Alex Kurtzman Talks More Gorn On ‘Strange New Worlds’ And Star Trek Universe Crossovers

With May’s launch of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Alex Kurtzman has now shepherded five Trek series to release. The executive producer in charge of the Star Trek Universe was the guest on today’s The Ready Room with host Wil Wheaton, where he talked extensively about developing the various current shows and offered hints about what is to come along with some thoughts on how fans are impacting the shows. We have curated highlights and also have the full video interview below.

Getting real with more Gorn

The Gorn have gotten a lot of attention on this season of Strange New Worlds, factoring into the tragic backstory of La’an Noonien-Singh and attacking the Enterprise in episode four. When asked by Wil Wheaton if we will get more Gorn in the first season, Kurtzman’s answer was a simple “yes.”

Wheaton noted that we actually haven’t seen a Gorn on the show just yet. Their ships showed up in “Memento Mori,” and there was a hint of a shadow of a Gorn in La’an’s memory. But the way Kurtzman talked about how the Gorn were developed for the show indicates we are going to get a better look at them. Strange New Worlds is going to use a combination of CGI effects and practical puppetry effects.

One of the first things [co-creator Akiva Goldsman] said when we started the show was the Gorn have to be the key bad guy of the season. What instantly got me excited was that in the age of Game of Thrones post-Jurassic Park, the technology is there now to make the Gorn really vivid and scary. Not just a guy in a rubber suit. The trick was, your first instinct was let’s do it as a full CG character. It’s funny, the purist in me always wants to go back to the kinds of movies that I was raised on which were these master filmmakers creating incredible puppetry.

Like I just watched Aliens again recently and it’s still pretty flawless. But part of why–and [James] Cameron understands this, and [Steven] Spielberg understands this – is that the way you light those things is everything. And the duration of those shots is everything. If you over-light and stick your eye… you have to tease and you have to build it. And obviously, that precedent was set in some ways by [Alfred] Hitchcock, but then Jaws took it to a whole other level. Just seeing this rubber fin in the water, but your brain is inventing what’s underneath the surface so when you see the shark, even though you might go, “Well, that doesn’t exactly look like a real shark,” you’ve utterly accepted it at that point.

And so the game you play with the Gorn, which is, okay we can’t actually afford to do full CG characters, because that’s a wildly expensive proposition on a television budget. So how do you you merge the two? How do you use puppetry and how do you use CG? And in what way? And how do you light it? And all of those things play into hopefully creating an experience where you can’t tell the difference between them, and it feels vivid and real and scary.

The originally appeared in TOS using a stuntman in a suit and then as a full CGI creation on Star Trek: Enterprise.

Gorn in TOS and Enterprise

More TOS characters in SNW S2

Kurtzman later teased the arrival of familiar characters in season two of Strange New Worlds:

I guess the best tease that I could give you is that there are obviously characters who exist on TOS who are not yet on the show. So given that there’s a kind of five-year window before Kirk would have taken over the Enterprise–or seven, I have lost track–others may show up.

It’s already known that James T. Kirk will show up, and recently Goldsman indicated Roger Korby will appear. It’s likely Kurtzman is talking about other characters as well.

Paul Wesley as Kirk in Strange New Worlds season 2

Crossovers coming

Wheaton also asked Kurtzman if we can “look forward to any crossovers” and Kurtzman again simply replied “yes” without elaborating. Last year, Kurtzman had said doing a crossover between some of the various Star Trek Universe series was “inevitable,” so it is happening.

While not giving any crossover details, the executive producer did talk about how he and the various Star Trek showrunners collaborate during monthly meetings:

It’s an essential part of the process in terms of the world build, because we want to make sure we’re not smashing into each other. We want to make sure we’re building on each other. So there are things in Picard that are set up to pay off in Discovery. There are things that we set up in Discovery that we can then go back and retrofit in seasons that haven’t been written yet of other shows… It’s very important that each showrunner has their own individual take on what they love about Star Trek, while of course, embracing the fundamentals. But I feel like you want everybody to be different. You don’t want the same thing in every show.

He also talked a bit about adjudicating between shows:

I don’t see myself as the ultimate arbiter of those things. Like if two shows want to use different iterations of the same ship, what does that mean canonically? And will that violate something? I then go to certain people and say, “Okay, I need your opinion on this What are the consequences? What are fans going to think? What does it potentially negate, which we don’t want to do?” It’s a whole conversation. It’s a bunch of people who will contribute to making that decision at the end of the day.

Listening to fans

As the discussion wrapped up, Wheaton asked if Kurtzman had anything he wanted to express to Trek fans, and he did:

I think that one of the things I love so much about Star Trek’s endurance is that it has endured and literally survived cancellation because of the fans. So it’s easy to pay lip service and to say, well, the fans, the fans, right?… Everyone is really being listened to. Having been in all the writers’ rooms, I can promise everybody that the articles that are written and the things that people are saying are always being discussed in those rooms. From the “I hated it” to the “I loved it,” they’re all being discussed.

He also indicated how he sees a future of handing the franchise off to another generation:

Because I can tell you–and I speak for every showrunner–we see ourselves as temporary carriers of this. We are not the owners of Star Trek. We did not create Star Trek. We are the people who are holding the precious egg and trying not to drop it until we can hand it on to the next person who will take it. I look at the way my son sees the world and one day someone from his generation is going to take Star Trek. And that will be appropriate, because I will have aged away from it and now it’s time for somebody else to do it. And my hope is that in my tenure here I can find the right people to put in place so that there’s a nice stable transition when the time comes. But none of us are under any illusions about it being ours. It actually belongs to two: Gene Roddenberry and the fans. And that’s just the truth.

Watch the full interview

The full interview gets into much more about the various shows and Star Trek in general.


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I ended up watching this whole thing right after I watched SNW like at 2 a.m. It was an interesting interview but nothing we didn’t really already know or he hasn’t said in the past, just elaborated more on.

But it all sounds good to me. We knew the Gorn was coming back obviously. They are building them to be a big villain in the show. Yeah, some believe it’s a canon violation including me, but I don’t actually care about it either because the Gorn has never really been seen or used outside of two episodes. So I understand it and will be curious to see what they look like. It was a hard tease in that interview about it, so can’t wait!

I am excited for more crossovers. I would love to see a live action Lower Decks character on another show. I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon, but who knows? It would be fun to go big and find a way to crossover SNW with Picard for example (or whatever 25th century show comes after that ;)). Since every show takes place in its own time period and many centuries from each other like Discovery obviously, it will be tricky but it’s also Star Trek! They always find a way. ;)

I have a hunch Lower Decks will have their own live action movie. Maybe in 4-5 years. With their comedy style will be a great success.

I been pushing for seven seasons and a movie! It would be great if we got a live action one lol. Don’t know if I see it happening as you but would welcome it.

With a transporter accident, they could switch over to live-action ;)

As much as I would love that, I don’t think that would work, because of the sped up dialogue they do on their show. It could work where individual characters show up in crossovers, but I don’t see it happening as a standalone movie of their own.

I love the show but using the Gorn vs. the Kzinti, Hydrans, Lyrans, something new is a mistake. You can only do some much with the Gorn due to Arena.
The place to use the Gorn was Discovery.

I don’t disagree obviously but I’m OK with it too. I actually thought it would be cool to have the Breen back since we only seen them in DS9 in the Dominion war and I love the Breen lol. They are mysterious but vicious.

An exciting one would be the Orions which have definite links to TOS (and even the Cage). In some literature the Orion Empire joins the Federation, but some go separatist and form the Pirates/Syndicate. You can even have it where there is slave trade questions, have a good political analogy like TOS. Matriarchy, who is slaves to whom, etc. What happens when half a star empire joins the Federation but half miss the old ways and don’t want in?
Sounds like the Klingons would want to manipulate that situation to their advantage!
I also personally think Trek needs the Vegan Tyranny to explain why there are no aliens and then suddenly all these star faring races show up. I’d have it where they once used to destroy all starfaring races and then mostly disappeared, but have some stragglers. You could have a big mystery to resolve too on why this disappeared and to what ends.

I like to see more Orions too. I loved them in some of the stuff we got of them in Enterprise obviously. I guess they wanted to use a species everyone knows but seen very little of so the Gorn it is.

Of course in Lower Decks, we learn thanks to Tendi Orions have stopped selling women and pirating for almost five years now. No wait, it’s probably six now lol.

Never heard of Vegan Tyranny. Is that from Beta canon?

I don’t think we’re going to see Klingons on this show any time soon. It looks like they are hiding them after the Orc Klingons didn’t go as planned. But I would like to see them again one of the live action shows and this show would make the most sense.

The “Vegan Tyranny”* was first mentioned by SF author James Blish, who did the paperback adaptations of TOS episodes for Pocket Books back in the Seventies, in his version of “Tomorrow is Yesterday.” I believe he actually borrowed the term from his own fiction, which was pretty savvy, as he could probably be expected not to sue himself.

*These aliens were truly badass, and would wipe you out if you ate dairy.

Thanks Michael! I’ve never read a Star Trek novel in my life. I want to read the Destiny novels because a lot of fans on Reddit and TG47 praise that series but haven’t gotten around to it yet. But I’ll google this species.

BTW, super off topic but I notice there is another handle with your name but there is a J in the middle initial. Is that you as well or just another poster? It drives me nuts I don’t know if I’m speaking to the same guy or two different guys lol.

Same guy, thanks. And just fyi, what I’m referring to was not a Trek novel, but adaptations of the original TOS episodes. Some of them are kind of interesting in that Blish was working from earlier-draft scripts, and so differ markedly from the finished shows as aired (for example, in his version of “Balance of Terror” the marriage between Tomlinson and Martine actually takes place, and Stiles is killed).

Overall they aren’t much, but we’re all us oldsters had to keep us going back in the day, and probably did their part in keeping interest in the show alive until the reruns and conventions really got things going.

Ha ha I only know about it because back in 91 when I was ten I bought the old 25th anniversary rereleases of Blish’s adaptions and caught the reference because it used to be in the timelines at the time (this was before the Encyclopedia).
But now I like it because in Trek all the races seem to be at the same stage of technical development. Now when we scan the stars, nothing… but then in trek you end up with all these races exploring the galaxy too!
How to solve the Fermi Paradox, you assume some other alien race destroys all modern civilization and we just happen to emerge at the end of their genocidal campaign. Explains why the Klingons, Romulans, etc all seem to be around the same age on the Kardashev scale… and gives you cool early TOS stories!

Oh I see thanks. I never even heard of James Blish until now and I been a fan since the late 70s. It’s just more proof I guess for me Star Trek is mostly what is on screen. I never really been into any media outside of TV or movies, including book adaptations.

And thank you for letting me know you’re the same person. Now I can sleep again. ;)

The Breen are another alien they could have used instead of the Gorn. Jeez.. There are just so many other options out there that would have worked just fine. They chose one of the few that doesn’t at all. (eyeroll)

I don’t know why people want to see more Breen but don’t want to see Kirk on a motorcycle. That’s the obvious crossover.

LOL!

Just in case your reply wasn’t just meant to make the joke…

I didn’t say I or anyone else wanted to see more Breen. Only that the Breen are one of a myriad of options that would work as the season’s Big Bad instead of using the Gorn, who do not.

It would be neat if Captain Boimler shows up on Picard season 3 playing a completely calm and professional character…but with violet hair of course. Have Mariner be his number 1. Haven’t Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid already shown up in makeup and costume at cons?

OMG, a cool, calm and collective Boimler, that would be breaking canon on the levels of white Khan from STID or pretending Spock once had a brother.

I would love to see Captain Boimler, this time helping out his old Captain Riker and saving the TNG crew from either the Borg or tribbles while Mariner gives Worf grief sharing embarrassing stories about their time on DS9! Remember Mariner worked with Worf when she was stationed there. So it’s canon people, C-A-N-O-N!!!!!!

Let’s go one better and Boimler is now Captain of the Titan!

Of course the episode ends with Boimler getting all his collection plates signed by the crew as a thank you gesture…except for Data’s. (sad face)

And yes at the recent Chicago convention, the cast wore their costumes for the event and yes Quaid wore the hair too. I actually posted a clip from the article talking about it. It’s on Youtube.

I’m really hoping for a Kelvin Universe crossover, even if not a major one. Maybe just Simon Pegg as Scotty for example, crosses over for an adventure.

Well, its not really a crossover but I wouldn’t mind seeing John Cho playing a prime Sulu in a new show. He is certainly at the right age and I think it might be interesting to at least get some of the Kelvin guys into the prime universe.

Ugh… This is just really really bad news. They were so thrilled that they could do something they didn’t stop to think if they should.

That has been the subtitle of just about everything they have done.

Someone on this board suggested the Kzinti would have been a good alternative to the Gorn and I completely agree. Using the Kzinti would not change what they are doing one bit. I’m still waiting for someone on the show to explain WHY they decided the Gorn had to be the “big bad” for this show. It’s like none of them have ever seen Arena. It feels like they used the Gorn for the exact same reason they used Khan in STID. They just wanted to. Of course, since the KU is essentially a reboot they could do what they wanted but if this is supposed to be prime then that gets in the way of their desire to use the Gorn. A species no one knew existed until after they attacked Cestus III.

I find what he said about being worried about what his other shows are doing to be odd. He seems to care more about that than he does about what what was already established on TOS. The way the source material is ignored I just wish he would admit that this is their own version of Star Trek and has little connections to the Prime Trek universe we saw on Enterprise, TOS, and the Berman produced shows. Remember… This guy is one of the people responsible for Star Trek Into Darkness.

Kzinti for the win!

Actually, getting Larry Niven to okay adapting other KnownSpace stories for TREK would be the real win.

Yeah, some of his stories might adapt to SNW pretty well, as “The Soft Weapon” did for TAS. I still think that they’re missing a bet by not at least occasionally using established genre writers (though that’s no guarantee of success, as Michael Chabon’s tenure on “Picard” unfortunately demonstrated). These days just about all TV scripts seem to be written by staffers, so the days of the occasional brilliant, quirky Trek episode written by an outsider are probably over.

I met Niven a couple of times and he was genial enough (I carefully refrained from mentioning how much I loathe his politics). I was a big fan of “Known Space” back in the day, until the cheap franchising of the Kzinti and the progressively more awful “Ringworld” sequels killed-off my interest altogether.

Yeah, peak Niven was in the 60s/70s, I think he lost it during the Pournelle association after MOTE. I read a book that included a new Beowulf Schaffer story and I actually got mad during the process!

My wife and I love INCONSTANT MOON but hated the TV adaptation, right down there with how PBS wrecked Varley’s OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK.

The truly weird thing is that Ringworld and his Svetz time travel stories are some of the earliest SF I read that directly alluded to the issues of global over-heating brought on by industrialization, yet when it comes to regulating said industries their author will have none of it. I guess he figures that if worst comes to worst we can always just abandon our sun, as the Puppeteer race in Ringworld did theirs. Which strikes me as purely nuts, but then, I suppose growing up with a trust fund fueled by oil money will do that to your outlook.

I’ve been told by someone who works on the set that they’d wanted to use the Kzinti but were barred from doing so by the Niven estate, who owns them.

Fine… But if someone combs over some little used known aliens I’m sure one could be found. If not, make one up. How hard can that be for people who are supposedly creative?

Niven “estate”? The man is still alive, so far as I know. And I read several interviews where he expressed satisfaction with how his short story translated to Trek, so I’m puzzled why there would be an issue with that now.

“The Niven Estate?” Seriously? Larry Niven is alive and well and is even still writing sf novels?

You have a bad habit of making stuff up here. just saying…

I doubt that level of discussion is happening much on set. It’s the sort of thing I’d expect to be happening in the writers’ room and amongst the producers.

I’m kinda doubting such a discussion is happening at all for elements that are beyond Secret Hideout productions. Anything that is TOS related get’s shown the door.

Of course, I could be wrong but if it is being discussed that actually makes things even more egregious. It means all the issues were pointed out to them and they decided to go with it anyway. If they aren’t being discussed, as I suspect, at least they can use ignorance to Trek lore as an excuse.

Wasn’t there also a Tzenkethi mentioned in DS9? I don’t think we ever saw them or learned much about them, other than they’re a former enemy.

Yes agreed. The Gorn bring nothing to the table but constraints vs. a new race such as the Hydrans, Lyrans, Kzinti (also sometimes called the Mirak in SFC when copyright was a concern), Interstellar Concordium, etc.
I’d also say you have the Orions join the Federation and then a separatist faction become the pirates, do a whole plot there. What happens when a star empire joins the Federation but half miss the old ways?
I also personally think Trek needs the Vegan Tyranny to explain why there are no aliens and then suddenly all these star faring races show up. I’d have it where they once used to destroy all starfaring races and then mostly disappeared, but have some stragglers. You could have a big mystery to resolve too on why this disappeared and to what ends. If anyone at Paramount ever reads these, I’d love to submit a storyline on that.

After Season 2 of Picard, I’m very wary of Goldsman’s ideas.

SAME!

Didn’t Goldsman write and direct the pilot for the show you’re apparently enjoying so much now?

Yep and he did for season one premiere of Picard too. My only guess is his instincts are curved when he writes with certain writers like the opening of SNW because when he writes and directs an episode on its own it’s been mostly dire. This is also the guy who wanted the Romulan siblings to have sex in the first season of Picard. He admitted it didn’t happen because they kept telling him no. ;)

And he was the sole show runner in the second half of Picard season 2 and it was atrocious.

Yeah he does seem to have a bit of juvenile edge to him and not in a good way. I also remember an interview where he was giggling like a high school teenager when talking about the fact that klingons had two members. Of course we are talking about the guy who wrote Batman and Robin here, yes some know-it all will come here an say he also wrote and won an Academy Award for A Beautiful Mind, but that really doesn’t prove anything. Academy Awards stopped being relevant the moment they gave best picture to Shakespeare in Love instead of Saving Private Ryan.

Well put.

Well before that Delerue won original score over Goldsmith’s TMP sore for A Little Romance. Not to degrade that score, it was good but nowhere near Goldsmith’s cues.

Exactly! And I’m not saying he’s a bad writer on everything, he just has his strengths and weaknesses as most writers. But when it comes to Star Trek itself his record is very iffy so far. And after him running two seasons of Picard, some of the worst Star Trek content ever produced, I just don’t trust him.

But I always try to be fair and SNW has been great and he’s the co-show runner on that. So I don’t have any major complaints so far outside of some canon issues. But the stories themselves have been solid.

Well, then Alex is in good company. Gene Roddenberry had to be talked out of his idea that the Ferengi had considerably large penises.

And still he got enough cringeworthy Romcest scenes into the episodes.

Yep, unfortunately.

I can see why they didn’t do it – but aliens with different culture and biology might well practice such things . . .

The incest taboo is a *human* more. Other species on Earth will do it, though it seems to be selected against a bit for well-known reasons.

That’s fine, but to me it just came off like he was trying to be ‘edgy’ and take it into GOT territory. We just don’t need stuff like that in Star Trek.

But if they presented a species where siblings have romantic relationships with each other in a deeper and meaningful way, I would be 100% good with that. That’s Star Trek, it should be doing more things like that. But in this case, it just sounded like he was trying to follow a trend happening in TV than any real thought to it; especially after seeing how they presented those characters. And probably why he was shut down.

He wrote and directed the s2 DSC seasonender as I recall, and the last 20min of that was like being stuck in a pool of molasses for me.

AK doesn’t represent automatic crap as much as some think. His name has been on decent stuff as well as garbage. And if it is true that he took over the final few episodes of Picard S2 then it’s not that bad. Although by that point the story and goals were already mapped out so if one was not happy with the story then that really isn’t solely AK’s fault. That is shared with Matalas and others. But those final episodes did improve a sputtering season and at least it noticed something about Picard that it tried to address. So I will always give that season credit for that. Yes it was a weak explanation but it was an honest attempt to deal with a Picard characteristic that was never explored.

If you and Laurie get a chance to interview Kurtzman, please ask him if Bob can have an opportunity to pitch a few stories for SNW. Seems to me that would be a no-brainer!

I still want to know WHY they felt compelled to use the Gorn.

Someone please ask AK that.

He said it in the past, it was really what Akiva Goldsman (of course ;)) actually wanted it because he was a big fan of them and decided they would make a great villain since we seen so little of them.

I don’t recall seeing or reading that.

So if this is true then it sounds like my theory was correct. He wanted to use the Gorn and didn’t care if had completely undermine the premise of Arena to do it.

This is where I miss someone like Manny Coto. Who like the Gorn too and actually said he would have loved to use the Gorn on Enterprise but knew he couldn’t because he was an actual fan and was well aware of the events of the episode. His workaround with the MU. Honestly if AG wants to use the Gorn the place for that would be Picard. And I would be curious to know what has become of Gorn Federation relations over that 100 years.

He said it in an interview. I can’t tell you which one. But Akiva Goldsman also said it in one the recent Ready Room episodes he was in. It’s probably easier to find that one.

I really liked how the Gorn was used in Enterprise. I thought the CGI was horrible though but not any worse than a guy in a rubber suit lol. So it should look better when we do see them; at least that’s what Kurtzman is suggesting.

I don’t understand what the difference is between using the Gorn in the Mirror Universe and no one in the Prime Universe sees them, and using the Gorn in the Prime Universe and no one in the Prime Universe quite sees them…

(The same Manny Coto you’re celebrating did this with the Romulans, and I thought it worked out beautifully.)

Because the MU is not prime. Things are different there.

And again… It doesn’t matter that no one has seen a Gorn. (and that is unbelievable and silly, BTW considering there seem to be quite a few encounters with them). The fact is the Gorn are KNOWN on SNW. In Arena no one knew about them. None. The name didn’t even ring any bells with Spock.

We have no EVIDENCE whatsoever that no one had heard the word Gorn before. Nobody says anything about it, neither makes an expression of unfamiliarity when the word Gorn is said. On the contrary, by the way, rewatch “Arena” and notice that, exactly when the Metrons say “Gorn” to the crew of the Enterprise, we have a closeup shot of Spock, and Nimoy’s expression is much more of recognition than of unfamiliarity. Also, notice how Kirk puts it in his recording device on the planetoid: “Weaponless, I face the creature the Metrons called a Gorn.” This implies only that Kirk didn’t know previously how a Gorn looks like, but you shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that he never heard about the Gorn before. Finally, let me say something that is very clear to me: the sudden reversal in Kirk’s attitude towards the Gorn, by saying maybe they were really trying to defend their territory, only makes ANY sense when you put together the pieces Akiva Goldsman have been planting about the Gorn in Discovery and Strange New Worlds. By the events of “Arena,” there’s no reason for Kirk’s change, except for “fiat” from the writer. Now look: we know there’s a place in Cestus III that is called Pike City, since DS9 established the baseball team Pike City Pioneers. We also know, per DSC 205, that Pike last saw Leland on Cestus III. Pike said: “The last time I saw you, you were up to your ass in alligators on Cestus III.” It is clear from that line that the colony was then infested by alligator-like creatures that were, of course, properly exterminated to protect the colonists. Who were those? At the time, just alligators, as the ones you have in Florida. Okay, let’s now jump to Strange New Worlds. La’An is traumatized by an encounter with the gorn some ten years prior to 2259. She can’t recall how they look like (we saw that in the mindmeld with Spock), but she is convinced of something: they are PURE EVIL. They killed her family, and she was the only survivor. We also learn that these creatures, however they look like, have nursery planets for their eggs and young. Hmm, the plot is thicking. This is all, of course, reported in Starfleet records, and we seek Pike reading about it. But it is all a lot of hearsay and rumor. The first contact is UNCONFIRMED. And La’An gives a good reason: many people see the Gorn, not so many live to tell the story. Even she, although survived, has memory lapses. Following this, the Enterprise finds herself fighting the Gorn in SNW 104. Almost didn’t make it. But it is safe now to assume these guys, however they look like, exist, are dangerous, are ruthless, don’t want to talk to us, and will face us again. Of course we will face them, as Kurtzman says we’re gonna have another encounters with them on SNW. And from the way he says it, we, the audience, will get glimpses of the creatures… we don’t know how many of the characters will see anything or remember anything. (It would be a neat idea if the Gorn, like many reptiles, were poisonous, causing desorientation and, thus, memory losses in its victims, uh? Just a thought.) Anyway, back to “Arena”. All those earlier encounters with the Gorn are on record. The whole history of the Cestus III colony as well. Kirk for sure has sucked up all of this, he was “a stack of books with legs”, after all! People just don’t know how they look like. And they never bothered to trying and talking with us. Kirk fights the Gorn. Hears him out. Forces to think of him as an intelligent, sentient creature. Lives to see how he looks like. Recalls the whole alligators’ incident in which Leland was involved. And then it occurs to him: Wow, the Cestus III colony killed a bunch of Gorn babies, thinking they were not sentient! The Gorn, on the other hand, after that incident, considered the Federation to be utterly barbaric, to be treated without any mercy or diplomacy, be simply fired upon and tortured, and disembowed, and killed. And now, with all this knowledge (nursery planets, alligators on Cestus, previous attacks without attempts at diplomacy), Kirk can UNDERSTAND that MAYBE those guys who seem utterly merciless could be protecting themselves, in spite of their horrific attack of Cestus III (refusing communication, killing women and children, and, cherry on the cake, creating a false message to atract the Enterprise — the ship that refused to capitulate to them years prior!). And then Kirk breaks the cycle of violence, refusing to kill. Wow, tour-de-force canon. And it makes a hell of a lot more sense than “we never heard… Read more »

I’ve been over this before and heard all these arguments before. None of them fly. Everything in Arena suggests very very strongly that no one has even heard the name “Gorn” before.

Spock’s look is not one of recognition but one of fascination. That is what is raised eyebrow has always signified. Did he raise an eyebrow when he saw Sybok? No.

Kirk’s line was “apparently called a Gorn.” Which means he hasn’t even heard the word before.

No, Kirk’s refusal to kill the Gorn wasn’t an opening to think he, and everyone else, was aware of the Gorn. It was Kirk, completely in character, not wanting to finish off the Gorn. To kill in cold blood. And especially so not for what he thought might be for the amusement of the Metrons. Once his own survival was assured he didn’t want to keep playing their game. This is quite obvious.

Bringing up evidence from Star Trek Discovery or any Secret Hideout doesn’t help because all that shows is that the people at Secret Hideout made a huge canon blunder and were just doubling down on their mistake. And even if such evidence is valid, it STILL doesn’t line up with the events of Arena. Mainly because Star Trek Discovery and SNW are saying everyone knows the Gorn exist when NO ONE in Arena knows. That’s a mere 10 years down the line. What you are suggesting is that over the next decade everyone in the Federation forgot all about them, the Gorn stopped harassing Federation citizens and ships and all records of encounters with them were wiped clean. That is the only way the two could possibly line up.

The other option is let’s say that all those Gorn encounters on SNW are on record and everyone knows about them. Here is some reasonable speculation. It makes sense that the Federation would WANT to seek them out. Find them. Send emissaries to them to try and hammer out agreements. If the envoys were successful then some sort of agreement would be hammered out and at the very least both sides would leave each other alone. If the envoys were all eaten or something, then the Gorn would obviously be considered a dangerous species and the Federation would keep close tabs on them. They would know that the Gorn staked a claim to the space that included Cestus III. That means the Federation, in constructing a base there, deliberately provoked a response from the Gorn. As if they wanted war with them. Does that really make sense? If what you say is the case, that the Federation set up an outpost way back in the Star Trek Discovery days and the Gorn had some sort of hatchery there… Why did they wait so very long before luring a ship there? Why not just immediately attack? Based on SNW they obviously had the means.

The fact is, there is no reasonable line of events that could possibly make SNW line up with Arena. Nothing I have heard from the fans who support the decision have been able to make an argument that even if you squint and blur your eyes looks like it might work. Using the Gorn is a huge mistake on the part of Secret Hideout and shows a deep lack of respect for the source material of the sandbox they have been given the keys to.

I love it how you wish to proclaim what is an is not a mistake. Maybe they should make you absolute ruler of the canon, then you can enforce that on us, and Paramount. For the time being, though, let’s stick to democratic Kurtzman, who says he’s happy when his decisions get aboard about half the fans. I bet he gets a larger than 50% on this one.

Why are you extending picking up on mistakes to go beyond this Gorn instance? When I say they made a mistake regarding the Gorn I’m giving them benefit of the doubt they have yet to really earn. If they did not know they were misaligning their story with what was told in Arena then their argument is ignorance to their source material. If they knew about it and did it anyway then they have no respect for their source material. Which personally I find to be much worse.

I have never claimed to be “ruler of canon.” I am only getting on their case for the Gorn because it’s so amazingly egregious. Not sure how democratic Kurtzman is. Also when it comes to figuring out things that line up with TOS it really isn’t democratic. He could get 3 of 5 to say they should go ahead and use the Gorn but those 3 would be ignoring the events of TOS.

I don’t know what “get aboard about half the fans” means. But remember… There is a difference between being OK with the show and admitting they have blown up Trek lore in many of their episodes. There are a number here who like the show but do see the mistakes.

Brand recognition is probably a factor compared to using a less well-known name.

If that’s the case then why not use Klingons or Cardasians? Far better known.

This is the thing.

Fans may have campaigned to get this series made, but it’s intended to drive the increased reach of the franchise as Paramount+ expands its market.

Anything, legacy character or legacy alien with as much of a footprint in popular culture as the meme with Kirk fighting the Gorn in Arena, is going to be exploited for its marketing potential.

While the “They didn’t need to do that!” is clearly very strong here among many old TOS fans, in other places there’s a great deal of excitement about building up the rubber-suit aliens into a real threat.

If that is the case then why haven’t the Gorn appeared in Picard? Where they would make much more sense and still give you the “rubber suited alien as a real threat”?

I didn’t love the all CGI Gorn in Enterprise, so I do hope it’s done better on SNW

It’s been nearly 20 years, so it should by this point.

Explains why the VFX in INSURRECTION were just SO much better than TMP, right?

TMP cost waaaay more than Insurrection lol. It was one of the most expensive films in history at the time. That was always the issue with TMP for me, it’s all about the FX to the point fans have became obsessed discussing them. But the movie itself is just a plodding bore without them.

I tried to watch the 4K version they put out on Paramount+ on First Contact day, couldn’t get passed the first 20 minutes.

You really have to put yourself into a mindset that you’re watching a space version of a police procedural, not an action-drama. It really is a LOT like THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN. You have the main hero (who doesn’t do all that much), the younger hero (who saves the day), the comic relief scientist and the dry intellectual scientist. And yeah, I’ve fallen asleep on ANDROMEDA a couple times, but that’s not bad out of the 15 or so times I’ve watched it.

I think I fell asleep on my first viewing of The Andromeda Strain.

It was however a midnight weekend movie and I was a teen.

I don’t get why people love that one either.

I don’t think anybody loves that movie (well, maybe the guy once known as THE GOD THING on trekbbs), but it is a well-executed procedural.

It also has what might be the first high-resolution tv system in it. Apparently Trumbull and his associate built a 2000-line resolution TV system from scratch for the playback scenes in the film, which seems more mindblowing to me now than it did way back when, considering how long it took for any form of commerical HD TV to develop.

Exactly Tiger2.

TMP was an attempt to get the “oooh , ahhh” reaction of 2001 A Space Odessey, but several years later it just wasn’t enough to carry a movie.

I saw it in first run in what was the best cinema in a major city and it was dull and dark for much of the time that was supposed to be building suspense. Watching it on VHS a few years later when we could fast forward through the boring parts actually got me to appreciate what story there was, but I still was stunned that they put all that effort into a rehash if the Nomad story in TOS.

Perhaps it works as a cult film for a segment of vfx buffs, you couldn’t pay me to see it again in theatre.

On the other hand, seeing 2001 A Space Odessey in theatre is actually still impressive even if many critics retroactively snark that it’s as a “movie that plays best when high.”

I don’t think the getting high aspect has figured into any reviews after it finished first-run, when it WAS a major factor in the film’s success. You don’t get high to watch 2001 on TV.

 Star Trek Universe Crossovers? So I suppose there will be a crossover of kelvin and prime universe like I suggested in another comment? Then throw in Lower Decks and TAS in animated form and confirm, that they are canon and exist in an animated 2-D alternate universe. :-)

Please, don’t do crossovers! … The Discovery References are the only thing, that’s really bad about Strange New Worlds, I don’t need more of this. And the Picard Stuff, they put into Discovery in Season 3, didn’t make that show better either … I’d say it produced worst episode of that season (which is always a hard thing to do on Discovery )

Yes, this. Whenever events from DSC are mentioned on SNW, I literally check my phone at that point or go to the kitchen.

Here, too. Every time they mentioned Discovery it was a huge turn off. I know they want to create a connected universe but their show would be much better if they disconnected it from Star Trek Discovery completely. I feel like the only reason they are doing it is their own hubris. I think they still think Star Trek Discovery is good and universally popular.

That’s ok for you, but for some of us it’s a plus.

I loved Pike and Spock in S2 of Discovery so it would be very weird to ignore it completely.

As it happened, the references have been very few and very short in duration, hardly enough time to unlock the phone or step into another room.

Jurati Borg in Discovery season 5?

[insert photo of Ben Affleck smoking while looking worn out here]

Kurtzman and Goldsman present:

How to break canon in 10 ways or less – An ode to lazy storytelling

Coming soon from Simon & Schuster

Ha! Love this.

Another thumbs up.

I love SNW. I know this statement will be heresy to some, but I personally don’t care about canon. Sure, the writers can loosely follow it, but it is ridiculous to expect them to be slavishly bound by the events of any previous series. Besides, the ramifications of time travel can easily explain away any inconsistencies. I really doubt that the timeline cleanly snapped back into place at the conclusion of the Temporal Wars. Just continue give me good story-telling, and I will be happy.

You don’t have to care about canon at all. I don’t think I ever heard a fan getting on anyone’s case because they don’t personally care about canon lol. As long as you are enjoying the show, that’s all that matters of course. Even some of us who do care about it still seems to like it very much so far.

I appreciate that!