Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Melissa Navia on Peeling Back Layers of Ortegas' Awesomeness in Season 2 and Beyond (Exclusive)

Lieutenant Erica Ortegas, played by Melissa Navia, made an impression on fans despite being the only Star Trek: Strange New Worlds cast member not to receive an episode focusing on them in the series' first season. That will change in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2, which debuts on Thursday on Paramount+. Since the show's renewal became public, there have been promises that Ortegas would get more attention in Strange New Worlds' sophomore outing. Speaking to during the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 press junket, Navia credits the fans with the increased spotlight on Ortegas but still thinks they'll want more by the time the season ends.

"I'm so unbelievably happy that fans expressed this desire to see more Ortegas, that there wasn't enough, and I think they're going to get a lot more in season two," Navia says. "But still, somehow, the more I think about it, I'm like, 'They're still not going to be happy,' which is good because that means we just have more to give them.

As far as what fans can expect from Ortegas in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2, Navia says, "What we see is we see such a confident, lovably cocky pilot of the Enterprise, and what we see in Season 2 is we see that that comes from a place of not being perfect, but demanding the best of yourself. And so we see her in situations in Season 2 where she suddenly does not think she is capable of doing what she has always been able to do, where she finds herself questioning things and trying to move forward. She has a back story as a soldier and with the war and how she discusses that with her crewmates. So we're going to see more of that camaraderie, more of that interplay, more of the relationships and what ties her to some of her crewmates.

As Navia describes it, digging into Ortegas is like peeling back layers of an onion. A really awesome onion.

"We're going to see that when somebody looks so awesome on the surface, they are that awesome, but there are all these layers underneath that contribute to that, and so we're definitely gonna see more of that," Navia says. "And I can't wait to hear what fans have to make of it and I can't wait for them to still be like, 'Not enough, more Ortegas.' Shout it from the rooftops, guys. Just peeling back layers"

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Cast

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds stars Anson Mount as Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Una Chin-Riley, Ethan Peck as Spock, Jess Bush as Christine Chapel, Christina Chong as La'An Noonien-Singh, Celia Rose Gooding as Nyota Uhura, Melissa Navia as Erica Ortegas and Babs Olusanmokun as Joseph M'Benga. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 also brings back special guest star Paul Wesley as James T. Kirk and adds Carol Kane in the recurring role of Pelia.

CBS Studios, Secret Hideout, and Roddenberry Entertainment produced Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2. Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers are co-showrunners. Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman, Jenny Lumet, Henry Alonso Myers, Aaron Baiers, Heather Kadin, Frank Siracusa, John Weber, Rod Roddenberry, and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Release Date

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 premieres on Paramount+ in the United States, the U.K., Australia, Latin America, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria on Thursday, June 15th. The second season will also be available to stream on Paramount+ in South Korea, with the premiere date to be announced later. New episodes of the 10-episode season will then debut weekly on Thursdays.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 is already streaming. It is also available as home media on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4k UHD.