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Trivia / Star Trek

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Works in this franchise with their own Trivia pages:

  • Series:

  • Films:

  • Accidentally-Correct Writing: The trinary star system 40 Eridani (approximately 16 light-years from Earth) was declared by Gene Roddenberry to be the real-world location of the Vulcan system, which was alluded to in Star Trek: Enterprise and then confirmed by a map in Star Trek: Discovery. In 2019, astronomers confirmed the existence of a number of "super-Earths" (rocky planets more massive than Earth, much like the fictional Vulcan) orbiting the primary star 40 Eridani A.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: The franchise does this a lot (often overlapping with You Look Familiar as a number of actors played one-shot roles and then moved up to playing recurring or regular characters):
    • DeForest Kelley was originally offered the part of Spock. This is borne out by a casting memo for the original pilot listing both Kelley and Leonard Nimoy as candidates for the role, although most sources indicate Nimoy was Roddenberry's first choice for the part. He turned it down, but eventually accepted the role of Dr. McCoy (the first two pilots had different doctor characters). Nichelle Nichols also claimed she was offered the role, although this is dubious.note 
    • Spock was almost recast between Seasons 1 and 2 of the original series, as Leonard Nimoy was unsure if he wanted to continue. The top choices to replace him? Mark Lenard and Lawrence Montaigne, both of whom had appeared as Romulans in the first season episode "Balance of Terror". When Nimoy ultimately agreed to return, neither man got their chance to be Spock, but Lenard famously returned as Spock's father, Ambassador Sarek in the episode "Journey to Babel" as well as reprising the role several times in subsequent series and films, while Montaigne would portray Spock's romantic rival Stonn in the episode "Amok Time".
    • Patrick Stewart auditioned three times. Once for Data and twice for Picard. Once bald and once wearing a hairpiece.
    • Patrick Stewart's chief competition for the part of Picard was Stephen Macht, who would go on to appear as General Krim in DS9's Season 2 three-part premiere. Also up for the part had been Mitchell Ryan, who appeared as Riker's father in TNG's second season episode "The Icarus Factor" and Barrie Ingham, who memorably played Irish stereotype Danilo O'Dell in the same season, the episode being "Up the Long Ladder".
    • Marina Sirtis and Denise Crosby were originally going to play Yar and Troi respectively but switched roles at the last minute.
    • James Avery and James Louis Watkins were two runners-up for the role of Worf. Watkins would be cast as Hagon in the TNG First Season episode "Code of Honor", while for Avery it would take a bit longer to make it into the Trek universe. He was ultimately cast as Klingon General K'Vagh in the ENT Season 4 episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence".
    • Rosalind Chao was one of the actors considered for the part of "Macha Hernandez" which would become Tasha Tar eventually. She didn't make it, but later was cast in the recurring role of Keiko Ishikawa, the Enterprise botanist who marries Chief O'Brien, and as a result transferred with him to Deep Space Nine.
    • Jeffrey Combs auditioned for the part of Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation. When Star Trek: Deep Space Nine rolled around, he was eventually cast in two different recurring roles, Brunt and Weyoun. The latter was meant to be a one-shot character (he was killed off in his first appearance) but the writers liked him so much they made the character's species a race of clones so they could bring him back, and he became a major villain in the series. Along with a few one-shot guest characters, he also played the recurring role of Shran on Star Trek: Enterprise, who was in line for a Promotion to Opening Titles until the series was canceled.
    • Two other auditioners for Riker—Billy Campbell and Christopher McDonald—had one-episode guest appearances on TNG.
    • Still other candidates for Riker (or "Ryker" as it was initially spelled) show how different the character could have gone; Vaughn Armstrong and Eric Pierpoint were both in the running. Neither man was your typical "handsome leading man" type and both appeared frequently as either aliens or stern authority figures (or aliens who were stern authority figures) in multiple episodes of the franchise, across all Rick Berman-era Trek series. Armstrong is probably best known for the recurring role of Admiral Forrest on Star Trek: Enterprise but listing all his guest roles would take most of this page. Pierpoint is likely best known as Captain Sanders in DS9's "For the Uniform" and shady Section 31 operative Harris in ENT.
    • Andrew Robinson tried out for the part of Odo before being cast as Garak. He was also considered for Captain Willard Decker in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
    • David Gatreaux was hired for what would have been the regular role of Lieutenant Xon, Spock's replacement, in the series Star Trek: Phase II, which was greenlit and had begun production before being scrapped in favor of the first film Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Since the film version had the character of Spock written back in, Xon never saw the light of day, but Gatreaux was cast in the role of Commander Branch, the commanding officer of space station Epsilon IX.
    • Kevin Peter Hall, known best for the film Predator and other parts that made use of his over-seven-foot-tall frame, was considered for both the parts of Data and Geordi. He eventually appeared as Leyor in TNG's Season 3 episode "The Price".
    • The producers of DS9 were so impressed by Alexander Siddig's performance in A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia that they intended to offer him the role of Sisko, until they actually met him and realized he was far too young for the part (having been aged up for the film). Instead, they cast him in the role of the station's doctor, originally called Julian Amoros but renamed Julian Bashir to better suit Siddig's background.
    • Tim Russ auditioned for the part of Geordi LaForge on TNG. He played a number of one-shot guest roles in the franchise before being cast as Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager.
    • Eric Menyuk was a finalist for the role of Data on TNG; he ended up playing the recurring role of the Traveler, Wesley Crusher's alien mentor.
    • Robert Picardo desperately wanted to be cast in Voyager, but as Neelix, whom Picardo was convinced would become the show's Breakout Character. Thankfully he was persuaded to take the "boring" role of the Doctor, turning that role into the breakout character, instead.
    • James Cromwell was considered for Odo. He had already appeared as Nayrok on TNG's "The Hunted" and would later play several alien roles and finally, most famously, Zefram Cochrane.
    • Kim Cattrall was considered for Savvik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Vixis in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier before being cast as Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
  • Development Gag:
    • Quite a few. Jeffries Tubes were named after the visual designer of the original series (and designer of the original Enterprise) Matt Jeffries. Various shuttlecraft, such as the Justman, were also named after notable production crew. A section of Stage 16 at the Paramount studio used to portray alien planets had the nickname of "Planet Hell," which was used as a description of an appropriate planet in Star Trek: Voyager.
    • The ENT episode "Dear Doctor" makes a reference to sex-starved Archer's "Pillerian Slips" in front of busty T'Pol. This is a cute nod to writer Michael Piller.
  • Fandom Life Cycle: Against all odds, the franchise managed to reach Level 5 of mainstream familiarity. Once The Original Series ended, never a ratings darling or helped by the network, the fandom reached Cooldown and retreated to cult status. But over a decade later, Star Trek: The Motion Picture led to a Newbie Boom, and the franchise has received new material to be kept alive and popular ever since. Even low points were followed by boosts such as the 2009 film.
  • Franchise Ownership Acquisition: The rights to Star Trek have changed hands several times through corporate mergers and acquisitions. It started off being owned by Desilu Studios, which was bought by Paramount while the original series was still in production. There was later a period in the 2000s and 2010s where the film rights and TV rights were split between respectively Paramount and CBS by their mutual parent company Viacom, which caused legal headaches for licensees like Star Trek Online creator Cryptic Studios.
  • Killed by Request:
    • Spock's death in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was due to Leonard Nimoy's wish to be written out of the movie series. He was resurrected in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock after Nimoy changed his mind.
    • Brent Spiner insisted on Data's death in Star Trek: Nemesis because he didn't think he could convincingly play an un-aging android anymore as he got older. The final film still includes a Sequel Hook hinting at Data's possible resurrection in B-4's body, which the Star Trek Novelverse and Star Trek Online both took advantage of, but any future movies in the TNG series were derailed when Nemesis flopped. They ended up writing him back into the series in a very different way in Star Trek: Picard, by having Dr. Soong's son, Alton, scavenge up all memory engrams of every Soong-type android known to exist, and load them all into "Daystrom Android M-5-10", which was given a synthetic human body that aged naturally, and looked the same age as 70ish Alton himself. Data's engrams soon take over the android's body, thus reviving Data with a naturally aging body.
  • Life Imitates Art: Enough that we actually gave the franchise its own page. Take the sliding doors, for one thing.
  • Long-Runners: 54 years and counting, in which time the franchise has produced 36 seasons of television, 13 theatrical films, several dozen video games, and nearly 900 novels.
  • Meme Acknowledgement: In 2017, there was an essay written about “Kirk Drift”, how Kirk’s reputation as a womanising hothead isn’t actually how it was in the show or movies. Christopher L Bennett was already making the Common Knowledge an in-universe theme in his novels, but in the official book The Autobiography of Spock, Spock defends his friend, and the editor gives an explicit nod to the essay.
  • Referenced by...: See subpage.
  • Spin-Off Cookbook:
    • The Official Star Trek Cooking Manual by Mary Ann Piccard. In-universe, the personal cooking log of Christine Chapel.
    • The Star Trek Cookbook by Ethan Phillips and William J. Birnes. In-universe, written as if by Neelix.
  • Trope Maker for:
  • Unfinished Episode: Memory Alpha made a list. Highlights include:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series was originally going to have an episode entitled "He Walked Among Us", which would have guest starred Milton Berle. In the episode, Berle would've played a sociologist pretending to be God in a primitive community, and it would've showcased Berle's dramatic acting range. However, Gene Roddenberry was enraged when he discovered that the script for the episode had been rewritten as a comedy, so he ordered for the episode to be scrapped.
    • A Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called "Blood and Fire", featuring an openly gay couple and an AIDS allegory. Rick Berman shot it down due to the former, but it was later produced as part of the Fan Vid series Star Trek: New Voyages.
    • A Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode where Ens. Sito Jaxa from the TNG episode "Lower Decks" returns as a PTSD patient after having been imprisoned in inhumane conditions. Some elements were used in season 4's "O'Brien must suffer" episode "Hard Time".
    • A Star Trek: Voyager episode where the Doctor is forced to kill someone to protect a patient, bringing him into conflict with the Hippocratic Oath.
    • The entire planned fifth season of Star Trek: Enterprise, due to the cancellation. Season 5 was to show the beginnings of the Federation and the roots of the Earth-Romulan War, and much of the material would be used in the Star Trek: Enterprise Relaunch novel series.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things: For several decades the owners of the Star Trek IP (Paramount in its various incarnations) practiced a policy of benign neglect towards fan works, even as series like Star Trek: New Voyages and Star Trek Continues started to really push the envelope on production values. That all changed in 2016 when it became clear that Alec Peters, the lead producer of the ostensible fan film Star Trek: Axanar had used money donated through Kickstarter for the project to line his own pockets and set up a for-profit studio, and CBS and Paramount filed suit for copyright infringement in December 2015. At time of writing the case is still in pretrial motions, but in June 2016 C/P issued a set of highly stringent new rules for fan films that are essentially the death knell of the higher-quality web series.
  • Word of God: Per Paramount Studios (owners of the franchise) and Gene Roddenberry (creator of the franchise) from the late-80s/early-90s, only live-action Star Trek TV episodes and films are considered canon. This has been hotly debated by fans, and occasionally ignored by scriptwriters.
  • You Look Familiar: Own page here.