I figured I would make this series of articles to talk about some of my favorite alien species from throughout fiction, starting with the Gorn. The “Gorn” are one of the most iconic species in all of Star Trek, William Shatner getting into a fight with a rubber suited dinosaur has been parodied and homages so many times its unreal.
Despite how popular the Gorn are they have only actually appeared within three episodes of Star Trek between eery television series, and were referenced in two others (three including one movie). It is unusual that an alien race that has gotten so much love from the fans has been so ignored, but budgetary limitations can partially explain this, as well as the fact that many people consider the Gorn silly.
I dont think the gorn are silly, I hope that one day we can see more of them. The most prominent appearances of the Gorn outside of the television show have been in the the video games “Star Trek Online” and “Star Trek”, and tthey were also the subject of a fairly good graphic novel set in the TNG era called “The Gorn Crisis”.
Between all of the various books and other extra material there is no agreement about any of the details of Gorn culture, history, or biology. Sometimes they give birth to live young, sometimes they lay eggs, sometimes they have insectile eyes, other times more saurian or mammalian eyes. The location and nature of their homeworld is especially inconsistent, one work saying they came from three separate worlds, others saying one, and the video game “Star Trek” even claiming they came from a different galaxy.
The only exception to this is that in most works the Gorn are portrayed as having a sort of “caste” system, although the nature of the caste system and the different varities of Gorn are always different between extra works.
While there is no united and single “expanded universe” canon for Star Trek and most material seems to take place in its own little world based on the shows and movies, there is at least some agreement on certain things such as Andorian gender dynamics.
With the Gorn I feel that almost all writers want to make the Gorn their own, because there are so few appearances of this species in the show I think they are generally viewed as a blank slate by writers. In a way this is interesting too me because it allows me to see various interpretations of something that played such a small role in the show, its actually amazing how wildly different of backstories things can have and it still serve the same role in the plot.
But even though I enjoy the varying back stories for the Gorn I do hope that one day someone creates a definitive role for them in some Star Trek media, I especially hope that they could become villains in a movie. The movies have the bad habit of re-using villains, ideas, and species and it wouldnt hurt them to take a risk on something as tough and brutal as the gorn.