The Best of Starfleet: Beckett Mariner

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Across the various iterations of Star Trek there have been a plentitude of strong personalities. It isn’t surprising really. It comes with the job. Being a part of Starfleet requires a certain level of tenacity, intelligence, and confidence. This is especially the case if you want to get promoted. But what if you have all these characteristics and don’t want to be promoted? What if you are completely content with being an Ensign, living on the lower decks and getting promoted is your worst nightmare? Beckett Mariner wants everyone to believe that this is exactly who she is and wants to be.

Mariner is the ultimate non-conformist in an organization based on conformity. Starfleet is built on a mountain of protocols, directives, rules, and regulations. One must wonder why someone like Mariner, who so often goes out of her way to buck the Starfleet system, would even join in the first place. We know both of Mariner’s parents are a part of Starfleet. Joining Starfleet might have been an expectation of her parents. But the possibility that Mariner wanted to attend the Starfleet Academy is just as likely.

Growing up with two Starfleet officers for parents certainly means that she was exposed to much of what Starfleet was. Her exposure during her youth could have been like Naomi Wildman spending many of her formative years aboard Voyager. We know that Naomi wanted nothing more than to learn everything she could about being a captain and to emulate the people in her community on Voyager. It is fair to say that Mariner could have been following the same path and been motivated to join the Academy to train for a career in Starfleet.

It is clear from what we have seen on Star Trek Lower Decks that Mariner is capable of really anything she sets her mind to. Which makes it plausible that she would have done well at Starfleet Academy. We know that she has had many experiences and worked with many prominent individuals in Starfleet. She is familiar with Deep Space Nine and even has a bar tab with Quark. She has shared stories with Captain Will Riker. She has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Starfleet history. Yet, she still goes out of her way to avoid opportunities to rise through the ranks.

With Boimler, Tendi and Rutherford, Mariner has a contained group of friends. They are all ensigns living on the lower decks of the Cerritos. They share a commonality of circumstance, and each plays a unique role within their established friendship crew. Mariner often leads them in various shenanigan. But, as we have learned throughout the seasons of Star Trek Lower Decks, this group of four lower deckers is envied by many of their peers both on board and across the fleet of California class ships.

We have recently learned that Mariner and her crew have been promoted. It was Mariner’s worst fear. And she went out of her way to get demoted back to ensign. Mariner has been promoted in the past and has always found a way to get herself demoted and transferred. This time is different for Mariner because of her mentor Commander Jack Ransom. Ransom has made it clear that he will not give up on Mariner no matter how hard she tries to make a career out of being an ensign. Ransom is also the first person in Mariner’s world to see who she really is and to call her out on her shenanigans.

Commander Ransom confronts Mariner about the wall she puts up when others try to get close to her. She uses this wall to deflect compliments and recognition for doing good. Ransom is really the first person to truly see that Mariner is fearless and caring but that she carries a very large bag filled with a fear of disappointing others. Commander Ransom is exactly who Mariner needs to move beyond her self-imposed renegade status. He has gotten Mariner further than any other Starfleet Officer and she is learning to trust him the more time they spend together.

The best of Starfleet has all been storied Starfleet officers that had found families onboard their starships, who leaned on the directives of Starfleet but who also were the first to bend and break those rules. They each even carried an internal level of fear of disappointing friends, fellow officers, crews, and Starfleet. Beckett Mariner isn’t much different than Admiral Janeway or Captain Sisko. There are even commonalities to be made with Admiral Kirk and Admiral Picard. The Best of Starfleet has been and always will be about the people or beings that not only boldly go but who know when to push the boundaries and bend the rules so that progress and growth can ultimately happen.

With her crew of friends and family along with what she will continue to learn from her mentor, Beckett Mariner has everything it takes to be the best of Starfleet.

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Fueled by coffee and willing to charge into a nebula for more. I’m a lifelong musician and creative with a love for all things sci-fi. In a universe where you can be anyone, be a Trekkie.

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