Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Reveals Vulcans' Connection to Illyrians

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' concluded its first season with a cliffhanger. A previous episode revealed Cmdr. Una Chin-Riley, a.k.a. "Number One," is an Illyrian, a species known for its genetic augmentations. Una hid this part of her history from Starfleet because the United Federation of Planets has laws against genetic augmentation. Those laws forbid any "augment" from serving in Starfleet, and have prevented Illyrian colonies from becoming members of the Federation. Even Illyrian medical technology is illegal. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' first finale saw Starfleet arrest the Enterprise's first officer after learning about her augmentations. Una's future remains uncertain, but the comic Star Trek: Strange New Worlds -- The Illyrian Enigmafrom from IDW Publishing has offered some hints about the Illyrians. The latest issue reveals a fascinating connection between the Illyrians and the Vulcans SPOILERS follow for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds -- The Illyrian Enigma #3 by Kirsten Beyer, Mike Johnson, Megan Levens, Charlie Kirchoff, and Neil Uyetake.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds -- The Illyrian Enigma occurs between Strange New Worlds' first and second seasons. Against Adm. April's advice, Capt. Pike went searching for answers about the Illyrians. This led him into contact with some Illyrians who were acting suspiciously. Then, those Illyrians kidnapped Spock.

Spock visits the Illyrian homeworld

The Illyrians who kidnapped Spock used their gene-modifying technology to temporarily transform Spock, giving him rocky skin capable of withstanding the harsh environment of the Illyrians' ruined homeworld. The location of that homeworld was unknown to Starfleet, but Uhura had previously suggested that its ruin might have been what led the Illyrians to experiment with genetic modifications.

That's where Spock and the Vulcans get involved. Spock's Illyrian kidnappers deposit him on the Illyrian homeworld near a large structure shaped like Vulcan. Upon entering the structure. Spock becomes immersed in the persona of a Vulcan resembling the statue. This Vulcan and others are visiting the Illyrian homeworld, responding to their request for aid. 

What do the Vulcans have to do with the Illyrians?

Spock's observations lead him to believe that what he is seeing are events that took place prior to Surak's rise on Vulcan, the advent of his teachings on logic as the primary guiding force of Vulcan culture, and the exodus of the Vulcans who would go on to settle Romulus and become the Romulans. And it seems that they are there to lend their technology and knowledge to the Illyrians, who know that their planet is dying.

What does this mean? It may be that the Illyrians learned how to modify their genetics from the Vulcans. If that's the case, could learning that a founding member planet of the United Federation of Planets is responsible for the Illyrians' augments convince the Federation to change its policies towards them? Could this lead to Una's reinstatement? There's still another issue of The Illyrian Enigma to go, with  

When is the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 release date?

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 has wrapped filming and will debut on Paramount+ in 2023. Strange New Worlds' first season is already streaming on Paramount+ and comes to Blu-ray and DVD in March. In a first for a Star Trek series, Strange New Worlds will also come to 4k Ultra High-Def Blu-ray.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds -- The Illyrian Enigma #1-3 are on sale now. The final issue of the series goes on sale on March 29h.