Billy Campbell is the reason Thadiun Okona doesn’t have an eye
Star Trek: Prodigy saw the return of Thadiun Okona to the franchise, once again played by Bily Campbell. Campbell, who debuted for the franchise in The Next Generation, had been gone until recently. The character popped up in Lower Decks but Campbell wouldn’t return as the voice for the character until Prodigy.
When we saw Okona in Prodigy, we found out that he was missing an eye, an idea that carried over from Lower Decks. That idea, however, didn’t come from the writing staff but from Campbell himself.
He spoke to CBR.com and revealed to them that he had some ideas about what Okona should look like at this point in his adventures;
"…I had just made an offhand suggestion that wouldn’t it be funny if he lost an eye along the way, had a beer gut and looked like he had been chewed up by the universe, and they loved the idea, so it came to pass."
Billy Campbell is a lifelong science fiction fan but not a huge Star Trek guy
While speaking to CBR, Campbell also revealed that he’s, at best, a “mid-grade Trekkie”. Essentially, he likes some of the series but doesn’t spend a lot of time watching it. Which is fair, it’s a job to him. Though he very much enjoys Star Wars: Andor right now;
"I am a mid-grade Trekkie, so I totally understand the instinct, and they’ve been great! I adore Star Trek. I worship The Original Series. I’m watching Andor now, which I know is Star Wars, but Andor, I think, is the greatest Star Wars writing of all time; I think it’s the best Star Wars of all time. I haven’t seen Picard. I’ve been meaning to catch up, but the fans have been great, and I’m so excited to be back in this skin. [laughs]"
In fact, when it comes to science fiction as a whole, he’s a big fan;
"To be honest, I just like science fiction. I always have. My bookshelves are approximately 50% fantasy and sci-fi. I just love it. It’s playing make-pretend, being in a different place, and as far as I’m concerned, when I stepped into the costume of Okona, I sparked into life in the Star Trek Universe, and I’ve been there ever since."
It’s wonderful for Campbell to be so enthralled with science fiction. While Star Trek is our favorite brand of the genre, obviously, we love all science fiction. If it pushes the boundaries of what we know, we’ll probably give it a watch.