Trivia / Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: It's often claimed that there isn't a single weapon fired in the movie. This isn't really correct, as there are two actual weapons firings (Kirk using his phaser to weld a door shut, and the whalers trying to harpoon George and Gracie) and one attempted (Chekov trying to stun the interrogation officers). This is likely a mix-up with a real fact, namely that this is the only Star Trek film with a body count of zero (assuming everyone survived the Probe's "attack", though Word of God is they did).
    • This is also the closest the franchise comes to actually featuring the Trope Namer, though it's phrased "Scotty, beam me up."
  • Cast the Expert: The marines who chase Chekov on the "nuclear wessel" are real marines, and many of the background characters in that sequence were the actual crew of the vessel it was filmed on.
  • Dated History: As of The New '10s, humpback whales are no longer an endangered species due to the whale hunting moratorium. This film is one of the reasons why.
  • Defictionalization / Life Imitates Art: Within 3 years of this film coming out, there was a formula for transparent aluminum.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Leonard Nimoy again.
  • Enforced Method Acting: The Navy and Marine personnel used in the film were very gung-ho, leaving Walter Koenig in some doubt as to what would happen if he failed to outrun them during the chase scene—so he really ran.
  • Executive Veto: Even though Paramount liked the film's storyline, the studio was dissatisfied with the first screenplay. In response, its head of production Dawn Steel asked Nicholas Meyer to help rewrite the film from scratch.
  • Reality Subtext: At the end of the movie, when the crew are speculating what ship they're going to get:
    Sulu: I'm counting on Excelsior.
    Scotty: Excelsior? Why in God's name would you want that bucket of bolts?
    • This is a twofer: Harve Bennett, producer and writer of the film, had initially wanted the crew to end up commanding the USS Excelsior (which had been seen in the previous film) but was overruled; and Sulu himself ends up as captain of the Excelsior two films later.
    • Ironically, the crew of the Enterprise did command the Excelsior in the intern between The Search for Spock and The Voyage Home in the DC Comics series, but were promptly tossed out to match the movie.
  • Technology Marches On: Gillian mistakes Kirk's communicator for a pocket pager. Also the humour provided by Scotty using the then-cutting-edge Macintosh Plus as if it were hopelessly primitive is ironic nowadays.
  • Throw It In:
    • They actually had Nichols and Koenig asking real San Franciscans where the nuclear submarine in Alameda was, although they were all employed as non-speaking extras. However, Layla Sarakalo, the woman who answers, "I don't know if I know the answer to that — I think it's across the bay, in Alameda", wasn't an actor at all: she had woken up that morning to find that her car had been impounded as part of the traffic reorganisation surrounding the movie shoot. Determined to make enough cash to get it back, she approached the film crew, got herself hired as an extra and deliberately ad-libbed so that they'd have to pay her. Her line ended up in the movie and, as a result, she had to be inducted into the Screen Actors Guild. See details here.
    • That cop staring at Uhura and Chekov suspiciously? That's a real SF cop who had no idea what was going on.
    • Leonard Nimoy was trying to crawl out of the water during the final scene, but the rest of the cast members just dragged him back in.
    • The scene where Spock nerve pinched the punk rocker originally ended with Spock turning the punk's radio off manually, but they went with the take where the radio shuts off from the punk's head falling on the button.
      • The idea that the punk, while passing out, should turn off the stereo with his own head, came from the actor who played him, Kirk Thatcher, who was an associate producer on the film. The generic Punk Rock that the punk is listening to (it's a song called "I Hate You") was composed and recorded by Thatcher himself and Mark Mangini, a member of the sound effects team.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Downplayed to an extent as it doesn't whack you over the head with The '80s, but it has its moments. Gillian thinks Kirk's communicator is a "pocket pager", cutting edge in those days but were it just a few years later, she'd probably assume it was a mobile phone. The whole debacle with Chekov being caught on board a US Navy ship is pure Cold War, and Scotty attempting to work a Macintosh Plus very much dates it. "Just use the keyboard" sounds like Dr. Nichols simply assumes that Scotty isn't used to computers with a mouse- cutting edge back then!
  • What Could Have Been: Eddie Murphy was originally going to play a conspiracy nut radio personality that filled the story role of the marine biologist Kirk interacts with (minus the romance, obviously). He eventually backed out of the movie but it resulted in a massive change to the storyline. The producers were worried that if Murphy was in the movie it would turn into a guest star movie like Superman III became Richard Pryor's movie. So they made sure the biologist character was clearly a secondary character to Kirk and Spock.
    • There was supposed to be a scene where Sulu encountered a little boy whom he would realize was actually his ancestor, but when the time came to film it the child actor who had been hired became upset and could not be made to act properly, and unable to find another child actor, the scene was cut.
    • There was supposed to be a scene of Sulu stealing the helicopter, but it required him to jump into the chopper and George Takei couldn't do it because he was too stiff legged from running in the San Francisco marathon. They tried filming it with a stunt man throwing him inside but that didn't look right so it was cut.
    • Saavik was supposed to be revealed to be pregnant with Spock's child from the scene in the previous film where she had to, ahem, help him through puberty, which was to explain why she didn't go back to Earth with the rest of the crew to serve as a witness on their behalf at the trial, but it was cut for unknown reasons.
    • Producers considered bringing R.C. Carmel back for a cameo as Harry Mudd, who would have served as a character witness for Kirk at his trial. This also would have been an ironic Continuity Nod to the TOS episode "Mudd's Women", where Kirk had promised to be a character witness at Mudd's trial.
    • Susan Sarandon was considered for Dr. Gillian Taylor.