Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debuts on Paramount+ on May 5th.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is three weeks away from its premiere on Paramount+, and most of the actors are portraying characters that have a tight link to Star Trek: The Original Series. Captain Pike, Number One, Spock, Dr. M’Benga, Nurse Chapel, and Cadet Uhura have at least some familiarity with Star Trek fans, even if it was for only two episodes in Dr. M’Benga’s case. While La’an Noonien-Singh is a new character, her last name is extremely well-known, and it has already been established that there will be a link back to Khan.
But the Enterprise’s pilot in Strange New Worlds, Lt. Erica Ortegas isn’t a character we’ve met before; however, she does still have a link back to The Original Series, and it’s a nod to the original creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is linking most characters to Star Trek: The Original Series
While Lt. Ortegas is new, her name isn’t. Gene Roddenberry had originally used the last name Ortegas in the pilot for The Original Series. The character was never created so the name went unused, enabling Strange New Worlds’ producers to dust it off.
Melissa Navia, who portrays Lt. Orgtegas, talked to i09 via video chat and said there was something very symbolic about it for her as an actor and a Star Trek fan.
"“It’s a brand-new character, but her last name was a last name Gene Roddenberry had in the pilot for a character who never made it to screen. It became a different character. And so for me, it kind of became… there’s just something very symbolic about [it], as an actor and as a Star Trek fan. We’re going to be making new fans from this show, but we’re just bridging the divide, of how Star Trek connects generations. It’s been really exciting, a lot of pressure, but I think we can handle it, thanks to our amazing writers and cast.”"
Strange New Worlds very well could bridge the divide between those fans who enjoy the current slate of Star Trek series and those who remain solely devoted to the pre-Discovery era of shows. The series is off to a very good start, and it hasn’t even launched yet!