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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Melissa Navia On Ortegas And Pike’s Unique Relationship And How It Grows In Season 2

Melissa Navia as Ortegas in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is still in its first season, but this early batch of episodes has already made it clear that there are some deep relationship dynamics among the characters that are part of the Enterprise crew and that viewers have yet to see the full scope of them. Actress Melissa Navia explained that this is indeed true of Lieutenant Ortegas and Captain Pike. And according to the star, fans will better understand their somewhat quirky bond as it continues in Season 2. 

Melissa Navia carved out some time to speak to me recently, and we discussed the unique and, occasionally, informal back and forth they have on the bridge of the Enterprise and other places during Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. As Navia spoke about Pike and Ortegas' relationship, she explained that their humorous exchanges add a bit of authenticity to their bond: 

I think we’re going to see more backstory with Ortegas and Pike. What we see [now] though, is essentially a Captain that trusts his helmsman, and vice versa. Sometimes people are like, ‘Oh, [the banter] it’s too informal to be realistic.’ When you speak to members of the military and you speak to people who are in life and death situations in their work all the time, it is absolutely reality to have gallows humor. To be able to talk as if you’re not navigating through a field of meteors. You’re acting like it’s just every day, but you have to or else you will lose your mind. I think Pike and Ortegas really embodied that.

The Strange New Worlds actress pretty much dismissed the notion that Pike and Ortegas back and forth is “informal” and actually in line with the banter that occurs in jobs with similar risks. Paramount+ subscription holders still confused by that will apparently have a better understanding of their relationship in Season 2, which Melissa Navia believes outdoes the first

Fans of the series might’ve already picked up on the notion that Pike has a different relationship with Ortegas compared to what he has with the others, and that’s due to some subtle clues placed throughout Season 1. Melissa Navia spoke about one of those hints and teased that there’s more to explore there when the new season arrives:

One thing that fans have pointed out was that [Pike] frequently refers to her as Erica. I don’t think Anson or I ever thought anything too much about it, but I love that he does because you see that there is this friendship there that is not just official, but it doesn’t undermine the fact that they are professionals and that they trust each other in life or death situations. So yeah, you’re gonna see more of that in Season 2.

The star also revealed fans can look forward to seeing a few more cool things from her character in Season 1’s final episodes as well. These coming episodes could help to better inform viewers on some key details about Ortegas that they maybe wouldn't have expected.

As of right now, a few things have been revealed when it comes to what Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 has in store for Erica Ortegas. Melissa Melissa Navia gave broad strokes when discussing what lies ahead for the starship helmsman in the new season: 

In Season 2, we’re going to see more about her background, and we’re going to see more about just how important flying the ship is. I know fans want to see more, and I’m just like, ‘Just [have a little bit of patience. It’s coming!’

Ortegas hasn’t had quite as much of a chance to shine compared to some of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ other Enterprise crew members, though Melissa Navia revealed that her performance in “The Elysian Kingdon” was a bit more telling about the character than some might think. While Navia didn’t provide specifics, she mentioned that Sir Adya, while not actually Ortegas, was an extension of the latter's personality. If nothing else, that little sliver of information should satisfy eager fans until additional episodes hit streaming. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams new episodes on Paramount+ (opens in new tab) on Thursdays. Though Season 1 is nearly over, there are plenty of other Trek shows coming in 2022 and beyond, so be sure to hold onto your subscription to the streaming service.

Mick Joest
Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.