Strange New Worlds Will Avoid A Big Star Trek Into Darkness Mistake

Written by on June 2, 2023

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 is unlikely to make the same mistake as Star Trek Into Darkness if Carol Marcus appears. Lieutenant James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley) comes aboard Captain Christopher Pike’s (Anson Mount) USS Enterprise in Strange New Worlds season 2. About half a decade away from becoming Captain of the Enterprise himself, Kirk is dating Carol Marcus at this point in Star Trek’s Prime timeline, which was confirmed by Strange New Worlds‘ co-showrunner, Akiva Goldsman.


Dr. Carol Marcus (Bibi Besch) was introduced in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as a former flame of Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner). Carol was a sore spot for Kirk based on the demise of their relationship and her insistence on Jim staying away from their son, David Marcus (Merritt Butrick), who she raised without him. Carol and David developed a revolutionary terraforming technology called the Genesis Device, which was stolen and used as a weapon by Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban). However, Star Trek Into Darkness introduced the alternate Kelvin Timeline’s version of Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), who was the daughter of the corrupt Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller), and Eve’s Carol turned into a flashpoint of controversy for Star Trek Into Darkness.

Strange New Worlds Will Avoid Star Trek Into Darkness’ Carol Marcus Mistake

Should Carol Marcus appear in Strange New Worlds season 2, it’s highly unlikely the Paramount+ series will repeat Star Trek Into Darkness‘ mistake and show Carol in her underwear. One of the most maligned scenes in J.J. Abrams’ second Star Trek movie was when Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) followed Carol into a shuttlecraft where she stripped out of her uniform. Kirk didn’t follow her instructions to look away, and he got an eyeful of Dr. Marcus in her underwear. The moment purely exists to show off Alice Eve’s sex appeal and had no other function in the story, and audiences took the filmmakers to task because the scene was purely for gratuitous eye candy.

A decade after Star Trek Into Darkness, Strange New Worlds‘ producers are well aware of the firestorm Carol Marcus’ underwear scene ignited, and it’s hard to imagine they would invite the same controversy. It’s unconfirmed if Carol Marcus appears – or is even referenced – in Strange New Worlds season 2 beyond Akiva Goldsman’s comment to SFX Magazine. But if Carol does appear in Strange New Worlds, her relationship with Lt. James T. Kirk would lead to their son, David, since he is in his mid-20s in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which takes place about 25 years after Strange New Worlds season 2.

Strange New Worlds May Change Kirk & Carol Marcus’ Star Trek Canon

Kirk and La'an Strange New Worlds season 2

Lt. Kirk may be dating Carol Marcus in Strange New Worlds season 2’s timeline, but the series could potentially rock Kirk’s canon. Strange New Worlds season 2’s trailers hint at an attraction between Kirk and Lt. La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) when James comes aboard the USS Enterprise. Kirk and La’an appear to share some intimate moments together and sparks flying between the two could upend Jim’s relationship with Carol, which is already a long-distance one since Kirk serves on the USS Farragut.

A romance between James T. Kirk and La’an Noonien-Singh is already a powderkeg since she is the descendant of Khan, who is destined to be awakened in a few years and become Captain Kirk’s (William Shatner) greatest enemy. However, even if Kirk and La’an become lovers, there’s no guarantee it would be a lasting relationship. Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’s canon will eventually be honored with regard to Carol Marcus, David, and Khan. Star Trek Into Darkness also fumbled with its interpretation of Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) and, along with Carol Marcus, both are errors Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will almost certainly not repeat.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 premieres Thursday, June 15, on Paramount+.

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