Update 4/9 10:23 am EST: After publication, CBS reached out to clarify that while in Strange New Worlds Spock and Dr. M’Benga “do indeed have first names, they have yet to be revealed.” The posters displayed at Mission: Chicago were allegedly hung in error. “At Star Trek: Mission Chicago, we inadvertently displayed posters with Spock and M’Benga’s names that were incorrect,” a CBS spokesperson told io9. “ Sometimes when you work at warp speed, mistakes are made.” The original article is as follows.
You’ve known Spock as, well, Spock, ever since the the original Star Trek. We’ve seen him aboard the Enterprise, we’ve seen him as the would-be unifier of the Vulcan and Romulan peoples, an ambassador, and thanks to Discovery, in his Panic! At the Disco rebellious phase. Now Strange New Worlds is giving a little new light to Spock—with the help of a classic novel.
The eagle eyed folks at TrekCore have spotted updated versions of the recently-released Star Trek: Strange New Worlds character posters on display at this weekend’s Star Trek: Mission Chicago official convention. Unlike the posters released earlier this week, the ones present at the con include full character names on them, revealing that two classic Trek characters are getting names from classic Star Trek fiction formally canonized.
The two posters reveal that Dr. M’Benga, the Enterprise’s Chief Medical Officer, played by Babs Olusanmokun, is given the first name Jabilo, a name previously given to the Doctor in the 2005 novel Star Trek Vanguard: Harbinger by David Mack. But it’ll be the second poster that’s of most interest, as it reveals that Lt. Commander Spock is now S’Chn T’Gai Spock.
Just like M’Benga’s name, this is not an unfamiliar name to fans of classic Star Trek novels. Barbara Hambly’s Pocket Book novel Ishmael, first released in 1985, gave S’Chn T’Gai as Spock’s name. It was established that, in a similar manner to how the Bajorans naming conventions work—where, for example, Deep Space Nine’s Major Kira Nerys’ given name is Nerys, not Kira—Vulcan names are inverted, and S’Chn T’Gai is actually Spock’s family name. Spock had previously alluded to having a first name in the Star Trek season 1 episode “This Side of Paradise,” where he described it as “unpronounceable.” Not any more, apparently!
And again, this isn’t the first time Star Trek canon has turned to classic fiction to name people and locations. Uhura (who will appear in Strange New Worlds as a young woman, played by Celia Rose Gooding) canonically became Nyota Uhura in the 2009 Star Trek movie by J.J. Abrams, a name that first appeared in William Rotsler’s 1982 Star Trek II Biographies novel tying into The Wrath of Khan. More recently, Star Trek: Discovery’s name for the reunited Vulcan and Romulan homeworld in the 31st Century, Ni’Var, came from the 1960's fanzine Spockanalia. Now, classic Star Trek fiction is having its legacy live on in TV once more with the canonization of S’Chn T’Gai.
You’ll get to meet Lt. Commander S’Chn T’Gai Spock when Star Trek: Strange New Worlds premieres on Paramount+ on May 5.
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