Analysis: Captain Pike Returns To The Enterprise In ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Teaser Trailer

Earlier this week Paramount+ finally released the first teaser trailer for the highly anticipated series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. This was certainly a “teaser” and short, but it still tells a story about the show. Today we take a closer look and offer up some speculation.

Bringing Pike Back

The trailer opens on a snowy with windmills, along with a ranch home and stables as we hear subtle Star Trek musical cues and the sound of a communicator chirp.

The chirping communicator sits unanswered along with some antiques, including an old rotary phone and mortar and pestle. All of this evokes someone living off the grid.

CLOSER LOOK: The communicator is an update of the standard Starfleet communicator used on Star Trek: The Original Series. The new design appears a bit thinner, with a more solid flip cover.

We actually got a glimpse of this new interpretation of the classic communicator in Discovery season 4 “The Galactic Barrier.”

A bearded Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) inside the ranch home stares off.

Cut to Pike riding a horse in the snow, with the voiceover (presumably a Starfleet Admiral):

Chris, I need you back, captain.

It was established in the Star Trek pilot “The Cage” that Pike owned and rode horses. Pike was born in Mojave and had a vision of Mojave with his horses Tango and Mary Lou in “The Cage,” although the snowy environment is almost certainly another location. The teaser poster released revealed in February was more evocative of the Mojave desert.

Strange New Worlds poster

SPECULATION: We know season one of Strange New Worlds takes place in 2259. It’s possible the bearded Pike could be a flashback to before he took command of the USS Enterprise in 2250, or possibly in the time between “The Cage” (2254) and season two of Star Trek: Discovery (2258). During “The Cage” Pike expressed his doubts about staying in Starfleet after a mission on Rigel VII had gone badly, and he lost members of his crew. Pike was last seen in command of the USS Enterprise in the season two finale of Star Trek: Discovery. There was a four-month gap between that final scene onboard the Enterprise and the battle with Control, so it’s possible he stepped away from his command during this period after his debriefing with Starfleet Command. Or he could have stepped away sometime after that final scene.

Shortly before the battle with Control, Pike received a vision via a time crystal of his eventual fate, which will relegate him to a mobility chair, only able to speak via beeps. The knowledge of this fate could have sent him into seclusion. It’s unclear why Starfleet would call him out of retirement, but producers have said that even though the show is episodic and have a “planet of the week” format, there is a larger serialized arc that will also be part of season one.

Back to the trailer, a Starfleet shuttle breaks the tranquility of the snowy scene.

CLOSER LOOK: The Shuttle appears to be an updated design of the Class-F Shuttle from Star Trek: The Original Series (and TOS-Remastered). The biggest change is relocating the main door to the rear.

Strange worlds

The rest of the trailer is narrated by Pike’s “Number One,” Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn). As she speaks, we see a montage of alien vistas, starting with a cloudy alien cityscape. Una starts…

No matter how many stars there are in the sky…

A space storm approaches a planet, as Number One continues…

… not matter how many galaxies swirl…

Spock comes in

Cut to a planet that appears to be Vulcan, with a Vulcan city, as Number One continues…

… beyond our own.

We now see Spock (Ethan Peck) shirtless, looking at the Vulcan city (likely his home city of ShiKahr) as the narration continues…

… no matter what the mathematical probabilities or the number of times we say, ‘We are not alone in the universe.’

Landing party

A landing party beams down to a barren world wearing environmental suits. The voiceover continues…

… Our first visit from the stars…

CLOSER LOOK: The transporter effect used for the USS Enterprise from Discovery season two and Short Treks has been modified to be less bright and more detailed.

The landing party includes Spock and La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) and two others.

CLOSER LOOK: The EV suits are a slightly modified version of the Starfleet EV suits used in season two of Discovery.

The landing party approaches an alien structure.

The Child

Another alien location with a regal child waving at a crowd in what could be palace gardens. The voiceover continues…

 … is always the province of children’s stories…

CLOSER LOOK: It appears that Captain Pike is under the canopy on the right, standing next to a woman in a red dress.

SPECULATION: The style of the clothes in this scene could indicate this is a flashback to the events on that fateful mission to Rigel VII, which was seen in an illusion in “The Cage.”

Gloved hands hold a paper cutout of the USS Enterprise as the voiceover continues…

… is always the province of children’s stories and science fiction…

Pike boards the Enterprise

Fade to the USS Enterprise at warp, with voiceover continuing…

…until one day…


And as we see Captain Pike’s reflection in an observation window the voiceover concludes…

… it isn’t.

Captain Pike stares out at the stars with a smile, then turns to get to work.

Strange New Worlds coming this May

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debuts on May 5th, streaming exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, Australia and the Nordics. The series will air on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and stream on Crave in Canada, with additional international availability to be announced at a later date.

You can watch the trailer below.

[International fans can watch at]

Find more news and analysis for Strange New Worlds.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Looks beautiful! Hope the storytelling is as compelling here as it is on Discovery.

I hope the story telling bears no resemblance to Discovery whatsoever personally,

Fresh slate

Amen to that, DM

That’s our only hope (honestly, not as a SW joke-reference.)

Not really related to the above, but I still can’t get over how modern VFX seem less detailed and saturated than decades-old predecessors (current warp effect vs original SW, for example.)

Often times the vfx in trailers are not finalized but in an unfinished state. Budget and time are also often the reasons for bad vfx.
I’m also a very critical person when it comes to that but I personally found the vfx in this trailer looking great already.

Agreed. I’ve given Discovery 3 1/2 seasons. Pike & his crew was the highlight of Discovery and I’m looking forward to SNW.

I do too. I think it will be. More Trek to watch than ever but the haters still hate. Mainly because today’s Trek doesn’t conform to their “expert” opinion of what Trek should be. What? Cardboard sets and lousy acting? Me? I’m enjoying the ride for as long as it lasts.

I love Lower decks, am enjoying Picard and Prodigy, have enjoyed pieces of Discovery, and am looking forward to whatever other Trek they will put out (other than the proposed Section 31 show which seems antithetical to Trek, especially as written in DIS S2), so I wouldn’t consider myself in any way a hater. That said, I too hope the storytelling in SNW is nothing like the rather boring, unsubtle, and uninspiring approach of DIS.

Agreed! The more stuff they churn out to flush the old chintzy 60s and syndicated crap out of the zeitgeist, the better. Hopefully, the gambit pays off and they can add in a lot more younger fans to sustain the IP for another 55 years.

Oh boy.

You haven’t even managed to flush the chintzy 60s crap out of your screen name; your argument is invalid.

Good point! Tiberius is a hypocrite (or maybe just a troll who enjoys stirring the pot). at any rate I’ll always choose chintzy sets + great writing over great sets + poor writing any day!

“as compelling here as it is on Discovery”

I’m not a Disco basher at all but I am looking forward to something a little more traditional… individual episodes and less emotionally topsy-turvey characters that don’t need scream therapy before embracing the unknown…

Yea, indeed 😂 Hopefully not a wet eye to see every second scene

Yes the constant need for therapy and discussion about feelings is very over the top on Disco. I am hoping to see a return to a more professional Starfleet crew with SNW.

SNW is hopefully intelligent…Discovery is high school kid going through puberty

Ok this made me laugh! 😀

Please, not like discovery, please.

What`s wrong with Discovery, I loved it!

With all the timeline changes, an incredible ending would be Pike retiring comfortably and safe at the end of the series and NOT burned and crippled. Yes, Pike’s fate is canon and central to “The Menagerie” but there is NO reason it cannot be changed to give the series a nice run AND a happy ending for Pike. Just my two cents.

Picard has opened up a possible route to tweaking the established timeline. Maybe when the reset comes at the end of the story, not everything will be quite as it was.

I would enjoy that very much, I really like when things have an in universe explanation. I liked it when Enterprise explored the Klingons new TMP look. Part of my troubles with Disco was the visual reboot, if it had some kind of explanation I would be thrilled.

I always took the ending of “The Menagerie” to be a happy ending for Pike.

If you believe that Pike and Vina are in love, they’ll live the rest of their lives together in whatever illusion the Talosians can create for them. All things considered, it’s not the worst fate.

Yep, and that was the whole point of the story of The Menagerie. I don’t really understand people wanting a change to Pike’s fate, just enjoy the ride.

Agreed. Hopefully, this re-pilot of Star Trek actually reformats the entire concept so that the 21st century fans finally have a Trek to call their own and we don’t have to deal with the old, pointless drivel from the 60s-90s.

Without that ‘drivel’ what would you be watching today? I’d hope it might actually be good science fiction, like UPLOAD, but honestly, looking at the content of your post, that would be seriously unlikely.

Why don’t you ’21st century fans’ come up with their own premise for a new SF space series, that way you won’t have to be bogged down by past ‘drivel’ like CITY ON THE EDGE and THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE and THE EMPATH and THE VISITOR and PAST TENSE and FAR BEYOND THE STARS?

It sounds like you want a reboot. That’s clearly not happening. If anything the Kelvin movies and first season Discovery shows that fans don’t want the concept re-invented, they want it to feel as much as the old shows as possible.

The people making the shows seem locked into redoing the old shows but in a way they feel is better and more modern (while taking the time to sprinkle in enough Easter Eggs and context-less references to keep older fans engaged). Hard to argue with that thinking, since the JJ+ era has been more financially successful and culturally relevant than at any other point in Trek history.

Maybe reinvention is too harsh a word — reinterpretation of it feels more true to what’s going on with the newer shows. The Trek concept is no longer drafting off the space race and Kennedy era nor even the “end of history” 90s, and so reinterpreting the Trek concept for this post-modern / digital identity / whatever you want to call this age is simply the right call on their part, especially if they’re never going to stop reiterating the brand in new forms (S31, Starfleet Academy, etc. etc.)

Actually I don’t really believe the Kelvin movies have been that financially successful since the first two films just made a minor profit at the BO and Beyond was a failure. It doesn’t mean they didn’t go on to make a lot of money in home distribution. I’m not trying to put them down, they did fine overall, but there is a reason why it’s taking so long for another film to even happen. You don’t see the people at Marvel taking five years to get another film off the ground.

As for the rest of your post, I agree, but same time, this is what Star Trek has ALWAYS done. The TOS films was really nothing like the show. It kept the spirit of the show obviously but the movies were a reinvention from it in many ways (the 60s look and feel was completely gone) and it was with the same cast and makers of the original show. When TNG came on the air, it was even a further interpretation from TOS. The elements were the same, Starfleet officers exploring on an Enterprise, but the tone, setting, look and vibe was completely different from TOS. Picard didn’t get into weekly fist fights with aliens and get his shirt ripped off several times a season And that’s because it was 20 years later, it had to be reinvented for the current audience and it worked. Then DS9 came along and did it again.

So you’re not wrong. but this has been happening for decades already. That’s how Star Trek stays relevant. It can’t just do the same thing it did 20, 30, 40 years ago. Sure for us old fans, we’ll watch it lol. But for new fans you have to make it feel like it’s a show for today, so we agree. That’s not controversial, most long turn franchises changes and adapts. That’s how most stay relevant.

But those older shows are still very very relevant today, hence why three of the new shows are starring iconic characters of the old: Picard, Janeway and now Pike all have lead roles on them.

It can’t be as ‘pointless drivel’ as you called it if all the new shows are constantly taking both characters and past story lines from those to make the new shows. And as far as I can tell these shows still have a ways to go to win over fans like the old shows have. I would love to see how many would prefer Discovery and Picard over TOS and TNG today? Judging by how high TOS and TNG is rated compared to DIS and PIC I don’t think it’s even close which tells you how strong the appeal still is for those sows.

This Mudd seems to be like trolling so I don’t think we shouldn’t take anything they say seriously. I mean really “drivel”? Without that “drivel” you wouldn’t have Star Trek. Appreciate what has come before and appreciate what is going to come.

That’s a little bit gatekeeperish to essentially to define ’21st century fans’ a those that agree with you.

Tng fans have a star trek that they totally call their own star trek. But it is strongly influenced by (in your words: “old, pointless drivel”) tos nevertheless. ds9 totally has it’s own fans but is influenced by tng and their for also from tos. Voy has its fan base but is influenced by ds9, tng and tos. You can go on like that.
So if someone don’t want to have star trek spirit/ghost in a show or film I don’t get the point why someone is watching star trek. There are MANY, MANY other shows to watch out there that are as far away as you can get from “old, pointless drivel from 60’s – 90’s”.

I hope they go the legendary route – Pike knows he will end up burned and crippled, decides that is his lot and does it anyway.
Plus in the The Menagerie Pike ends up with a happy story (love, life, etc).

I just learned and saw today that the trailer they originally showed for the investor day event was completely different (and much better) than the ‘official’ trailer. I seen the images from another video, but it actually shows more varied scenes like shots of the other main characters, shots inside the Enterprise, actual dialogue, etc. The only similarity between the two trailers are the opening shots of Pike riding his horse and someone holding the cut out paper Enterprise. Everything else is completely different. I don’t know why we didn’t get that trailer? But maybe that will be the next one shown as the main one I guess.

I saw it in a breakdown video on Trekculture. I would link it here, but apparently there are copyright issues and all of that. But if people want to watch it, just go to YouTube and the Trekculture site there with their analysis of it. It’s only a day old so you can’t miss it.

Probably for the best that they put out something different from the investor day event, as Viacom’s stock price dropped 17% the day after it.

I felt this one really worked as a tone piece more than anything. It more or less packaged the point of Trek for general audience members who might still be unaware and it doesn’t get bogged down in characters or the extensive lore. Just a human story (as indicated by Pike getting the primary focus of this) about going into space.

I didn’t have an issue with this trailer either, but you can tell it didn’t really create the buzz some fans were hoping for, especially when compared to Obi Wan. But that said, I’m guessing most don’t need a trailer at this point to decide if they will watch it or not if they are a long time fan.

And I don’t think Paramount is really trying to push non-fans to see the show, it’s March and the marketing has been non-existent up until now outside of a poster. It’s really just to get the fans excited more than anything. SNW, like Picard, is really made with long term fans in mind.

Were can I see that trailer

You can’t. At least nowhere I know. It was part of the investor’s event last month where the trailer was shot. How Trekculture got a hold of it, no idea. My guess is it will be the next trailer when it is shown.

Where the trailer was shown, not shot. ;)

The snowy area may be Tehachapi, which is right up the hill from Mojave.

I was about to say the same, the Tehachapi mountains are close by Mojave. Happy coincidence that experimental avaiation companies have facilities in Mojave. Pretty sure there are windmills located nearby, as well.

Looks great. Just make the enterprise nacelle pylons straight and I’m happy.

Hello, Mat. I myself wish that Enterprise in Strange New Worlds would have been more similar to the one in “The Cage,” but with some minor changes/additions like in the Resurrected Starships video on what Enterprise should have looked like in Discovery. That would have been much better.

The truth is that there have been soooo many fan concepts imagining what an updated TOS design should have looked like than what Discovery ended up with (not that the Discoprise is awful, it’s just not the best update in my opinion).

I also would love to see something closer to the Resurrected Starships version on TV and, for the JJ movies, I feel like the design by artist MadKoiFish from a few years ago hits that nail on the head with a much better use of the design elements from the JJ movies mixed with the established TOS design.

I hope the speculation about Rigel VII is incorrect, another been-there-done-that pointless canon shoehorn. It’s like anytime modern Trek writers revisit a character, they have to include EVERYTHING associated with that character. Bringing back Pike in Disco? Great, let’s throw in the Talosians as well. Khan in Into Darkness? Guess we gotta add Carol Marcus too.

And on the subject of Khan, I still CRINGE at the thought that there’s a Noonien-Singh character on this show. Seriously, get over Khan already. After 300 years, would someone from the same family still even have the same last name, especially a hyphenated one? It’s like the writers are – wait for it – completely starved of creativity and only know how to cannibalize the past and regurgitate it into something that, like kmart said, looks worse and feels less authentic than the decades-old predecessors.

This show better be good, because there’s no denying that new Star Trek hasn’t resonated with modern audiences the way the old stuff did. Most of the online discourse I see [particularly memes] is about 90s Trek. Maybe SNW will be the show that finally catches on – or just another mediocre whiff filling out the all-over-the-map Kurtzman era.

So I guess we won’t be seeing the red-and-gold EV suits from TOS S1 The Naked Time – the ones made from shower curtain – any time soon :-)

Really looking forward to this. I’ve just about finished my complete series re-watch of TOS with just 2 more episodes to go; “All our Yesterdays” and “Turnabout Intruder”. I’ll be interested to see how they update the technology as portrayed in the TOS however based on the communicator, it looks like there staying pretty faithful which IMO is the way to go..

Hopefully much more faithful than Discovery did.

“All our yesterdays” could have become a real series-finale by ending with a cliffhanger or a real ending: The Enterprise can’t escape the exploding sun, so all members of the Enterprise have to escape through the time-portal. That would have end Star Trek forever. Or created a spin off which deals with time travel.
By the way: “Star Trek Continues” had a great ending.

I hope that Dr. Boyce left M’benga that nifty travel bar carry bag!