Why Star Trek: Strange New Worlds said ‘no’ to showing the Gorn

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds brought in the Gorn but didn’t show them.

Star Trek is one of the more complicated and interwoven franchises out there, only Marvel with their oversaturated MCU is arguably more complicated. That’s because they’re launching series and films around D and C-tier characters that no one cares about. Star Trek has a different problem; nearly 60 years of content. Every decade since the ’60s has had Star Trek in it. That’s a lot of Trek. So it isn’t that surprising to see the franchise revisit and expand on lore, like the Gorn, introduced in the beginning.

In the latest episode of Strange New Worlds, the series revisits the Gorn, an alien race first introduced in the original series episode “Arena”. In their debut episode, a Gorn warrior battled Kirk in hand-to-hand combat. It was, even for its time, a bit cheesy, with the slow-motion striking and goofy rubber suit.

The Gorn have popped up here and there since then, mostly seen in Lower Decks but Strange New Worlds have already brought them in twice. First, it was within the backstory of La’an Noonien Singh, who revealed that the Gorn essentially killed her family and then sent her back into space to tell the tail of what happened.

Then in the latest episode of Strange New Worlds, “Memento Mori”, the Gorn returned in the guise of a trap. We don’t see the Gorn, but instead, we see a Gorn trap that was attempting to capture the Enterprise.

The Gorn are never shown, which is similar to how Enterprise brought the Romulans in but didn’t show them either, as that wouldn’t adhere to canon.

Why weren’t the Gorn shown in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

When talking to Inverse, series writer Davey Perez revealed they wanted to honor how the Gorn were introduced to the series back in the 60s

We discussed this quite a bit, how to honor the idea that people either haven’t seen [the Gorn] and in some cases might not even believe they exist. There is a lot we still don’t know about the Gorn. What was fun for me was using parts from ‘Arena’ we do know to inform some of their behavior.

Since James Kirk had no idea what a Gorn looked like in the original series, the writers of Strange New World knew they could add to that lore a bit.

Our goal is never to undo people’s experience with The Original Series. But if we can manage it, perhaps to give us an interesting perspective to consider that lines up with the original stories.

Did you enjoy the way the series used The Gorn? Let us know in the comment section below.