Reaching for the stars —
“Our first visit from the stars is always the province of [sci-fi]—until one day it isn’t.”
Two major science fiction franchises went head-to-head today by dropping high-profile teasers. First, Disney+ dropped the first teaser for Obi-Wan Kenobi, the latest spinoff series in the Star Wars universe. Not to be outdone, Paramount+ has introduced the first teaser for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, the latest spinoff series in the Star Trek franchise that serves as a prequel to The Original Series.
As we’ve reported previously, one of the highlights of Star Trek: Discovery‘s second season was the appearance of classic Original Series (TOS) characters Capt. Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Number One (Rebecca Romijn), and Spock (Ethan Peck). The actors reprise their roles in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, created by Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman, and Jenny Lumet. Set in the decade before TOS, Pike and his crew will navigate the USS Enterprise through the galaxy, exploring new worlds along the way.
The show’s executive producers and key cast members were on hand last month for a virtual panel discussion as part of the 2022 Winter Television Critics Association (TCA) meeting. In addition to unveiling the poster art, Goldsman confirmed that Strange New Worlds will return to the episodic structure of classic Star Trek—making it a rare beast in this era of serialized storytelling and streaming platforms—and will respect existing canon.
In addition to Mount, Romijn, and Peck, Babs Olusanmokun plays Dr. M’Benga; Celia Rose Gooding has the unenviable task of filling Nichelle Nichols’ shoes as Cadet Nyota Uhura; Jess Bush plays Nurse Christine Chapel; Melissa Navai plays Lt. Erica Ortegas; Bruce Orak plays an Aenar named Hemmer who is blind in one eye (Aenar are an albino subspecies of Andorians that are generally depicted as blind); and Christina Chong plays La’An Noonien-Singh. The latter character is apparently related to the classic revenge-obsessed Star Trek villain Khan, according to Goldsman, although we have no specifics yet on what that connection might be.
This new teaser opens on a ranch in winter, with a bearded Pike on horseback, presumably in retirement. (This is consistent with the TOS episode “The Cage,” where we first meet Pike as he is debating retiring from Starfleet.) Then a small spacecraft zooms past as we hear a voice calling Pike back to action.
Several tantalizing scenes of the titular strange new worlds flash by as we hear Romijn’s Number One (who now has a name: Una Chin-Riley) in a voiceover: “No matter how many stars there are in the sky; no matter how many galaxies swirl beyond our own; no matter what the mathematical probabilities or the number of times we say ‘We are not alone in the universe’; our first visit from the stars is always the province of children’s stories and science fiction—until one day it isn’t.” We’re excited to see more.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debuts on Paramount+ on May 5, 2022.
Listing image by YouTube/Paramount+