Will Star Trek: Strange New Worlds raise the profile of the Gorn?
A good staple of a show in an extended universe is being able to take a small item from the lore of the universe and expand upon that item in a new and profound way. Giving that little item far more significance than it ever had before. That’s exactly what Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is trying to do with the Gorn.
Strange New Worlds isn’t the first show to feature the Gorn but they may have been the best of the ones to bring them to screen. The Gorn debuted in the original series, with the iconic but memed to high heaven episode, “Arena”. In the episode, Captain James Tiberius Kirk had to do battle with an alien that Starfleet had never seen before, in what pro wrestling fans would dub a “Loser Leaves Town” match. Kirk spares the Gorn Captain’s life and thereby ends the first encounter Star Trek fans had with the demonic lizard species.
We’d see the Gorn again in Enterprise, though we wish we didn’t, as they CGI’ed the thing to hell and back and not well. So Strange New Worlds bringing the Gorn in was a total stroke of genius as the technology is advanced enough to do CGI Gorn should you want to, and the alien race was little used prior.
Strange New Worlds started the Gornaissance but IDW is continuing it
Strange New Worlds made the alien race far more hazardous for our health and made them far more of a threat to the Federation. The folks at IDW Comics are trying to further expand on the Gorn in this regard with Star Trek #2. In it, they try to elevate the Gorn to the level of the Klingons.
The issue is set in the future from Strange New Worlds (set several years after the end of Deep Space Nine), so it’s very likely the franchise continues to bolster and support the idea that the Gorn are a huge threat.
After all, if they’re being used in such a way with the comics, then it’s very likely they’ll be used in such a way in the shows. This isn’t surprising, the Klingons got a huge push in the Original Series era of films, and that continued over into The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.
So it’s very likely that the Gorn get a lot more appearances going forward, but can they be raised to the level of a threat as The Klingon?
Only time will tell.