Star Trek: Lower Decks, focusing on the comedic and outlandish, may seem like an odd fit next to The Original Series or The Next Generation. Just like its predecessors though, Lower Decks strongly emphasized the traits and personalities of the characters. The USS Cerritos may not have gotten the most glamorous assignments, but that did not make its crew any less interesting.
The Cerritos was symbolic of everyday Starfleet life. As such, there is no better way of relating to its crew than examining them with the elements and traits of the western zodiac signs.
Aries: Beckett Mariner
Ensign Mariner perfectly embodied an Aries. She confidently threw herself into dangerous situations, was relentless in accomplishing her goals, and quickly defended the good of her actions. Mariner was passionate about her lowly position and was utterly loyal to Starfleet and her few friends.
However, she also represented the negative traits. She alienated her shipmates with her brutal honesty, had many reckless brushes with death, and hated losing control of her life. When Mariner got promoted to Lieutenant in “Moist Vessel,” she loathed Starfleet bureaucracy taking away her autonomy.
Taurus: Andy Billups
Lieutenant Billups was a secondary character until “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie.” He used to be a luxurious royal on his planet but preferred an engineer’s rough and tumble life. This rejection of extravagance and contentment with engines aligns with the Taurus traits, as Billups was satisfied with a more down-to-earth life.
Billups’s appearances showcased even more Taurus traits, like in “Envoys,” where he was supportive of Ensign Rutherford’s career. Even some of the negative Taurus traits, like stubbornness and resentment, were exhibited by Billups. When Captain Freeman was up for promotion away from the Cerritos, her officers were angry, but Billups was utterly furious.
Gemini: D’Vana Tendi
Ensign Tendi was not fond of stereotypes against her Orion culture. “Crisis Point” and “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris” showed her struggles when she was expected to conform to typical Orion behavior. Tendi thus suits the mutable, two-sided Gemini well.
Tendi also wore the positive Gemini traits on her sleeve with her can-do attitude. She was the most childlike and curious of the four leads and loved everything about her posting. With her array of talents, ability to make friends, and versatility, Tendi and her Gemini characteristics shined bright among the Cerritos crew.
Cancer: Jack Ransom
As the first officer, Commander Ransom projected confidence and dependability. In many ways, he evoked James Kirk or William Riker with his many dates, strict disciplinary attitude, and reliance on strength. “No Small Parts” even showed Ransom casually lifting weights and exercising during a briefing.
Ransom’s outer shell was revealed when a visiting Deanna Troi sensed his exaggerated confidence as a mask to hide his insecurities. Having layers and showing hidden depths are concrete Cancer traits, and Ransom deeply cared for his subordinates and Captain Freeman. Season 2 had him recognize the potential of Ensign Boimler and gave him opportunities to grow.
Leo: Beckett Mariner
Despite being the perfect Aries, Mariner also exhibited traits seen by Leo. She quickly followed her heart and instincts and often made herself the leader because of her age and experience. Her leadership was seen further in both season finales, where she briefly took command of the Cerritos.
Unfortunately, the negative traits manifested well within Mariner, such as her excessive pride from her long Starfleet experience. Leos are also prone to jealousy if threatened or betrayed, as shown when she was resentful and bitter towards Boimler because of his brief promotion and transfer to the USS Titan.
Virgo: Brad Boimler
Three characteristics that Ensign Boilmer shared with Virgos are perfectionism, meticulousness, and multitasking. “Temporal Edict” drove this point home when Boimler was the only officer that perfectly handled his many tasks after he ruined buffer time. These traits, in his mind, made him the model Starfleet officer.
However, this attitude was also detrimental to Boimler, and he embodied a lot of the negative Virgo qualities. His pursuit of perfecting book smarts resulted in unbalanced development, and he often fell on his sword, fussing over minor details. It was only thanks to his experience on the Titan and Mariner’s help that he rose to the occasion in season 2.
Libra: Sam Rutherford
Ensign Rutherford was often paired with Tendi in most episodes. Compassion for others is a strong Libra attribute, and whenever Tendi encountered an issue, Rutherford was there to help her out. A Libra’s internal struggles make it difficult to find a soulmate, and Rutherford is the same with his unsaid feelings towards Tendi.
As part of Engineering, Rutherford was often busy fixing the ship. Despite the monotony, he was very proud of the Cerritos and always found the fun and joy of keeping it in shape. This attitude allowed him to earn the goodwill of every senior officer in “Envoys” when he explored other career opportunities to spend more time with Tendi.
The advancement of holodeck technology allowed all kinds of holograms to attain sapience and imitation of real life. Such was the case for the holodeck tutor program Badgey, created by Rutherford in “Terminal Provocations.” Badgey malfunctioned and became homicidal and sinister, mowing down many holograms before he attempted to kill Rutherford and Tendi.
Badgey exhibited the negative traits of Scorpio, darkly plotting and returning during the season 1 finale. Badgey appears to be gone for good, which is almost a shame. Had Badgey not malfunctioned, he may have exhibited some of the positive traits of a Scorpio– being very friendly, compassionate, and empathetic.
Big, loud, and fearless, Lieutenant Shax was Sagittarius incarnate. He was a force to be reckoned with during his time in the Bajoran resistance and in Starfleet fending off invading Pakleds. At the end of season 1, his sacrifice was a significant blow to the Cerritos and felt even after Lieutenant Kayshon took his post.
Then Shax inexplicably came back in season 2. Though he maintained a stern, gung-ho disposition that a Sagittarius is known for, his demeanor changed whenever others brought up his resurrection. Nevertheless, when things got serious, Shax continued to fulfill his duty, overcame all insurmountable challenges, and survived to live into the next season.
Capricorn: Carol Freeman
Like any good Starfleet commander, Captain Freeman was proud of the Cerritos, her crew, and their accomplishments. It was unfortunate that Starfleet did not see it that way and considered the Cerritos an unimportant joke of a ship. Freeman’s motivation aligned with what a Capricon yearns for: praise, recognition, and respect.
Her attitude, combined with other Capricorn qualities, like perfectionism and micromanaging, earned her the ire of many lower deck crew members, including her daughter Ensign Mariner. By season 2, Freeman and Mariner mended their relationship for the most part, and she appreciated her crew even more. The finale culminated in Freeman finally being given her promotion, only for her to reject it after seeing the value of what she had.
Every Doctor character in Star Trek history tended to be a little offbeat compared to the rest of their respective casts. Doctor T’Ana, however, was on a different level with her excessive swearing, aloofness, and snark. The latter two are traits typical of an Aquarius.
However, another characteristic of an Aquarius is to be full of surprises. T’Ana may have been a jerk, but she was surprisingly empathetic and supportive of her colleagues, particularly Ensign Tendi. T’Ana assigned Tendi crucial tasks and eventually realized that her abilities were too good for sickbay, and recommended Tendi to go into Sciences.
Pisces: D’Vana Tendi
Ensign Tendi may have exhibited the traits of a Gemini, but she also showed the qualities of a Pisces through her empathy and desire to help others. Pisces are happiest when they are part of something bigger than themselves, and Tendi exemplified this by being content to serve on the Cerritos.
One of Tendi’s flaws, though, also fits in well with Pisces: unrealistic expectations. Tendi did not get on others’ wrong side, but when she did, she went to dangerous lengths to try and make amends, even if the other party was unwilling to accept her kindness.
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