If there's one benefit to the ever-expanding Star Trek universe on Paramount+, it's the opportunities to revisit favorites from the franchise's past, no matter how unlikely or obscure. Character actor Ronny Cox has been fortunate enough to solidify himself in so many relevant moments on screen in pop culture, including Robocop, the Matt Salinger-starred Captain America, Total Recall, and Beverly Hills Cop, to name a few. When he took up the job as a guest star on Star Trek: The Next Generation as the hardass Captain Edward Jellico in the two-parter "Chain of Command," he hadn't realized how his presence left such an indelible impact on the franchise lore, finding himself reprising the role 30 years later by lending his voice on the Nickelodeon animated series Prodigy. Cox spoke to Cinemablend about his return and those Jellico memes.
"I enjoyed playing Jellico… People either love him or hate him from [his time] back in TNG," Cox said. "And either they think he's the best captain ever or the worst guy around because of his style and the things he did…Through the years, with all the memes of Jellico and the comic books, it became such an iconic character that when they approached me about reprising, it was just intriguing, so I said, 'Sure. Let's do this.'" The actor joined another TNG alum, Billy Campbell, who reprised his role as Okona, originally introduced in "The Outrageous Okona," on Prodigy. While Jellico was ordering Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) to stop the pursuit of the U.S.S. Protostar in "Masquerade," Okona ended up on that vessel where its crew was trying to evade the Federation to prevent them to be hit with a crippling virus upon communication contact.
And when it comes to the steady wave of Jellico memes? "Yeah, that's sort of right in my wheelhouse of humor anyway. I said to somebody else earlier that I like PUNishing people," Cox said. Star Trek: Prodigy streams Thursdays on Paramount+. For more on Cox's return, you can check out the full interview here.