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Orions explained in Star Trek Strange New Worlds

Check out our explainer on Star Trek's Orions, who are one of the legendary alien species from the history of Picard and Kirk's science fiction franchise.

Star Trek Orions explained

What are Orions in Star Trek? Ever since the start of Star Trek, we’ve had the green, mysterious Orions.

Throughout Star Trek’s long history countless recognizable alien species have had their role to play, with many adding their own distinct characteristics to the franchise via Star Trek series or Star Trek movies. Known for their cunning nature, the Orions are up there with the most famous and are almost as iconic as the Klingons, Vulcans, or Romulans.

They returned recently in Strange New Worlds season 2, so we’re here with a comprehensive guide to the Orions in Star Trek, exploring their origins, biology, society, and the famous individuals.

What are Orions in Star Trek?

Orions are a humanoid species native to the Alpha Quadrant. Their home planet, Orion, is lush and rich with natural resources, serving as the heart of their civilization.

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With deep emerald green skin, Orions are charismatic and alluring as well as being shrewd and resourceful in nature. The Orions’ cunning and guile make them natural-born manipulators, able to exploit the vulnerabilities of other species. Their innate skills mean that Orions are best known as talented and tricky pirates and smugglers, as well as traders and merchants.

Orions are also associated with the infamous Orion Syndicate, a powerful and elusive criminal organization. With a disregard for Federation laws, the Syndicate operates an array of illicit activities, from trafficking in illegal substances, to arms dealing and espionage. Despite this, some Orions have shown a desire to overcome their stereotypes and be recognized as scientists, as in the Strange New Worlds episode Those Old Scientists.

Notable Orions from Star Trek History

There are multiple noteworthy Orion individuals from Star Trek’s history, though not as many as with other famous alien races.

These include Vina, who appeared in the original Star Trek pilot episode The Cage (later incorporated into The Menagerie), Navaar from the Enterprise episode Bound, Gaila in Star Trek 2009, and Ensign D’ Vana Tendi who served aboard the USS Cerritos.

These Orions showcased the spectrum of Orion culture; from ambitious and manipulative, to honest and hardworking. Just like humans, really.

That’s everything you need to know about Orions in Star Trek. For more on Star Trek’s alien races, check out our guides to the Lanthanites and the Illyrians. Or, for more Strange New Worlds Star Trek characters, take a look at our guides to Sam KirkPelia and Amanda Grayson. Or, read our Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 review as well as our interview with Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn.

You can also see our ranking of the Star Trek captains and keep up with the status of the Star Trek 4 release date and Lower Decks season 4 release date before seeing what’s new on Paramount Plus this month, and checking out our picks for the best TV series of all time.