The Gorn are one of Star Trek’s most powerful alien races, with a society built upon a dark foundation.

The Gorn are one of the most powerful species in the Star Trek universe–and there is a dark reason why this is. In Star Trek Alien Spotlight: The Gorn, first published by IDW, readers are treated to a fascinating glimpse into Gorn society–namely the way they treat their young. It is very much “survival of the fittest,” with the strongest ascending to the top of the chain–showing why the Gorn are so formidable.

Despite making only a bare minimum of on-screen appearances, the Gorn have become a fan-favorite race in the Star Trek franchise. Resembling large, bipedal reptiles, the Gorn first appeared in the first season of the classic Star Trek Original Series, in an episode titled “Arena.” The episode showed the Gorn were a force to be reckoned with, but sadly (most likely due to budget constraints) they have only made sporadic appearances since, showing up during Star Trek: Enterprise’s fourth season. However, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has begun positioning the Gorn as a truly serious threat, and thanks to today’s filmmaking technology, they can be seen in all their horrifying glory. Yet years before Strange New Worlds premiered, IDW Publishing released a Gorn-themed one-shot as part of their Alien Spotlight series that shed a new light on Gorn society.


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A Federation ship has crash-landed on a mysterious alien world, one overrun by the Gorn. After killing one of the humans, they learn they have stumbled across a Gorn “training world.” Here, new Gorn hatchlings are brought, where they hone their skills in war and combat; only the strongest make it out alive. The Gorn, realizing that Star Trek‘s Federation did not mean to intrude upon their world, lets the humans go, telling them this world was not “made for [their] kind.” The one-shot was written by Scott and David Tipton and illustrated by David Messina with Sara Pichelli.

The Gorn Are Everything the Federation Detests

Star Trek Alien Spotlight Gorn

As stated earlier, the Gorn have only made a scant amount of appearances on-screen, but their intimidating appearances have made them one of the most iconic–and this special one-shot makes them even scarier. Gorn society is seemingly built upon Darwinistic principles; that is, their culture is informed by a “survival of the fittest” mentality. This approach, which runs counter to the Federation’s very nature, already makes the Gorn excellent villains. Yet, this dark method also explains why the Gorn are so powerful–only the strongest, the smartest and most cunning make it off their training worlds and onto their starships. Gorn society is far removed from Earth and the rest of the Federation.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has finally given the Gorn their on-screen due, revealing new and even more horrifying aspects of their society and culture; for example, the Gorn lay their eggs in host bodies and when it hatches, tears its host apart. This revelation works nicely with the one established in this Alien Spotlight one-shot. Gorn society is built upon principles detestable to the Federation, yet this leads them to being one of the most powerful races in the Star Trek universe.

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