Therin of Andor wrote:
The sad thing for me about the new alien pics is that it is entirely likely that is ALL we will ever see or know about them. Old school Trek made a point to create names and planets and histories for it's aliens...
No. If you're talking about ST:TMP, then the UFP alien race names and mini-biographies were made up by costume designer, Robert Fletcher, and although his notes made it into places like the souvenir movie program, and a few gum cards, and "The Making of TMP", they weren't necessary noticed or accepted by future productions. Many of the alien ambassadors' distinctive outfits were given to brand new UFP aliens in ST IV. For example, in ST IV, the Tellarites wear TMP Kazarite robes, and a human female wears a TMP Arcturian's leather uniform. Other humanoids wear TMP Zaranite suede with new turbans, and the ST IV Zaranites are presumed as such because they are wearing the old TMP breathing masks.
Similarly, the bar scene of ST III had lots of quirky aliens, none of whom were named, or ever seen again. Ditto most of the aliens of ST V.
The ST IV aliens were named by FASA RPG, with only the Efrosian named in production materials (a caption in an official still) - and the ST VI novelization ended up branding the same race (the new UFP President) a Deltan
One of the things that annoys me the most about Trek is its tendency to make so many of its alien races anecdotal - either one dimensionl, one episode wonders or background aliens never to be seen again. I was so annoyed that Andorians, Deltans, and Tellarites are almost entirely absent from TNG in favour of carbon-copied but less interesting aliens like the Bolians, Betazoids, Zak-dorns etc. At least Babylon 5 had the good sense to have a bible of alien races from which it departed relatively rarely.
The new movie is showing that it has every intention of continuing the Trek legacy. It looks like an Edoan, barks like an Edoan but its a completely different species that we'll never see again. Yay.
I'm happy for them to make existing alien races look a bit cooler (salt monster = good; klingons = good) but I'm not really in favour of hundreds of new background species just to give the make-up desingers something to spend their budget on.