FAN THEORY: Ensign Mariner Grew Up On a Famous Starfleet Ship

Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner and Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman of the U.S.S Cerritos of the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS

PARAMOUNT+ "Strange Energies" -- Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner and Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman of the U.S.S Cerritos of the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS.

Beckett Mariner from “Star Trek: Lower Decks” is quite a mysterious character. For most of the first season, no one knew that she was Captain Freeman’s daughter. The rest of her past is equally murky.

Mariner seems to know several high-level people in Starfleet, the Federation, and other alien governments. She’s best friends with Captain William Riker. She’s partied with Klingon generals like K’Rin. But it’s never been explained how she made all these connections. 

As the second season progresses, fans are finding out more about Mariner’s history and why she keeps it under wraps. Fans now know that she served on Deep Space Nine, the Quito, the Atlantis and three other Starfleet vessels, lived on Starbase 25, and did “some grey-ops stuff” for Starfleet. 

She also revealed that she doesn’t share a lot of details about her life with others because she has trouble forging friendships. The people she befriends always get promoted and leave her behind. So, she closes herself off, not revealing much about her past. 

At this point, Mariner’s backstory is wide open, making it a great focus for fan theories. One Trekker came up with a pretty good idea that could very well explain why Mariner seems to know everyone and seems to have been everywhere.

Mariner Grew Up on the Enterprise-D 

One Redditor proposed that Mariner was one of the many children aboard the Enterprise-D during the events depicted in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Though the image has since been deleted, the post was accompanied by a picture of Lieutenant Geordi LaForge with children climbing all over him. One of those children was a young Black girl. The Redditor suggested that this was actually Mariner. 

Though other Redditors loved the idea that Mariner grew up on the Enterprise-D, a few pointed out that the image posted was from “Star Trek: Generations.” The events of that movie took place in 2371, only 10 years before the events in “Lower Decks.” The girl in the image was probably five or six years old, which would make her too young to be Mariner. 

This led a few other Redditors to theorize that Mariner was another one of the children shown throughout TNG’s seven seasons. One Redditor who goes by the username that_had_to_hurt suggested that Mariner was one of the children shown in the season one episode “When the Bough Breaks.” 

In that episode, children from the Enterprise-D were kidnapped by a society struggling with planet-wide infertility. In the scene where the children were kidnapped, a young Black girl with a ponytail was with her classmates. However, she was not taken. The Redditor suggested that this girl was Mariner. 

The events of “When the Bough Breaks” took place in 2364, 17 years before the events of “Lower Decks.” The young Black girl from “When the Bough Breaks” was probably seven or eight years old, maybe as old as ten. So, she would be in her late twenties or early thirties in 2381. That perfectly matches up with Mariner’s age in “Lower Decks.” 

Why The Theory Totally Makes Sense 

Mariner doing Anbo-jyutsu in "Star Trek: Lower Decks"

YouTube/Paramount+Mariner doing Anbo-jyutsu in “Star Trek: Lower Decks”

Mariner growing up on the Enterprise-D makes sense in so many ways. It would explain why Riker and her mother were close enough for Riker to call her his cha’DIch. It would also explain why Mariner considered Riker to be her mentor. They would have had ample opportunity to hang out on the ship, and Riker likely would have taken the time to do so because he was so close to Captain Freeman. 

Growing up on Starfleet’s flagship and working with some of Starfleet’s best officers was likely a huge advantage for Mariner when she applied to Starfleet Academy. And it probably didn’t hurt while she was studying there either. Her prior experience on a flagship might also explain why she excelled in the Academy, which led to choice assignments like Deep Space Nine

Growing up on the Enterprise would also explain Mariner’s connections to Worf. She would have met him on the Enterprise, before her time on Deep Space Nine. Her connection to Worf from their time on the Enterprise could also explain why she was comfortable enough with the Klingon culture to get sent on a “grey-ops” mission with K’Rin. 

Obviously, there’s no canon to back this up yet. The big reveals about Mariner’s past keep coming though. So, it’s possible her childhood on the Enterprise could be an upcoming reveal. We’re looking at you, Mike McMahan

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