Movies & TV

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Will Explore Pike and Ortegas' Friendship

There's more in store for these fan favorite buddies.
ILLUSTRATOR MIKE KIM

Sci-fi lovers, get excited: a new season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is on its way. Following a very successful first season that premiered on Paramount + just last month, a second season has already been confirmed. Season One scored a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and became not only a hit with fans, but with critics, too.

This prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series follows Captain Christopher Pike during his tenure at the helm of the iconic U.S.S. Enterprise, with Anson Mount taking on the role for the second time (Mount also played Pike in Star Trek: Discovery). The series acts as a prequel to The Original Series in that it takes place seven years before Kirk and Spock first meet. It’s also a sequel to Star Trek: Discovery, with some of the same characters joining new colleagues as they embark on a new mission. Critics have stated the first few episodes of Strange New Worlds have everything that made the original so beloved, like themes of exploration, diplomacy, and action. Can we expect similar sci-fi thrills in Season Two? Read on for everything we know about what’s next for Strange New Worlds.

What Could Happen In Season Two?

The positive response to Season One has earned the cast their second season. Melissa Navia, who plays Lieutenant Erica Ortegas, calls the new season electrifying. “This particular season we’re filming, Season Two, has been electrified because of the fact we’re filming Season Two, but we’re getting to watch the world experience Season One,” she said. “And so, we’re seeing all that love and that’s infoming what we’re doing. It’s just been two seasons of an amazing crew, [and] an amazing cast.”

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But what can viewers expect for their favorite characters? We can look to Star Treks past for clues. Given that many of the characters go on to appear elsewhere in Star Trek canon, it seems safe to guess that those characters will return for Season Two, including Pike, Spock (Ethan Peck), Number One (Rebecca Romijn), Cadet Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush), and Dr. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun). Olusanmokun went so far as to confirm his future with the show, saying that Season Two will explore “a darker side” of his character, including “his contentious relationship with the Klingons.” Newcomers like Ortegas and Lieutenant Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) have a less certain fate than those who are canon-guaranteed, but so long as they survive Season One, it seems likely that they’ll return for Season 2.

Navia confirmed the return of Ortegas, speaking to CinemaBlend about what lies ahead for her character. "In Season 2, we’re going to see more about her background, and we’re going to see more about just how important flying the ship is," she said. "I know fans want to see more, and I’m just like, ‘Just have a little bit of patience. It’s coming!’" She also touched on what's next for the collegial bond between Pike and Ortegas, whose humorous rapport has touched fans. "I think we’re going to see more backstory with Ortegas and Pike," Navia said. "What we see [now] though, is essentially a Captain that trusts his helmsman, and vice versa... One thing that fans have pointed out was that Pike frequently refers to her as Erica. I don’t think Anson or I ever thought anything too much about it, but I love that he does because you see that there is this friendship there that is not just official, but it doesn’t undermine the fact that they are professionals and that they trust each other in life or death situations. So yeah, you’re gonna see more of that in Season 2."

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About those pesky Klingons: Season Two is shaping up to be downright golden for Star Trek baddies. Costume designer Bernadette Croft teased “a cool redesign for one alien species,” leading Inverse to speculate that it may be Klingons getting the glow-up, given Pike and M’Benga’s history with the famously contentious warmongers. Meanwhile, executive producer Henry Alonso Myers all but confirmed the return of Season One standout Captain Angel (Jesse James Keitel), an intergalactic pirate who could become a recurring villain. “That was the idea; create a charismatic villain who steals the show and whom we want to see again and again,” he told Inverse. “We would love to see more of Angel, absolutely.”

Along with Angel comes another villain: Sybok, Angel’s lover and Spock’s estranged half-brother, whose unexpected comeback in Strange New Worlds made major waves with Star Trek fans. Viewers saw only the back of Sybok’s head, but Myers confirms we haven’t seen the last of him. “When and if we see Sybok again, we will see his face, absolutely,” he promised. Though some fans may have groaned at Sybok’s shocking return, given that the character originates from the long-derided Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, no doubt Myers and his fellow producers brought Sybok back for more than just a cameo.

Ultimately, if there’s one thing we can expect from Season Two, it’s more of what Season One gave viewers: classic Star Trek goodness, wrapped up in a modern package. Take it from Navia:

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I think I would even go so far as to say it’s even better than 1, and Season 1 we are really happy with. Season 2, we just keep getting these scripts that are just knocking it out of the park. It incorporates Trek, and it incorporates history, it incorporates actual science and technology. And then it interweaves it in a way that makes you want to be on the Enterprise. It makes you really fall in love with this world and be a part of it. Season 2 we’re gonna go to places that you just didn’t expect, couldn’t expect, but you’re gonna be really happy that we did. People are already talking about Season 3 and like my head is just trying to wrap its head around Season 2, we’re like barreling toward the end. We have some of the biggest scenes we’ve filmed yet, especially for me, to come still. So, very exciting.

There’s a New Captain In Town

It’s been confirmed that Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries) will trade in his vampire fangs for a Starfleet uniform and join the cast of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds in the upcoming second season. Wesley has been cast as James T. Kirk, making him the third actor to play the role (following in the footsteps of William Shatner and Chris Pine).

“Paul is an accomplished actor, an astonishing presence, and a welcome key addition to the show,” said executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman, and Henry Alonso Myers. “Like all of us, he is a life-long Star Trek fan and we are excited by his interpretation of this iconic role.”

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Following the news, Wesley shared a heartwarming tweet describing how he was always in awe of the world Gene Roddenberry created and how honored he feels to follow in the footsteps of William Shatner, the original Captain Kirk. Wesley seems to have gotten the stamp of approval from Shatner, as the OG Kirk wished him congratulations and advised him,“Keep my ship and crew safe, Captain!”

The storyline is expected to take Pike on a collision course with a younger Captain Kirk, according to GamesRadar+. "Pike himself is not even aware of the significance of Kirk, right? He’s going to be discovering this character in real time, hopefully at the same time that we’re discovering what a young Kirk was like," Mount said.

When Will Season Two of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Premiere?

Season Two is currently in production in Toronto and set to be released in 2023. The jury is still out on just when the new episodes will land next year, but watch this space for updates as we continue to learn more.

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Lexi Carson
Lexi Carson is a writer from Orlando, Florida, with an interest in movies, music and culture.
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