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Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant Jona ch’Ranni, USS Columbia

We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.

This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ensign Jona ch’Ranni playing an Andorian male Helm/Ops Officer assigned to the USS Columbia.

GALVEN: Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

CH’RANNI: Hello! My name IRL is Josh and I love everything about Star Trek and have since I was a child. I work in IT in the education industry in the midwest US and I am married with twin 3 year old boys.

Having joined in October of 2395, what has been your favorite moment writing aboard the USS Columbia?

I loved our visit to the homeworld of a newly discovered alien race – the Losarians – on a recent shore leave. I was able to sim visiting a shipworks facility, a culinary institute, and a seedy bar on one of the moons. It was an open world in which to play and I loved every minute of it.

Do you take any inspiration from movies/TV/books when writing for your character? 

I channel Star Trek: The Next Generation as that seems to me to be the epitome of what Star Trek is about even though our setting is several decades later. It is always what I envision in my mind when writing. When I was younger I was an avid reader of The Original Series and TNG novels, and I believe that greatly influences my thinking and writing.

On your character’s wiki, you wrote that ch’Ranni has a strained relationship with all four of his parents. What kind of character development has transpired in the 10 months you’ve been writing with 118?

Jona’s parents disagreed with his applying to Starfleet. In fact, they shunned him for the life choice. They believed that he was abandoning his Andorian heritage. Since then, one of his mothers has reached out to him and indicated that not all four of the parents were equal in their disagreement. This has left an opening for him to slowly reconnect with his parents. Jona has developed a romantic relationship with a nice Andorian scientist on Dehner Base and has plans on next shore leave to take her to meet his parents. I plan to delve into their relationships further at that time.

Out of all the number of duty posts, you chose Helms officer in the beginning and are now the Chief of Operations. What advice can you give new and older members who want to choose that particular duty post?

I chose Helmsman initially because there was a need in the fleet for that position at the time. I felt that it would be a nice post to be in the heart of the action and give him valuable bridge time. I accepted the transfer to Ops because it’s a nice melding of several positions. It kind of reminds me of my real life job in IT where anything can get thrown at you and you are responsible for fixing it. Many of my favorite characters from Star Trek come from that department too.

And lastly, do you personally have aspirations in the fleet? Are there any OOC activities you’re associated with, or any you’d like to join?

I’m gunning for first officer! I try to help out with our ship’s wiki page as much as I can and I would love to get involved in the Training Team to assist our new members.

Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Jona ch’Ranni!

You can read more about Lieutenant Jona ch’Ranni on the wiki.