The following contains spoilers from Thursday’s Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Proceed accordingly.
Thursday’s episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds brought the Enterprise crew to an abandoned Illyrian colony named Hetemit 9. The humanoid species is known for modifying their genes, which is forbidden in the Federation, and they’ve lived as outcasts as a result.
As Spock and Pike investigated what happened to the colony down on the surface, a light virus endemic swept through the ship up in space. Most fell extremely ill, except for Number One, aka Una, who recovered unusually quickly. While speaking with Dr. M’Benga and Nurse Chapel about a potential cure, she revealed exactly why that happened: She’s Illyrian.
Adding to the Star Trek canon is not to be taken lightly, and co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers says there was plenty of debate about confirming this aspect of her character.
“You’re treading into difficult waters anytime you add something to this,” he tells TVLine. “We try very hard to think about what the consequences of adding to them are, and then we just have to do it. At the end of the day, you have to tell the story.”
For Myers, the most important aspect of the episode wasn’t so much Una’s big secret, but rather finding common ground between her and Dr. M’Benga. At the end of the episode, M’Benga revealed that he’d been keeping his daughter Rukiya, who was diagnosed with cygnokemia, in the buffer until he found a cure.
“It’s more about watching Una and M’Benga come together and come to understand each other,” Myers explains.
“We knew that the episode would be a big Una episode, and we wanted to reveal something to the audience about her,” he adds. “It was a lot about defining who she is on this show and what kind of stories we can tell with her.”
What did you think of Una’s revelation in this week’s episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds? Sound off in the comments below.