Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Showrunner And Christina Chong Talk What’s Ahead For The Gorn After Heart-Pounding Episode

La'an Noonien-Singh in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Paramount+
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episode “Memento Mori.” Read at your own risk!

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' crew had an encounter with the Gorn and barely escaped with their lives. It took some quick thinking by Anson Mount’s Captain Pike as well as Christina Chong’s La’an Noonien-Singh, who viewers know has a storied past with the species. Even so, the ship experienced a solid number of casualties after only encountering a few ships, so what might happen the next time they see the Gorn? Co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers and Chong spoke with CinemaBlend with some answers. 

Some Paramount+ subscribers are no doubt pondering the show's future with this species following the episode, while some might be wondering when we’re actually going to see a Gorn after all these teases. I asked co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers when we might see the Gorn and got some teases about what’s in store:  

Everything that you see in the pilot is intentional, and everything you see in Episode 4 is intentional…We continue exploring that quite a bit. There’s a reason we’re going to the Gorn...You’ve never seen the Gorn ships before look like that. They look very different. Everything we’re doing with them will be different and real and cool. We’ll use contemporary effects like we did with the ships.

Henry Alonso Myers didn’t reveal much, seemingly because Star Trek: Strange New Worlds intentionally kept the Gorn off-screen for this episode and their early mentions. He did tease, however, that the species will have a modern design, so fans can expect an updated look compared to the live-action costume seen in the TOS episode “Arena.”

The co-showrunner wasn’t too forthcoming about when the Gorn might reappear, but Christina Chong went into a bit more detail when speaking with CinemaBlend. I asked Chong if the Gorn will continue to factor into La’an’s story going forward and got a pretty definitive answer:

Oh, yes. That’s her main trauma. The Gorn and everything that happened to her. For this season, anyway, her arc is facing her fear of what happened in her childhood and preventing that from happening again.

Given that response, it seems like the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds crew will come in contact with the Gorn again before Season 1 is up. It also seems like La’an has a goal in mind to prevent human colonies from being used as fodder for Gorn breeding sites, so we’ll have to see if or how she pulls that off. 

Many Star Trek fans are likely curious about how much Strange New Worlds will honor the classic episode “Arena” or if this will be another slight retcon like shown in previous episodes. Henry Alonso Myers explained:

We are not denying ‘Arena,’ which we love, but, you know. If Gene Roddenberry were doing this today, he probably would do the Gorn differently if he had today’s effects available to him.

Star Trek: Enterprise tried updating the Gorn during its run, but the CGI results using tech at the time weren’t ideal (like many elements of Enterprise). Animation has done justice to the Gorn, but live-action is still struggling to hit the mark on making the Gorn look as terrifying as they are on paper. 

Christina Chong, who confirmed that she watched TOS ahead of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, couldn’t tell me what the Gorn looked like. She did share her thoughts on “Arena” and confirmed the end result of the species won’t look like that:

The Gorn suits, I’m sure they did the best they could back then. All I can say is, don’t worry about that with Strange New Worlds.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds gave viewers a taste of the Gorn and will deliver more before the season is up. Here’s hoping the show continues its streak of impressing viewers and critics, and gives us a Gorn that’s truly different from what we’ve seen in the past. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams on Paramount+ on Thursdays. More Trek shows are coming in 2022 and beyond, so be sure to stay on top of that subscription and see what’s around the corner!

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.