The trailer for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 hints that Lt. Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia) fought in Star Trek: Discovery‘s Klingon War. Strange New Worlds is a spinoff of Discovery, which changed eras and jumped 930 years forward to the 32nd century in season 3 after the wildly successful reintroduction of Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Lt. Spock (Ethan Peck), and Number One (Rebecca Romijn). Strange New Worlds has been boldly carrying on in Discovery‘s wake, chronicling the five-year mission of Captain Pike’s USS Enterprise in the mid-23rd century.
Star Trek: Discovery season 1 centered on the Klingon War of 2256-2257. The conflict began at the Battle at the Binary Stars, and the instigation of the war led Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) of the USS Shenzhou to commit mutiny in order to stop the Klingons. But the feared warrior race was intent on asserting their identity and sparked a devastating conflict with the United Federation of Planets. Thousands of Starfleet personnel and Federation citizens died before the Klingon War was ended by Burnham, the USS Discovery, and the Klingon L’Rell (Mary Chieffo), who became the first female Chancellor of the Klingon Empire upon the conclusion of the war.
Strange New Worlds Hints Ortegas Fought In Star Trek: Discovery’s Klingon War
Strange New Worlds season 2’s trailer begins with a tacit reference to the Klingon War from Lt. Erica Ortegas when the USS Enterprise’s hotshot helmsman is piloting a shuttle down to a planet. Sparking understandable fear from Captain Pike, Ortegas assures him, “Don’t worry! I did this a hundred times during the war!” before she lifts her plummeting spacecraft back into the air as promised. Ortegas is at her cocky best in the scene, which shows Erica off as one of Starfleet’s best pilots. Meanwhile, her reference to “the war” is a clue to Ortegas’ backstory.
It’s entirely likely (though not yet confirmed) that Lt. Ortegas is a Klingon War veteran. After graduating Starfleet Academy, where Erica bragged she would become the best pilot ever to graduate, Ortegas served on the USS Palenque. Erica wore a pin of the Palenque on Starfleet Remembrance Day in Strange New Worlds season 1, indicating she lost comrades from her previous ship. The Klingon War is the only known conflict Starfleet fought in the immediate years before Strange New Worlds. It also confirms Erica was not yet the helmsman of Pike’s Starship Enterprise if Ortegas is a war veteran. Star Trek: Discovery season 2 established Pike was ordered to keep the Enterprise out of the Klingon War.
Strange New Worlds Season 2 Will Finally Reveal Ortegas’ Backstory
Every dollop of new information about Lt. Erica Ortegas is gobbled up by fans of the Enterprise’s cocksure helmsman. Ortegas was one of two Strange New Worlds main castmembers, along with Nurse Christine Chapel (Jess Bush), who didn’t receive season 1 spotlight episodes. Thankfully, Erica was the focus of the Strange New Worlds season 2 clip that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, where she was apparently denied her wish of joining a landing party mission. Strange New Worlds season 2 trailer kicks off by showing Ortegas piloting a landing party shuttle, so it’s already exciting to know her wish is granted,
It’s clear there’s more to Lt. Erica Ortegas than meets the eye and the abundance of her story is begging to be told by Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2. Numerous questions surround Erica about her snarky relationship with Captain Pike, her capacity for pranks, and her friendships with Nurse Chapel and many of the other Enterprise crew. If Ortegas is, indeed, a Star Trek: Discovery Klingon War veteran, she may be harboring some trauma that has yet to be addressed. It’s also interesting to consider how Erica would feel if she ever learns the truth about the disappearance of the USS Discovery, which played a crucial role in the Klingon War.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 premieres Thursday, June 15, on Paramount+.