Every week StarTrek.com takes you behind the scenes to highlight one special element or BTS moment from Star Trek: Lower Decks. Spoilers for the show follow below.
One tiny detail in the first few moments of Star Trek: Lower Decks had fans buzzing when the show’s opening two minutes were aired during San Diego Comic-Con@Home.
Romulan Whiskey? What’s that?
Well, contrary to popular belief, Romulans have more than one available beverage option when it comes to their alcohol. In addition to Romulan Ale, the Federation rivals do, yes, also derive drinks from grain! They even have different varieties, as we humans do on here Earth.
In Lower Decks’ premiere, “Second Contact,” Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) is drinking ‘MelShat,’ a Romulan spirit distilled from a dried, aged Romulan grain known as 'GenMat,' which can, yes, be referred to as Romulan Whiskey.
Romulans translate Terran (Earth) whiskey as ‘WesKih,’ and distinguish between the two, noting that this drink is specifically distilled from a malted grain such as barley or rye.
Like with many fictional languages, the route to Romulan Whiskey wasn’t simply a case of smooshing syllables together until they sounded pleasing. On the contrary, when the need for Beckett’s joke arose, Lower Decks’ production reached out to Trent Pehrson, the linguist who shaped the Romulan language heard on Star Trek: Picard. With Pehrson’s help, the translation for whiskey was shaped so that it fit within Romulus’ linguistic structure. The translation for the grain, ‘MelShat,’ was also crafted by Pehrson, specifically for Lower Decks’ canonical use.
So no, long-time Trek fans, you didn’t mishear! Romulan Whiskey has officially become part of the Star Trek canon.
Star Trek: Lower Decks streams exclusively in the United States on Paramount+ and in Canada, on Amazon Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, India and more and in Canada, airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.