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For people surnamed Gorn, see Gorn (surname).
Gorn Hegemony (Government)
The Gorn that Captain Kirk fought in "Arena"
Affiliation Gorn Hegemony

The Gorn are a fictional extraterrestrial humanoid reptilian species in the American science fiction franchise Star Trek. They first appear in the original series episode, "Arena".[1] and appear hostile to humans. This may be due to, in universe, territorial disputes as to which planets can be colonized by which species. Although the Gorn only appears in one episode of the first Star Trek series, the striking appearance of the alien has led to its appearance in numerous spin-off media.

Fictional history[edit]

The Gorn had contact with the Orion Syndicate as early as 2154. The name of their government was established as the Gorn Hegemony in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Bound" [2]

In the episode of the Star Trek TV show Arena, the Enterprise pursues an alien ship of previously unknown design after it had attacked an Earth colony. A powerful race known as the Metrons force the captains of both ships to fight to settle the dispute. During the episode, it is discovered that the alien race calls themselves Gorn.[3][4] This first contact with the Federation occurred at Cestus III in 2267.

A Gorn appeared in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Time Trap".

Although the Gorn made territorial claims in the Cestus system in 2267, the Federation had a settlement there by 2371, indicating tension later softened or the Gorn had ceded the territory.

In 2005, an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise featured a Gorn (albeit in the Mirror Universe) in the episode "In a Mirror, Darkly Part II". In that episode, the Gorn (whose name was Slar) was an overseer of a group of slaves belonging to the Mirror Universe's Tholians in an attempt to steal technology from the Constitution-class NCC-1764 Defiant which had been transferred into the Mirror Universe from ours. Slar hid in the ship's corridors and killed several crewmembers until it was killed by Jonathan Archer.

A Gorn was slated to appear in the movie Star Trek: Nemesis as a friend of Worf at Riker's bachelor party, according to an interview given by John Logan to Star Trek Communicator in 2003, but the scene was not in the final version of the film.


The Gorn was designed by artist Wah Chang, and is depicted in Arena as a hissing, slow-moving, but lethal beast.[5] The Gorn captain was portrayed by Bill Blackburn and Bobby Clark, and voiced by Ted Cassidy.[6]

In the animated series, the Gorn appeared less harsh than in the original.

In the Star Trek: Enterprise appearance, the Gorn Slar was designed and rendered using computer animation, and looked different from the original appearance; the clearest being lack of compound eyes. Slar also moved much faster than the Gorn Captain Kirk fought. Since "In a Mirror, Darkly" takes place entirely within the Mirror Universe, the contact seen between the Earth Empire and the creature does not contradict the first contact seen in "Arena".

Slar, a Gorn from the Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly Part II"

Other appearances[edit]


  • Gorn burial practices were discussed in an issue of Marvel Comics' Star Trek Unlimited.
  • A Gorn appeared in the first DC Comics run of Star Trek, in 1982. Bones comments that he doesn't have any tranquilizer strong enough to knock out a Gorn.
  • The Gorn homeworld and government chamber are shown in the Star Trek: The Next Generation trade paperback comic book The Gorn Crisis.

Video games[edit]

  • A mini-campaign with a Gorn enemy and ally appear in the SNES game and PC game Starfleet Academy. There are video cutscenes featuring a Gorn, portrayed using a puppet. The ships are also playable in skirmish mode, and multiplayer games.
  • Gorn appear in the PC game Starfleet Command.
  • Gorn ships appear in the PC game Klingon Academy. They are also playable in skirmish mode.
  • Gorn ships appeared in the FASA Starship Combat Simulator. Lead alloy versions of the MA-12 and the BH-2 were available in the late 1980s.
  • Gorn appear in the Nintendo game Star Trek: 25th Anniversary.
  • Gorn are available as one of the playable races for the Klingon Empire in the PC game Star Trek Online.
  • Dr. McCoy referred to performing an emergency delivery of a brood of eight Gorn, noting "those little bastards bite!" in the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness. This is most likely a reference to the 2013 video game Star Trek due to McCoy performing a c-section of a Gorn in the game.
  • Kirk and Spock fight the Gorn in the 2012 Star Trek Video Game [7]
  • The Gorn appear in the 2013 video game Star Trek, set in the alternate universe of the 2009 Star Trek film. Taking place between the first film and its sequel, the Gorn appear as enemies attacking the New Vulcan colony. The Gorn shown are depicted as being a brutal race of imperialistic extra-galactic conquerors who had already taken over their galaxy before crossing over into the Milky Way. They are shown to have a rigid caste system based on skin coloration and intelligence levels with the more intelligent Gorn serving as soldiers, while primitive ones serve an attack-dog role. These Gorn are far alien-looking and are not as fully bipedal as previous incarnations. Their relations to the Gorn of the original series are not known.[citation needed]
  • The Gorn race also appears in the alternate non-canon Star Fleet Universe, represented in the range of games from Amarillo Design Bureau Inc. as well as the first two Star Fleet Command games (and the Orion Pirates stand-alone add on for Starfleet Command II) from Taldren. These are not considered canon with the Star Trek movies or series. In this continuum, the Gorn Confederation is a powerful empire located coreward of the Romulan Star Empire, also bordering the United Federation of Planets and the Interstellar Concordium. It comprises three genetically related races, each from a neighboring star system, known as Ghdar I, Ghdar II and Ghdar III. They are portrayed as a more civilized and cultured race than as referenced in the Paramount Star Trek universe.
  • They ally in Y174 with the Kzinti Hegemony, the Hydran Kingdoms, the Federation and the Tholian Holdfast in the General War. The alliance between the Gorns and the Federation - following a brief conflict over a misunderstanding regarding the Federation colony on Cestus III, a Gorn world - represents one of the few alliances that is based on mutual trust and desire for friendship as opposed to political convenience. They are mutually antagonistic with the Romulans, with whom they share a border with the Interstellar Concordium, and were among the first races to feel the effects of the ISC War of Pacification.


  • Gorn appear in the 2005 novel STAR TREK - Starfleet Corps of Engineers #44: Where Time Stands Still, a sequel to the animated episode mentioned above.
  • Gorn appear in Star Trek: The Next Generation book #32, Requiem.
  • A Gorn, with a name that sounds like "Rrrk", manages a bar in Arcturus (a city, planet and star all with the same name) in the novel The Lost Years.
  • The Gorn are featured in the 2010 Pocket Books novel Star Trek: Typhon Pact - Seize the Fire They also appear in the Star Trek: Destiny trilogy and the TNG novel Cold Equations: Silent Weapons. Their mirror universe counterparts appeared in Star Trek: Mirror Universe - Rise Like Lions.*


  • A life-sized Gorn statue was on exhibit in the History of the Future museum in the Las Vegas Hilton's Star Trek: The Experience attraction. Since the attraction's closing, the figure's current whereabouts are unknown.[citation needed]
  • Gorn action figures have been available over the years including the Mego line from the 1970s, appearing in that line's television commercials.

Popular culture[edit]

  • Mythbusters, a Discovery Channel television show that uses elements of the scientific method to test the validity of rumors, myths, film scenes, adages, Internet videos, and news stories, set out to prove whether or not it was possible for Captain Kirk to have constructed an effective bamboo cannon that could have injured a Gorn, as depicted in the climax of "Arena". Unfortunately, the answer was no. Available Earth bamboo (anyway) was not strong enough to withstand the explosion. While Kirk would have been badly injured or killed, the Gorn would have been only slightly injured.
  • In the Family Guy episode "The Kiss Seen Around the World", Neil Goldman plays the fight scene from the episode "Arena" in class, showing Captain Kirk fighting the Gorn, pointing out when it is William Shatner performing as Captain Kirk and his stunt double "Fred Lubbins". In reality, the stunt double for the scene was Dick Dial.
  • A Gorn is shown reading Gorn magazine and sitting in Sheldon's spot in The Big Bang Theory season 4 episode "The Apology Insufficiency".
  • A Gorn is shown at the conclusion of a dream by Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory Season 5 episode "The Transporter Malfunction".
  • In the film Paul, the protagonists are shown playing with a Gorn mask.
  • The Gorn appeared in Robot Chicken Season 6 "In Bed Surrounded by Loved Ones", in which Kirk has "stage 3 space Herpes" and contacts the people he had sex with. One such encounter includes the Gorn (voiced by Fred Tatasciore) too, which they briefly fight before making out.
  • A Gorn appeared with William Shatner in the preview/ad for the Star Trek 2 game in 2013 [8]


External links[edit]