Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is hinting at showing more of the Gorn.
It’s official, the Gorn are Star Trek: Strange New Worlds‘ villain of the season. At least according to Alex Kurtzman. Kurtzman appeared on The Ready Room with Wil Wheaton and discussed the fact that the Gorn were going to be the main villain of the season.
This of course raises questions, how do they incorporate the Gorn without affecting the timeline? It was established in The Arena that the Gorn had never been seen prior to James Kirk’s first throwdown with them. So to show them in the series would cause a lot of fans to not be too happy about that.
Granted, they technically already showed them, as La’an Noonien Singh was a prisoner of theirs for a long time before being sent back into space as part of some weird ritual the Gorn do.
So when asked about the Gorn, Kurtzman all but stated the Gorn would appear, in the flesh (not literally) on the series in some form or another, saying to Wheaton (via TrekMovie.com);
"One of the first things [co-creator Akiva Goldsman] said when we started the show was the Gorn have to be the key bad guy of the season. What instantly got me excited was that in the age of Game of Thrones post-Jurassic Park, the technology is there now to make the Gorn really vivid and scary. Not just a guy in a rubber suit. The trick was, your first instinct was let’s do it as a full CG character. It’s funny, the purist in me always wants to go back to the kinds of movies that I was raised on which were these master filmmakers creating incredible puppetry.….And so the game you play with the Gorn, which is, okay we can’t actually afford to do full CG characters, because that’s a wildly expensive proposition on a television budget. So how do you you merge the two? How do you use puppetry and how do you use CG? And in what way? And how do you light it? And all of those things play into hopefully creating an experience where you can’t tell the difference between them, and it feels vivid and real and scary."
Should Star Trek: Strange New Worlds show the Gorn?
I’m of two minds about this. Firstly, showing the Gorn bucks canon. That’s hard to ignore. It bothers fans when this happens as it feels disrespectful as to what came before. I get this. That’s a solid point of contention that I agree with to a degree.
The other side of the argument is the Kurtzman-era shows have already bastardized canon to various degrees with Spock’s “sister”, the Discovery itself, and a whole host of other things added to the series for the sake of Kurtzman and crew putting their stamp on the franchise. So if it’s already happening, why bother getting mad again about the same stuff? It’s clearly not changing things.
So yes, you can be mad or you can get over it; either way that’s your call. For me, I feel the Gorn aren’t significant enough to the franchise to be upset over changing things like when they were first seen by the Federation.
You can easily just do the whole “that’s classified” explainer, and remove Spock and Uhura from the equation completely, so there’s no messing with the canon of the show.
Plus, James Kirk’s middle name went from “James R. Kirk” to James Tiberius Kirk during the course of the original franchise. Granted, it was in the animated series and then in Star Trek VI this was canonized in, which means that it’s either not canon (TAS) or had no involvement from Gene Roddenberry, but I don’t see many fans arguing in the comments that Kirk’s middle name isn’t Tiberius.
So if we can accept that Kirk had a second middle name, I think we can accept that the Gorn appeared a decade before Kirk knew about it.