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    Star Trek: The Motion Picture 
  • This film's script was based on the intended pilot episode of Star Trek: Phase II, a Sequel Series to the original show that never materialized (primarily because the planned Paramount TV network it was supposed to be the anchor for didn't happen, as the head of Gulf & Western, Paramount's owner at the time, thought it would lose too much cash; Paramount would eventually launch UPN with Voyager as its first series). The fact that it was written for a 90-minute (at most) pilot episode explains all the padding in the filmed version. Also, Decker and Ilia would have been major characters in the show, which is why they get more lines than half the actual people the audience came to see. The project had sets built, test footage shot and scripts for thirteen episodes written before being scrapped. The latter ended up coming in handy when the second season of Next Generation was able to pull several of the scripts out of storage during the 1988 writers' strike.
  • Also, What Could Have NOT Been: Leonard Nimoy was in a production of Equus and by then, hated Gene Roddenberry, Spock, and Star Trek (in Roddenberry's case, it was due to his refusal to support Nimoy in a lawsuit over unauthorized use of his likeness in merchandising). Nimoy had earlier turned down Phase II due to not wanting to have just a guest role, and wouldn't read the script offers due to the aforementioned lawsuit, feeling it would be inappropriate to do so. Eisner's protege Jeffrey Katzenberg was on his hands and knees to bring Nimoy back into the picture, agreeing to settle the lawsuit if he at least read the script. He finally accepted, which gave the character of Spock new life.
  • Chekov would have been killed by an exploding console during V'Ger's attack on the Enterprise. It was later changed so that he was just injured, and Lieutenant Ilia uses her telepathic/empathic ability to stop the pain in his burned hand.
  • Lance Henriksen and Andrew Robinson auditioned for the role of Commander Willard Decker. Robinson would later play Elim Garak on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • Ralph McQuarrie, who designed concept art for Star Wars, was asked to design a new Enterprise for the movie. He drew one that resembled a Star Destroyer. This would inspire the design of the USS Discovery on Star Trek: Discovery.
  • An early version of the film pitted the crew against a shapeshifting alien that would assume the forms of various biblical figures. In the climactic scene, Kirk would have had a fistfight with an alien who had assumed the image of Jesus Christ (anticipating the fifth movie by about ten years?).
  • The scene where Spock enters the inner sanctum of V'ger was originally a spacewalk scene with actors hanging from wires. It was so obviously fake-looking that they reshot the entire scene.
  • Gene Roddenberry tried to convince his wife Majel Barret to reprise her role as M'Ress from Star Trek: The Animated Series. Barret was unwilling to be in make-up long enough to be M'Ress. If she had, it would have affirmed that The Animated Series was indeed canon.

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 
  • Spock's Heroic Sacrifice was originally placed at the middle of the movie, in an attempt to mimic the Psycho gambit. When they wisely decided to make it the emotional climax of the film instead, Peter Preston's sacrifice was put in its place instead. Relics of the original plan can still be seen in the finished film (this is why Spock does not accompany Kirk, Bones, and Saavik to the planet — because in earlier drafts he was already dead). Similarly, the whole ordeal was practically spoiled before the movie began filming because it was what lured him back to the franchise. The Kobayashi Maru sequence was intended as a way to throw off expectations. An early version of the script got leaked, including the fact that Spock died. Afterwards, the Kobayashi Maru sequence, which included Spock fake-dying, was added to fake-out moviegoers and make them think that that was the "death" that had been promised. Kirk even point-blank asks Spock "Aren't you dead?" and gets a quizzical raised eyebrow in response.
  • Ricardo Montalbán considered turning down reprising the role of Khan due to lack of screen time. When he realized how much of an impact Khan has (even when he's not on screen, Khan is affecting every action every character in the movie takes), he signed onto the film.
  • The preliminary design for the U.S.S. Reliant was initially much different than what was eventually seen in the film, with the "roll-bar" torpedo bay missing and the warp nacelles above the dish, like on the Enterprise. However, when Harve Bennett received the design for approval, he viewed the drawing upside-down and assumed that was Reliant's intended look. The production team debated whether or not to send the drawing back to Bennett right-side-up, but he was shooting in Israel by then and there was little time to contact him. They added the roll bar and repositioned the nacelles, resulting in the Reliant we are familiar with.
  • Even before that stage, they originally considered having the Reliant be another Constitution-class starship (it was the only class of Federation ship seen on Trek before that time), but then realized the audience would have trouble telling it apart from the Enterprise during the battle sequences. Thus it was decided to make Reliant a Miranda-class vessel.
  • Spock's death was originally intended to be permanent, as Nimoy had grown tired of the franchise and even almost didn't come back for the first film, so he signed on for Wrath with the understanding that Spock would die. However, working on this film was such a good experience he rethought his decision.
    Nimoy: As it came time to film the scene [Spock's death], I thought "I may have made a big mistake here." I had no idea this thing would ever go again, but here it was, cooking on all four burners, and I had backed Spock right out of the franchise.
  • In an early draft, Carol Marcus' role was taken by Janet Wallace, a different scientist Old Flame of Kirk's who had appeared in the TOS episode "The Deadly Years". Nicholas Meyer, who was chafing from having most of the film already pre-cast, decided to invent the character of Carol Marcus specifically so he could cast Bibi Besch, an actress he had long admired, in the part (the two would work together again in The Day After, and note that Besch does not return for the third film, which Meyer had no involvement with).
  • The role of Lt. Marla McGivers (smitten with Khan in "Space Seed", and who goes into exile with them on Ceti Alpha V) was considered to be included in the script. She was eventually dropped either because her character's death would give Khan more motivation and justification for his Roaring Rampage of Revenge (as she is obviously his "beloved wife" who had perished), or because the actress who played Lt. McGivers, Madlyn Rhue, had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and was not up for the physical demands of such a role (although her other credits from the time period show her retaining her mobility, she would eventually be confined to a wheelchair by the mid-1980s). Rhue did work with Ricardo Montalbán in a 1982 production, the Fantasy Island episode "The Perfect Gentleman/Legend".
  • Despite the Troubled Production of the previous film, Paramount actually were open to letting Gene Roddenberry produce the sequel. However, his resistance to the idea of stepping back into a more hands-off role and letting someone else supervise the day-to-day workings of the shoot, along with his outright refusal to budge away from a story idea whereby Spock would accidentally prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, resulted in Paramount kicking him upstairs and giving him no real say in the film's production.
  • In Harve Bennett's original draft of the script, entitled The War of the Generations, Kirk investigates a rebellion on a distant world and discovers that his son is the leader of the rebels. Khan is the mastermind behind the plot, and Kirk and son join forces to defeat the tyrant.
  • Jack B. Sowards' draft, The Omega Syndrome, involved the theft of the Federation's ultimate weapon, the "Omega system". This was changed to the Genesis Device on the suggestion of the movie's art director, Mike Minor, who thought a Star Trek movie ought to have something more positive driving the plot.
  • Kim Cattrall auditioned for Saavik. She would later play Lt. Valeris, a Suspiciously Similar Substitute in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
  • In the original script, it was McCoy who told Kirk that Spock was beyond saving, by way of his Catchphrase "He's dead, Jim." DeForest Kelley objected, feeling that the use of that phrase would ruin the mood of the scene and might even cause some viewers to laugh. He and James Doohan ultimately decided to switch lines, making Scotty the one who tells Kirk that Spock is "dead already", with Kelley having delivered the previous line that had originally been intended for Doohan, "You'll flood the whole compartment." (This was probably for the best, as Kelley was likely right about the potential audience reaction.)
  • According to this Kinja post, a 1982 article from the long-defunct sci-fi magazine Starblazer had pictures showing a young child looking out the window of one of the Botany Bay cargo modules on Ceti Alpha V, and being filmed in front of the powered-up Genesis Device prop. Supposedly, the toddler in these cut scenes was the son of Khan himself.
    • The child is in the script. Terrell and Chekov discover him in the cargo carrier. When Chekov sees the name "Botany Bay" and says "We’ve got to get out of here", Terrell responds, "But what about the child, Chekov?" The child was cut from the scene, and Terrell’s line redubbed as, "But what about the tricorder?" The child also appears in the novelisation.
  • The original script had Kirk congratulating Sulu for being assigned as Captain of the USS Excelsior in a month. This occured right after Sulu's "any chance to go aboad the Enterprise" line:
    Sulu: However briefly, is always an excuse for nostalgia.
    Kirk: I cut your new orders personally. By the first of this month, you'll have your first command: USS Excelsior.
    Sulu: Thank you, sir. I've looked forward to this for a long time.
    Kirk: You've earned it.
    • It then picks up from Kirk's line about being happy having Sulu on the helm for three weeks, because "I don't think these kids can steer."
  • It seems clear that Saavik was being set up to replace Spock after Nimoy left the franchise, essentially making her a newer, female version of Xon from the abandoned Phase II series.

    Star Trek III: The Search for Spock 
  • Edward James Olmos was Leonard Nimoy's preference for Kruge.
  • Early scripts have the Klingons as a rogue group who commandeered a Romulan Bird of Prey.
  • And earlier than that, it was supposed to be Romulans, period, in Harve Bennett's treatment.note  Spock's role is relatively the same, except he goes feral and kills several Romulan miners when they drill for dilithium on the Genesis planet. A subplot would have also had the Vulcans threatening to secede from the Federation over the Genesis Torpedo... The 2009 reboot would have temporally-displaced Romulan miners as the Big Bad.
  • The destruction of the Enterprise played out quite differently in the initial treatment, instead being depicted as a Dying Moment of Awesome in which the ship exploded in a gigantic blast which wiped out an entire Romulan fleet surrounding Genesis. When the bad guys were changed to Klingons with just one ship, the death of the Enterprise was instead turned into more of a dramatic moment.
  • In the novelization, Saavik and David Marcus became romantically involved (the seeds for this were planted in the previous movie's novelization); this storyline was completely dropped from the films.
  • In the novelization, Saavik became pregnant with Spock's kid. This, too, was dropped.
  • There was some debate as to who would get killed off at the end, Saavik or David Marcus. Ultimately they chose to have David make a Heroic Sacrifice to atone for the damage he had done with the Genesis Project and also to balance out the return of Spock.
  • Gene Roddenberry would have preferred it had the Enterprise just lost its saucer and not the entire thing, envisioning the movie ending with a new saucer being attached to the old secondary hull, making it a fusion of new and old, and giving it a sense of legacy. He went on record that the destruction of the ship was a "foolish piece of waste" that was basically just an excuse for dramatic special effects, and that the Enterprise was as much a continuing character as any of her crew.

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home 
  • Eddie Murphy was originally going to play a conspiracy nut radio personality who filled Dr. Taylor's role in the story (minus the romance with Kirk, obviously). He eventually backed out of the movie, but it resulted in a massive change to the storyline. The producers were worried that Murphy's presence would have turned Star Trek IV into a guest star movie like how Superman III became Richard Pryor's movie, so they made sure Taylor 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. It's in the novelization, though.
  • 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 his legs were too stiff from running in the San Francisco marathon. They tried filming it with a stunt man throwing him inside, but it was cut because it didn't look right.
  • 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. According to Harve Bennett, Leonard Nimoy wished the scene to be removed because it made him uncomfortable. Saavik and Spock eventually became a couple in some of the continuation novels.
  • Producers considered bringing Roger 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.
  • William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy had an agreement in their contracts that any perk offered to one was offered to the other. Since Nimoy was hired to direct Star Trek III, Shatner was lined up to direct this film. But since he was busy with T.J. Hooker it didn't allow him the several months of pre- and post-production work a director needs. This was the same reason he ended up directing Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
  • Gene Roddenberry wrote a pitch for the film, which took the form of an interquel set in-between Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and depicted the Enterprise being thrown 15 million years into the future, with Kirk mysteriously disappearing in the process and being replaced by a new captain named Edmund West. As with all Roddenberry's ideas during this time period, Paramount politely ignored it.
  • The ending, with Kirk demoted back to captain and given command of a new Enterprise, was actually the ending of the previous film in earlier screenplay drafts. It got cut out for timing reasons and concerns that it would look like Kirk and his command crew were too Easily Forgiven, with the ending of this film at least allowing the implication that Kirk and the others involved in rescuing Spock would have been punished far worse if not for their saving Earth.
  • Leonard Rosenman, the film's composer, originally included Alexander Courage's Star Trek theme in the main title sequence. However, Nimoy had him rewrite a new composition and Rosenman used part of the end title themes for the opening.

    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier 
  • According to William Shatner and several others in on the original creation process of the movie, the plot would have followed the current form of the film much the same... until they met God. Instead of being a random alien, this would turn out to be Satan and McCoy would sacrifice himself to spare Spock and Kirk — who would simply dive into Hell after their friend and drag him out of Hell with Satan nipping at their heels.
  • This was nixed by various other people working on the film as just being too polarizing and not fitting for Star Trek. Or something equally bizarre — which resulted in a string of compromises that resulted in a script far worse for the wear. Combined with the subsequent Special Effect Failure...
    • Similarly, the scripts called for Spock and McCoy to willingly betray Kirk. Both Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley balked at the idea, noting that it was far too out of character to even consider such a notion after everything they went through.
  • Speaking of which, ILM were approached to do the visual effects. Unfortunately the WGA strike meant that by the time the film got into production, ILM were busy with Ghostbusters II, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Back to the Future Part II and III. The production team then approached Apogee Productions, who had provided the visual effects back on Star Trek: The Motion Picture (and had recently worked on Spaceballs), but went with Bran Ferren's company Associates & Ferren instead for delivering a suitable "God head" effect on a low budget as described in William Shatner's book Star Trek Movie Memories.
  • It should be noted that in one episode of TAS, they did go to the center of the galaxy and find Satan — though that story actually had the opposite dénouement to Shatner's idea, revealing that "Satan" was actually the sole nice guy in a world full of jerks.
  • The "rock monster" mentioned under Special Effect Failure certainly also apply, at least in that it looked far better than the rest of the feature's effects. But as would be typical for this film's troubled production, it didn't work right on set and they couldn't do anything to fix it in post.
  • They had originally been hoping to get Sean Connery (he was unavailable due to The Last Crusade) to play Sybok. The planet Sha Ka Ree was named so in reference to this. Max von Sydow was the next choice, but he was too expensive.
  • Kim Cattrall tested for Vixis. She would later play Valeris in the next film.
  • The scene where Spock sees his inner pain was originally longer. Spock claims that he resolved any tensions with his father. He then has a flashback to his childhood: when he finds out Sybok has been banished from Vulcan, Spock says he wants to go with him.
  • William Shatner wanted Erik Van Lustbader to write the script. The author asked for $1 million and Paramount refused to pay up. Nicholas Meyer was then approached, but was unavailable, resulting in David Loughery eventually being hired.

    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country 
  • Harve Bennett, the man who co-wrote and produced every Star Trek film between Star Trek II and Star Trek V, originally pitched a completely different sixth movie entirely. This movie would have been a Prequel, featuring the characters of Kirk, Spock, Bones and Scotty; recast as younger actors and meeting each other for the first time at Starfleet academy. The film was pitched as "Top Gun meets Police Academy". This may all sound very familiar with the benefit of hindsight. The story would have been about Cadet Kirk's one true love, and her death—the thing which drives him towards adventure, and which never allowed him to settle down and have a family. The movie would have featured cameos from William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy at the start and end of the film, where they visit the grave site of the girl that Captain Kirk has never allowed himself to ever forget. An alternate framing device would've had DeForest Kelley as McCoy telling students at "present-day" Starfleet Academy about how he'd met Kirk and Spock.
  • Bennett's story was seen as very risky in 1990 (recasting the roles of Captain Kirk and Mister Spock? Get outta town!), and was eventually shut down by Executive Meddling—the suits simply didn't feel that the movie-going public at the time could ever accept such a radical departure. They pushed for Bennett to write a more traditional Star Trek, with all the original cast. Bennett refused to do this, and walked from the project. Nicholas Meyer, Denny Martin Flynn and Leonard Nimoy knocked together the eventual version in something of a hurry (they had to have the movie out in time for the 25th anniversary of the original series), so its probably quite surprising that the final movie turned out as well as it did.
    • Not just executive meddling. When told about the plan to recast, some of the original cast spread rumors at cons that it was going to be a farce along the lines of "The Jetsons crossed with Police Academy." Fans rioted and the plan was scrapped. Didn't help that Gene Roddenberry was against it as well.
    • As for making the film in a hurry for the anniversary, an Academy film would almost certainly have never made it out in time. A prequel would've required all-new sets, costumes, and models, while a film set on the Enterprise-A allowed them to reuse all of their existing assets, saving a lot of time and money.
    • The choice of director was a bit of a last-minute rush as well. According to Leonard Nimoy, he and William Shatner got two of everything. As such, since Nimoy had already directed two Star Trek movies, Shatner was supposed to direct this film as well, in addition to The Final Frontier. Paramount, primarily blaming that film's disastrous performance on Shatner, had no intentions of letting him direct again, and had wanted Nimoy to take up the director's chair again. Knowing full well that Shatner would have lost it, Nimoy went to Nicholas Meyer and told him the situation; if Meyer wasn't interested in the project, Nimoy would willingly take the hit and direct the film himself. When Meyer asked about a premise, Nimoy suggested "What if the wall went down in space?" And the rest is history.
  • Even the story they eventually went with could have been a lot deeper. In the novelization, the Klingons were responsible for a massacre on the Federation colony of Kudao (which the Klingon government claimed was a rogue action), and Chang's bird-of-prey attacked a science station on the planet Themis inside Federation space, which critically injured Kirk's love interest, Carol Marcus. Had they kept this in, it would have provided more recent context for why the Klingons were so mistrusted, and another personal reason why Kirk hates the Klingons so much—considering that David's death happened ten years or so before the events of Star Trek VI. However, the idea of Marcus being injured in a Klingon raid did make it into the novel.
  • The original idea for the opening was to have Kirk and Spock round up the officers for their final mission. This would have shown their fates and why they were so eager to return. Spock would have originally been playing Polonius in a Vulcan production of Hamlet. Scotty would be struggling to understand the cloaking device on the stolen Bird-of-Prey alongside Starfleet cadets. Uhura would be hosting a talk radio show. Chekov would be playing chess with higher life forms, gloating about his "superior Russian strategies". McCoy would be surrounded by insufferable doctors. Kirk himself would be in bed with Dr. Carol Marcus. And Sulu was originally a taxi driver on some backwater alien planet instead of being captain of the Excelsior who discovers the disaster befalling the Klingons in the opening. However, the budget would not allow for such a pricey sequence, so it was scrapped. Nevertheless, the idea of Kirk gathering the crew together for a mission was explored in the novel "The Fearful Summons" - which was written by Denny Martin Flynn. In this novel, which was set a few months after Kirk had retired he sets off on a mission to rescue Hikaru Sulu and gathers up his Former shipmates. These include Spock, who is acting in a Vulcan Shakesphere production and Chekov who is in Russia playing chess against a Betazoid who uses her telepathic abilities to gain an advantage against Chekov.
  • Perhaps the most famous What Could Have Been element of the film was that the role of Valeris in the final film was originally written as Saavik. This would have packed a much greater emotional wallop, as Saavik had previously appeared in three films and her betrayal would have been a huge shock. Gene Roddenberry, though in ailing health and near death, was able to apply Executive Veto against this - even though Nicholas Meyer, the director and (uncredited) screenwriter of ST:II, created Saavik and unsuccessfully argued that he knew her better than Roddenberry. Before this veto was applied, the production team attempted to entice Kirstie Alley to return for the role (Robin Curtis, who replaced her for ST:III and ST:IV, was apparently never considered); Alley was busy filming Cheers at the time but both properties were owned by Paramount and the studio could have easily arranged a way for her to appear in both. She declined anyway before Roddenberry's veto made the point moot, but had Saavik reappeared she would have been played by a third actress in just four films.
    • And if they'd gone with Saavik as the one to betray Starfleet, and if the film versions of The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock had followed the novelizations by having Saavik and David fall in love, it would have provided an excellent personal reason for Saavik to wish the Klingons dead.
    • Given that Saavik was strongly implied to be Spock's lover (in ST:III), and pregnant with his child (in the novelization of ST:IV), it would have made her betrayal of and extremely public Mind Rape by her husband much more distressing than the final script's version.
  • Walter Koenig also submitted a story idea he was rather proud of titled In Flanders Field that would have ended with the deaths of everyone except McCoy and Spock, both of whom had already been seen alive by the time The Next Generation took place ("Relics", featuring Scotty, aired a year later).
  • Jack Palance turned down the role of Gorkon so he could star in City Slickers. It worked out well for him.
  • Whoopi Goldberg was going to cameo as Guinan. Ironically, she was busy filming Star Trek: The Next Generation. She eventually got a role in the next film.
  • Sulu was slated to become captain of his own ship as far back as Star Trek II, in large part due to the campaigning of George Takei (he argued that Sulu had an awfully high rank for a helmsman). A line in that film has Kirk mention that Sulu is only with them for a few more weeks, a remnant of that subplot. That premise was considered for every film but eventually abandoned for one reason or another. In-Universe, Sulu WAS about to take his own command at that point in Star Trek II, but was an accomplice to Kirk's defiance of Starfleet orders in Star Trek III. Even though he was ultimately pardoned for the crime in Star Trek IV, it still caused a career set-back and it took him a few years to get back on track. Takei himself said he had given up trying to get that character promotion, and was delighted to see it finally happen in this film.

    Star Trek Generations 
  • The concept of the Enterprise-D being destroyed and the saucer section crashing on a planet was devised in the sixth season of the show as a possible season cliffhanger. It was dismissed as being far too expensive and would require too much time to reestablish a new ship in the final season.
  • The cast was supposed to receive newly-designed uniforms for this film, but the producers realized, after seeing early footage, that the new uniforms looked awful on screen (they were a hybrid of the TOS maroon jackets with the color scheme of the TNG jumpsuits, which did not look quite right). With no time or money to come up with new costumes, the producers settled on the cast wearing a combination of TNG and DS9 uniforms but only made new costumes for Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner. This led to some comically ill-fitting costuming for some cast members. Jonathan Frakes wore Avery Brooks' DS9 uniform (which was obviously much too smallnote ) while LeVar Burton wore Colm Meaney's uniform (which was obviously much too big).
  • The original plans for the film involved the Enterprise-A fighting the Enterprise-D. Problems: a) there was no way for either crew to come out the good guy, and b) this would require budgeting, logistics, and all the other headaches for two full Enterprise crews at once. The plan was scrapped. Plus, a 23rd century Constitution-class starship vs a 24th century Galaxy-class starship would have been an utter Curb-Stomp Battle, advantage Picard.
  • The original plan was to have all the TOS cast involved in the opening of the film. The producers concluded that it was all too much, and decided to whittle it down to just four former crew members, Kirk, Spock, Leonard “Bones” McCoy, and Sulu. This upset a lot of people, including Whoopi Goldberg, who was hoping to finally share screen time with Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), and Patrick Stewart, who wanted both sets of crew members on the project so that everyone was part of Star Trek’s future.
    • Following the rewrite, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley declined to make an appearance. Kelley was in ill health at the time and would have difficulty in getting insurance, while Nimoy felt that Spock's lines were so generic they could have been spoken by anyone and when he wasn't allowed to rewrite them, he passed. In any event, both felt that the last film was a fitting end. Their roles were given to Scotty and Chekov, respectively.
    • George Takei also declined to return, feeling that Sulu wouldn't give up command of the Excelsior to take orders from Kirk again, so his role was given to Sulu's daughter.
  • Nimoy was also sounded out as a possible director for the film. While he was willing to do it, he ultimately refused on the grounds that Rick Berman made it clear that he would have no script input (fellow TOS film director Nicholas Meyer would later refuse to work on Star Trek: Nemesis for much the same reason), not to mention that Paramount wouldn't budge on the release date.
  • Antonia, Kirk's mostly-unseen Love Interest in the Nexus, was originally conceived as Carol Marcus. Paramount requested that the character be changed.
  • Marlon Brando was interested in playing Tolian Soran, and his representative contacted producer Rick Berman about the role. Berman was enthusiastic about having Brando on board, and contacted Paramount CEO Sherry Lansing about the possibility. However, Brando was asking for a very high salary, which Lansing was not ready to pay.
  • Former TNG writer/producer Maurice Hurley wrote a competing screenplay so that Paramount could have two potential stories to use. What little is known of this screenplay would have featured Kirk being recreated on the holodeck by Captain Picard to aid him in repelling an interdimensional invasion, because of his experiences in the TOS episode "The Tholian Web". The studio ultimately went with Braga and Moore's script because it was further along.
  • The early scripts featured large action set pieces that were later removed. Among them was the Romulan attack on the Amargosa observatory, cut when Jeri Taylor suggested something more "charming". Another major revision to the script revolved around the Duras sisters and their crew: surviving the destruction of their ship, they would have battled the Enterprise-D crew in the jungles of Veridian III.
  • Early in development, Michael Piller (often dubbed TNG's real daddy) was approached to develop and write his own screenplay. He turned the offer down. Given his own attempt at a TNG film resulted in Star Trek: Insurrection, we may have actually dodged a bullet there.
  • Berman himself said that if they didn't already do "Yesterday's Enterprise" that it would have been the perfect general story for this film, just swap out the Enterprise-C for the Enterprise-A. Braga also said in a perfect world they would have had both captains on the bridge of their ships, rather than "a bridge on the captain."

    Star Trek: First Contact 
  • William Shatner pitched a script to Paramount where Kirk was resurrected by the Borg and the Romulans as part of a revenge scheme by both parties against Kirk and Picard (the former by the Romulans for their humiliation, and the latter for the Borg for their defeat). This script would have seen Kirk team up with Spock, Scotty, and McCoy one last time, along with Picard and his crew, before giving his life to destroy the Borg once and for all (in response to the backlash against Kirk's death in Generations). Paramount rejected this script, as they were no longer interested in doing films with the TOS cast, so Shatner instead rewrote it into a novel, The Return, with the aid of Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.
  • The original tentative plans would have seen the Borg going back in time to the time of the Renaissance, but it was decided that such a trip would make the film too much like a historical documentary, so the time travel was instead shifted to take the Borg back to a point in the past of Star Trek without making it the past of the present day.
  • The movie originally would have had Picard down on Earth helping to repair the warp ship while Riker would be up on the Enterprise fighting the Borg, and more emphasis was going to be placed on the Earth storyline. Some reasons for switching their roles were that Patrick Stewart felt Picard should have a more active role in defending the Enterprise, while Jonathan Frakes wanted to have more time to focus on directing. Picard was also the one who had been assimilated by the Borg, so it made more sense for him to be the one to confront them. According to Braga and Moore's DVD commentary, the Enterprise plot was mostly unchanged but the Earth-based story was completely altered. Also, Lily (who was called Ruby in the early script) would have remained on Earth with Picard rather than being taken to the Enterprise.
  • The earlier drafts of the script were also quite different tonally, and more of a time-travel comedy in the same vein as Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. When Picard and Riker's roles were swapped, the main storyline became much Darker and Edgier, with the Cochrane scenes instead used to provide moments of relief.
  • The Borg Queen wasn't in the early drafts of the script. They started to formulate the character when executive script notes remarked that they were just cyber-zombies and the movie needed a more tangible villain.
  • The Defiant was outright destroyed in one draft of the script. Unsurprisingly, the DS9 staff objected to what effects this would create for their show, so it was changed. (Incidentally, the ship would be destroyed on DS9, but not for another 2 and a half years, and would be replaced by a look-alike with the same name.)
  • Earlier drafts of the script established early on that the aliens who were supposed to make first contact with humanity were the Vulcans. The final film didn't mention their identity until they appeared.
  • Although the role of Zefram Cochrane was written with James Cromwell in mind, Tom Hanks, a big fan of Star Trek, was approached for the role by Paramount first, but he had already committed to That Thing You Do! and had to reject the part. Christopher Walken was also considered.
  • In the original screenplay, Picard tells Lily her phaser was set to minimum, and would have just given him a bad rash. This original line is still found in the Novelization.
  • The Enterprise-E was originally planned to be another Galaxy-class—they even repainted the four-foot model with the letters NCC-1701-E—but decided later to go with the more aggressive-looking Sovereign-class.
    • The Sovereign-class went through a number of revamps. One infamous iteration had its nacelles stuck out in a way that the ship was mocked for looking like a fried chicken. A near-final version of the ship had its bussard collectors (those red globes on front of the nacelles) uncovered, but were ultimately covered up. This version of the ship was late enough in production that the initial Playmates toy used it.
  • The Borg Queen originally looked like something out of Alien.
  • They also drew up various alternate sketches for Borg ships, including a "Borg Obelisk".
  • Q appeared in one draft.
  • John McTiernan and Ridley Scott were both asked to direct.
  • Yaphet Kotto was considered for a part, back when the film was called Destinies.

    Star Trek: Insurrection 
  • The film was originally a Whole-Plot Reference of Apocalypse Now, with Picard in the Willard role hunting down an old friend of his while Starfleet becomes akin to the American government during the Vietnam war, providing more of a justification for Picard's insurrection. As seen below, this basic concept was tried in a variety of configurations before settling on the final product.
  • Early in the development, Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga were both approached to write the screenplay. However, Moore passed, happy to have First Contact be his cinematic Trek swansong (in addition to being overloaded with Deep Space Nine). Braga also declined, unwilling to work on the project without his old writing partner (and because as the then-new Voyager showrunner, he feared he wouldn't be able to give both projects his full attention).
  • Patrick Stewart wanted BRIAN BLESSED to play Admiral Dougherty. Wilford Brimley and Gene Hackman were also considered.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered for Ru'afo.
  • Sally Field was considered for Anij.
  • There were some serious rumblings that fan-favorite Q would appear. That ultimately did not pan out and Jonathan Frakes is on record as being disappointed with that.
  • According to Michael Piller's unpublished book, Fade In, the first draft was about Picard hunting down his old friend from the academy, Duffy, who has gone native and allied with the Baku against the Romulans. The effect of the Fountain of Youth is amplified as the Enterprise closes in on Duffy, essentially de-aging Patrick Stewart back to Season One Picard. It eventually ended with a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington like speech by Picard in front of the Federation council as the crew are about to be arrested, but stopped by a Slow Clap started by Boothby. Sound familiar?
  • The chase sequences with Duffy made it into the film, with Duffy replaced by Data. This explains the incongruity of Data being invited on the planet at all, to say nothing of going berserk and buzzing around Ru'afo's ship for no reason.
  • Speaking of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, this film was produced while the Dominion War arc was playing out on that show, with many observers noting that the flagship of the fleet really should have been on the front somewhere, fighting in this pan-Galactic conflict which involved all of the galaxy's great powers. However, neither Rick Berman nor Michael Piller were fans of the Dominion War storyline, segregating the details of that conflict to Red Skies Crossover status within the finished film.
  • The originally-filmed ending for the film had Ru'afo escaping from the collector in an escape pod, which then fell into the planet's rings, exposing him to such a massive dose of the metaphasic radiation that he rapidly grew younger, with the implication that he eventually de-aged out of existence. The producers felt that the ending was too ambiguous, however, and wanted a more traditional demise for him, and so refilmed the ending to have Ru'afo blown up with the collector.
  • A scene was filmed featuring Armin Shimerman reprising his role as Quark, attempting to build a resort on the Baku homeworld before he's escorted away by Starfleet.
  • The intention was to explain Worf's presence on the Enteprise-E as him taking a leave of absence from Deep Space Nine following the death of his wife, Jadzia Dax, but it was cut so international viewers wouldn't have Jadzia's death spoiled, as the film was released during the time period where international airings of TV episodes and seasons tended to be months, if not years after they first aired in North America.

    Star Trek: Nemesis 
  • Apparently, more than a third of the film (including most of the character moments and a great chunk of the expository dialogue) was cut before the final release.
  • The earliest version of the script was written so that Patrick Stewart would have been playing both Picard and Shinzon, and the final battle between the Enterprise and the Scimitar took place in orbit of Earth.
  • In addition, a later draft had the small armada waiting on the Romulan boarder joining in on the fight to have a six on one fight.
  • Following the release of Star Trek: Insurrection, Patrick Stewart commented in an interview that he thought that the next film should follow up on the "corrupt Admiral" subplot with a story in which the TNG crew had to confront massive corruption in Starfleet. Given Picard's established reaction to Starfleet officers who betray the ideals of the Federation, it is difficult to see how such a movie could have been anything other than awesome. 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness does contain some elements of Stewart's idea.
  • Jude Law was originally considered to play Shinzon. James Marsters was also considered, but he was busy with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Michael Shanks auditioned for the role.
  • Jeri Ryan was supposed to appear as Seven of Nine, but she was busy on Boston Public, so Kate Mulgrew was given the cameo appearance as Janeway instead.
  • Craig T. Nelson and Alan Rickman were rumoured for the role of the Reman Viceroy.
  • Rick Berman tried to get an 11th film with a script written by Band of Brothers screenwriter Erik Jendresen off the ground, but Nemesis was such the flop it never took off, and Berman was let go by Paramount in 2006.
  • Brent Spiner and John Logan had their own idea, co-writing a sequel that would've been a full Crossover with the casts of Deep Space Nine and Voyager, but the failure of Nemesis shelved those plans.
  • As late as the shooting script, the Scimitar was supposed to have its warp core on the bridge, so that Data could destroy the ship at the climax by shooting it. Technical consultant Rick Sternbach pointed out that not only was this taking No OSHA Compliance up to ridiculous levels, but Romulan starships are supposed to use different reactors which likely wouldn't go boom just by shooting them. As a result, this was changed to the somewhat less ridiculous option of sticking the thalaron beam's generator there instead.
  • Riker originally had a Pre-Mortem One-Liner to the Remen viceroy ("Don't worry, hell is dark.") before kicking him to his death. Jonathan Frakes objected to it, feeling it was cold-blooded and Out of Character, but was initially overruled. It was only removed when the script leaked and the line was widely mocked by fans.
  • Geordi was supposed to have brought Dr. Leah Brahms (introduced as a holographic program from "Booby Trap", then the real woman for "Galaxy's Child") to the wedding, echoing the possible future from "All Good Things", which said that they ended up together. However, Susan Gibney, who played Leah, was unavailable, so the scene with Geordi and Guinan chatting was written instead.
  • Exposure to thalaron radiation was originally supposed to cause the flesh to melt from its victims' bones, but likely due to concerns that this would get the film slapped with an R rating, it was changed to have the victims Taken for Granite instead.

    Star Trek (2009) 
  • Joshua Jackson, Chris Pratt and Mike Vogel screen-tested for the role of Kirk before Chris Pine was cast.
  • Adrien Brody was approached for the part of Spock before the casting of Zachary Quinto.
  • James Marsden and Gary Sinise were considered for the role of McCoy before Karl Urban was cast.
  • Ricky Gervais was offered the role of Scotty before Simon Pegg was cast, but turned it down due to his lack of familiarity with the franchise. Daniel Craig was also considered.
  • Russell Crowe was the second choice for the part of Nero before the casting of Eric Bana.
  • Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg were approached to portray George Kirk before Chris Hemsworth was cast. However, Damon turned down the offer due to his instance that unknown actors should lead the movie, while Wahlberg declined since he couldn't understand the script.
  • Josh Lucas was considered for Christopher Pike.
  • Keri Russell was in talks to appear in the film.
  • Orci and Kurtzman wrote a scene for William Shatner, where old Spock gives his younger self a recorded message by Kirk from the previous timeline. "It was basically a Happy Birthday wish knowing that Spock was going to go off to Romulus, and Kirk would probably be dead by the time," and it would have transitioned into Shatner reciting "Where no man has gone before". But Shatner wanted to share Nimoy's major role, and did not want a cameo, despite his character's death in Star Trek: Generations. He suggested the film canonize his novels where Kirk is resurrected, but Abrams decided if his character was accompanying Nimoy's, it would have become a film about the resurrection of Kirk, and not about introducing the new versions of the characters. Nimoy disliked Kirk's death, but felt resurrecting Kirk would also be detrimental to this film.
  • Nichelle Nichols suggested playing Uhura's grandmother, but Abrams could not write this in due to the Writers Guild strike.
  • The phaser fight was scripted to be a Vulcan/Romulan karate fight.
  • Delta Vega was originally supposed to be a desert planet with Kirk and Future Spock finding Scotty in a Bar Full of Aliens but they thought it was too similar to how Luke and Obi-Wan found Han Solo in A New Hope.

    Star Trek Into Darkness 

    Star Trek Beyond 

Live-Action TV Shows

    Star Trek: Discovery 
  • Angela Bassett was an early casting favourite, but she was busy with American Horror Story.
  • Tony Toddnote  expressed interest about working on the new series and even confirmed he was on a casting list of the studio.
  • Bryan Adams claims he was approached for a role. During a television appearance on The BBC with Jason Isaacs and Sonequa Martin-Green in early November 2017, he claimed that he had received a call about a month earlier whether he would come to Toronto, the series' shooting location, but "then it went away". Adams joked he looked "like a Klingon anyway."
  • Walter Mosley was hired as a writer for Season 3, but quit after less than a month over feeling the writer's room was overly hostile, including reporting him to HR for using the N-word in a story about how a cop said it to him.
  • Before he left the show, Bryan Fuller’s concept was that it would be an anthology with each season having an entirely new cast in different periods across the franchise’s history. The move to the far future at the end of Season 2 actually retains some spirit of this idea.

    Star Trek: Picard 
  • Patrick Stewart was initially insistent that besides Picard himself, the show should only feature new characters, wanting to make something with real substance and not just a glorified nostalgia bomb. Kurtzman and the other producers took a few days to convince him that more returning characters wouldn't prevent that.
  • Stewart received quite a few other offers to return to the role in the years since Nemesis, and turned them all down until this as he didn't feel there was enough purpose to their existence beyond pandering to the old school fans.
  • The initial concept art for the main titles as designed by David Penn was very different than the televised sequence: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8, Image 9.
  • Evan Evagora discloses in this interview that Elnor was originally supposed to have an American accent (and he did audition with one), but a week before Evagora began filming, Jonathan Frakes persuaded the showrunners to let the actor keep his Australian accent.
  • According to Jonathan Del Arco in this interview, he wanted Hugh to inquire about his friend Geordi when his character meets Picard in "The Impossible Box", but the producers rejected his suggestion.
  • Star Trek Online creator Cryptic Studios was asked for their story notes when the show was in development, and a tie-in comic shows Admiral Picard holding his flag on an Odyssey-class starship from the game (albeit significantly earlier than the ship was introduced in the game's chronology). Other than that, however, almost nothing from the game ended up in the final show. At least not until Season 2, when a few of the ships from the game popped up as part of Starfleet's emergency response fleet, then again in Season 3, when the Enterprise-F herself made the jump to official canon.
  • Robert Duncan McNeill was approached to reprise his role as Voyager's Tom Paris in season 1 but was unable to do so due to scheduling conflicts. As McNeill recalled, it would have only been a couple of scenes but would have seen Paris interact with Picard, whether via a viewscreen or in his office. McNeill would make a voice appearance on Star Trek: Lower Decks the following year.
  • When Annie Wersching was cast as the Borg Queen for Season 2, she and producer Akiva Goldsman considered having the new Queen be the assimilated version of Wersching's Star Trek: Enterprise character Liana, but ultimately decided against it.

Animated TV Shows

     Star Trek: The Animated Series 
  • The original proposal for this was going to have the main Enterprise crew training the teenage crew of a ship called Excalibur about space exploration; the new teenage crew included a Vulcan named Steve, an African-American boy named Bob, and a Chinese boy named Stick. This never materialised due to disagreements between Roddenberry and Filmation co-creator Lou Scheimer.
  • Concept art in The Art of Star Trek by Judith and Garfield-Reeves Stevens shows that, for a time, it was briefly considered to have the Enterprise crew as children, or at least give them sidekicks like in the aforementioned example. It was dropped entirely, since, according to the same book, Filmation was the only studio that wasn't going to make the series into a Spinoff Babies title.
  • Originally, only William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley, James Doohan, and Majel Barrett were the only actors that were planned to be brought back for the show due to budget constraints, with Doohan and Barrett pulling The Other Darrin for Sulu and Uhura. Nimoy, upon learning of this, threatened to walk unless George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, and Walter Koenig were allowed to reprise their roles, as the cancellation of the original show had left them struggling to find work. Only Takei and Nichols came back, with Koenig having to be left out due to the same budgetary constraints that almost kept them off the show (though he did get to write an episode as a compromise.
    • Koenig was asked to write another episode, but he turned it down, feeling that his episode "The Infinite Vulcan" wasn't all that satisfying, and didn't want to go through the process again.
  • In an example that almost led the series to be forgotten about, Gene Roddenberry had specifically wanted the series to last at least five seasons, but it was cancelled after one and a half seasons due to declining ratings. Out of frustration, he declared that (with the eventual exception of "Yesteryear" due to it being a fan-favorite) the series didn't count in the larger ''Star Trek'' timeline. Paramount and CBS reversed this decision years later after fans voted it back into continuity.

Series that never were

  • "Assignment: Earth" was intended as a Poorly-Disguised Pilot for a spin-off series. We could have had an American Doctor Who, complete with sonic screwdriver and youthful companion!
  • Star Trek: Phase II.
    • Intended as a Revival of Star Trek: TOS, but with an extensive visual update and some new characters. The show got as far as screen tests and scripts, but was mothballed when Charles Bluhdorn, head of Paramount's owner Gulf & Western, canned the new Paramount Television Service the show was supposed to anchor, for fears of bleeding cash. The pilot of the series and the already partially-built sets were reworked into The Motion Picture, while many of the remaining scripts got recycled ten years later as early TNG episodes.
    • Decker and Ilia were originally going to be regular characters on Phase II, but instead ended up as one-off characters for The Motion Picture. Persis Khambatta was actually cast to play Ilia for the series, but ending up playing her for the movie instead. Stephen Collins, however, was not cast as Decker until after the series had turned into a movie, and he specifically joined the cast in order to work with Robert Wise. Later on, Decker and Ilia were reworked as Riker and Troi for The Next Generation.
    • When Nimoy refused to participate in the new series, Spock was replaced by Xon, a full-blooded Vulcan to be played by David Gautreaux. When Nimoy agreed to come back for the movie, Gautreaux was recast in a cameo role, as the commander of the space station which is destroyed by V'Ger. Later on, the character of Xon was reworked as the android Data for The Next Generation.
  • A number of Trek alumni have attempted to create a new series. Back in the 90s there were steady rumors about a possible Captain Sulu and USS Excelsior show. Star Trek VI and the VOY episode "Flashback" were a kind of backdoor pilot or popularity test for the idea, although there is no official word on that. The Excelsior was partially created as a possible replacement for the Enterprise for future movies.
  • One such example was Jonathan Frakes, who attempted to pitch a series, going by his comments, focusing on the now-Captain Riker of the U.S.S. Titan, alluded to during Star Trek: Nemesis. Paramount execs vetoed it to prevent "franchise fatigue", which Frakes agreed made sense. Riker, Troi and the Titan would go on to "star" in a line of tie-in novels, before appearing as themselves in the animated Star Trek: Lower Decks.
  • On the subject on spin-offs, there were apparently talks between CBS and James Darren for a Vic Fontaine show that would take place exclusively in the 60s. Darren was in but it's safe to say it didn't go anywhere.
  • As well as the above cases, there's the long-running saga of proposals for a Starfleet Academy teen drama series, something which began as early as the end of the original series and has repeatedly been brought up since. It's never materialised, largely because it seems to have always been something that network executives thought would be popular but which actual showrunners never had any interest in - the closest the franchise has gotten to getting this concept out there is the non canonical 1997 Video Game Star Trek: Starfleet Academy.
  • There were several attempts to have the feline Kzinti species represented in live action since the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Slaver Weapon," including a series guide on how the Kzinti civilization would fit in with the Star Trek universe, several rejected Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, a planned episode of season five of Star Trek: Enterprise, and an animated CGI movie, Star Trek: The Lions of the Night, set aboard the Enterprise-B. The Kzinti were eventually referenced in the Star Trek: Picard episode "Nepenthe."
  • Quentin Tarantino had plans for a Star Trek movie focused on the Enterprise-C from "Yesterday's Enterprise."
  • Additional movies in the Kelvin timeline were put on hold indefinitely when Star Trek Beyond did not do as well as planned. A fourth film was in the works, but both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth left when Paramount wanted to cut their salaries, citing budgetary constraints. Pine still expressed hope to come back, while Hemsworth stated that, while he too wanted to come back, wasn't interested in the script they gave him, finding it "boring."
    • Scriptwriters Patrick McKay and John D. Payne revealed that the plot of the film would have taken inspiration from both "Relics" and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade by having George Kirk be "resurrected" via teleporter. The two Kirks and the rest of the Enterprise crew would then team up and face off against a "wholly original" villain with no connection to the Original Series.
  • At one point in the 1970s, George Lucas, who was at the time developing his own science fiction project, approached Gene Roddenberry to ask if the franchise was for sale.