Classic Star Trek villain Khan Noonien Singh – who appeared in the Original Series then returned for the second movie in the franchise – could be about to make a return in the new show Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Showrunner Akiva Goldsman recently confirmed that a regular character named La’an Noonien Singh, to be played by Christina Chong, had a connection to the established character played by Ricardo Montalban in the 1967 episode “Space Seed” and acclaimed 1982 feature film The Wrath of Khan.
But Goldsman said he had a reason for refusing to discuss fan speculation in detail. “She’s related to Khan, for sure, and, uh, and the deal will unfold,” he told a critics panel recently (via the Hollywood Reporter). He continued: “We don’t want to bring folks into the show to be splashy. We want to dig deeply into characters that are part of our ensemble and then, obviously, we’re open. … But right now, what you see is what you get.”
The Reporter speculated that, if he does return, Khan could do so in the final episode of the debut season, offering a cliffhanger into the next. The article noted that such a move “would be right in line with the sort of revelations that sister series Star Trek: Discovery has done previously.”
Strange New Worlds is set before the Original Series and follows the adventures of Christopher Pike, who captained the U.S.S. Enterprise before James T. Kirk took over. Along with Montalban’s two appearances opposite William Shatner’s Kirk, Khan was played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the 2013 Kelvin Timeline movie Star Trek Into Darkness, against Chris Pine’s Kirk. The genetically-modified superhuman Khan is often regarded as one of the franchise’s greatest creations. In the 1967 episode he and the surviving members of his cryogenically frozen crew had been in suspended animation for centuries – but such a situation is not beyond the realms of retconning.
The new series is set to premiere on Paramount+ on May 5, with Anson Mount playing Pike, Rebecca Romijn playing Number One, and Ethan Peck as Spock, all reprising their roles from Star Trek: Discovery.
Watch Khan in ’Space Seed’
Watch Khan in ’Star Trek II’
Watch Khan in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’
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