Analysis: First ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Character Promos Reveal More Aliens And Enterprise

Tuesday’s Star Trek: Strange New Worlds promos introduced Cadet Uhura and Lt. La’an, but both also revealed more about the show. As we wait for more promos we will do our traditional deep-dive analysis on the first two to get a closer look at the highly anticipated series.


Launching the Enterprise

The Uhura promo starts out with a beauty shot of the USS Enterprise exiting a space facility with multiple drydocks.

CLOSER LOOK: The ship in the dock directly behind the Enterprise is very likely a Shepard class starship being worked on, even though from a distance it looks a bit like the 22nd-century NX series.

The USS Gagarin – a Shepard class ship

Captain Pike walks onto the bridge and says “welcome aboard, everyone.” New character Lt. Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia) can be seen on the right side of the forward console with security chief La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) appearing to be walking behind Pike.

CLOSER LOOK: As we’ve noted before, the bridge set has been rebuilt since it was seen in Discovery season 2 (and related Short Treks). The extra walkway behind the bridge has been removed, and with it the turbolift alcove has been moved slightly and redesigned. The bridge lighting has been changed to a warmer yellow tone, in Discovery it was much bluer.

The bridge as seen in Discovery season 2.

The helm controls are shown up close.

And the Enterprise goes to warp

Hello, Uhura

Pike turns to Uhura and says: “Cadet Uhura, very happy to have you aboard.”

Uhura (wearing the Operations badge of a year four Starfleet Academy cadet) replies: “Glad to be here.”

CLOSER LOOK: Uhura is using an updated version of the classic Star Trek communications earpiece as worn by original Uhura actress Nichelle Nichols.

Making the cut

The cadet walks the Enterprise corridors in her duty uniform. We hear Pike in voice-over saying, “Cadets need to be pretty impressive to make the cut.”

Uhura, still in her cadet uniform, is welcomed to the Enterprise. Emphasizing expertise in communications, Pike says, “I hear you speak twelve languages.”

Uhura replies, “Actually, thirty-seven,” which gets a “wow” from the captain. This scene may be Pike’s quarters. We were told by the showrunners last year that Pike likes to cook for his crew, and we certainly see what looks like a kitchen behind her.

Later we see Spock say to Uhura: “Starfleet would be fortunate to have an officer like you.”

Talk to the alien

A landing party confronts an unknown alien holding a weapon.

As the alien speaks Pike asks, “What’s he saying?” and La’an replies, “the universal translator isn’t processing it. Uhura, do something.”

As the alien looks at the team quizzically, Uhura replies, “That’s not how linguistics works.”

CLOSER LOOK: They are using the same phaser rifle used on Star Trek: Discovery in seasons 1-3.

Alien worlds

The Enterprise approaches a world with an ominous storm in space hanging over it.

On an icy planet, the Enterprise or another Constitution-class ship has crashed.

Onboard adventures

Uhura (left) and an unknown officer enter what appears to be the Enterprise shuttle or cargo bay, wearing EV suits with tethers. The containers in this scene use the various cargo symbols invented for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

An attack

A quick shot shows what could be a small ship attached via an airlock bridge under attack.

Still searching

Cadet Uhura walks onto the bridge and takes her station as we hear her in voice-over saying, “Who knows where I will end up? I guess I’m still searching.”


Hello, La’an

For this promo La’an introduces herself to Pike as he enters the bridge, saying: “Captain Pike. Lt. La’an Noonien Singh. Chief of Security.”

Enterprise heads out again

We again see Pike greeting the crew, with a tiny bit more dialogue this time, saying, “Welcome back and welcome aboard everyone.”

There are a few quick cuts of the Enterprise, including a shot in orbit of a ringed planet.

And a shot near another planet as the ship warps off.

A survivor

As La’an looks through a triangular window into space we hear her in voice-over talk about her past, saying, “When I was a kid, I was the only one to survive…”

A young La’an in a jacket with a mission patch.

La’an’s young hand reaches out to another.

With Spock

La’an and Spock navigate a treacherous-looking asteroid field in the show’s version of a Class-F shuttlecraft.

We pick up on La’an’s story as she tells Spock “I know what it feels like to be alone” as he turns to her with raised eyebrow.

Spock melds with her and experiences what she sees.

A bit later, Spock speaks to La’an in a different environment (possibly within the meld), saying “You are?”

She replies with “Scared.”

Landing party

La’an and a landing party on an unknown icy planet or moon, likely the same one with the crashed ship from the Uhura promo.

La’an leads the way entering a ship, possibly the same crashed ship.

Fight in Engineering

For some reason, Number One (Rebecca Romijn) and La’an get into a fight in what is almost certainly engineering on the USS Enterprise.

CLOSER LOOK: Since it’s almost certainly engineering, let’s a take look at what we’ve seen before. There was a quickly made nearly 100% CGI view of a massive version of Enterprise engineering with a vertical warp core for the Short Treks episode “Ask Not.”

This new engineering set looks to have a bit of influence from TOS in general angled shape of the warp core behind Number One and La’an, and in fact, it seems to be a horizontal warp core, which was the case in TOS.

Also, some of the gangways and machinery look inspired by real-life equipment, like those found at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which was used for the outside of the warp core in Star Trek Into Darkness.


La’an with others in front of the golden orb first seen briefly in the teaser trailer. In voice-over, we hear her say, “I can’t just keep running…”

Possibly on an undercover mission to the Renaissance-era planet seen in the teaser trailer, La’an watches as someone waves an object over her.

More action

A quick shot shows some small craft racing across an accretion disk

La’an winces as the ship gets rocked.

Who La’an is

At attention and speaking to Captain Pike, La’an concludes, “… that’s just who I am.”

Promo ends with one more defiant shot of Lt. La’an Noonien Singh.

More to come…

It’s likely Paramount+ has more character promos coming and we will continue report on them as they arrive, and do more analysis as well.

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.

And in case you missed it, catch the previously release teaser trailer.

[International fans can watch at]

Find more news and analysis for Strange New Worlds.

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i like the crisper look of the bridge from Discovery but maybe thats just the promo video

I’m very happy with the direction they took with the bridge, trying to match it a bit more with the original series layout and mood. Really interested in see what they do with the La’an character. And by god…LOOK AT THAT SHIP! The Enterprise looks SO GOOD in my opinion. Nice little blend of Original Series and TMP refit.

As with all Secret Hideout productions, the visuals are lovely, and obviously the budget for this and the other live action shows is generous. I’m not a fan of the space sfx, but that’s a personal preference (although the PIC space shots seem better to me this season than last, somehow).

All I can say is that I’m going in to SNW with an open mind, and I truly hope the writing is TOP-NOTCH. If it’s not, it doesn’t matter how good the show ‘looks’ or who is cast in it. Cheers.

“If it’s not, it doesn’t matter how good the show ‘looks’ or who is cast in it.”

I couldn’t agree less. The look and feel of the show, the cast, designs, sounds, score… all of that is a GAZILLION times more important to me than the “writing”… Maybe that me being an Asperger who is a lot more into things, forms an shapes than into characters. Interesting stories are the extra icing on the cake but I cannot help but feel a lot more concerned with how this show looks, sounds and feels.

I’m sorry that I don’t share your priorities. But that just how I feel. That’s what makes TNG S1+2 more interesting to me than DS9, that’s what why I love TMP so much… It’s the looks, the sound tapestry, the overall designs being different from what became standard later on…

But of course I hope you Human folks will be happy with the character development and writing in general. It’s just not my priority. Sorry… That’s why I’m easy to forgive writing issues on DSC and PIC’s earlier seasons but not those ugly moments of gore.

Writing serves one goal for me: the plots paving the way for characters to encounter cool aliens, strange new worlds and otherworldly realms, from TOS cardboard planets to DSC’s Species 10-C… They are a means to an end for me… What really matters is the strange encounter itself, the audio-visual experience beyond ur reality… I know this sounds strange to most people but it’s how my mind works…

I can appreciate that, Garth. Thanks for the alternate view! LLAP.

@Danpaine: Thanks. Just because our tastes and preferences disagree doesn’t mean we cannot appreciate different attitudes and priorities.

I know that I’m different and thsu I have no problem accepting or even expecting different attitudes with other folks. On the contrary, it would be quite strange to expect others to feel like I do. But I know now why I feel this way that I’ve always felt and I enjoy being different a lot. But of course I understand why other people have different priorities. They are just not my cup of tea…

So in a nutshell , your the type of person that *does* judge a book by its cover. Pictures in the book being more important than the words.Or am I misinterpreting?

@fpp: Not the cover alone. But yeah, movies and TV shows are largely moving picture books for my inner eye, every “page” of it. I never particularly liked fictional reading very much. For decades I had no idea why that was the case. But it is most likely part due to my condition. I do indeed lack the ability to transform texts into empathy for fictional characters. I read a lot of non-fictional stuff but novels etc. I cannot fully appreciate. It’s just words that must be transformed into imagery first. But even then, the designs, sets, scores, costumes, SFX etc. are my center of attention.
That’s how it works for me and there is nothing I could do about that. It’s part of my mental set-up, my special condition as a high fuctional autist. Yeah; I guess that’s just the type of person I am. And unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about it. My apologies for being myself…

The look and feel of the show, the cast, designs, sounds, score… all of that is a GAZILLION times more important to me than the “writing”. Thanks for that. Now I’ll know to skip over every comment you write going forward.

@Anthony Thompson: Not a very nice reply but yeah, feel free to do so. I’m just giving my take on this. It’s my taste, priorities and preferences and yeah, for me watching movies is a mere audiovisual experience. Why should I feel bad about that?
Being what I am, I simply lack the empathy to fully appreciate character development and the focus on character-driven stories. All I want is to be taken “out there”, diving into the audiovisual miracles of movie making. Do I have to apologize for having an autistic personality that cannot appreciate character-driven storytelling to the same extend as “normal” people can? I don’t think so.

You folks (Anthony P. and every editor / contributor to this site) likely don’t receive enough thanks and appreciation for what you do here. This was an outstanding presentation and I’ll look forward to your further coverage of SNW. THANK YOU all!

Totally agree. Tony, Laurie and the team do a brilliant job breaking down and presenting all this stuff for us and it’s hugely appreciated by me and I’m sure many, many others.


Thanks for the breakdown.

This show looks absolutely stunning and I greatly admire the imaginations at work who have created gorgeous alien landscapes and Enterprise set designs.

Come on Paramount+. Please get the finger out and launch your service in the UK before all this goodness is broadcast.

Anyone else notice the retro multi-colored plastic buttons on the bridge station panels? Nice throw back to TOS.

Glad to see a much better human factors engineering update on the earpiece. The original earpiece was frankly dangerous to wear — you could several f up your ear and maybe brain if you got bumped into or fell while wearing the original version.

I don’t get why they wanted to blandify the bridge with the only red colors. Hopefully that is red alert and not then TNGifying their awesome Discovery set. I don’t know if they ever watched TOS, but the bridge screamed colors and displays that it wasn’t them just looking at a person sitting in front of a door.
Love that motion picture shot of the Enterprise passing over above. Screams ST III with Enterprise approaching Genesis and the classic theme.

Wow really looks amazing! This is exactly what I wanted to see for this show. I still don’t get why the ship interiors (and definitely the bridge) are so much bigger than the classic shows but not a huge complaint. And unlike Discovery where there is just so much space between everything on that bridge, they really use the space well here.

As I’ve been watching these clips I couldn’t help but wonder what the ships interiors would have looked like had the Picard Season 2 production team worked on SNW. The intent of Season 2 was to ensure visual continuity from the TNG era and I suspect that they would have presented an Enterprise with an updated visual aesthetic that would have been immediately recognizable as the Enterprise but with a modern sensibility.

For all intents and purposes, TOS era has been overwritten with numerous elements revisited or reimagined in Discovery and now Strange New Worlds.

Well at least the engineering isn’t a brewery.

Lol true!

JJ didn’t have enough bucks in his $100 million+ budget to pay for an Engineering set.

I LOOOOVE the new bridge. It just looks right. I liked the former version of it too (surprised they rebuilt it) but the former version looked very….Discovery. The view screen was all wrong and it was too big. This finally looks and feels like Star Trek. I’m very satisfied with the direction Star Trek has been taking on television.

Pike’s hair has gone full Elvis in that kitchen photo ;)

Jokes aside, SNW looks really interesting so far. I’d been wary of whatever they’re planning to do with La’an, but I’ll admit I’m definitely intrigued about her backstory now. SNW seems to be taking a very different approach to PIC; I haven’t seen PIC Season 2 yet because I intend to binge-watch the whole thing, so I’ve generally avoided Trekmovie articles about it (no spoilers please, folks!), but I did read the recent article discussing how PIC’s showrunners have avoided mentioning the Eugenics Wars in PIC because of the obvious divergence from our real-life timeline. However, with La’an, SNW appears to be tackling the subject head-on, so it’ll be interesting to see how they explain things.

I noticed some commenters on the other La’an thread seem surprised/confused about the notion of La’an using the full name Noonien Singh, obviously declaring some strong connection with Khan. Something to bear in mind is that there was an entire scene in TOS’s “Space Seed” where Kirk, Scotty and McCoy made it clear that humans in this era regard Khan as a controversial historical figure but not necessarily a villain, and there are even aspects of Khan that they actually admire. In that sense, an accurate real-life equivalent is Julius Caesar, who elicits a similar “mixed feelings” reaction in many people and whose modern-day descendants (if they existed) wouldn’t necessarily have any reservations about using the surname “Caesar”.

As for La’an’s actual backstory, it’s obviously difficult to put it together purely from the trailers, but as always it’s fun to speculate. Maybe she really is a blood relative of Khan, either immediate family or a direct descendent. Maybe she’s not from the 23rd century but from Khan’s time, either an actual family member or someone genetically engineered who was given the name “Noonien Singh” to indicate she’s from the same batch/group as Khan. Maybe the shots of a “young La’an with a mission patch” along with her comments about being “alone”, “scared” and “running” indicate she was accidentally left behind while trying to flee on the Botany Bay, was put into cryogenic stasis, and was discovered/rescued in the 23rd century by whoever is reaching out that hand to her. Who knows? *shrugs and grins*

Isn’t being named “La’an Noonien Singh” basically the equivalent of being named “Josephina Stalin”?

It’s likely all about the burden of the name. As far as history was concerned, Khan and his followers were believed killed, not escapees on one of Earth’s most advanced ships. Khan was the bad egg that tarnished the family name.