What relationships could happen in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds?
During the Star Trek Day panel for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, co show-runner Akiva Goldsman started a buzz, and it wasn’t just about the series itself. It was about relationships that didn’t take place aboard the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Original Series, relationships that were merely hinted at onscreen and ones that could happen now that canon characters are coming aboard the Enterprise under Captain Pike’s command.
"“There were a few things that were really delightful to play with as we were kind of re-making it up…one was the hints of relationships we imagined we saw or knew we saw but were never quite fulfilled. Attractions. Potential. Connections made or missed. That was super-delightful because The Original Series was filled with those. And they never really played them through. So we were constantly imagining that we were responding to promises we thought were made in the original show.”"
Spock has the potential for relationships on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Spock wasn’t really interested in anyone romantically aboard the ship in The Original Series although he did seem to have some feelings for Nurse Christine Chapel. And she, as well as Lt. Uhura, both had their eyes on the stoic Vulcan, and since both Chapel and Uhura will be in Strange New Worlds, that opens up a world of possibilities. But those possibilities would change canon.
Startrek.com shared Ethan Peck’s comments from the panel where he said that the show will explore “Spock’s feelings of love and attraction.” Presumably this will be while Spock is still trying to get the human side of his emotions under control. And since this show is set ten years before The Original Series, it makes sense that he could be struggling.
But having Spock involved in a relationship that didn’t happen or isn’t mentioned on The Original Series effectively changes canon. And while some fans might be okay with delving into Spock’s relationships (or any others), others are sticklers for canon as we saw by many unhappy fans when Star Trek: Discovery revealed that Michael Burnham had grow up on Vulcan with Spock.
It’s possible to create a Star Trek series that doesn’t change the series that came before. Creating connections where they didn’t exist before isn’t necessary. Goldsman saying they were “kind of remaking it up” doesn’t bode well for canon, though. Star Trek is a vast universe, and there are so many other options that would enable the writers and producers to step away from the original characters or, at the very least, their backstories. Hopefully, the writers and producers will pay attention to fan feedback if they do decide to go down a non-canonical path.