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 Lieutenant Jona ch’Ranni playing an Andorian male Operations Officer assigned to USS Gorkon.
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’ve loved everything about Star Trek since I was a child. I work in the education industry in IT support in the midwest US. I’m married and have twin 4 year old boys – one of whom is named Jonah and is the inspiration for my character’s name.
What has been your favorite moment writing aboard the USS Gorkon?
Right now we are recovering from a mind-warping encounter with Q. I found it fun to imagine the feelings that would develop in someone exposed to such a strong personality with near unlimited power. Several crewmates got into a group therapy session with our ship’s counselor and dealt with the emotional and mental fallout.
Do you take any inspiration from music/movies/TV/books when writing for your character?
Star Trek: The Next Generation has always in my opinion been the pinnacle of what Star Trek is about. I know that we sim several decades past this time in our little universe but that’s what is in my mind as I write. When I was a teen I read The Original Series and TNG novels and the style of writing from those authors greatly influence my thinking about the internal dialog and scene descriptions I use. And, yes, “Lower Decks” is my favorite episode.
Out of all the number of species to choose from, you picked Andorian. What did you take into account when you created his large family that’s seen on your wiki?
Andorians have two mothers and two fathers. I wanted to expand on Jona’s relationships with his parents over time. Starting out, all four opposed his joining Starfleet. I’ve tried to expound on this and explain the reasons for this and reveal their relationships with one another. Each parent has their own personality and motivations but all influence one another. Just because they are secondary characters doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be fleshed out over time.
How has your transfer from the USS Columbia to the USS Gorkon been? Has it helped with your character development?
The decommissioning of the Columbia was a surprise to me. With my previous assignment, I had simmed a love interest that was stationed at a nearby research facility. My character had even taken her back to Andoria to introduce her to his parents. But Jona had to leave her behind. This gave me the opportunity to explore Jona’s attempt at fooling himself into thinking that the relationship would last the distance of space and then the eventual realization that it would not. I feel it has added another layer to his backstory.
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 was recently appointed as the Operations Chief when I transferred aboard the Gorkon. I would like to continue up the ranks and perhaps one day command a ship. I’ve helped out on the ship’s wiki when aboard the Columbia and would like to get into helping train new recruits.
Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Jona ch’Ranni!
You can read more about Lieutenant Jona ch’Ranni on the wiki.