Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard Season 3, Episode 2 – “Disengage”A fantastic Easter egg in Star Trek: Picard season 3, episode 2, “Disengage,” honors the Vulcan Lt. Saavik (Kirstie Alley/Robin Curtis), from the Star Trek: The Original Series films. In Picard season 3’s second episode, Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Captain Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) learn that Dr. Beverly Crusher has another son named Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers). But there’s little time for further explanation as Crusher’s ship, the SS Eleos, comes under attack from the Shrike, the fearsome vessel of Captain Vadic (Amanda Plummer).
Lt. Saavik was introduced in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as the Vulcan protégé of Captain Spock (Leonard Nimoy). Saavik quickly proved to be a popular new addition to the Star Trek movies, but Alley didn’t return for the sequel, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Saavik was recast with Robin Curtis, and she also made a brief appearance in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. But Saavik’s potential as a part of Admiral James T. Kirk’s (William Shatner) USS Enterprise crew was never realized after The Wrath of Khan. Saavik was left behind on Vulcan at the start of Star Trek IV, and she was never canonically seen again. Surprisingly, Star Trek: Picard has addressed what happened to Saavik after 37 years.
Picard’s Saavik Shuttle Honor Explained
Star Trek: Picard season 3, episode 2 contained a can’t-miss reference to Saavik when the shuttle Picard and Riker docked with the Eleos was destroyed by Captain Vadic and the Shrike. The shuttle blew apart and a piece of its hull hurtled towards the screen so that the world “Saavik” in red letters was clearly visible. This, of course, means that the shuttle Picard and Riker stole from the USS Titan-A when they arrived in the Ryton system was named after the Vulcan Starfleet Officer, and that’s because Saavik was once the Captain of the USS Titan.
Captain Saavik was given the honor of one of the Titan’s shuttles being named after her. Starfleet has a tradition of naming starships and other vehicles after famous Captains and Officers of great achievement. For instance, in Star Trek: Discovery‘s 32nd century, the starships USS Janeway and USS Nog are named for Admiral Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) from Star Trek: Voyager and for Captain Nog (Aron Eisenberg) from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. There’s also the Archer Space Dock named for Star Trek: Enterprise‘s Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula), the Captain of the NX-01 Enterprise who became an Admiral, and then the first President of the United Federation of Planets.
Every New Reveal Star Trek Just Gave Saavik
The canonical updates to Saavik have been one of the most pleasant surprises in the buildup to Star Trek Picard season 3. In its post about the history of the USS Titan, the @startreklogs Instagram account revealed that after Star Trek IV, Saavik became the first Captain of the USS Titan in 2290. The Shangri La Class USS Titan NCC-1777 was the first starship to bear that name. Under Captain Saavik, the Titan engaged in crucial encounters with the Klingons in the years before the Khitomer peace accords in 2293, as seen in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
In fact, prior to the launch of the USS Enterprise-B, Captain Saavik’s Titan was named the flagship of the Federation at the suggestion of Saavik’s former crewmate, the USS Excelsior’s Captain Hikaru Sulu (George Takei). This heartening new information rounds out Saavik’s Starfleet career and reveals she accomplished the great things in Starfleet Spock and audiences expected of her. Over a century later in Star Trek: Picard season 3, Saavik’s name is still a storied one in the USS Titan’s history, although they’ll now need another shuttle named “Saavik” thanks to Captain Vadic.
More: Picard Season 3 Isn’t The TNG Show – It’s The Movie We Wanted
Star Trek: Picard Season 3 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.