Star Trek: Prodigy Assembles An All-Star Crew in an Episode Dedicated to Their Memories

Star Trek: Prodigy returned today from its midseason hiatus with its sixth episode, "Kobayashi." That episode title will stand out to longtime Star Trek fans as a reference to the Kobayashi Maru test, the famously unbeatable Starfleet Academy challenge that James T. Kirk beat by reprogramming the simulation. That challenge plays a significant role in this Star Trek: Prodigy episode as Dal tries to prove his worth as a captain. However, through the use of the USS Protostar's holodeck, the challenge transforms into a tribute to past Star Trek stars. SPOILERS follow for the new Star Trek: Prodigy episode "Kobayashi." (And if you're looking for some behind-the-scenes insights, check out our interview with the episode's writer, Aaron J. Waltke.

"Kobayashi" begins right where Star Trek: Prodigy left off at the end of its fifth season, with the Protostar dropping out of protocol-warp 4000 lightyears away from where it started. The crew now finds itself aboard a ship built on the technology they don't understand. With no other destination set, they want to head towards Federation space. Dal, the Protostar's self-proclaimed captain, isn't into the idea.

While searching for Murf, Dal and Jankom Pog stumble onto the ship's holodeck. Hologram Janeway shows them how it works, and eventually, they discover the Kobayashi Maru simulation. Though Janeway warns him it may be beyond the scope of his capabilities, Dal insists on trying it out. But first, he needs a crew.

The Protostar randomly selects a bridge crew from among its databanks, and Dal ends up with an impressive collection of Star Trek fan favorites. Holographic recreations of Spock, Beverly Crusher, Odo, and Nyota Uhura appear. Later, Montgomery Scott joins the crew. Other than Crusher (voiced by Gates McFadden reprising her role from Star Trek: The Next Generation), the episode recreates these characters' voices through the use of archival audio from their previous live-action appearances. Together, they challenge and support Dal until he learns the importance of a good crew.

The credits at the episode's end pay tribute to the Star Trek stars who have died but whose characters are featured here. The line reads, "In memory of René Auberjonois, James Doohan, and Leonard Nimoy, who inspire us to boldly go."

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Auberjonois, who played Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, died in 2019 at age 79. Doohan, who played Montgomery Scott in Star Trek: The Original Series, the first seven Star Trek films, and one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, died in 2005 at age 85 (his ashes were then smuggled onto the International Space Station). Nimoy played Spock in The Original Series and the six films that followed and reprised the role in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, 2009's Star Trek movie, and its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. He died in 2015 at age 83.

What did you think of this episode of Star Trek: Prodigy? Let us know in the comments. New episodes of Star Trek: Prodigy debut Thursdays on Paramount+