Redshirts’ always die, and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ “Among the Lotus Eaters” steers into that theory.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds‘ latest episode “Among the Lotus Eaters” highlighted a continuation of Star Trek’s very first-ever mission. In the original pilot of the series, “The Cage”, later scrapped and turned into the episode “The Menagerie”, we see the crew dealing with the fallout from an unseen battle on Rigel VII.
In Strange New Worlds’ “Among the Lotus Eaters”, we hear a little bit more about that battle and how serious it was for the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and the fact that Spock was gravely wounded in the fighting. With Pike in command of the mission, he recalls his crew back to the ship, leaving three of his crew members behind, believing them to be dead.
It would only be later when the crew returns to the planet the second time, that we found out who died on the planet. It was three total, with Zac Nguyen being the most noticeable of the three. Yet, two of the three who were reported to have died, were shockingly enough, redshirts.
For those who don’t know the significance, there is a theory, and while sound, not entirely true, that if you watched the original series, you would only ever see Enterprise members die if they were the red uniforms of Operations.
It isn’t completely true, as others did die during the events of the show, but the redshirt casualties were by and far the largest numbers.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds called back to the ‘redshirts always die’ idea in “Among the Lotus Eaters”
It should not surprise anyone to see that two of the three crew members, thought to be dead on Rigel VII, were redshirts. The episode was a callback to the original episode of the franchise, “The Cage”, so, of course, they were going to also allude to the idea that if you wore red, you were dead.
It’s such an iconic thing, that even Galaxy Quest got in on the action and wrote a similar concept into the script for Sam Rockwell.
239 redshirts appeared in the series, and only 25 of them were killed off. That’s just a hair over 10% of the crew on the show who were seen wearing red. So it wasn’t nearly as bad as the fandom made it seem.