9 Star Trek Things To Know Ahead Of Strange New Worlds' Premiere

Anson Mount in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
(Image credit: Paramount+)

It won’t be long before Paramount+ subscribers enjoy Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and maybe even some newcomers decide to try the latest series in the franchise out. The latest entry is certainly a good starting point for those looking to jump in and get initiated, but there are some things to know ahead of the premiere that will help bring anyone out of the loop up to speed.

Whether you’re someone with no knowledge, or a longtime fan getting reacclimated, there are some things to know ahead of the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds premiere. Let’s run through some of the basics worth knowing ahead of time so that no one feels like a “space cadet” trying to catch up during the first few episodes. 

Rebecca Romijn in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Has An Episodic Format, But Character Arcs Are Relevant

One reason Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is exciting to many fans is the show returns to the franchise’s past episodic format. Most of the modern Trek shows, like Discovery and Picard, are serialized, so Strange New Worlds is certainly a change of pace in the modern era. Those who tune in will get to see new adventures, but unlike past Trek shows, character arcs are relevant. That is to say,  we’ll see characters deal with events in later episodes. For anyone who watched the old shows and saw characters undergo massive changes and never acknowledge any of it again, this will be a massive relief. 

Dr. M'Benga in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

(Image credit: Paramount+)

The Series Takes Place A Decade Before The Original Series

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds takes place a decade before the events of Star Trek: The Original Series, though it’s technically connected to the franchise’s roots. Captain Pike, Number One (Una) and Spock were all present in the first Star Trek pilot, “The Cage,” which ultimately got the show made. The show changed quite a bit before its television airing, though, and Spock was one of the only holdovers. "The Cage" was eventually released to the public in its entirety, although the Original Series two-parter "The Menagerie" (which reused footage from that first pilot) saw Pike getting his story resolved. Not all of that is vitally necessary to know going into Strange New Worlds but definitely worth knowing for those that want to understand the history behind it. 

Christopher Pike in Star Trek: Short Treks

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Christopher Pike Saw A Vision That Teased His Gruesome Fate

Star Trek fans know Christopher Pike ultimately suffered a gruesome fate that The Original Series concluded in “The Menagerie,” but we learned in Discovery that Captain Pike actually knew this was coming. Pike had to observe his future with a Klingon time crystal when he obtained one, and thus sealed his fate into place. That will surely be looming over Pike’s head during Strange New Worlds as he’ll attempt to reconcile the finite amount of time he has before his life-altering injuries. 

Ethan Peck on Star Trek: Discovery

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Spock Helped His Adopted Sister Michael Burnham And The Discovery Crew Escape To The Future

In addition to all we learned about Pike, Star Trek: Discovery also revealed Spock had an adopted human sister, Michael Burnham. Burnham is Discovery's central character, and much of what happened in Season 2 chronicled their strained relationship over the years. Ultimately, Spock and Michael reconciled, and Spock and the Enterprise crew played a vital role in helping Discovery make a jump to the future to protect sensitive information. Spock and others involved kept the secret of Discovery to themselves, and what little Starfleet knew of the encounter was kept behind lock and key. 

Nurse Chapel in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Star Trek: Strange New World Is Set After The Events Of Discovery Season 2

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds takes place after Discovery Season 2, and as I’ve mentioned above, a lot of stuff happened. In general, it’ll be good to know about those events heading into the Paramount+ series, at least in terms of how they impacted characters like Pike and Spock. As far as Number One is concerned, she was present in brief moments throughout the season, though not entirely connected to the main story. I will say I’m not sure one needs to watch the entirety of the season to understand what’s happening in Strange New Worlds, and knowing the above parts about Spock and Pike, and what happened to the USS Discovery, should be enough for anyone who hasn’t seen the season. 

Hemmer on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

(Image credit: Paramount+)

The Crew Is A Mix Of Classic And New Star Trek Characters

Spock, Pike, and Number One were all part of Star Trek long before Strange New Worlds, but they aren’t the only characters we've seen previously. Nurse Chapel, Dr. M’Benga and Cadet Uhura are some other characters with a history in the franchise before the series, and Strange New Worlds gives them a platform to star in new adventures. The cast also has some new faces like Ortegas, La’an and Hemmer, all of whom are still connected to the larger story of Star Trek in various ways. Obviously, we know what the future holds for some of the crew, but hopefully, these new adventures will deepen that story and their significance greatly. 

Storm clouds in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Strange New Worlds Is About Exploration

The main mission of the Enterprise is to explore “strange new worlds” with some of the best people Starfleet has to offer. As such, viewers can expect to see exotic new places, some of which the franchise hasn’t visited before. One of the best things about Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is how quickly the scenery changes from episode to episode. Viewers should be prepared to go along on a wild ride, and even if they don’t like what’s happening one week, they can tune in next week to a completely different scenario. 

La'an in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

(Image credit: Paramount+)

La’an Is Tied To Classic Star Trek Villain Khan

La’an Noonien Singh is a new character in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, but her last name is one Star Trek fans know well. La’an shares a last name with Khan Noonien Singh, also known as one of the biggest villains of early Star Trek. Obviously, there are many folks wondering just how close La’an is tied to Khan, and hopefully we’ll get those answers sooner rather than later. 

Paul Wesley in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Captain Kirk Will Appear in Season 2

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is already confirmed for Season 2, and it’s bringing a very famous character along for the ride. Paul Wesley will play James Kirk in Season 2, though as Anson Mount strongly hinted to CinemaBlend, he’s not taking over as Captain of the Enterprise just yet. He will be up to something, though, and given what we know about his past, there’s a reason for folks to be excited. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams on Paramount+ on Thursdays. It’s one of many shows in the Star Trek franchise airing in 2022, so the fun is just getting started. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.