Star Trek: Strange New Worlds trailer for season 2 has highs and lows

Pictured: Christina Chong as La’an of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.
Pictured: Christina Chong as La’an of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved. /

What does the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds trailer portend for season 2?

By now, like most Star Trek fans, you’ve probably watched—and maybe even rewatched and rewatched—the first official teaser trailer for season 2 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which begins streaming June 15 on Paramount Plus. Without a doubt, the sophomore season of Strange New Worlds is highly anticipated. Its first season largely delighted Star Trek fans and critics alike—and neither of those groups is known for being easy to please!

I found season 1 of Strange New Worlds a mixed bag. But on the whole, I enjoy this crew of the Enterprise. I like its invigorating new take on legacy characters, none more so than Jess Bush’s supernova performance as Nurse Chapel. I found the new characters intriguing, too, especially Christina Chong as La’an Noonien-Singh and Bruce Hork as the late, lamented Chief Engineer Hemmer. And the series’ return to Star Trek’s roots in “adventure of the week” stories is refreshing after the heavily serialized seasons of Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard.

I almost skipped this trailer so I could approach Strange New Worlds season 2 with as open a mind as possible. In the end, I yielded to temptation. Here’s my take on the best, the worst, and the middling moments from the teaser trailer.

The good, bad, and “we’ll see” in the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds trailer

My favorite part of the Strange New Worlds season 2 trailer is Erica Ortegas’s “fancy flying” as she takes the Enterprise, phasers blazing, through what appears to be an asteroid field. Melissa Navia was season 1’s most underused player. Ortegas could always be counted on for a comical quip to break tension on the bridge, but we learned little about her. The only episodes that gave Navia any real chance to show her range were “The Elysian Kingdom” and, especially, “A Quality of Mercy,” in which she was given the antagonistic attitude Mr. Stiles had in “Balance of Terror.” In the trailer, Spock doesn’t look too thrilled at Ortegas’s enthusiasm for some hot-shot helm action, but I’m hopeful this scene means Ortegas will get more of the spotlight in season 2. (The clip released last Star Trek Day suggests she will.)

My least favorite part of the trailer is easily Spock’s clunky casting about for a command catchphrase at the end. Watching Saru fumble about for a signature saying in season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery was fun because it was new. Watching Spock do it in this trailer is a cringeworthy retread. It’s emblematic of the franchise’s current penchant, across multiple series, for going where Star Trek has often gone before. And Spock sounds more like a Pakled than himself when he says, “I would like the ship to go. Now.” Spare us.

As for the “we’ll see” moments? Strange New Worlds has already signaled it wants to go the revisionist route and give us a brash and reckless Kirk; I worry the scenes with La’an swooning over Paul Wesley’s Kirk mean the show wants to play up the “ladies’ man” aspect of the character, too. I did chuckle at Kirk’s inability to navigate a revolving door in what may be a time travel story. His “I’m from space!” line certainly evokes a similar comment to Gillian in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

And giving us Klingons yet again—cranial ridges or not—could be a sign of the franchise’s further retreat into familiar fan service. On the other hand, even The Original Series brought back Klingons several times. Some of those repeat appearances—”The Trouble With Tribbles” and “Day of the Dove” spring to mind—remain Star Trek highlights.

Trailers are never a sure basis on which to judge the final product, and all modern trailers have a numbing sameness to them, anyway. But the Strange New Worlds trailer suggests Star Trek fans will, at the very least, have a lot to talk about when season 2 arrives.

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