12

In Star Trek TOS S2:E6 The Doomsday Machine - we meet a character named Matt Decker. At this point in time he is a Captain.

We also know that Matt Decker has a son, Will Decker.

In the Star Trek Discovery Episode S1:E9 - Into The Forest I Go, we hear on the intercom:

Cadet Decker, please report to the ready room.

My question is: Is there evidence to suggest that Will Decker is on board the USS Discovery?

  • Could you expand on that @NKCampbell ? – hawkeye Dec 4 '17 at 22:30
  • edit - @ApproachingDarknessFish's answer satisfies my incredulity. – NKCampbell Dec 4 '17 at 22:50
16

If Will Decker was 32 (age of the actor at the time) in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (set in approximately 2272), and Discovery takes place in 2255, then he would have been 15 years old at the time, plus or minus a few.

That's bordering on too young to be a cadet, but given the uncertainties in my calculations, it seems plausible. For reference, Wesley Crusher was also 15 when he began serving as an acting Ensign aboard the Enterprise-D.

This is a far cry from proof, but the that fact the numbers work out does suggest in my opinion that Cadet Decker is in fact Will Decker. It is, at the very least, the appropriate generation of Deckers.

  • They could pull some sort of time dilation explanation if they wanted it to be Will Deckard and needed to futz the timeline. IMO, they will never explicitly refer to the character of Will Deckard on screen again as a) the character was essentially reused as the much better known Will Riker, and b) the actor had a child porn scandal not long ago, IIRC. – Politank-Z Dec 5 '17 at 3:36
  • s/Deckard/Decker/g Apparently, I have Blade Runner on the mind. – Politank-Z Dec 5 '17 at 6:03
  • The official chronology said that TOS was in 2266-2269 and TMP was in 2271. A Voyager episode said the 5-year-mission ended in 2270. TMP was at least 2.5 (2.25-2.75) years later, so in 2272.25-2273.75, or later. WOK should be 15 years after "Space Seed" in 2267, or 2282, but the official chronology says 2285, and TMP should be sometime earlier. Thus TMP must happen 2271-2284. Stephen Collins was 30 and 31 during filming. If the same age, Decker would have been born 2240 to 2254 and aged about 1 to 15 in Discovery. It is possible that Peter Preston was 14 in WOK. – M. A. Golding Jan 20 '18 at 15:28
5

It is possible, but not certain, that it is chronologically possible for Willard Decker to be "Cadet Decker" in Discovery.

Note I don't say it is possible, but that it is possible that it is possible.

Here is some "time computation" in five parts.

1) Willard Decker.

The official, but not necessarily canon or correct, Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future dated TOS to 2266 to 2269 and Star Trek: The Motion Picture to 2271. In Voyager episode "Q2" Icheb's report on Starfleet history said: "Finally, in the year 2270, Kirk completed his historic five year mission...".

If the five year mission ended sometime between 2270.0 and 2271.0, Star Trek: The Motion Picture should be a few years later. Kirk said he had been chief of Starfleet Operations for two and a half years, and Decker said Kirk hadn't logged a single star hour for two and a half years. If two and a half years is between 2.25 and 2.75 years, the earliest possible date for Star Trek: The Motion Picture would be 2272.25 to 2273.75.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture should be before Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. "Space Seed" is supposed to be in 2267 (2267.0 to 2268.0) and Kirk and Khan both say they haven't seen each other for fifteen years (14.0 to 17.0 years, allowing for human vagueness). Thus Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan should be about 2281.0 to 2285.0. Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future says that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is in 2285.

So Star Trek: The Motion Picture should be sometime between 2271.0 and 2285.0.

Actor Stephen Collins was born 1 October 1947. Filming of Star Trek: The Motion Picture began 7 August 1978 and ended 26 January 1979. Collins was aged almost 31 to 31.25 during filming. If Willard Decker was the same age as Collins, he would have been born about 2238.75 to 2254.0.

If the Discovery episode "Into the Forest I Go" happens sometime between 2255.0 and 2256.0, Willard Decker would be about 1.0 to 17.25 during it.

2) Matt Decker.

Willard Decker was supposedly (though that is not in any totally canonical source) the son of Matt Decker from "The Doomsday Machine" which was filmed 20 to 26 June 1967. William Windom was born 28 September 1923 and thus about 43.75 years old when he portrayed Commodore Matt Decker. If "The Doomsday Machine" is supposed to happen in 2267.0 to 2268.0, Matt Decker was born in 2223.25 to 2224.25.

According to their calculated birth ranges, Matt Decker would have been 14.5 to 30.75 years older than his possible son Willard Decker. Of course it is possible that Matt Decker and/or Willard Decker were older or younger than their actors looked, thus making their age difference larger or smaller and increasing or decreasing the probability that Matt Decker could have been the father of Willard Decker.

3) Alternate Universe Chekov.

According to Star Trek (2009) Ensign Chekov is 17 years old in 2258. An Ensign is senior to a cadet, and thus a cadet in Star Trek (2009) might be younger than 17. This is in an alternate universe to TOS and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It seems uncertain if Discovery is in the same alternate universe as Star Trek (2009) or the alternate universe of TOS and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, or a third one.

4) Peter Preston.

At first sight Midshipman First Class Peter Preston in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan looks too small and young to be in Starfleet. Actor Ike Eisenmann was 19 years old when filming his scenes as Peter Preston. If Preston was the same age as his actor he was old enough, though still quite short, to be in Starfleet.

However, the script and Vonda N. McIntyre's novelization both say that Preston was fourteen.

How old was Peter Preston when he entered Starfleet Academy?1

At the present time, the minimum age to enlist in the United States armed forces is 17, though a high school diploma or GED is also required. The minimum age to enter a service academy is also 17.

If Midshipman Preston was 14 in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan the minimum age to be in Starfleet and on a starship would seem to be 14 (or even younger) at that time.

As calculated above, Willard Decker could have been age 1.0 to 17.25 in Discovery, and thus possibly over 14, the possible age of Peter Preston, and possibly even over 17.0, the minimum age in the current US armed forces.

5) Kirk the youngest starship captain?

It may also be noted that if Captain Willard Decker was 30 or 31 in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, that would make him a rival for Captain Kirk's fanon title as the youngest starship captain. According to the official, but not necessarily canon or correct, Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future Kirk is born in 2233 and becomes captain of the Enterprise in 2264, the year he turns 31.

It is always possible to have Kirk become captain at a younger age, and Willard Decker could be older than he looks, thus making him become captain at an older age and making him more likely to be old enough to be a cadet in Discovery. Making Willard older would make Matt Decker younger when Willard is born. Of course one can always assume that Matt Decker was about 20 years older than William Window.

How do we know Kirk was the youngest captain of a starship?2

Depending on one's theories about Star Trek one can say that it either is or is not possible or probable for Cadet Decker to be future Captain Willard Decker.

It is possible, but not certain, that it is chronologically possible for Willard Decker to be "Cadet Decker" in Discovery.

  • Kirk's birth date doesn't depend on the Chronology: Star Trek (2009) establishes Kirk (and Spock) as being born 2233: the year is specifically stated. – Keith Morrison Feb 12 at 22:05
  • @Keith Morrison Star Trek (2009) establishes that Kirk was born in 2233 in the calendar used in Star trek (2009), not that he was born in 2233 in the possibly different calendar(s) used in the Prime Universe and/or in Discovery. The many mistakes made by various Star Trek writers make it impossible for all Earth dates to be given in the same calendar. Thus the United Earth Government must often change the official Earth calendar and there is no guarantee that the same Earth calendar is used Star Trek (2009) and other productions. – M. A. Golding Feb 13 at 18:57
  • The Kelvin timeline split from the Prime timeline when Nero's ship showed up. At that point, Winona Kirk was already pregnant and while Kirk's birth might have been accelerated slightly due to the stress of the situation they were in, he was still due around that time. – Keith Morrison Feb 13 at 19:51
  • @Keith Morrison I am not talking about the time when Kirk is born, I am talking about the possibly different date of that event in possibly different calendars used in different Star Trek productions. The "prime universe" from "The Cage" (1964) to Nemesis (2002) and Enterprise (2001-2005) has so many wildly contradictory dates that it seems obvious that different calendars are used in different productions, so I don't assume that Star Trek (2009) uses the same calendar as any "prime universe" movie or episode. – M. A. Golding Feb 14 at 16:31

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