Rebecca Romijn Says There’s A Lot More Coming For Una’s Big Secret On ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’

[SPOILER WARNING]

Episode three of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (“Ghosts of Illyria) revealed that Una Chin-Riley (Number One) has been hiding a big secret. She isn’t human, but a genetically enhanced Illyrian. And being that genetic modification is banned in the Federation and Starfleet, her secret puts her at great risk. The episode ended with Pike allowing her to say on the ship and with her deleting a personal log discussing being an Illyrian. Now actress Rebecca Romijn and the show’s writers are talking more about what this means for the series.

Romijn on exploring Number One’s secret in season one… and two

As a guest on The Ready Room, Rebecca Romjin was asked how this big reveal will impact how the crew interacts with Number One and she revealed there is more to come with this storyline:

You’re going to see a lot more where that came from… It was such an interesting layer to add to this character who seems to be the most fastidious, meticulous, perfect first officer. And I believe that she hides this horrible deep secret by being as perfect as you can possibly be in the workplace… The layer of being an Illyrian and having to hide this shameful, shameful secret just felt like – oh, I just couldn’t wait. I was so excited when they first floated the idea to me. And you’re going to see that play out in a pretty intense way.

Romijn also explained why Una deleted her log at the end of the episode:

Becasue that is the one thing that could get her kicked out of Starfleet, and she just loves Starfleet. She’s so devoted to Starfleet. And when I say that she carries this deep shame it’s because she knows it’s against the Starfleet regulation to be an Illyrian and to be there. But Una’s not ashamed of being an Illyrian. I think Una’s very proud of being an Illyrian… I think it really tears her up. I think making the decision to delete that log was to protect herself.

Speaking to TrekMovie before the series premiered, Romijn talked about how this storyline will continue…

We learn a secret about her in episode three… And we were going to keep exploring that in a pretty major way throughout the season.

And speaking to TrekMovie again at the gold carpet premiere, Romijn revealed this Illyrian secret storyline will continue into season two:

Well, she’s got something that she’s hiding… So that will continue to be explored and sussed out… it opens up some bigger conversations going into season two and yeah, we’re just going continue to explore that side of her.

Rebecca Romijn as Una in “Ghosts of Illyria”

Writers talk consequences of Una’s secret

Co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers talked to TVLine about introducing this storyline and how it will define the character moving forward:

You’re treading into difficult waters anytime you add something to this. We try very hard to think about what the consequences of adding to them are, and then we just have to do it. At the end of the day, you have to tell the story… We knew that the episode would be a big Una episode, and we wanted to reveal something to the audience about her. It was a lot about defining who she is on this show and what kind of stories we can tell with her.

“Ghosts of Illyria” co-writer Akela Cooper was also a guest on The Ready Room, and she talked about how the writers see this storyline as fitting into Star Trek tradition:

We all come up with how Star Trek was supposed to be a utopia. Far in the future, everyone has worked out their differences. There’s a Russian on the crew, there’s a Black woman, there’s a Japanese man. Everyone gets along. That was the idea. But there was still, even in The Original Series, these instances of prejudice. And the show found unique and different ways to address what in the ’60s were current issues through a sci-fi lens. And we wanted to keep that tradition, most definitely. And so this was a way of not only exploring a great character like Una and building that out for the audience, but also exploring how prejudice hinders Starfleet and can work against it. Because they won’t even give them a chance, basically.

She also talked about what this reveals about the character Una, and outlined the possible consequences:

It does really go to show how Una, in her struggle is so devoted to Starfleet and dedicated to the ship and the crew that she stays and she saves everyone. And now she has this albatross around her neck, this secret that if it actually did get back to the admirals and Starfleet she could be court-martialed. She could be kicked out. And so she’s going to have to carry that. But she loves [Starfleet] so much, she risked that to be a part of it.

Rebecca Romijn as Una

New episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debut on Thursdays exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, Australia and the Nordics. The series airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave in Canada. In New Zealand, it is available on TVNZ, and in India on Voot SelectStrange New Worlds will arrive via Paramount+ in select countries in Europe when the service launches later this year, starting with the UK and Ireland in June.


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My wife and I are enjoying Strange New Worlds, so far, but I do hope the writers are right about the Una storyline and do something interesting with it that makes it feel different from the Bashir storyline, because my first thought when the reveal came was “oh, that’s it? So she’s just like Bashir.”

Several plot points felt lifted from familiar episodes. Keeping someone in the tranporter buffer (TNG Relics)… Una having secret superpowers (DS9 Bashir)… creatures living in the storm (TNG Power Play)… deleting the log confession (DS9 In the Pale Moonlight)… I did not hate this episode, but it felt plot point heavy. I’m not yet on board with M’Benga’s kid; how do you tell a child she’ll skip days/weeks at a time? Why no flash drive storage? Why can’t the transporter filters catch her disease, since we’re told (in this same episode) they can filter out viruses?

i think m’benga’s kid’s life threatening illness is genetic not viral from how he worded it

Transporters can’t work miracles. If you already had the medical issue before you used the transporter, you’re still gonna have it, i.e., Picard’s Irumodic Syndrome (and, well… male pattern baldness), whatever disease McCoy had in “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky” and whatever Sarek was suffering from in “Sarek” and “Unification“.

Yes, they can. If there were doctors and techs enough to figure out how to cure you, and then knew how to alter the pattern without bringing down the Jenga stack that is you, then, yes, you’d be fine.

As it is, transporters are eternal youth. Or even life.

Keep a DNA sample from a younger state and I can be de-aged at will (Pulaski, “Unnatural Selection”)

Keep a copy of my physical transporter pattern, say, from my 20s, and my mental pattern (my very being) can be integrated into that pattern and “Me” is restored. (Picard,”Lonely Among Us.”)

Go in for my weekly mind scan on Monday, my shuttle explodes on Wednesday, and then, in accordance with my insurance policy from Progressive, most recent mental pattern is integrated with my original physical template, and off I go to have my life.

Now, skipping any existential, metaphysical argument over whether or not that’s “really me” and whether or not I’m actually dead, this is an avenue for immortality that quite a few would take.

All thanks to the transporter.

The TNG episode Unnatural Selection has always been a huge anomaly that cannot be reconciled with the rest of canon. Obviously in 1988 there was not yet the writers’ obsession with Khan. Star trek isn’t capable of genetic or technological transhumanism. And clearly the transporter solution breaks the universe. Best to just accept there’s going to be a couple of episodes that just need to be ignored.

Keep a DNA sample from a younger state and I can be de-aged at will (Pulaski, “Unnatural Selection”)”

There was a huge issue with that ep. Namely it completely defies the notion that the person that dematerializes is the same person that rematerializes and the first didn’t die. Case and point, if you are going to replace the transporter pattern with previous DNA and such, the brain should have been reset to an earlier state as well and Pulaski shouldn’t have remembered a thing. She should have been the person the second she started brushing her hair the second it got caught in the brush.

I think I can handle the Bashir lie better because they went for quite some time before revealing it and while other characters had issues major deceits like that weren’t among them. And in this episode the Dr also revealed something. It best it was too much too soon. At the very least they should have waited until were sere some 30-40 episodes in. Let us get to know her better so when this betrayal is revealed the audience feels it more.

Ideally, it would be like that but I feel like with streaming shows, its all about the reveals and twists. I also feel like there is less certainty these days with shows, there is more short term than long term planning.

If that is they case they are cutting their own nose off despite their face. Doing this now was hardly a “wow” moment. It was more of a facepalm moment. Would have had a much greater impact further down the road. But I guess the producers are just way too impatient to savor anything.

Waiting for 30 or 40 episodes would mean it happens in season 3 or 4. We no longer have the luxury of 24 episodes a season to play around. For better or worse, current streaming dictates a fairly brisk pace for things to happen.

No, it wasn’t a case of “they went for quite some time before revealing it.” They came up with something they thought was an interesting story idea, and retconned the entire series up until that point to accommodate it.

Season 5 was quite some time. This may not have been an intent when the character was created but waiting that long to do it worked better. As far as I know nothing in the series was retconned to accommodate it.

No, the character was not created with the idea that he’d been genetically modified (I read the DS9 Writer’s Guide when the show first came out, which doesn’t mention it at all). So the producers did not “wait” to do anything; someone came up with an interesting idea for a story in the show’s fifth year and they went for it, which had the effect of retroactively altering Bashir’s entire backstory. Which is the very definition of “retcon,” sorry.

As to whether such a character reveal is more effective from the get-go or has greater impact if it’s introduced later on as a surprise is pretty much a matter of taste, and I can see good arguments for either approach. As always, it mostly boils down to execution, and in fact I rather liked the way the issue was addressed in both episodes.

I hope you are agreeing with me that the character was not created with the plan to later say he was genetically enhanced. The way it is written it reads like it could be taken either way. When I say “waiting” I think it obvious it meant that it took 5 seasons for it to happen. At which point the audience has come to know Bashir fairly well and such a reveal has become a bit of a shock. (If it didn’t work for someone it is likely that someone by that point was not very attached to the Bashir character to begin with.) And as I said it didn’t retroactively alter his backstory at all. In fact, it enhanced it. It explained how he was so very smart and good at darts and all those other things he did much better than average. Nothing was retconned when this was done. Unlike certain shows made by Secret Hideout.

And such a move is less a matter of taste than it is that the better you know someone the greater an impact a major reveal is going to have. This is true of real people you know as well as fictitious ones the audience may get somewhat attached to.

I am more of a casual Star Trek viewer. I have seen all of TNG, all movies and all the new Trek but I haven’t seen DS9 (got bored after the first few episodes back when it aired. I know, I should try again)

So, I don’t know how they handled the Bashir thing. But doesn’t Starfleet do any medical checkups when someone enlists?? That seems really weird to me that nobody ever found out about that. They should get checked periodically, even if she’s never sick.

And no engineer made sure that all transporters were updated and ready to go before the ship left the dock?? Starfleet seems to be kind of careless. lol

I do like the show so far. It’s not perfect but waaaaayyyyyy better than Discovery and Picard (but not as good as Lower Decks and Prodigy…so far). Still, I wish they would think a bit more when introducing a plot point. Or maybe they did and I just didn’t see the explanations.

With Bashir, he was engineered to be smarter. I gathered from the show that Bashir wasn’t smarter than the smartest humans, just in the top group alongside the other smart humans. It would not have been something that automatically showed up on a regular checkup. His parents wanted him to be in the top of his class, not in a whole new class of human.

Una should definitely be a different case.

With Bashir, he was engineered to be smarter.

It was a lot more than that. From Memory Alpha, based on dialogue from the various DS9 episodes when Bashir’s genetically engineered enhancements were explained:

“The focus of his “enhancements” were to increase his mental abilities and as such, his IQ jumped five points a day for over two weeks. Further treatments led to improvements in his hand-eye coordination, reflexes, vision, stamina, height, and weight.”

“Due to his genetic enhancements Julian, in many ways, possessed a superior physiology to other Humans. His intellect was the most obvious example of this, as he was able to perform complex computations faster than a computer, and his total recall was almost absolute.”

“His hand-eye coordination was greatly enhanced to the point where he could hit the smallest part of a dart board with ease at over eight feet, his hearing was also enhanced beyond that of a normal Human, and his strength and reflexes were at least on far with a Vulcan’s. In 2375, Koval found that as an apparent result of Bashir’s enhanced parietal cortex, his brain’s neurocellular structure was not susceptible to Romulan mind probes. He also had limited control of his vital signs, although he lost control if significantly weakened.”

So basically, Julian Bashir = Jason Bourne ;)

I guess I need to go back and watch the show again, because I don’t remember half of that stuff.

In the very first TOS episode, The Corbomite Maneuver, Kirk was shown going through his annual physical checkup, so yeah I would think these kind of things would have been caught. SNW has been ok so far I’ve just had to ignore how retconned the Enterprise is. I don’t mind a modern take on the original ship but holy cow. Lower Decks is my favorite of the current crop of shows.

Corbomite Manuver is NOT the “very” first episode, in production or broadcast.

Not sure if you are just nitpicking but Corbomite Maneuver was the first regular episode shot AFTER the 2nd pilot. Which is what I think Dr Zaius was getting at.

DS9 becomes a very different show from the end of the 3rd season onwards (whenever Worf showed up). Until then I don’t think they had a clear idea what to do with the idea – the first few episodes in particular are all over the place. With a handful of exceptions they have little bearing on the rest.

So it’s definitely worth trying again, and even skipping the early episodes in many cases.

the dominion gave the show focus by s3

Yeah pretty much all Berman era shows get their focus by season 3.

TNG S3 end was Borg
DS9 was the Dominion
VOY was bye Kes, hello Seven
ENT was the Xindi story arc

season 1, 2 are trying to set up characters and the show really cooks with eps like ‘progress’, ‘duet’, ‘in hands/prophets’ and then later eps like the ‘circle’ trilogy, ‘necessary evil’ and ‘the maquis’

That’s only a handful of episode’s. The early seasons of DS 9 are quite poor. It took a very long time for the show to find it’s feet. Only by introducing the Defiant in season 3 the show finally took shape, that is making it more a traditional ship based series. I reckon that move saved the show from being cancelled.

Lol, no way. After a slightly uneven, but largely positive season one, season two kicked off with the Kira-Cardassians three-part episode, after which the series never looked back after that point, being typically outstanding in quality for the remainder of it’s run.

DS9 hands-down gives us the most dependable series of high-quality eps from any series in Star Trek history. They’re only about 7 or 8 duds I can name for the entire run. Nothing else in the Berman era came close to that level of quality. It’s equal to the first two seasons of TOS in terms of general episode quality.

I wondered how she could pass medical tests too. Maybe the genetic enhancements actually made her human? The Illyrians from Enterprise looked different. They had bumpy foreheads. So maybe for all practical purposes she is now human and thus can pass medical scans?

Bashir purposely missed one question on his medical exam so as not to get a perfect score. He also was great at that raquetball type game he played with O’Brien and purposely missed shots so Miles would occasionally score a point. So yeah he was basically a super human of some sort who had to try to hide his abilities to fit in with regular humans.. it was said before the enhancements that Bashir really was behind mentally and physically and would have had a hard time leading any sort of normal life. That’s why his parents had the enhancements done to him.

Yeah… This was a really bad creative decision. I am now way less interested in #1 than I was before. And I’m still not really following the prejudice against her except where she lied on whatever forms she needed to fill out to enter Star Fleet and lied to whoever gave her an interview. Last I checked it was perfectly normal to be suspicious against people take part in life altering lies like that.

And why did they think they needed this “reveal” about her? What purpose does it serve? Does it make her more interesting? No. Does it move her character forward? No. Does it explain her motivations? No. This “reveal” does nothing to enhance anything about her or the show.

I think it’s a bit unfair to conclude that when we have seen nothing of where they take the story next.

Perhaps. But the problem is the production company behind these new Trek shows had destroyed the advantage of giving them the benefit of the doubt. And I even gave this show some after the first episode. Then this 3rd episode went and did this silliness. Why? Well according to the article it was only because they wanted some sort of “reveal”. Not because they knew it was needed for where they were taking the show. Just because they wanted some thing to wow the audience with.

true but remember SNW is supposed to be episodic. I think its more fair than the other shows to say the conclusion of the ep is the conclusion for a while at least.

I think the purpose of this revelation might be for the long term. Remember after the Cage we don’t know what happens to number one on screen (I am sure there are some books out there which tell what happens, but I prefer the keep visual canon only) So basically in the long run it can be a way to explain number ones absence and why Doctor MBenga was “demoted” in TOS.

I have recently heard the theory that this very well could be what got M’Benga demoted later. And that actually works. Honestly it never occurred to me that he would do something himself that got him demoted.

Yeah, who’s being Prejudice against her besides L’aan? The Captain didn’t even bat and eye and was like, ok, so, whatever, I got you.

Two things stuck out to me from Akela Cooper’s quotes on here. The first is why would Una be forced out of Starfleet when La’an hasn’t? My second thought is will this lead to Una being runned out of Starfleet? Is this why we never heard anything about Una, post-Cage?

And what is this new law that the Federation/Starfleet has against the Illyrians? I had to look them up because I didn’t remember them and this species only showed up on one episode of Enterprise called Damage and that’s the episode where Archer rips off a warp drive from these aliens who refuse to help him repair his warp. So when did this Illyrian law come into place? And why is there even a law after only one encounter with them?

I’m left with a lot more questions than answers apparently 🙂. People are going to say that this story is reminiscent of Dr. Bashir but not really. Dr. Bashir was human, Una is not. She may look human but she’s clearly not human.

She’s an Illyrian and that makes the story different and fresh right there. Plus, every time they use genetic engineering now in Star Trek, it’s always going to feel similar to other stories because Star Trek has been on the air for 56 years and over 1,000-something hours of television now, so some stuff is gonna feel similar. These new shows are being written with newer fans in mind, fans who might know who Dr. Bashir is. To those fans, this will be new and exciting.

To the older fans, this will just be more of the same old same old. Me, I’m one of the old guard now since I’ve been a Trekkie since 1991. But I do admit I’m intrigued about this story because I want to know when exactly the Federation/Starfleet put a law into effect about the Illyrians and why? I like Una and I love Dr. Bashir as well.

But Una’s story is going to be bigger than Bashir’s ever was because she’s an alien pretending to be a human in Starfleet. Her story is going to be explored more than Dr. Bashir’s was because they want to tell a story about prejudice in Starfleet and they never went there with Dr.Bashir. Once his augmentation was revealed, it didn’t really change anything for Dr. Bashir. If anything, he was respected more and depended upon more after his secret was revealed.

I have a feeling that it’s not gonna be like that for Una. She’s probably being set up for some heavy stuff considering what her secret is and that’s why this story feels fresh to me and not just a retread. Live long and prosper, Trekmovie 🖖.

One question I have is if she’s not human, why hasn’t this shown up on a transporter or medical scan before now?

Is it just that she’s able to hide it using some biological trickery or is there some deeper connection between humans and Illyrians that means they are incredibly similar to us?

(or is it just going to be left as a plot hole?)

According to Memory Alpha, Illyrians can look very similar to humans, if they want to. Rebecca Romijn was quoted above saying that this story with Una is just getting started and that it’s going to make it’s way into season 2. I imagine they’ll explain stuff as they go, that would be my take on it anyways. Maybe she had her organs and stuff more closely aligned with humans because she knew she would be joining Starfleet so she wanted to make sure that she would pass their scans?

Live long and prosper, alastair87 🖖.

Re. La’an the fact that she’s descended from Khan doesn’t mean she has any enhancements.

Also if Khan lived round about now or maybe a little bit later, as has been implied, and had several children then by the 23rd century there’d be quite a few Khan descendants running about not all of whom would even know about it (not that the writers necessarily gave it that much thought).

I disagree about La’an. I think she does have genetic enhancements. That’s why in the SNW series premiere, she and Una shared a look in the elevator and Una personally recruited La’an herself and I believe Una knows that La’an is genetically engineered like her. But Una doesn’t know why she is or who she’s descended from.

They would not push La’an being a direct descendant of Khan in everybody’s faces if she wasn’t genetically engineered and if that wasn’t gonna come into play at some point. Plus, she was the lone survivor of a Gorn attack. Her crew and family all died, except for her. That’s because she used her enhancements to track down and hunt the Gorn all on her own.

You might think she’s not genetically engineered but I do. As for Khan having other descendants, that I’m unsure of. Women might’ve given birth to his children but they might’ve been hunted down or killed before they reached puberty by counter-intelligence agencies and Section 31. After the Eugenics Wars, I’m sure they came up with a way to detect the genetically enhanced from the non-genetically enhanced.

That’s why everytime we run into the Augments in Star Trek, it’s always off Earth. I’m sure they have detection systems in place on Earth so they don’t allow another Khan to rise up to power. Trust me, La’an being a descendant of Khan is a big deal and I’m pretty sure she lied on her application for admittance into Starfleet too, just like Una did. Since the show started, all anyone calls her is La’an, why do you suppose that is?

Nobody has called her by her last name, Singh? I wonder why🙂? Live long and prosper, alastair87 🖖.

I thought maybe it was simple misdirection – they wanted us to look at La’an for the genetic enhancement story (though having said that, without her we wouldn’t have been looking for it at all).

Good idea 👍! I didn’t look at it like that – as misdirection. I never thought of it like that. I just always assumed that because she’s a direct descendant of Khan’s, not a distant relative, that she has to have some type of enhancement going for her.

Plus, she took out that whole Gorn landing party on her own when she was a kid. A regular human girl would not be able to do that and that’s the other reason why I suspect she’s genetically engineered. But we’ll see how the story plays out, right? We’re only on episode 3.

But that was definitely a good idea 👍 about La’an being misdirection away from Una. Live long and prosper, alastair87 🖖.

why would Una be forced out of Starfleet when La’an hasn’t?

La’an isn’t genetically modified. She’s the the descendent of an Augment who lived three centuries prior. Very big difference there since there have been 300 years’ worth of her line’s genetic tampering having been bred out.

Do you have proof that it’s been bred out? I haven’t heard about her enhancements being watered down, where did you hear that? I’d like to see where you read that or heard that. Are you an expert on genetic engineering?

So who are you to say that her enhancements have been bred out of her because it’s been over 300+ years. She’s a direct descendant of Khan. She was the only survivor of a Gorn attack that killed all the crew on the ship she was on and her family. She used her enhancements to hunt down the Gorn.

One teenage kid can not take on a Gorn boarding party unless they had something inside of them to help them get an edge on the Gorn. They haven’t even referred to her by her last name on the show, Singh, gee, I wonder 🤔 why that is? You believe whatever you want. Watch the show and see what unfolds.

I know she’s genetically engineered and I stand by my words. Live long and prosper, Lorna Dune 🖖.

You don’t need a doctorate in genetic engineering to figure out that after 300 years, one augment’s genes would become progressively less dominant with each new generation. You don’t need proof, just an elementary sense of logic and reasoning. That’s the way genetics work.

You proclaim with confidence that La’an single handedly defeated the Gorn thanks to her enhancements. Got proof of that?

Maybe you should tone it down a notch. You’re extremely confrontational and seem to go on rants when people don’t agree with you. Unfortunately my post is sure to make you go ballistic yet I’m sure you’ll end your diatribe with “Live long and prosper”.

You’re the only one that argues with me. I have pleasant responses for people who don’t attack me and my responses like you do. Just so we’re clear, they said La’an is a DIRECT descendant of Khan, not a distant relative. A DIRECT descendant.

Why don’t you go look up on the Internet what that means. To be a DIRECT descendant probably means that she’s Khan’s first born but who knows, right? Maybe she was part of those embryos from Enterprise and perhaps Khan tinkered with one of them before he went into the sleeper ship, did you think of that 🤔? Those embryos were left over from the Eugenics Wars.

Why don’t you go figure it out, Sherlock? I’m not wishing you to live long and prosper because you’re a troll and you take pleasure in attacking a 42 year old disabled man who has Huntington’s Disease. Why don’t you go look that up. It’s a genetic disease that I inherited from my Mom.

That’s why I know a little bit about genetics and where I get my experience from. But, hey, I’m still no geneticist.

Wait, who is saying that she is a direct descendant? because if she is that is such a huge canon violation I just might be out.

They said it during the Strange New Worlds panel last September when they revealed the cast and characters in for SNW. It was the first time they ever mentioned La’an and they put her whole name up on the screen and underneath it said “direct descendant of Khan Noonian Singh”. Live long and prosper, amirami 🖖.

I should have been more specific. If the Botany Bay has already found and Khan has already thawed, then I am out.

No, that has not happened – yet😄😂! LLAP, amirami 🖖.

It’s not as if any of this real science – it’s a TV show where a doctor stores his daughter inside a buffer in the ship’s computer.

The whole Vitamin D thing borrowed a little from real science (humans do need light to produce Vitamin D) but everything after that was complete nonsense that sounded cool.

So it really makes little sense to get too hung up on the details of genetic engineering in this universe.

I’m not hung up on anything, alastair87. I’m just pointing out that La’an is Khan’s progeny and she’s a direct descendant, which means she’s probably his first born and that if Una gets in trouble for being a genetically engineered alien, then shouldn’t the same thing apply to the daughter of a tyrant? Especially when at this time in the Federation, genetic engineering is illegal and banned and if the Federation catches a civilization doing genetic engineering, then they sever all ties from them and rescind their offer for membership into the Federation. I’m not talking genetic engineering like Dr. Bashir here.

But even his parents hid from the Federation because they knew what they were doing was wrong and it was illegal to be doing it in the Federation. Dr. Bashir’s father went to prison, sent there by the Federation, for genetically engineering his son. Even though the crime took place twenty years prior, Dr.Bashir’s Dad still went to jail because, in the Federation, genetic engineering is banned and illegal. SNW is over a hundred years prior to DS9, so how do you think the Federation would feel at this time, which is about 2258-2259, about the daughter of Khan( I’m going with daughter here because I think she is Khan’s daughter and them saying direct descendant is just some misdirection on their part.), a guy who had super-intelligence, super-human strength, super-human tracking abilities, a man who subjugated the Earth along with his brethren, a man who could only be beaten by sending him out to space, being on the bridge of their fleet’s flagship?

That’s why I said if Una is going to have problems for being a genetically engineered alien, then shouldn’t La’an have just as many problems for being the progeny of one Earth’s most heinous despots? That’s the only point I’m making. Live long and prosper, alastair87 🖖.

In the real world a mouse experiment doubling the expression of a single metabolism gene, pepck, produced a mouse that had ever trait Khan was given. The mouse was smarter, stronger, lived longer, matured faster, had more endurance like 20x, and lastly was more aggressive. There is a video of this super mouse racing a regular on on a treadmill with a simple search. So if Strange New Worlds got anything right – being descended from Khan wouldn’t mean anything genetically. All it takes is one gene and that has a 50:50 chance of making it to the next generation if the other parent doesn’t have it. Now if you are going off of magic JJ Khan blood there’s no science in that science fiction.

That’s a good point👍! But here’s what I’m trying to convey about La’an. I don’t just think that she has Khan’s blood in her. I think Khan or whomever she was living with when she was a child modified her strengths, her intelligence, all of her attributes.

Now being descended from Khan just further enhances her. I’m not just talking about RNA and DNA. I’m talking about genetic modifications that only a madman like Khan could’ve done. Well, how would Khan have gotten his hands on her you say?

Well, La’an could actually be from the Eugenics Wars era herself. She might be from one of those Augment embryos that we last saw on ENT. I’m glad that people keep writing and saying that La’an’s not gonna pull a Khan on everyone. That’s not the point I’m making.

The point I’m making is that she’s genetically engineered and lying about being related to Khan and that it’s against the law in the Federation at this time to be genetically engineered and that when somebody eventually finds out, she will be in just as much trouble as Una faces for her lying about being an Illyrian. That was my whole point 😅. As for Khan’s super-blood, that was not JJ’s idea, that was Alex Kurtzman’s and Roberto Orci’s idea. They wrote Into Darkness, JJ just directed it.

It was always Alex Kurtzman’s intention to use Khan as the villain in Into Darkness. This whole “La’an being related to Khan” thing has Alex Kurtzman’s hands all over it. So, La’an may have super-blood or she may not, we’ll see as the show goes. But there’s already quite a few retcons going on in SNW so it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that La’an’s blood can bring normal people back from the dead and give them enhanced abilities too 😄.

Live long and prosper, Wi-kiry-lan 🖖.

There isn’t really any proof needed. Augments were all killed in the 1990’s or left earth (Botany Bay) at that time. Where would La’an’s descendant’s meet an augment to mate and reproduce with?

I believe La’an to be one of the Augment babies the embryos on ENT. I’m not sure. But for her to be a direct descendant of Khan’s, it makes the most sense if La’an comes from those embryos because those embryos are remnants from the Eugenics Wars so Khan could’ve messed around with one of the eggs before he and his brethren were shipped out to space. That’s my theory, at least, for now. SNW just started so we’ll see if I’m right about La’an as the show goes on.

Live long and prosper, amirami 🖖.

LLAP. See my comment below to you about this :)

#1 would get forced out because of her major deception to get in. La’an wouldn’t because as far as we know she hasn’t lied about anything. Just being related generations apart from the infamous Khan is not something anyone would be discriminating against. Even if she were his direct daughter it would be wrong for her to pay for the sins of her father. This isn’t the Klingon empire here. It’s the UFP. Also we haven’t seen any evidence of any latent genetic enhancements. At this point I am just assuming she was sired before Khan got the enhancements but I wouldn’t be surprised at this group if they decide she still retains some genetic enhancement advantage. Which would also be a bad creative decision. Although at this point the very fact that she is related to THE Khan to begin with is a bad creative decision.

If their goal is to tell a story about prejudice in Star Fleet they are going about it a really bad way. There doesn’t seem to be any prejudice against the Illyrians whatsoever. Any issues with #1 at this point isn’t prejudice against Illyrians but against HER for her deception.

You make some good points 👍, ML31. I don’t understand the Illyrian thing myself. I suppose they’ll explain it as the show goes along. Maybe something happened back in Captain Archer’s time, maybe he revisited them and that’s why there’s this law against the Illyrians?

I did read somewhere about John Billingsley being asked to come back and play Phlox on SNW and he turned them down, maybe this is why they wanted him to come back? Maybe there was a war with the Illyrians after the Romulan War? I know you think it’s bad creative but if you think about it, what really do we know about the Federation’s history in it’s first 100 years? In Short Treks, Captain Pike mentioned that there was a war with the Tholians that we never heard of until then, apparently.

They’re just doing the same thing here that they did with TNG. There was a time gap in TNG between TOS and TNG. They filled that time gap over time with a war with the Cardassians, the battle of Khitomer, the battle of Maxia Zeta, another war with the Tholians (that played out in the Lost Era novels.), all types of battles with the Romulans etc etc. They’re just doing the same thing here, filling in some of the gaps between ENT and SNW.

As the show goes on, hopefully we’ll learn what the Federation’s problem with the Illyrians is or they’ll save that story for a tie in novel since the books are now considered canon. But they’re just doing the same thing that was done with TNG. As for La’an, we’ll see how that plays out because I think if people knew that she was related to Khan, I don’t think it would be good for her. This is not the time of Dr.Bashir.

This is not an enlightened future yet. Genetic engineering, at this time, was banned and was considered illegal in the Federation at this time. And add in the fact that she’s been hiding being related to Khan, it’s not gonna be good. Spock already senses that she’s hiding something but he doesn’t know what.

The rest of the galaxy might not care who she is but Earth will, I can guarantee that. I’m pretty sure that La’an was Alex Kurtzman’s idea (because the guy is obsessed with Khan 🙂.)and her being on the Enterprise is to serve some future story that’s coming and I’m pretty sure that story will be about her being genetically engineered. But we’ll see because the show is just starting, right? Also, we haven’t seen signs of her genetic enhancements much like we never saw signs of Dr. Bashir’s genetic enhancements.

Everyone watching DS9 back then, myself included, just thought that he was cocky and really smart. No one ever guessed that his genome had been played with. The fact that La’an took out a Gorn boarding party when she was a teenager should be proof enough. A normal human teenager would not have survived a Gorn boarding party and they didn’t.

Everyone on La’an’s ship was killed by the Gorn, except for her.
I believe her enhancements started to kick in when she turned 13 maybe and she tracked and hunted down the Gorn much like regular people hunt down deer. We’ll see if that’s what she did when she eventually tells her story to somebody 🙂. I wish they’d stay away from Khan myself, ML31, but apparently it’s just too tempting for them not to include Khan.

Live long and prosper, ML31🖖.

Good points 👍! But I think La’an is being just as deceptive as Una. Genetic engineering is illegal and banned in the Federation. If La’an did come from one of those embryos on ENT, then that means probably that someone has been tinkering around with her genome recently, besides Khan doing it in the past.

That would make it illegal for her to be in Starfleet. So La’an potentially faces either a similar situation as Una or a worse one because she’s the progeny (a direct descendant) of Khan. Dr. Bashir’s Dad wound up going to jail for what he had done to him. This show is set over a hundred years prior to DS9 so the situation La’an faces is much worse, in my opinion.

She’s the progeny (direct descendant) of Earth’s most tyrannical despot, a man whom could only be beaten by sending him out into space. Now his progeny (direct descendant) is on the flagship of the Federation, hiding her true heritage from everybody. The Federation is not going to be happy when they find out. Also, I don’t understand some of the creative decisions myself.

But I do know that what they’re attempting to do is flesh out the era between ENT and SNW and that’s apparently where this problem with the Illyrians stems from. This is what was done with TNG in the beginning. They had a “lost era” themselves. So it’s not really poor creative.

They’re just trying to follow the same precedent that was already set with TNG. I wish they’d stay away from Khan myself but Alex Kurtzman loves him so there’s no chance of that happening. As a matter of fact, I think we’ll get a time travel episode on SNW that’ll take us back to the Eugenics Wars and Khan and that’ll probably be where La’an will come to terms with her heritage. There’s a reason why she’s on this show and I believe it’s so they can use Khan as a story device without retconing Space Seed because Khan is still asleep at this time.

Who knows, if they do do that, maybe La’an will want to stay in the past like Rios to help Earth recover from what Khan did to it during the Eugenics Wars? That would also explain away why we never heard of her before if she were to stay in the past? This is all just speculation, mind you. We are only on episode 3 so let’s see where it goes, right?

Live long and prosper, ML31 🖖.

I don’t see La’an as being deceptive at all. She has been quite open about her lineage to one of Earth’s more infamous tyrants. If she came from one of the cold storage embryos that’s a different matter. At this point there is no evidence of that, of course with this group of producers that doesn’t mean spit. Rather than speculate let’s just work with what we have. She has been open about being a descendant of Khan Noonian Singh. 200 years has past since the Eugenics project so it is highly unlikely she retains any genetic enhancements. They would have been either breeded out by now or she was sired before Khan underwent the enhancement. Therefore, as of this moment based on what we know she is not being deceptive at all.

Of course, that can all change in the very next episode as they could say that she was one of the embryos that was brought to term just a couple of decades ago. And that her entire life was a lie. This is very silly and makes no sense but it’s not beyond what these producers might do. I can totally see them having her find a guy named Bashir and deciding she was enhanced and she coupled with this dude. A few generations later out pops Julian Bashir who still retains a genetically enhanced brain. Never mind the fact that was already explained in a DS9 episode. It doesn’t fit with what nu-Trek wants to do so they opt to retcon it.

Sorry I replied back to you twice, ML31. My first reply wasn’t showing up on here a little while ago so I wanted to respond back to your earlier message. I haven’t heard her tell anybody that she’s related to Khan. Could you tell me when she did that so that I can go back and rewatch her revealing her lineage because I don’t remember her doing that.

I know us the viewers know it but I’m pretty sure Captain Pike doesn’t know it. They even made it a point in episode 1 to have Captain Pike point out that he caught her in one lie already and that if she’s hiding anything else from him then she should come clean with him now. And she looked away and said that she’s not hiding anything else from him. I know Una knows she’s genetically engineered because she saved La’an from dying on that ship she was on and they shared a look like they know something about the other but everyone else doesn’t know it inside of that elevator from episode 1.

I haven’t even heard them say the name Singh on SNW yet. All I’ve heard them say is La’an. I didn’t even see Singh on the PADD that had her personnel file on it. But if she’s revealed herself, then let me know because I haven’t seen it or heard it myself and I’ll go back and rewatch it.

Also, the Julian Bashir thing is just a little too crazy even for these people 😄.

Live long and prosper, ML31 🖖.

.

Never mind, ML31. I found the reference. It’s in last week’s episode. But La’an still doesn’t say the name Khan, just that she’s descended from an Augment.

She does say Noonian Singh but only to Una, whom she knows will be able to keep her secret. I was right too, though, because no other character on the show has said or used the name Noonian Singh and I don’t think anybody else knows about that besides Una. La’an is still lying to everybody else about her heritage and that is deceptive on her part because she’s picking and choosing who to tell her secret to. She’s not being very forthcoming and that’s why I said she’s being deceptive.

The only reason why she told Una is because she knows that Una’s not from Earth so she wouldn’t be as familiar with the name Noonian Singh as somebody from Earth would. She played it safe. She still hasn’t told Captain Pike. But we were both right in a way.

You were right by saying that she did reveal herself but she only revealed herself to one person who already has something to hide of her own. And I was right because she has not revealed her ancestor as Khan Noonian Singh, only that she’s descended from an Augment, and she has not told anybody her last name, outside of Una. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I appreciate it. Live long and prosper, ML31 🖖

Event though we never specifically had her telling Pike or others (apart from #1) about her lineage that doesn’t preclude that info is out there already. I think it is highly likely that pretty much everyone knows but just don’t care. As it should be. Worst case scenario Pike and #1 would know for sure. But I suspect it’s pretty common knowledge. If not, it’s a pretty big stretch of reason.

We’ll see 🙂. Live long and prosper, ML31🖖.

Well my only thought about La’an is technically she isn’t an augment. I mean if Khan is her ONLY descendant that is one then she has over 300 years worth of other descendants that aren’t. Thats like 0.00…. something% of her that is augmented. Not the same at all with Una who comes from a race of genetically engineered beings that have not only embraced it but built it into their culture.

Everybody that replies back about La’an just keeps thinking so square about her upbringing. There’s no telling how much of Khan is in her until we watch the show. She admitted to Una that she’s an Augment and that her last name is Noonian Singh but conveniently left out the part of being related to Khan. She is a direct descendant of Khan’s so that means she’s pretty close to being Khan’s first born, I actually think she’s Khan’s daughter and the whole “direct descendant” thing is just a bunch of misdirection so that we wouldn’t automatically assume that she is his daughter.

If she came from one of those embryos on ENT., then that means she’s from the ’90s too, just like Khan. So her link to Khan, her DNA connection, would be much more purer, especially if she is from one of those embryos. Her blood wouldn’t be so watered down with some distant lineage if it turns out that she does come from one of those embryos that was on ENT. And that’s what I’ve been pointing out.

We know nothing about La’an. The show just started but with them pushing her as one of Khan’s direct descendants, I’m not ruling out Khan having a strong hold on her like everyone else is. Una lying about herself being Illyrian is just as bad as La’an lying about her lineage and not telling anybody that she is the progeny(direct descendant) of Khan Noonian Singh, a man who subjugated the entire Earth with his brethren during the Eugenics Wars and the only way to stop him was to send him out into space. Live long and prosper, amirami 🖖.

Well I do know this much, she can’t come from a Khan embryo because that one was already developed in the 1990’s into actual Khan. Now, if they had kept some of his genetic “material” and made La’an’s Mother pregnant with it then that I could see.

I just thought Archer and co destroyed all samples were destroyed after Soong was recaptured in the 22nd century but I’d have to go back and watch.

The only thing that will make me really mad is if they break canon so badly is if the botany Bay was now recovered 30+ years ago from this ep and Khan was un thawed, pro-created, and Space seed never happens.

LLAP!

See, I’m unsure as to how those Augment eggs were made. It’s genetic engineering. They could’ve just taken a sample from Khan and a sample from one of the genetically engineered women that were around him back in the Eugenics Wars and combined them into an egg and now here comes La’an. Like Jurassic Park with the mosquito in amber and it had dinosaur DNA in it for millions of years.

Like I said, if La’an is from those embryos then that means she’s actually from the ’90s. Her egg was just frozen for a couple of hundred years. Some of the embryos did survive being burned up. La’an lived near the Gorn sector when she was younger.

On my Star Trek star charts 🙂, the Gorn sector is right near the Klingon sector. So it is a possibility that La’an might be one of those embryos. Someone could’ve found her egg and gave it to whomever raised her. Either that or there could be more embryos out there in some Starfleet cold storage somewhere, like the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders Of The Lost Ark .

No one even knew anything about the existence of the first set of Augment embryos so who’s to say Starfleet didn’t hide away any more. We’ll just have to see how La’an’s story plays out. Also, I don’t believe that they’re trying to retcon Space Seed. I think introducing La’an and having her withhold the truth about her lineage is all going to lead up to a time travel episode where the Enterprise travels back in time to the Eugenics Wars and La’an will get to meet Khan, whom I think is her father.

Then, after she sees all the terrible destruction that he wrought upon the Earth, I think that she might choose to stay in the past, like Rios did, to help out the recovery effort. This would also explain why we have never heard of La’an f she does decide to stay in the past. Plus, Alex Kurtzman is crazy about Khan so this would allow him to use Khan without breaking canon. We’ll see, right 🙂?

Live long and prosper, amirami 🖖.

They’ve already blown up canon regarding the Gorn. Don’t see why they would stop there.

I had to check it was bugging me: at the 15 minute mark of ep 3 No.1 says KHAN Noonian Singh.

Yup, she does and La’an says he’s an ancestor. But does anybody else know? I know Captain Pike doesn’t. Because in the first episode, he asks La’an after he catches her in a lie about knowing Una, if there’s something else that she wants to tell him and she says no. Una knowing makes sense because she’s the one who found La’an on that ship after the Gorn attack when she was a kid and also the relationship between the two of them is like a mentor and her student.

But there definitely will be a difference when somebody else finds out. Like I said earlier, they didn’t mention her name for 3 episodes ( I hadn’t heard it at all until I rewatched SNW episode 3. But I also have a neurological condition, Huntington’s Disease, that plays havoc with my short term memory so that doesn’t help 🙂.) and there’s a reason why that is and it’s besides just making people uncomfortable. I also think her connection to Khan is a lot closer than how she’s saying it is. Thanks for pointing it out, Dvorak.

Live long and prosper, Dvorak 🖖.

I enjoyed this episode and am happy to see where this plotline goes, but I’m unconvinced that it’s anything more than silly. How would Una get into Starfleet without someone discovering she’s not human? That’s the risk you run with a retcon: you’d better cross all the Ts and dot all the Is. Not sure they did here.

Not sure they didn’t, either! We shall see.

How did Simon Tarses 100 years later?

Beats me.

I guess is because he worked in the medical division and he pulled off something screwy?

Another thought about Una being able to fool Starfleet. Does she glow every time she has an infection or a disease or just when it’s really severe? If it’s the former, I wish that’s how they found out. “Uh, Una? Why are you glowing in the dark?” “Never mind that, I just got a cold.”

Maybe so many species glow in the dark that they forgot that no humans do it.

Or maybe she has enough control of the process that she can usually hide and has gotten away with that so far.

I think the Talosians would have read Number One’s mind and known she wasn’t human, for their “Adam and Eve” breeding purposes. They would not have 2 perfect human specimens if she was Pike’s choice. Did Una somehow manage to hide her thoughts about being Illyrian and genetical altered from the Talosians? I guess so…I guess so.

Why would she be thinking “I’m Illyrian”? Do you go around thinking “I’m Caucasian” (or whatever you happen to be?)

You don’t have to be actively thinking of something for the Talosians to get the information from you. They extracted fantasies and thoughts from Pike that he wasn’t “going around thinking” actively about. They probe deep into the recesses and buried parts of your memory. As the Magistrate said after punishing Pike with the thought of flames consuming him: “If you continue to disobey, from deeper in your mind, there are things even more unpleasant.”. I’m guessing Pike doesn’t walk around just willy-nilly thinking of burning in the fiery pits of hell all day or mentally musing about worse things.

Echoes of Gary Mitchell as far as One’s relationship with Pike. But this could go a completely different way.