What we know about the Gorn from the Star Trek universe

Originally published at: What we know about the Gorn from the Star Trek universe | Boing Boing


According to the Klingons, Gorn “taste like chicken.”


A reminder there was actually a time when BB was cool.


All these Star Trek prequels are doing weird things to continuity. In the original series, the Federation had never encountered the Gorn before - they didn’t even know what they were called. Now they’ve retroactively decided that they’d met loads of times… Trek’s desire to capitalize on nostalgia by regurgitating familiar elements feels like a dog returning to its own vomit.


I love the Gorn, and “Arena.” It’s perhaps the first episode of TOS where the message was “other beings may have a different, but equally valid, point of view from ours.” I love the slow motion fight between Kirk and the Gorn. I’ve hypothesized that the battle world created by the Metron was intentionally cold, in order to slow down the cold-blooded Gorn, so Kirk would have a fighting chance. I love the Gorn so much that … nerd alert … I wrote a 90,000 word sequel to “Arena” back in the '90s. I submitted it to Pocket through an agent, but editor Kevin Ryan rejected it.


Agreed. I haven’t seen SNW yet, but it is dismaying to me as a longtime TOS fan that these latter day Trek iterations keep doing obvious fan service stuff – especially when it messes with the original series canon. The universe is large; come up with something new, please. Or at least keep the references to the previous series and movies to a minimum so that they’re truly special and unique when they occur.


Which is why I have enjoyed the heck out of Discovery’s last 2 seasons. When they finally stopped being a reboot/prequel/retcon and started working with an original setting of the far future Trek universe.

Frankly I am not a big fan of adhering to canon when a TV show predates home media. Because it was written at a time when few would be keeping track of details or building a robust continuity.


We also know they have a zipper that runs up along their back.


I too was freaked out by the Gorn as a kid, which in retrospect seems ridiculous considering how fake it looks now. I think it was the weird insect eyes that did it.


'twas salt vampire did it for me. actually recall covering my young face with a sofa pillow until the image had passed. i think it was the pattern for Rowling’s ‘dementors’ around the mouth-al area


Glad to hear that Discovery is better in seasons 2 and 3. I watched the first season, and liked what was happening through the middle of the season, but the beginning and ending of that season were … not good. I also didn’t care for season one of Picard. Once the entire season of SNW drops, I plan to get a subscription to Paramount and get all caught up on the new Trek series.

I’ve gotten much softer on adhering to canon as I’ve gotten older. However, it seems that breaking with canon is usually due to lazy writers rather than because the writers have such an amazing story to tell that the only way to tell it is to break with what’s been established. If you’re going to mess with something, make darn sure you’re doing something good. Instead of breaking canon by, for instance, doing a Gorn story, how about just doing a story about another reptilian race? If you want to invoke the Gorn, just make a quick oblique reference to them (eg. “The Hresh are reptilian; there are rumors of a tie to another warlike reptilian race, the Gurn or Gorn, that have tangled with the Klingons in sector 87A, but nothing’s been confirmed.”) That way, you preserve canon, make a fan-pleasing connection, and can do whatever you want to with your new race of beings – redesign the look, make them warm blooded, quicker-moving, etc.


Also, in the 60s they were much more rubbery. /s


In the old days we were looking at everything on a small screen with blotchy color through waves of analog static

Our imagination filled in the details


I’m pro-Gorn and I vote.

Seriously, that’s the greatest fight scene ever. It has everything great about Star Trek. The low budget lack of ability to do effects forced them to get creative with all the other aspects of the story. The same thing was true with the shuttle, resulting in all kinds of creative storylines.


I would also suggest Lower Decks. Its a funny take on the ST-TNG universe. A lot of the jokes are based on the concept that EVERYTHING is canon. Every embarrassing story or plotline people hoped were forgotten comes up:
Beverly Crusher’s Irish sex ghost!
Giant Spock Clone!
Warp 10+ Mudskipper transformation!
Cetacean Starfleet members!


I have been wanting to check that out. Will have to look for it.

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I was trying to remember where the Gorn had shown up in the animated series, and did a search for “animated Star Trek Gorn”. I found it, but “Gorn” is unfortunately close enough to… a similar sounding word. Oops. Wow, who knew there was so MUCH of it…


One thing that I noticed when they released the Blu-Rays, which had been remastered from the original film that it was shot on, was that the sets and costumes all looked cheesy. They KNEW just how much detail the needed for TV and only put that much into them.

Edited because it was the Blu Rays that were higher resolution than NTSC.


Basically everybody doing TV drama in the '60s came from the radio business, where there was no screen and 100% imagination


Except the ones who came from the movies, like Lucille Ball?

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