On June 15, Paramount+ returns viewers to the USS Enterprise in Akiva Goldsman and Henry Myers’ Star Trek prequel spinoff Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2, premiering not too long after the renewal for Season 3 was announced. Brand-new worlds and aliens await the crew in this upcoming season, and Collider’s Steve Weintraub caught up with cast members Celia Rose Gooding, who plays a young Uhura, and Melissa Navia, the “hotshot pilot” introduced in Season 1, to find out what fans can expect ahead of the first episode.
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In Season 1, the Enterprise is helmed by Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) nearly a decade before William Shatner’s Captain James Kirk boldly took the world where no man had gone before in Star Trek: The Original Series. Strange New Worlds offered a glimpse into the early days of beloved characters like Gooding’s Uhura and Ethan Peck as a younger Spock, still adjusting to the social parameters around him. We also met new faces, like Bruce Horak’s Hemmer, who served as a mentor to the young Uhura before his untimely death, and Navia’s wise-cracking Lieutenant Erica Ortegas, in episodic adventures that recalled the classic original series’ propulsive missions.
Before binging the first season again in preparation, you can watch or read Gooding and Navia’s interview below to find out more about the upcoming season, and which of the 10 episodes are their favorites and why. Without spoilers, the duo discusses challenging moments ahead, the real-life devotion of Captain Pike’s Anson Mount, and Gooding says the show will pick up right where it left off, finding Uhura still processing the grief of losing Hemmer. They also tease what’s in store for their characters, who are joined by an ensemble cast starring Rebecca Romijin, Christina Chong, Jess Bush, Babs Olusanmokun, and more.
COLLIDER: I’ve seen the first six episodes. My big complaint is I have not seen seven through 10, so I need you both to do something about this for me.
CELIA ROSE GOODING: [Laughs] Great, great!
MELISSA NAVIA: Right on.
Being serious, the season is 10 episodes; for each of you, which is your favorite episode of Season 2 and why?
GOODING: I’ll go first. I would say nine is my favorite if I’m remembering correctly. Nine is my favorite and I cannot tell you why. I can say [Episode 6] is also a favorite just because I’m really proud of the storytelling.
NAVIA: I will say, Episode 4 definitely has a very special place in my heart because it deals with a moment when characters, and specifically my character, feels like they are not up to the challenge and that they can’t possibly do what is being asked of them, and they need to find a way to do what is being asked of them because nobody else can do it. And I feel like that’s something that is gonna resonate with a lot of people, and that definitely resonated a lot with me in the moment shooting it, within my own life. And so, I’m excited to see that again with the world when it premieres. So definitely Episode 4.
Anson just told me that he rehearsed on weekends for Episode 9, but would not tell me what happens or what it’s about. I’m so curious what that means if he’s rehearsing on weekends.
NAVIA: Anson is very devoted, very professional.
GOODING: Listen, he’s more devoted than me, my goodness.
What are you allowed to tease about your characters’ journey in Season 2? Even though I could say things, I’m not going to [laughs].
NAVIA: I’ll just say, we got to see this wonderful hotshot pilot that I think, for the most part, everybody really fell in love with, which made me really happy and was a testament to the writers and to the crew, but throughout every episode she was a bit of it, and the legacy characters got a lot of the storytime, as they should have, in Season 1. In Season 2, we’re gonna see more Ortegas and see moments where she does not necessarily feel like she can fill the shoes of the hotshot pilot, but indeed, she can, and how does she get to that? And we also see her backstory as a soldier, which is something that I knew about because our showrunners told me about that from the get-go in Season 1, and we’re gonna definitely touch on that and see how that impacts, and has impacted, her relationship with her crew. So I’m excited for, for fans to get to see more of her back story.
GOODING: I will say, with Uhura, we pick up almost exactly where we’ve left off in her personal arc, of her mourning her best friend, her dearly departed, and we really focus on humanity with Uhura’s story. I feel like Uhura serves, in this series, she serves as sort of a lens [to] how the audience receives this show. She’s sort of getting to know this crew as the audience is getting to know this crew, and she’s getting to know herself as the audience is getting to know her. It’s very specific to her and very special to her, and we just see how she continues to grow into the person we know she’s becoming, and what it took to get her there, and it was not a pretty, rose-lined, white picket fence walk down the driveway. It’s a crawl, and a real journey hard fought, and we watch her through that and we’re rooting for her the whole way through. We watch her grow and continue to just do the human thing of processing and taking it one day at a time, and seeing how it goes, and having faith.
I think that the difference between the first season and the second season is, in the second season, we see Uhura more comfortably lean on her crew in moments where she doesn’t feel supported within herself, and that’s a beautiful thing to see. And yeah, we just sort of expand on that, and that’s where I’ll leave it.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 premieres on Paramount+ on June 15. In the meantime, you can watch the full Season 1 on the streamer or on YouTube, and check out Collider’s interview with Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijin below.