The new generation of Star Trek TV shows on CBS All Access has meant that the franchise has moved into more mature territory than ever before, with the production team free to drop in strong language, extreme violence and even explicit sexual content. Fans aren’t exactly all over this development, but I guess you could say it leaves us pondering some deeper questions about the Trek universe that never would’ve occurred previously.
For instance, Star Trek: Picard has dug deeper into Romulan culture and their interpersonal connections, like how we’ve seen the devious Narek have a sexual relationship with Soji. What’s more, fans have been wondering if Elnor could come out as LGBTQ at some point as his character matures. Showrunner Michael Chabon frequently answers fan questions on his Instagram account and one that was recently put to him was whether Romulan sexuality is similar to our own.
Here’s his response:
“The Romulan spectrum of sexual identity does not necessarily align with our present-day human understanding; romantic relationships are viewed -with pleasure-as opportunities to create conspiracy, and complex forms of polyamory, less concerned with differences of gender than of power, are not uncommon among them. Elnor has yet to really explore his own sexual identity. He is very much looking forward to doing so.”
Much as we saw with Narek’s deceitful seduction of Soji, then, Romulan sexual relationships are all about control and power, just as with everything the Romulans do. Having been brought up by warrior nuns, separate from Romulan society, and with Picard guiding him when he was young, Elnor’s different in this way, though, and Chabon is teasing that a more human exploration of his sexuality could be on the way for him in future seasons.
Some fans had been sensing some chemistry between Hugh and Elnor and hoped something could potentially happen there. Tragically, though, that’s definitely not on the cards seeing as the ex-Borg was murdered in last week’s episode by Narissa. The characters of Star Trek: Picard do need some positives in their lives amongst all the tragedy, though, so hopefully Elnor might find someone in season 2 or beyond.