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    20 Details From "Star Trek" Movies That You Definitely Didn’t Notice

    Resistance is futile with these highly logical details.

    Someone has done the math, and there are over 650 hours (27 days) of Star Trek content. You could spend a solid month combing all the shows and movies to find all the best Easter eggs, or you can just check them out here!

    The Enterprise falls towards Earth
    Courtesy Everett Collection

    Here are 30 details from the Star Trek movies that you may not have noticed!

    1. Star Trek: Generations featured the only child of a member of the original series. Well, except one.

    Demora Sulu

    Most fans are familiar with David Marcus, Captain Kirk’s son who appeared in Star Trek II and III. Only one other character from the 1966 series had an onscreen child: Hikaru Sulu. His daughter, Demora Sulu, briefly appeared in Generations. She carried on her father’s legacy as helmsman of the Enterprise. As Kirk says when he meets her: “It wouldn’t be the Enterprise without a Sulu at the helm.”  

    2. In Star Trek: Beyond, Kirk says it’s the 966th day of the ship’s 5-year mission. This is a reference to the date that started it all.

    Chris Pine as Captain Kirk

    The first aired episode of Star Trek, “The Man Trap,” played on September 6, 1966 (in Canada, September 8 in America). Writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung paid homage to the date by having Beyond start out on its 966th (9/66) day of that famous 5-year mission. Some other shows you could’ve caught the night Star Trek first aired in America were F Troop, Tarzan, and The Hero.   

    3. “Space, the final frontier…” When Nimoy says the classic Star Trek lines in Wrath of Khan, it was the first time fans had heard it in 13 years (and slightly different than the original).

    Star Trek 2 Khan

    When Star Trek: The Original Series went off the air in 1969, it was the last time audiences would hear, “Space, the final frontier,” for quite some time. The iconic line wasn’t in The Motion Picture, but it was spoken by Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Nimoy delivered an altered version of the monologue a full 13 years after TOS went off the air. “Five-year mission” was changed to “ongoing mission,” and “to seek out new life” changed to “to seek out new lifeforms.”  

    4. The USS Grissom in The Search for Spock was named after a real-life astronaut.

    USS Grissom

    The Grissom was an Oberth-class starship that appeared in The Search for Spock. It was named after Gus Grissom, an astronaut that unfortunately perished in a fire on the Apollo 1 spacecraft. The fire broke out during a launch simulation, also killing two others. Star Trek has always both taken inspiration from and inspired many scientists, physicists, astronauts — just a ton of smart people, really. In that spirit of boldly going where no one has gone before, the writers named the Grissom after the brave astronaut.  

    5. In Star Trek (2009), Leonard Nimoy and Eric Bana had their mouths replaced by CGI.

    Leonard Nimoy as Spock

    OK, it’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s not like the studio digitally removed a mustache or anything. Though, just like Henry Cavill in Justice League, it was the mouths of Leonard Nimoy and Eric Bana that required some movie magic. For Bana, it was the fact that Nero’s teeth were far more damaged than the actor’s. Now, you may want to roll your eyes at the idea of digitally replacing an actor’s mouth instead of just using, I don’t know, fake teeth? But to be fair, it was a common complaint from actors on several Star Trek television shows that it was difficult to act well with a bunch of plastic in your mouth.

    When it comes to Nimoy, there was an error with the syncing between video and audio. Not a huge deal, so they called Nimoy in to do some re-recording of his lines. The filmmakers recorded Nimoy’s face so they could tweak his expressions to match the newly recorded lines if needed. They even went so far as to recreate the lighting conditions on Nimoy’s skin so that it would look as smooth as possible. However, they couldn’t quite light the lips right. The solution? Fully animated lips!  

    6. Dr. Boyce in Into Darkness was a reference to the original series.

    Dr. Boyce

    When Kirk wakes up in a hospital in San Francisco, a doctor named Boyce is looking after him. This is a reference to another Dr. Boyce, who was the ship’s doctor in the pilot of the original series, “The Cage.” Of course, any decent Star Trek nerd knows that “The Cage” has a weird history. It was shot in 1965, but NBC actually demanded a second pilot because they said the first was "too cerebral, too intellectual, and too slow,” and that it “didn’t have enough action.” “The Cage” was released in 1986 on VHS and finally aired on television for the first time in 1988.  

    7. Star Trek (2009) finally gave Uhura the linguistic skills Nichelle Nichols knew the character had in Undiscovered Country.

    Zoe Saldana in "Star Trek"
    Getty Images / Via

    If you don’t know, Uhura is the Enterprise’s chief communications officer. Their main enemy was the Klingons. Do you think it is believable that the communications officer would know the language of her main enemy? Nichelle Nichols thought so, which is why she objected to one particular scene in Undiscovered Country. In the scene, the crew frantically looks for some way to speak Klingon without using the universal translator. Nichols was certain Uhura wouldn’t have to search; she’d already know the language. This was given a nod in both Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek: Into Darkness, where Uhura translates and speaks Klingon several times.  

    8. What do the lines “Luke, I am your father,” “I pity the fool,” and “Scotty, beam me up” all have in common?

    Kirk calling Scotty

    They are some of the most misquoted lines ever. Darth Vader never said, “Luke, I am your father” (it was “No, I am your father”). Many think Mr. T said, “I pity the fool,” as his legendary character B.A. Baracus on The A-Team, but he never did (he did say it in Rocky III, though). Similarly, Kirk never said, “Scotty, beam me up,” in the original series. However, this was finally remedied in Star Trek: The Voyage Home. It is the only time Kirk actually says, “Scotty, beam me up.”  

    9. In Wrath of Khan, there is a reference to a running Star Trek gag.

    James Kirk

    Apparently the Romulans make a mean ale. In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Dr. McCoy gifts Kirk some Romulan ale. Although never thoroughly explored, it’s been mentioned several times throughout Star Trek canon that Romulan ale is as illegal and sought after as Cuban cigars. From hijacking a delivery of the stuff in Deep Space Nine to getting Worf completely wasted in Nemesis, Romulan ale is the blue drink you’ve just gotta try.  

    10. Composer Michael Giacchino dropped some music from a classic TOS episode in Into Darkness.


    Michael Giacchino, frequent J.J. Abrams collaborator, composed the music for all three of the rebooted Star Trek films. When a fan on Twitter asked Giacchino to add something from the original series into the the film, he went with the classic fight music from “Amok Time.” You can hear the music very quickly when Spock beams into San Francisco for the chase scene.  

    11. The opening credits of The Search for Spock leave room for a missing character.

    Search for Spock opening credits

    Spoiler alerts for The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock (but honestly, you’re reading an article about Star Trek movies, so go watch them if you haven’t). So… Spock dies at the end of Khan (I mean, “KHAAANNN!”). In The Search for Spock, there is an Easter egg in the opening credits. Leonard Nimoy’s name usually appears between William Shatner and DeForest Kelley’s. However, since Spock is dead at the beginning of the film, his name is absent from the credits. As a wink to everyone’s favorite Vulcan, there is an extra-long pause between Shatner and DeKelley’s names.  

    12. A “green space hand” is mentioned in Star Trek: Beyond, which is a reference to the original series.


    The original series episode “Who Mourns for Adonais?” starts out with the Enterprise being stopped mid-space…by a giant green space hand. In Beyond, Scotty discusses theories about how the Franklin disappeared. One of the theories he mentions is “some green space hand.” As a bonus, a green space hand shows up in the end credits as well.  

    13. At the end of First Contact, Cochran salutes someone with a rich family history.


    OK, more spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen First Contact, you know what to do. The first contact humans have with another life form is Vulcans at the end of the movie. Although the Vulcan that salutes Zefram Cochrane is never named in the film, it was later confirmed in the canon that it is Solkar. And just who is Solkar? None other than Spock’s grandfather!  

    14. You may think a ton of props from the original series were used in The Motion Picture, but Uhura’s earpieces were the only ones that made it.


    A different look was taken for The Motion Picture (and by that I mean beige, gray, and white everything), so not many sets, costumes, or even props made it from the small screen to the silver one. However, the props department forgot to make new communication earpieces for Uhura. The old earpieces were dug out of storage, and Uhura was back to rocking the OG Bluetooth headset.  

    15. Star Trek: First Contact sees the USS Defiant finally doing what it was built to do.

    The U.S.S. Defiant

    Before we talk about First Contact, let’s talk about another first contact. When Starfleet initially came across the Borg, they realized they were hopelessly outmatched. They started developing a warship that could actually stand against the Borg, and we saw the Defiant’s first few appearances in Deep Space Nine. However, the Borg weren’t much of a threat in DS9, so we never got to see Defiant do what it was made for. That all changed in First Contact, when the Defiant finally got to go up against a Borg cube at the beginning of the film. Afterward, the ship is returned to Deep Space Nine.  

    16. In Star Trek: Beyond, the escape pods are named after the USS Kelvin, which Kirk’s father piloted in Star Trek (2009).

    Kelvin pod

    In the opening scene of the 2009 Star Trek, Jim Kirk’s father George takes command of the USS Kelvin, minutes before it’s destroyed. He holds off the Romulan Nero as his wife, Winona (pregnant with James Kirk), flees in an escape pod. Even though Winona gets away, much of the rest of the crew is not so lucky. The escape pods are big and bulky, making easy targets for the Romulans. In Beyond, we see the crew get into slim, almost body-sized escape pods as the Enterprise goes down. We also hear them called “Kelvin pods,” as they have been redesigned to be less targetable by enemies, a lesson learned from George Kirk.  

    17. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, may of the extras were superfans.

    Getty Images / Via

    Imagine you finally find a show that completely speaks to you. It’s got everything you want, and you fully fall in love with it. But after its second season, the studio is thinking of pulling the plug. So you start a letter-writing campaign and keep it alive for a third season. It then goes on to become a national phenomenon in syndication, and they eventually make a movie out of it. Then they reach out to you personally to be in that movie, because of your effort. That’s exactly what happened to Bjo Trimble, who helped bring about the third season of Star Trek: TOS and appeared in The Motion Picture. There are several other die-hard fans of the show that play extras in the franchise’s first movie (too bad they couldn’t be in a better one).  

    18. Simon Pegg’s Scotty is asked to “show his other hand” in Into Darkness, a reference to actor James Doohan, who played Scotty in the original series.

    Simon Pegg as Scotty

    James Doohan, the original Scotty, was a soldier that served in World War II and lost one of his fingers on D-Day. As a result, he rarely showed both of his hands in the original series. Intense fans can even name the episodes where you can see both of Scotty’s hands — it’s that rare. In Into Darkness, as Simon Pegg’s Scotty is trying to open the bay doors, he’s approached by a security guard. Scotty holds onto the console, planning to open the airlock and eject the guard into space. As a result of holding onto the console, he hides his hand from the security guard throughout the scene, just like Doohan’s Scotty. The guard even says, “Show me your other hand.”  

    19. There is a ship in The Search for Spock that has made several appearances as space junk in The Next Generation.

    Alternate model for the Excelsior

    The Excelsior is the proptype starship in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock that experiments with a transwarp drive. The massive ship is impressive, but it’s not the one we’re talking about here. No, we’re talking about an unnamed ship that was created as an alternate model for the Excelsior. It is shown briefly in Search for Spock, but pops up several more times in TNG. Well, it appears as broken ships and space junk. Poor ship, it could’ve been great.  

    20. Cochrane having difficulty with the Vulcan salute in First Contact is a reference to everyone who has the same struggle.

    Cochrane has difficulty doing the Vulcan salute

    Fans and Star Trek actors alike fall into two camps: you can either do the Vulcan salute or you can’t. Famously, William Shatner is one who cannot. When the Vulcans appear at the end of First Contact and Cochrane struggles to return the Vulcan salute, it’s a subtle nod to those who have the same difficulty. But hey, if you can’t do it, it’s the thought that counts — a nice “Live long and Prosper” goes a long way.