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What's Up With Spock's Sideburns In The Strange New Worlds Trailer?

Paramount has used its warp drive at maximum power to deliver a slew of "Star Trek" properties over the last few years. In the past, there would be one "Star Trek" show on the air at a time, with a movie coming out once every few years. Ever since the launch of "Star Trek: Discovery," Paramount has proven it's not afraid to boldly go where no studio has gone before. 

We've had the chance to go back and visit an old friend thanks to "Star Trek: Picard," and we've seen the goofier side of the galaxy on "Lower Decks," which follows the low-level crew members of an intergalactic vessel. To add to the immense legacy of the franchise, we'll soon embark on another adventure with "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds."

Plenty of new faces enter the mix, but old friends re-enter the picture as well to give new life to fan-favorite legacy characters. This includes Celia Rose Gooding portraying Uhura while Ethan Peck steps into the role of Spock. But in the latest teaser, you may be taken aback by his facial hair, specifically those pointy sideburns. What exactly is going on there?

Pointy sideburns have long been part of the Star Trek mythos

"Strange New Worlds" Spock may have sideburns a bit longer than we've seen out of the character in the past, but make no mistake — sideburns have always been part of this grand universe. All you have to do to realize that is go back and watch the original series. You'll find Spock and other crew members of the U.S.S. Enterprise sporting a distinct look.

It was a purposeful choice decided on by franchise creator Gene Roddenberry (via Heroes & Icons). After filming a couple of episodes with the men in the crew having regular sideburns, he decided to switch things up once he got the order to series. He wanted the characters to have more futuristic hairpieces that looked decidedly different from what people had in the 20th century. At first, the cast was reluctant, but then, original Spock actor Leonard Nimoy came up with a compromise. 

As he detailed in his autobiography, "I Am Spock," Nimoy suggested pointy sideburns, initially just for his character, but the other actors soon adopted the aesthetic. Since then, the look has stuck around with many characters (Vulcan or otherwise) adopting pointy sideburns. It could even be seen as recently as the J.J. Abrams-rebooted universe. There's no need to panic; it's absolutely in canon for this universe for sideburns to be that pointy. And it appears that Vulcans have had this hairstyle for quite a while.