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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Star Trek: A Search for Answers "A Search for Answers"
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #3
Written by: Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrot
Art by: Derek Charm
Letters by: Neil Uyetake
Cover by: Derek Charm
February 2016


In 2258, Uhura and Kirk face repercussions for their violation of the Starfleet archives. In 2261, T'Laan continues to question her participation at Starfleet Academy.


Story Summary


In 2258, Uhura and Kirk discover an old classified recording in the Starfleet archives about Wagner-219 and a mutiny on the Slayton a century ago. But Starfleet discovers the breech of security and Admiral Marcus calls the two cadets on the carpet for their actions.


In 2261, T'Laan fails her test in the centennial competition and becomes convinced the Academy is not the place she belongs. As she plans to leave once the competition is complete, Professor Trumble attempts to inspire her at the memorial to Vulcan on the Academy grounds.




Notes from the Star Trek chronology


This issue takes place in two different time periods, the year 2258, during Uhura's fourth year in Starfleet Academy and in 2261 with a previously unseen crop of cadets.


Characters appearing in this issue


Cadet Uhura


Cadet Kirk

Captain Bran Hendricks (in 2159 video recordings only)

Hyun Yan (in 2159 video recordings only)

Commander Juliet Bashir (in 2159 video recordings only)

Chief Engineer Jack Somers (in 2159 video recordings only)

Cadet Vel K'Bentayr

Cadet T'Laan

Cadet Shev

Cadet Chen

Cadet Lucia Gonzales


Professor Trumble

Captain Archer (mentioned only)

Krem (mentioned only)

Admiral Marcus

Admiral Somers 




Didja Know?


The issues of this series did not have individual issue titles. I assigned "A Search for Answers" as the title based on the characters quests in each of the depicted time periods.


Didja Notice?


The Earth starship Slayton NX-05 seen in the archive recordings viewed by Uhura and Kirk is an NX-class ship, the same class as the Enterprise NX-01 of Captain Archer seen in episodes of ST: Enterprise. Most likely, the ship was named for U.S. astronaut Deke Slayton (1924-1993).


Page 3 reveals a member of the Slayton crew to have been Commander Juliet Bashir. It is likely that she is an ancestor of Dr. Julian Bashir who appeared in most episodes of ST: DS9.


On page 6, during a medical exercise on how to stop internal hemorrhaging on a patient, a cadet asks for synthetic cyklokapron; Cyklokapron is a brand name of tranexamic acid, a synthetic analog of the amino acid lysine, and used to treat or prevent blood loss. Another cadet asks for a HIFU generator; HIFU stands for High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound which can sometimes be used to destroy damaged tissue, though I'm not sure how that would stop the hemorrhaging described in this exercise.


On page 8, the spaceship statue seen outside the Academy's School of Engineering is the Phoenix, the first Earth vessel to travel at warp speed, designed by Zefram Cochrane, as depicted in the 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact.


On page 9, the instructor conducting the transporter simulation test refers to the Vulcan Diak as "Cadet Diak". But he is a member of one of the visiting teams from another school, not Starfleet Academy, so it's unclear whether he should have been addressed by the "Cadet" title.


On page 11, we can tell the Tellarite teacher of Uhura's History 345-B class is Professor Trumble by the single sharp tooth in his lower jaw (as seen in "Crossed Signals").


Professor Trumble is speaking to his class about Captain Archer's encounter with an alien known as Krem. In the ST: Enterprise episode "Acquisition", Archer and the crew of the Enterprise NX-01 met the Ferengi called Krem in 2151.


In 2258 Cadet Uhura is called to the carpet by Admiral Marcus for her breach of classified Starfleet archives. Admiral Marcus will later be seen in Into Darkness, where he is killed by Khan.


Admiral Marcus remarks that when the Slayton disappeared a century ago, Starfleet was not able to ascertain its location from a snippet of a distress call received. But since the ship disappeared in 2158, it would have been Earth Starfleet searching for the ship at the time, not the Federation Starfleet, which did not come into existence until 2161.


In the flashback image of T'Laan leaving Vulcan on page 17, panel 3, T'Laan's family appears to have a pet sehlat sleeping in the background. A sehlat is a large, bear-like creature found on Vulcan, often kept as pets by Vulcan families; as a child, Spock is seen to have had a pet sehlat in the ST animated series episode "Yesteryear".


Professor Trumble reveals he served aboard the USS Challenger for his first posting.


A Vulcan sketia tree is planted on the Academy grounds as a memorial for the destroyed planet. This is the first mention of sketia trees as far as I can find.


The space station the centennial contestants meet at for the beginning of the interstellar scavenger hunt appears to be Starbase 1 in Earth orbit, as previously seen in "The Vengeance of Nero".
Starbase 1 Starbase 1
Starbase 1 in this issue Starbase 1 in  "The Vengeance of Nero"


Notes from the Starfleet Academy Cadet files in this issue


T'Laan is 21 years old during the events of this story (2161). Her home city is Shikahr, Vulcan (also the home city of Spock). Her favorite food is hestigapt noodles.


Shev is 21 years old during the events of this story (2161). His home city is Th'Rholt, Moon of Andoria. 


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