Leonard Nimoy was originally asked to act in and direct this movie, but he declined after reading the script and being told there was not time to fix the parts with which he had problems. According to Nimoy, there was a character named Spock in the script, but the lines were so bland, they could have been spoken by anyone (those lines were given to James Doohan as Scotty. Nimoy later pointed to this as proof he was right).
This was the first Star Trek movie to be produced and filmed after the death of Gene Roddenberry. Following his death, the Star Trek creative team began using story ideas and concepts to which Roddenberry was opposed, which included the teaming up of Star Trek (1966) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) characters.
The producers asked George Takei to come back and play Sulu one more time, and take the helm of the Enterprise-B. But Takei refused, because if Sulu had taken the helm, this would have meant temporarily reducing Sulu's rank, so that he could serve under Captain Kirk again. He felt that Sulu had worked too hard to earn his command to allow even a temporary reduction. A new character, Demora, daughter of Sulu, was created to speak Sulu's lines.
DeForest Kelley was set to appear in this movie as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, but due to his declining health, he could not get on-set insurance (a union requirement for anyone on a movie set). His lines were then given to Walter Koenig as Chekov.
Captain Kirk's mostly-unseen love interest in the Nexus, Antonia, was originally conceived as Carol Marcus from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). Paramount Pictures requested that the character be changed.
In the holodeck scene, Troi (when she goes to help Picard) hands over the sailing ship's helm to an elderly man. In real life, this man is the captain of the sailing ship "Lady Washington", (owned by Grays Harbor Historical Seaport in Aberdeen, Washington) which was used in filming this scene. The same ship also portrayed the Interceptor in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003).
This was the first movie to have a website created to promote it. The site was launched at generations.viacom.com on October 28, 1994, three weeks before the release of the movie. The site featured a graphical interface resembling the LCARS display of the Enterprise. Site content included: video of both versions of the movie trailer. audio clips and photos. cast and crew biographies. shopping from a catalogue of Star Trek videos on VHS (and a 1-800-number to call to order) a downloadable "interactive kit" with images and videos and a simple game. a fan survey on Star Trek favorites and on-line access. The website was mentioned on the NCSA "What's New" site, and quickly became one of the most popular destinations on the fledgling World Wide Web. This website no longer works.
This movie featured a brief appearance by Demora Sulu, the only child of an original series crew member depicted in any of the movies except for Kirk's son David, who appeared in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). Her presence on the bridge even prompts Kirk to comment, "When did Sulu find time for a family?"
A new set of Starfleet uniforms was intended to be introduced in this movie to be worn by the Enterprise-D crew. These new uniforms would have been similar to the television ones, except the collars would have been the same department color as the rest of the tunic and the rank pips would have been worn on the shoulder with a corresponding rank braid on the wrists. The uniforms were eventually nixed by producer Rick Berman. The decision was then made to use the uniforms from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), as well as the uniforms from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993). However, Playmates had already made an action figure line for this movie with the Enterprise-D crew wearing the aborted uniforms. It was too late to retract the figures, which is the only place the aborted uniforms can be seen.
During the battle with the Klingons, Troi (Marina Sirtis) takes the helm when the Conn Officer is injured after a computer station explodes. Director David Carson wanted this action sequence done in one take, in order to fully capture the genuine reactions of the actors and actresses. However, during filming, Sirtis burned her bottom after she sat on a burning piece of debris that had landed on the Conn station chair. This was the take used for the movie, however this cuts away right as Sirtis sits on the chair. Sirtis was not badly injured, and continued filming the scene afterwards.
In the movie, Soran comments on La Forge's response to his interrogation by saying, "His heart just wasn't in it." This is a reference to the form of torture used in a deleted scene in which Soran used a nanoprobe to stop and start La Forge's heart. This was also referenced in a later scene in which Dr. Crusher mentioned that she had removed the nanoprobe.
The Starfleet phaser and the dedication plaque on Captain Kirk's cabin wall are the only surviving relics from the original U.S.S. Enterprise that was destroyed in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984).
A plot point that was not mentioned (or possibly cut) in the final movie, but is mentioned in other media related to this movie (such as the comic book adaptation), was that Guinan's brief experience inside the Nexus had changed her, and that she knew things about people, events, and about time in general, that she did not know before. This would suggest that her ability for insight on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) is not part of her species (as most TNG fans always believed), but instead is a gift from the Nexus.
With his role as Captain John Harriman in this movie, Alan Ruck became the eleventh on-screen commander of the Starship Enterprise, joining Captains Jonathan Archer, Christopher Pike, Robert April, James T. Kirk, Willard Decker, Spock, Rachel Garrett, Jean-Luc Picard, Willam T. Riker, and Edward Jellico.
In the scene where Data sings, the looks of surprise on the crew members' faces were real. Originally, Brent was supposed to hum, but decided to ad-lib instead. Director David Carson was so amused, he left it in.
The six-foot, two-part Enterprise model from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) season one, episode one, "Encounter at Farpoint", was taken out of storage and refurbished to meet the demands of the big screen. This was because this had to stand up to the glare of movie lighting.
The redesigned bridge of the Enterprise-D that is used in this movie was inspired by the "alternate-history" bridge of the Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) season three, episode fifteen, "Yesterday's Enterprise".
Soran's line "They say time is the fire in which we burn" is from the Delmore Schwartz poem "Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day" from his collection titled "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities". This book is incorrectly acknowledged in the credits as "Dreams Begin Responsibilities".
In the opening scenes on board the Enterprise-B, three different news networks (each with a reporter and a camera person) are represented. They are: the Federation News Network, Starfleet Broadcasting, and the Earth Broadcasting Service.
The Enterprise-B bridge is a redress of the Enterprise-A bridge as seen in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). After filming, it was heavily modified to become the Amargosa Observatory control center.
Some of the modifications to the Enterprise-D bridge, namely the raised command platform, were originally made for the future Enterprise as seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) season seven, episodes twenty-five and twenty-six, "All Good Things..."
When the Duras sisters' vessel is destroyed by the Enterprise, the explosion and destruction is re-used footage of the prototype Klingon vessel in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) being destroyed.
After his emotion chip is activated, Data laughs hysterically at a joke (about a clown and a Ferengi in a gorilla suit) that Geordi allegedly told "during the Farpoint mission", which would have occurred during the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) season one, episode one, "Encounter at Farpoint". The Ferengi were unknown to the Federation until episode four, "The Last Outpost", at which point, Data even mentioned that they did not know what the Ferengi looked like.
The starship which Captain Picard and Commander Riker transport at this movie's ending, the U.S.S. Farragut, bears the same name as the ship upon which Captain Kirk served as a young Lieutenant. In Star Trek (1966) season two, episode thirteen, "Obsession", Captain Kirk recalls the details of one incident that occurred during that period of his career to the son of a former shipmate. The Farragut, which rescues Picard and Riker, was destroyed two years later by the Klingons during the short Federation-Klingon War. Its destruction is not shown on-screen, but is mentioned during Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) season five, episode four, "...Nor the Battle to the Strong".
David Carson stated in an interview he was rather surprised that he was asked to direct this movie, as he had no prior experience directing a big budget movie. Aside from the fact he had directed several Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) episodes, he said he was told he was picked primarily due to his experience in directing television, where directors have to be able to work quickly to get an episode done in television's compressed time schedule. He said Paramount Pictures was concerned that this movie could go overtime (and therefore over budget) and they figured he was the best choice with this in mind. Except for the re-shoot of the ending (which was not Carson's fault), he did deliver the movie on time and under budget.
The Enterprise-B's science station shows the names of both ships stranded in the Nexus: S.S. Robert Fox and S.S. Lakul. In the Star Trek universe, Robert Fox was the ambassador of the United Federation of Planets in Star Trek (1966) season one, episode twenty-three, "A Taste of Armageddon".
This movie marks the last on-screen appearance for newly-promoted Lieutenant Commander Worf as a regular member of the Enterprise crew. The rest of the senior staff would eventually transfer to the new Enterprise. However, Worf accepts a new assignment at Deep Space Nine, and later with the Klingon Empire, but still returns for various reasons to temporarily assist the Enterprise crew during the events of the three future movies.
Guinan had mentioned the destruction of her homeworld, which was destroyed by the Borg. The first time she mentioned this was in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) season two, episode sixteen, "Q Who".
Interestingly, when Picard is relating his family's history, he mentions that he was often told about a Picard who fought in the Battle of Trafalgar. Picard is French, and the Battle of Trafalgar (fought at a Spanish port) was a catastrophic loss for the French, and a decisive British victory. The combined French and Spanish fleet lost twenty-two of their forty-one ships in the battle, without inflicting a single loss on the British. So why the Picards should choose to mention their presence in a battle that was such an emphatic defeat, much less their descendants doing so centuries later, is unclear. (Unless Picard was a French royalist émigré fighting for the British, which is not ruled out here.)
Sets used for the Enterprise-D bridge scenes are supposedly identical to those used on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), upon closer examination however, there are two extra crew stations in the movie, one on either side and just to the aft of the main part of the bridge.
The dress worn by Antonia was also worn by Fenna in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) season two, episode nine, "Second Sight" and Leosa in Star Trek: Voyager (1995) season seven, episode six, "Inside Man".
All Enterprise crew members begin with the same uniform they wore in the series (black shoulders, colour below), but some gradually change over to the DS9/Voyager uniform (colour on the shoulders, black below). During many scenes, there is a mix of both uniform styles seen in the same shot. Among the main cast, Picard, Riker, Data and La Forge all transition to the new style at some point within the film, whereas Crusher and Troi keep the old uniform until the end. Meanwhile, the combadges are of the DS9/Voyager style all the way through the film, having a trapezoid behind the Starfleet emblem (instead of the oval shape seen on TNG).
The crash landing of the Enterprise's upper saucer was filmed using a model of the saucer and a landscape model carved out of foam. The Saucer was mounted by a rod to a truck which was driven under the landscape, with the rod going through a groove at the bottom of the model. However, driving the saucer all the way to where they wanted it to stop would have destroyed the camera. To fix this, a mirror was mounted where the camera would have been, and the Enterprise was built backwards so that it would appear correct when reflected in the camera. Instead of destroying the camera, the saucer section destroyed the mirror instead.
In order to keep his pants from riding up, William Shatner (an avid horseman) used an old trick of wearing something unusual under his costume. Steward ["Stewart"] was not a horseman, so Shatner told him about this. So when it came time for these two manly starship Captains to shoot the horseback scenes, both men did so wearing pantyhose.
With the appearance of the Enterprise B (NCC 1701-B), this film finishes filling the gap between the ship from The Original Series (NCC 1701, first seen in 1966), and the ship from The Next Generation (NCC 1701-D, first seen in 1987). Indeed, the Enterprise A (NCC-1701-A) first appeared at the end of Star Trek IV (1986), and the Enterprise C (NCC 1701-C) first appeared in the episode "Yesterday's Enterprise" (1990). Thus, as of 1994, viewers had finally seen every Enterprise between the two TV Enterprises.
The scene in which Picard meets Kirk, and rides off with Picard to stop Soran was a nod to the western genre. Kirk is like the retired Old West lawman, who puts on his badge and loads up his gun one last time, and leaves the farm, and rides off to help Picard resolve a crisis in town.
The purpose of Captain Kirk's, Scotty's, and Chekov's appearances in this movie was to connect Star Trek (1966) with Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), and so Kirk could team with up with Picard to fight Soran.
In William Shatner's non-fiction book, Star Trek Movie Memories (1994), he states that during the filming of Kirk's death scene, while he was delivering his final lines, his eyes focused over the shoulder of Sir Patrick Stewart on a large commercial airplane flying high, directly above them.
After the Enterprise D was destroyed in this film, the effects crew at ILM assumed that next Enterprise would be a ship of the same class. So they gave the studio model new markings, with the registration number NCC-1701-E. Ultimately there was an Enterprise E, which debuted in Star Trek: First Contact (1996). But the producers wanted a new look, and the ship was of a completely new design. The old Enterprise D model was eventually sold at an auction in 2006 for $576,000.
Thomas Kopache played Mirok in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) season five, episode twenty-four, "The Next Phase" and Train Engineer in season seven, episode twenty-three, "Emergence", Enterprise-B communications officer in this movie, Viorsa in Star Trek: Voyager (1995) season two, episode twenty-three, "The Thaw", Kira Taban in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) season five, episode nineteen, "Ties of Blood and Water" and season six, episode seventeen, "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night", Tos in Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) season one, episodes one and two, "Broken Bow", and a Sphere Builder test subject in season three, episode fifteen, "Harbinger".
Soran's line "they say time is the fire in which we burn" is from the Delmore Schwartz poem "Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day" from his collection entitled "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities." This book is incorrectly acknowledged in the credits as "Dreams Begin Responsibilities."
During his interrogation by Soren, LeVar Burton's Geordi LaForge appears to wear a neck brace similar to the one his character from Roots (1977) - Kunta Kinte wore when he was caught by the slave traders in the first episode.
Tim Russ: The Vulcan security chief Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager (1995) has a small role as a human member of the bridge crew of the Enterprise-B. In addition, he played the mercenary Devor in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) season six, episode eighteen, "Starship Mine".
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
James T. Kirk's final two words, "Oh, my..." are a spontaneous ad-lib made by William Shatner. Shatner later explained it was Kirk's reaction to eternity and truly going where Kirk had never gone before.
Kirk's death scenes were re-shot after preview audiences reacted badly to the original version, wanting a more heroic death. Captain James T. Kirk originally died after being shot in the back by Dr. Tolian Soran.
Partially because of the fans' negative reaction to Kirk's death, William Shatner later wrote a Star Trek novel titled "The Return" in which the Romulans and the Borg have formed an alliance. They bring Kirk back to life using Borg nano-technology and turn him against Picard and the crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). Spock (who would live to appear in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) season five, episodes seven and eight, "Unification"), Scotty (who made it into the twenty-fourth century from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) season six, episode four, "Relics"), and McCoy (who sent off the Enterprise-D in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) season one, episode one, "Encounter at Farpoint") were to appear. One of the plot points would have been the ultimate revelation that the Borg was the "machine planet" that sent the Voyager VI/V'Ger probe back to Earth in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).
This movie was to have started with Captain Kirk making an orbital skydive and Chekov and Scotty running to meet him when he lands on the ground to inform him that he has to be on the new Enterprise-B for its launching ceremony. This scene was shot, but deleted from the final movie. However, the orbital skydiving outfit was worn by B'Elanna Torres in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager (1995).
Originally, there was a scene in the script for Captain Kirk's funeral. In the scene, Spock was to be standing at the entrance of the church, hesitant to enter there (and therefore admitting to himself that his friend was really dead). He was supposed to be overwhelmed, and slightly revealing his emotional side as he was being urged into the service by Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and Scotty (James Doohan). But Leonard Nimoy ultimately passed on the movie, and Kelley was in declining health, and could not get insured, so the scene was never filmed, but this does appear in the novelization.
In the original version of the ending, Captain Kirk dies when Soran shoots him in the back, and Soran then dies when Captain Picard shoots him with his own disruptor pistol. The first edition of the novelization told the story this way, but was later edited and republished. When this ending audience was shown to a test audience, Producer Rick Berman remembers that an ominous silence was present in the room. The executives at Paramount Pictures told Rick and writers Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga that the ending had to be re-shot. The writers considered multiple scenarios, including forcefields and tunnels, amongst others. They finally settled on having a bridge present that would eventually collapse and provide an action sequence with Captain Picard, Captain Kirk, and Soran. In four days time, the scaffolding sets were rebuilt at the Valley of Fire (the State of Nevada had kept the metal at the park following original filming) and a sixty-five foot bridge was flown in by helicopter, and placed at the Valley of Fire. The actors returned, the ending was re-shot to what was seen in the movie. Rick Berman recalled that original photography occurred during the summer months in one hundred ten degree heat, and when they returned, it was September and October, and only about eighty degrees. Braga and Moore though expressed dissatisfaction with how the ending turned out, even though many fans believed it was better than Captain Kirk being shot in the back.
The Enteprise's saucer was meant to break in half during the crash sequence, which would have been the main reason why Starfleet could not just take the saucer and attach this to a new engineering hull. However, this was quickly determined that there would be no way to satisfactorily achieve the effect with models or CGI of that era, and the idea was abandoned.
Most of the Enterprise sets were destroyed during filming of the crash sequence. What was not destroyed, such as crew quarters, transporter rooms, and parts of engineering was integrated into the sets of the U.S.S. Voyager from Star Trek: Voyager (1995). The frame from Data's lab on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) can be seen among the wreckage at the Amargosa Observatory. Worf's tactical console was all that remained of the Enterprise-D Bridge after filming.
Although Data is the owner of Spot, the cat, Brent Spiner was rumored to hate cats, and allegedly objected to the scene where Data finds Spot in the wreckage of the Enterprise, saying "Does he have to find the cat? Can't he find, like, Geordi or something?" Spiner dismissed this on his Twitter account as not true however, although he said it was "interesting".
Although it is not intrinsically stated that Lursa's son survived her (had she actually given birth before the moment of her death in this movie), it is at least strongly implied on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). She was revealed to be pregnant in season seven, episode twenty-one, "Firstborn", when from-the-future Alexander (Worf's son) brings a Klingon blade which bears the crest of the Duras clan with an additional mark etched in for Lursa's son. It thus can be concluded, then, that Lursa gave birth before the events of this movie and has left her child an orphan upon her death.
At the movie's ending, Picard says "We must cherish every moment, because they'll never come again." Apparently, forgetting that "living the same moment again" is exactly how he managed to defeat Soran just a short while earlier.
The Enterprise-B turbolift foyer, turbolift, and doors were saved, and became part of the Enterprise-E bridge set in Star Trek: First Contact (1996). The doors and foyer were originally built for the Enterprise bridge in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and are the only surviving pieces of that set.
In the final shot of this movie, the models of the two smaller ships evacuating the Enterprise-D crew, alongside the far larger U.S.S. Farragut, are those of the U.S.S. Reliant from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), and the U.S.S. Grissom from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). The Reliant's registry number NCC-1864 is visible in the first part of the shot.
Captain Kirk wears a red vest in the later part of this movie. In Star Trek (1966) lore, a Starfleet crewman wearing a red uniform (referred to as a "red-shirt") is the one that will be killed-off throughout the course of the episode. This foreshadows Kirk's death in the end.
Final appearance of William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk. It was decided that the character was to be killed off due to Shatner's age, and that Kirk would die heroically. Chris Pine succeeded William Shatner in Star Trek (2009) as Captain James T. Kirk. Although Shatner's Kirk died, he is reborn as Pine's Kirk.