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Strange New Worlds trailer brings back a hyperbolic approach to Star Trek

The full trailer is a return to a classic era — with a very 2009 feeling.

Captain Pike might not be here for a long time, but he is here for a good time. A full trailer for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has dropped out of warp and the message is pretty clear: Unlike the fan-centric Discovery and Picard, Strange New Worlds is making a mainstream play that Star Trek hasn’t tried since J.J. Abrams rebooted the franchise.

Here’s everything you need to know about the official new Star Trek: Strange New Worlds trailer, from standout moments to what it means for the franchise at large. But first, let’s check out that shiny new trailer.

Strange New Worlds, full trailer

Following a teaser trailer in March and several 30-second character-centric videos dropped on social media, Paramount+ released a full trailer for the upcoming series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on April 3. Following the events of Discovery Season 2 (and preceding all of The Original Series), this show is a clear return to the style and zeal of the bygone, slightly goofier incarnation of the Final Frontier.

Yes, in this trailer, and one of the 30-second videos, Pike’s knowledge of tragic future events, which he learned in Discovery, is discussed and directly referenced. But for the most part, the feeling here is a zippy, old-school, swashbuckling space adventure. We’ve got Lt. Ortegas (Melissa Navia) literally sword-fighting, while Number One (Rebecca Romijn) busts out a bow and arrow. If you think this feels new for Star Trek, you’ve never watched the ‘60s show.

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The cast of Strange New Worlds, in front of the classic USS Enterprise.


Star Trek parties like it’s 2009

Obviously, Strange New Worlds is trying to capture the gonzo hyperbolic style of the 1960s Trek, which makes sense for the timeline. If this is supposed to be roughly 8 to 10 years before Kirk took command of the USS Enterprise, Starfleet would feel more colorful than Season 1 Discovery era.

But beyond the old-school adventure vibe of the ‘60s, the other element at play is a clear influence of the reboot films. While those movies are technically set in an alternate timeline, the approach to modernizing the feeling of The Original Series feels similar. Strange New Worlds is not trying to make the sets and special effects look like the 1960s show. Instead, it's blending the aesthetic of that show with what was established in Discovery and topping it all off with a flare from the J.J. Abrams reboots.

Will hardcore fans accept this slick aesthetic? There will probably be some grumbling from a very vocal minority who desperately wants a TOS prequel to actually look like it was filmed in the 1960s. But, the overall goal of Strange New Worlds feels too populist to care. Like the reboots, this series is going for a big audience. But, unlike the reboots, the series is trying a bit harder to connect to pre-established canon. It’s a fascinating approach to both nostalgia and forward-facing TV sci-fi and the boldest pivot Trek has had since 2017.

Spock and...T’Pring?


Strange New Worlds: Spock in love?

While Strange New Worlds is set in the Prime Timeline of Trek canon, it does seem like a lot of what we’ve assumed from The Original Series will be up-ended, especially when it comes to Spock’s personal life. In one of the 30-second character spots, we see Spock (Ethan Peck) and Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush) on what appears to be a date. In the new full-length trailer, it appears that Spock and a character who appears to be T’Pring, are kissing. Some fans might believe this is some sort of canon blasphemy. Spock shouldn’t be in love! Why is he dating and kissing T’Pring before “Amok Time!”

The thing is though, all of this is fine. In the TOS episode “This Side of Paradise,” it was established that Spock was considerably more emotional than when we met him in The Original Series. In that episode, he even reconnected with a human named Leila Kalomi who had seemingly dated Spock in his pre-Enterprise days. That episode was written by famed Trek writer Dorothy Fontana, who, in 1989, published an officially-licensed Star Trek novel called Vulcan’s Glory. And in that book, Fontana depicted a meeting between Spock and his betrothed-bride T’Pring, which also happened before “Amok Time,” and also during the Captain Pike era.

So what does all that mean? Well, if some Trekkies are upset that we’re seeing more of Spock’s love life prior to The Original Series and believe Spock is supposed to always be an emotionless block of stone, think again. The woman who created Spock’s backstory in The Original Series already did what Strange New Worlds is doing now: let Spock explore his human heritage, too.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds hits Paramount+ on May 5, 2022.

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