Trek Scoops

Strange New Worlds showrunner all but confirms two popular Star Trek villains will return

Henry Alonso Myers teases more Sybok and Captain Angel.

Originally Published: 
Spock (Ethan Peck) and Dr. Aspen/Captain Angel (Jesse James Keitel) in 'Star Trek: Strange New World...
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Sybok will return! But when? After a massive twist in the final moments of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Episode 7, “The Serene Squall,” fans are wondering if and when the surprising storylines set up by this episode will continue. Inverse reached out to showrunner Henry Alonso Myers and got some answers that could only be described as... fascinating. Spoilers ahead.

At the beginning of “The Serene Squall,” a big deal is made about the Enterprise entering an unclaimed area of space beset by pirates. Although this may seem like run-of-the-mill premise, Myers tells Inverse that one of the main goals of Strange New Worlds is to keep reminding the audience that this period of the Star Trek timeline is “the age of exploration.”

Jesse James Keitel’s Captain Angel in Strange New Worlds Episode 7.


Essentially, the Enterprise is frequently “too far away to wait for backup.” In the era of The Next Generation, communication to Starfleet Command was often instantaneous. But in Strange New Worlds “There weren't subspace relays everywhere,” Myers says. “Getting word to Starfleet about entering disputed territory might take longer than you'd like.”

This sense of isolation partially explains why the Enterprise gets boarded by pirates, and why they have to retake the ship without any help from the Federation. But Myers points out that one pirate, in particular, was not created as a one-off.

Captain Angel could be back soon

One of the biggest twists in “The Serene Squall,” is that Dr. Aspen (Jesse James Keitel) is really the pirate leader Captain Angel. This changes the entire trajectory of the episode, and Myers hints that because Angel is alive at the end, the stage has been set for a new recurring villain. Myers doesn’t say when and how Angel could appear again, but did confirm this episode was meant to be an origin story.

“That was the idea; create a charismatic villain who steals the show and whom we want to see again and again,” he says. “We would love to see more of Angel, absolutely.”

The back of Sybok’s head in Strange New Worlds, Episode 7.


The Sybok reveal

For longtime Star Trek fans, the most shocking twist in Episode 7 was perhaps the most unexpected character comeback ever. Throughout the episode, Captain Angel is trying to free their companion, a Vulcan criminal named Xaverius. But based on a few personal references, Spock tells Nurse Chapel that “Xaverius is an assumed name,” and the Vulcan prisoner is really his half-brother Sybok.

First introduced in the critically savaged 1989 film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, the canonical status of Sybok has long been debated by fans. The idea that Spock had a secret sibling who became a cult leader came out of left field, and he hasn’t been mentioned since.

Since 2017, Star Trek: Discovery has established that Spock had another secret sibling growing up, his step-sister Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). But Sybok never appeared in the Discovery flashbacks, leading most fans to suspect Sybok was much older than Spock and Burnham. Then again, in The Final Frontier Spock says he and Sybok were “raised as brothers,” so does Michael know about Sybok too?

Myers dodges this tricky bit of Spock’s childhood by saying, “I don't work on Discovery, so I can't speak to what Michael Burham knows or doesn't know about Sybok.” So that’s up in the air for now.

Spock (Leonard Nimoy) versus Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill) in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989).


But Myers makes it clear that including Sybok in this storyline wasn’t an afterthought. “We always planned it with Sybok,” he says. “It was all about the connection to Spock.”

Strange New Worlds takes place 28 years before Sybok will steal the Enterprise-A in The Final Frontier, which means there’s plenty of wiggle room for Spock and Sybok to have encounters. The last shot of “The Serene Squall” stops short of showing us Sybok’s face, but that rowdy hairstyle is unmistakable.

So will we get to see Sybok again? Is Strange New Worlds setting up a big Sybok showdown? Myers almost confirms it, teasing “When and if we see Sybok again we will see his face, absolutely.”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is streaming on Paramount+.

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