There are very large shoes to fill with having the last name of “Noonien-Singh” in Star Trek
Lieutenant La’an Noonien-Singh is a prime example of the great work that the writers of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds are doing for their cast. With a number of characters like Spock, Uhura, Christopher Pike & James Kirk all being iconic characters of Gene Roddenberry’s original series from the 1960s, you really need to tip-toe around with some of these characters and take extra care to make sure you don’t put them into situations where their namesakes would have maybe handled a situation differently. Or else, you’re going to anger a large fanbase who care deeply about these characters. For the most part, I really believe that the SNW writers have hit a home run with how they’ve handled these characters.
While filling out the rest of the crew of the USS Enterprise, the writers decided to add to the established Trek lore and give Khan Noonien-Singh (notorious baddie from Star Trek: The Original Series and the movies) a distant relative. Enter La’an, a no-nonsense security chief with a terrifying familiarity with the Gorn.
As a child, the ship that she & her family had lived on had been attacked by the Gorn, where her family members were one by one either eaten alive or had their bodies used for breeding purposes. Her brother sacrificed himself to save her, and when she was sent out into space on a barge as a ritualistic offering, she was rescued by the crew of the USS Martin Luther King, Jr, upon which, she was acquainted with (then) Ensign Una Chin-Riley.
Clearly, you can really feel for the character and understand her hard exterior. While she doesn’t necessarily pal around with many members of the crew, she does have a strong friendship with Una and has taken a liking to a certain Lieutenant Kirk from the USS Farragut with whom she found herself transported to another alternate timeline with that version of Kirk. Unfortunately, things wouldn’t work out for them as Kirk explained that he was already in a relationship with Dr. Carol Marcus.