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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Featurette Addresses Khan-La'an Link

One of the more intriguing characters going into Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is Enterprise security chief Lt. La'an Noonien-Singh, played by Christina Chong. La'an's infamous last name makes her related to the 20th century tyrant and one of Star Trek's greatest villains in Khan Noonien-Singh, played by Ricardo Montalban in The Original Series and the 1982 feature The Wrath of Khan. Benedict Cumberbatch played the Kelvin Universe incarnation in 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness. The featurette breaks down the events from the most recent Strange New Worlds episode "Ghosts of Illyria" while recapping the TOS episode "Space Seed". This is your major spoilers warning.

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Pictured: Christina Chong as La'an of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

Legacy Across Two Star Trek Shows

The featurette "Understanding La'an's Original Series Ancestor, Khan" begins by showing La'an's higher tolerance for pain preferring not to have anesthesia after getting administered a physically-altering serum by Chapel (Jess Bush). The clip then shifts to her fight with first officer Lt. Cmdr Una-Chin Riley (Rebecca Romijn) while under the influence of the parasitic disease that forces its hosts to crave powerful sources of energy and light during "Ghosts of Illyria". It's revealed both are trying their best to hide their gifted abilities with Una's reveal as an Illyrian and La'an ancestry as an augment with the Federation banning genetically-enhanced beings stemming from the aftermath of the Eugenics Wars that was responsible for placing Khan in power.

We're then treated to an episode summary of TOS late season one episode "Space Seed" as Kirk's (William Shatner) Enterprise discovers the derelict SS Botany Bay adrift in space with its mysterious passengers. Upon reviving their leader Khan, he tries to remain vague before Kirk & company can discover his history and intentions. After a coup thanks to the efforts of historian Marla McGivers (Madlyn Rhue), Kirk eventually leads efforts to retake the Enterprise and banish Khan and his crew to Ceti Alpha V in hopes that he could turn into something more. Those familiar with TWoK know better obviously. The featurette closes with La'an not knowing her ancestor's fate while battling the chip on her shoulder and teasing a possible future meeting with him.


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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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