision caused Pike to leave behind, what he thought, were three dead Starfleet members. One of whom would go on to be very much not dead and the villain of the Strange New Worlds episode.
Rigel VII is a significant planet in Star Trek’s lore, not only being the essential birthplace of the show but also being one that keeps getting revisited. This is Pike’s second time on the planet in continuity, and it’s a planet that is referenced once again in Picard’s final season. William Riker is talking about the Enterprise-D having a mission on the planet, but forgets the name of the planet, calling it Rigel VI, only for Jean-Luc Picard to remind him that it was Rigel VII.
While it may have been more interesting to see more of that first encounter on Rigel VII, the fact that Strange New Worlds is further world-building around Pike and his legacy is a pretty awesome thing to see.