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In this deleted scene, Wesley appears at the Riker-Troi wedding in a Lt JG uniform.

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Why would this occur? It's clear from "Journey's End" that

WESLEY: Dad came to me and told me not to follow him. He said I had to find my own path.

And then he resigns from the Academy and goes and studies with The Traveler.

It seems pretty unlikely that he would change his mind, get readmitted to the Academy, graduate and get promoted to Lt JG (admittedly nine years have passed).

I understand they sometimes have plot holes, but they could have easily filmed him in civilian formalwear.

Was there some intent to open up the possibility of him returning in the future shows or films?

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    Hey, if he’s as powerful as the Traveler now, he can pretty much conjure up any old clothes he likes, right? Maybe he just wanted to fit in at a Starfleet wedding. Aug 25, 2015 at 20:43
  • @PaulD.Waite: Well, then why pick a Lt JG uniform? He should be an admiral a la Q. Feb 10, 2017 at 16:53
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    Yeah. Rock up to Picard in an unearned Admiral’s uniform. Even Traveler-Wesley wouldn’t do that. Feb 10, 2017 at 18:39
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    @PaulD.Waite, fair point, but any Starfleet uniform would be unearned in this scenario, and Picard cares about that kind of stuff. Apr 5, 2021 at 16:18

2 Answers 2

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This is explained in the film's official novelisation. In short, like the Traveler before him, he's evidently decided to help Starfleet explore the galaxy. One would assume that his god-like powers to freeze time and teleport across the galaxy at a whim would make him a strong choice for an Officer-training programme.

"Hello, Wesley," Picard said easily. "It's good to see you back in uniform."   "Suits him, doesn't it?" Beverly said. She was suddenly incandescent with pride; Picard tried to imagine what it would have been like to raise a child, then finally see him one day grown and in uniform, and felt the stirrings of wistful jealousy. There were many paths he had chosen not to take in his life—children included—and Beverly's proximity served to remind him of other lost opportunities.

Nevertheless, he returned Wesley's grin. "Are you looking forward to serving on the Titan?"

Lieutenant Crusher's words tumbled out with the enthusiasm of youth. "Very much. I have the night duty shift in engineering, we have a double-refracting warp core matrix with twin inter-mix chambers that." He stopped abruptly, his attention seized by the appearance of a young woman who waved in his direction. "Oh, excuse me. See you later, Mom."

As why he was depicted in uniform rather than civilian clothes, I suspect this is more to do with the fact that the average film-goer wouldn't know the circumstances of his having left the show and it would therefore require several additional lines of dialogue to explain his presence, and then a further two or three lines of dialogue to explain his presence in civilian attire.


Interestingly, long-term Trek author Keith R.A. DeCandido came up with a different explanation for the uniform in novel "A Time for War, a Time for Peace", in short, Wesley turned up expecting a traditional Betazed wedding:

Picard frowned. “Er, Wesley—”
“Hey, why’re you guys in dress uniforms? Isn’t this a Betazoid wedding?”
Breaking the embrace, Crusher looked at her son. “Uh, Wes—this isn’t the Betazoid wedding. We’re having that on Betazed.”
“However, since we’re on Earth…” Picard said slowly.
Wesley winced. “I guess walking out that door naked probably wouldn’t be such a hot idea.”
Crusher smiled. “Well, some of the women on the guest list might not object too much.”
“Mom!”
Picard tapped his combadge. “Picard to Enterprise.”
“Wriede here, sir.”
“Lieutenant, have the quartermaster beam down a dress uniform.”

...

Wriede came back on the line. “Uh, sir, quartermaster says he only has a lieutenant’s uniform in that size. The replicators are under maintenance right now, but he can make a new one for Mr. Crusher within the hour.”
“I’m afraid the need is immediate, Mr. Wriede. Have the lieutenant’s uniform beamed down.” “Aye, sir.”
Grinning sheepishly, Wesley said, “Thank you, sir. For the uniform and the promotion.”

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    Is the young woman supposed to be Lefler? Aug 25, 2015 at 17:51
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    The dress uniforms have the rank styled into the fabric? I thought they used the removable rank pips for all uniforms, standard or dress.
    – Xantec
    Aug 25, 2015 at 19:50
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    So.... how is this last explanation for the lieutenant's uniform supposed to make sense. Surely protocol in this instance if he's not a lietuenant would be to remove the pips from the collar, and we know from many demonstrations that it is simple to do so. So I consider that attempt to close a plot hole particularly weak. Jul 1, 2016 at 19:52
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    @Valorum.... and the replicators are down? All of them? On the whole ship? Why would it be centralized like that? And what, are all the replicators on all of Betazed down too? This is like trying to plug a plothole with plastique next to a Tesla coil. Jul 1, 2016 at 21:21
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    @ThePopMachine - Honestly, I really didn't write the thing :-)
    – Valorum
    Jul 1, 2016 at 21:35
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According to the books, Wesley never gave up or lost his commission, so, as he wanted to attend his chums wedding, and he was still entitled to wear a uniform, it was a simple choice for a formal occasion. He went back to travelling after the wedding.

I have dug out the book and scanned it, and in the last book of the A Time For series, A Time for War, a Time for Peace, page 305, about halfway down, Wesley appears.

Expecting a Betazoid wedding, he is naked. It must be fair to assume that Picard would know if Wes was still entitled to wear uniform, whether he was retired, inactive but still on the roll, or whatever. He calls the ship for a uniform, as Wes's size, etc is in the computer.

The Q.M. has told Mr. Wreide, the officer that answered Picard's call, that he has only an L/t uniform and the replicators are off line for servicing. (You know, just like warp drive goes off line when the writer wants a ship to stay put). I cannot understand why a clip on pip cannot be changed, but I am guessing that, the continuity department cocked up on the film, and this is cont/dept excuse number 7.3.

So, if nothing else, it was just a small detail that slipped through the cracks, like a Roman soldier wearing a Rolex. I try not to let these small details ruin my enjoyment of a good story, but hey, if that's what you like, go for it. I hope my time was appreciated.

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  • How does that explain the Lieutenant rank? Also, which book?
    – Junuxx
    Sep 25, 2015 at 15:27

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