This is a big year for all lifeforms in Federation space — the Hollywood film franchise returns in May with Star Trek Into Darkness and then Star Trek: The Video Game seeks out new brand frontiers with its April arrival — but no alien race is heating up more than the cold-blooded Gorn, represented above by their rapacious leader.

In the original Trek series, the alien reptile hegemony was represented by but one individual, the menacing captain of a Gorn ship who tussled with Starfleet Captain James T. Kirk in a 1967 episode called “Arena.” That was it for the Gorn on the ABC series; the Vulcans, Klingons and Romulans (the glamour aliens in the Star Trek universe) showed up again and again but the Gorn never got a callback and were cast off like old snakeskin — well, if snakes were made of stiff rubber.

The indignities continued. When Mego was making magic out of plastic they turned their attention to Star Trek — but the Gorn were treated like a scaly second-class citizen. The Gorn plaything was built on the basic body of a Planet of the Apes action figure and for a head he was given a brown version of the head designed for The Lizard (from Mego’s Spider-Man line) and hand-me-down Klingon clothing. Under that cruel brown tint, there’s no doubt the Gorn green with envy and red-faced with shame.

NEXT: Clawing for respect…

Now it’s a brand new day, and the Gorn are the featured villains in the new Trek game; and every week we’re going to dig into the widening Gorn culture that will soon give the lizard kings their own hissssstory. Below a look at a new caste of Gorn introduced in the upcoming game — a caste that may have worked a summer job at Jurassic Park?Initiates are the “ground troops” for the Gorn. They are the front-line fodder of the Gorn Army, and each troop is commanded by a Gorn lieutenant. In the hierarchy of the Gorn, the Initiates are in the lower class and follow orders. Their weapon is an automatic ballistic rifle called the Ravager. Relentless and ruthless, Initiates advance on two or three legs, but at their full height would be more than six feet. They are fighters and think of little else, and if they consider their own mortality, it doesn’t seem to slow them down. Like they say: Here today, Gorn tomorrow.Read more

More Trek: New photos and two covers

Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 127 minutes
  • J.J. Abrams
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