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Rigel 7 in Star Trek Strange New Worlds explained

The famous planet Rigel VII returns in Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 this week as the Paramount Plus show brings Captain Pike back to the purple planet.

Rigel 7 in Star Trek

What do we know about Star Trek’s Rigel VII and have we seen it before? The purple planet is back once more.

Star Trek‘s history is littered with many iconic planets. There’s Qo’noS, Risa, Bajor, Ba’Ku, and fantastical Rigel VII. Rigel VII makes a return in an early episode of Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 as an away team from Pike’s Enterprise beam down to the planet to figure out the source of unintentional cultural contamination.

But this certainly isn’t the first time we’ve seen Rigel VII, and the planet holds a legendary and important position within Star Trek series lore and continuity. Here, we explain Rigel VII’s backstory, its importance to Star Trek, and its latest on-screen appearance in Strange New Worlds.

Everything we know about Rigel 7 explained

Rigel VII is a remote class M planet in the Rigel system, in the Alpha Quadrant. The planet’s atmospheric composition gives its sky an iconic purple and pink hue, often dominated by its single moon. The planet is routinely monitored by the Federation, who use long-range photography to keep up to date with the developments of the native Kalar.

Rigel VII is first seen in the first Star Trek episode ever aired, The Cage. Here, Pike led an away mission gone wrong. Attacked by the Kalar, Pike lost three members of his crew on the planet. Unbeknown to the Star Trek captain, one of the three lost crew members, Zack Nguyen, survived and become a ruling member of the planet’s society.

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Pike would then return to the planet with another away team later on to uncover the source of the cultural contamination, revealed to stem from Nguyen. However, this mission was once again complicated by the planet’s impact on the memory of the landing party.

In the TOS episode The Menagerie Part 2, Pike (now following on from his life-changing accident) is forced by the Talosians to re-live his first encounter with the Kalar on Rigel VII.

Rigel 7's Kalar in Star Trek

Who lives on Rigel 7?

Rigel VII is inhabited by the native Kalar. The Kalar are a pre-warp species native to the planet who live in a caste system with one dominant warrior class. They are depicted as a quasi-medieval people who have a brutal attitude and temperament.

That’s it on Rigel 7. The planet has a long history in Star Trek, and that legacy now continues.

For more on Star Trek, check out our Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 review and read our interview with Anson Mount and Rebecca Romjin.

If you love starships as much as we do, learn all about the Crossfield class and the USS Cayuga. You can also see what’s new on Paramount Plus this month.