Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 is the next upcoming Trek series, and pretty soon, fans will be binging it with their Paramount+ subscriptions. Hopefully we'll get the answers to our burning SNW Season 1 questions, like what Kirk and Spock's dynamic might be like should they cross paths, and why characters are hanging out in a familiar location and time, as seen in the Season 2 trailer. Most importantly, we'll learn the fate of Una Chin Riley after she was arrested by Starfleet at the end of Season 1 for non-disclosure of her Augment status.
In recent months, IDW Publishing released a tie-in comic called Star Trek: Strange New Worlds The Illyrian Enigma, which detailed the gap between Season 1 and 2. It also delved into an adventure where Captain Pike and the crew attempted to exonerate Una by uncovering more about the Illyrian people. Here's what we learned from reading the four-issue comic book series and the details fans might want to know ahead of the TV show's return.
Pike And The Enterprise Crew Were Searching For Evidence To Clear Una Ahead Of Her Trial
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds The Illyrian Enigma kicked off with Captain Pike arguing with Admiral April, upset that they were tasked with a simple delivery mission across the quadrant while Una awaits judgment for hiding her Illyrian origin. April informed Pike he intentionally did that to ensure Pike and others don't get themselves in trouble with protest and to take the time during the mission to allow him to sort out Una's situation.
Pike announced Una's arrest to the ship, and not surprisingly, and the Enterprise crew wasn't thrilled to sit around and do nothing while she awaited trial. Uhura (whose story will impacted by Hemmer in Season 2) and Nurse Chapel suggested that if they could uncover more information about the Illyrian species and the extent of their augmentation, they could help Una's case, provided what they found didn't prove she wasn't a threat to Starfleet.
This brought them to the Illyrian colony of Pryllia and in communication with its governor, Da-Kil. Da-Kil explained the origin of Illyrian augmentation was unknown even to the colonists, but he knew of a tomb on the Illyrian homeworld that would have the answers. Unfortunately, the planet was inhospitable to most all humanoid life forms, save one. Da-Kil essentially kidnapped Spock in order to get his help navigating the temple down on the planet. Spock willingly agreed, but Pike had no idea and began attempts to rescue his officer after he was unexpectedly transported back to Enterprise without Spock.
Spock Uncovered A Previously Unknown Connection Between Illyrians And Vulcans
Spock was injected with a serum that hardened his skin, which granted additional protection to the harsh atmosphere of the Illyrian homeworld. Once on the planet, Spock was shown a vision which explained the Illyrian's story of augmentation began with Vulcans. In fact, Vulcans were responsible for the first augmentations on Illyrians, which had a devastating effect.
Later in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds The Illyrian Enigma, the characters learned that Vulcans ultimately made contact with Illyrians in an effort to alter their biology in order to help them continue to live on their homeworld. The Illyrian homeworld was failing and on the verge of ecological disaster, and the Vulcans, in their hubris, believed they could alter Illyrian DNA to allow them to remain on there. The results of the Vulcans' attempts turned the Illyrians into violent monsters, and the former species ultimately cut their losses and fled.
Fortunately, the Star Trek issue explained that Illyrians managed to escape the home world before its ruin and continue to thrive outside of their planet through the genetic alterations they developed on their own. Thus, their modifications were to ensure survival rather than improvement, which felt like a major talking point Pike would like to bring up to Starfleet.
Pike Declined To Use The Information To Exhonerate Una To Protect The Illyrian's Culture
Pike believed that with the new information he and Spock learned about the Illyrians' past, he could take that information to Starfleet and have Una exonerated for her non-disclosure of the Augment status. Just when it seemed like they could put a bow on this mystery and have Una back on the Enterprise before Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 premiered, Da-Kil requested he not tell anyone what they learned.
Learning Illyrian augmentation began with Vulcan interference might've helped change Starfleet's view of the Illyrians, but it would forever change the fundamental core beliefs Illyrians have known for centuries. The Illyrian leader requested that the information stay between them and remain unknown to the Federation, as the demoralizing impact of the origins of Illyrians would be too great.
Pike ultimately agreed, but wasn't happy about it. In short, the Enterprise crew has nothing to help Una in her upcoming trial, which will presumably take place during Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2. Of course, that doesn't mean they won't stop searching for solutions or try their best to help her out of her jam in any way they can.
Other Moments Of Note
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds The Illyrian Enigma made it clear that the Illyrian people were aware of what happened to Unam and that they were hoping to see her exonerated. Additionally, Da-Kil noted that Una is far from the only Illyrian posing as a human in Starfleet, which might be how the Illyrian people learned of her arrest in the first place.
Ultimately, this tale was constructed to supplement Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2, but if a reader didn't pick up any of the issues, they'll still be able to follow along during the show. That said, even if you made it all of the way to this point in the article and still haven't read it, pick it up! It's a great story, and the artwork is absolutely incredible. This is also the first Strange New Worlds comic series, so collectors will want to snag a copy.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 premieres on Paramount+ Thursday, June 15th. Those who still need to check out Season 1 on Pluto TV right now if they're not subscribed to the streaming service.