Star Trek: Strange New Worlds star Rebecca Romijn portrays one of the most fascinating and unusual characters in the Star Trek canon. Number One, originated by Majel Barret as Capt. Pike's first officer in Star Trek's original pilot, "The Cage," had only 14 minutes of screentime and was left out of the show's second pilot, which replaced Pike with Capt. Kirk. However, Barrett's performance made a strong impression on fans, becoming a favorite fixture of Star Trek novels and comics. ComicBook.com had the opportunity to speak with Romijn during Star Trek: Strange New World's press junket ahead of the show's May premiere. Given the lack of canon material to build on, we asked if the apocryphal Star Trek works influenced her version of the character.
"I will admit right now I have not read the novels," Romijn says. "I have not read the novels, but yes, with Major Barrett's performance. Like you said, she only got 14 minutes of screen time, and we really only saw her dealing with the tasks at hand. We didn't know her as a character. She now has a name, Una Chin-Riley… So yes, but I have not read those novels. Although I did ask one of our producers, I said, 'Is Una canon? Is Una Chin-Riley canon?' He said, 'Well, it is now.' After confirming that the character was named Una after Star Trek novelist Una McCormack, Romijn continued, "So I've been gathering little bits of information. I'm just a caretaker for this character. We know how much the fans love this franchise and are protective of this franchise, and we're protective of these characters as well. So I'm just the custodian."
She did hint that the series may be drawing something else from the written works about Number One that it is keeping under wraps that informs Una's backstory. "Our writers floated this idea to me about what it is that she's hiding," Romijn says. "She's hiding something, and I think that informs a lot of how she operates. She's really good at her job. She's very fastidious and meticulous, slightly intimidating, and I think she needs to keep people at a distance because of what she's hiding."
Before joining the Star Trek universe, Romijn helped kick off the modern age of superhero movies by playing Mystique in the original X-Men movies trilogy alongside Star Trek: Picard's Patrick Stewart. With Stewart apparently reprising his role as Professor X for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we asked Romijn about the possibility of her getting back in the blue makeup.
"I don't know if they would ever want me back," she says. "I mean, that was quite a few years back when I played that character, but I would love to, yeah, absolutely. It was a fantastic franchise to be a part of. I'll love that cast until the day I die. We had a great time together. And yeah, I would absolutely be open to that."
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds premiers on Paramount+ on May 5th.