Creepy Orion – Star Trek: Discovery
The Creepy Orion is the only Clint Howard character without a name, but I would argue that he was the most significant. His scene was the moment that Star Trek: Discovery season one’s overly convoluted plot snapped into focus. Up until the Creepy Orion casually dropped the episode’s big reveal, one could be forgiven for thinking the season one finale was going to end in a pointless muddled anticlimax. It was a miracle that they came up with a climax that justified the long road (getting from there to here) that was Discovery season one.
In order to deliver the crippling blow that would end the Klingon war, the Discovery crew are sent to the Klingon homeworld of Qo’noS, to deploy drones in a system of dormant volcanoes to map the planet and search for military targets. While covertly mingling with the colorful locals at an Orion outpost, the sweet and naive Ensign Tilly is invited to inhale something illicit by the Creepy Orion. Not wanting to blow their cover, she agrees to partake, and immediately passes out; she awakes to find him trying to steal the drone she has in a briefcase handcuffed to her wrist. “You were asleep, I’m an Orion,” he says, by way of a non-apology. She asks what she inhaled, and he tells her, “volcanic vapors, straight from the source.”
That’s when she realizes that the volcanoes are not dormant, and cannot be used to map the planet. She opens the briefcase to find a bomb that if dropped into a volcano would destroy all life on the planet. Their mission wasn’t reconnaissance, it was genocide.
It was at that moment that Discovery felt like Star Trek. Utopia ain’t easy, and when a devastating war pushes the leaders of that utopia to consider genocide, that’s when our heroes must stand up to their leaders. When the Federation’s principles are put to the test we get a sense of their importance.
It’s a shame we didn’t see more of the Creepy Orion. But I will eat my hat if the fandom hasn’t given him a name and a backstory.