Leonard Nimoy was originally asked to act in and direct this film, 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 film 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 that Roddenberry was opposed to, which included the teaming up of the original Star Trek (1966) series 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 film set). His lines were then given to Walter Koenig as Chekov.
The Starfleet phaser and the dedication plaque on Captain Kirk's cabinet wall are the only surviving relics from the original USS Enterprise that was destroyed in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984).
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 film.
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 the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003).
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.
This movie features 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?".
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 is also reference in a later scene in which Dr. Crusher mentions that she had removed the nanoprobe.
With his role as Captain John Harriman in this film, Alan Ruck becomes 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.
This was the first movie to have a Website created to promote this. The site was launched at generations.viacom.com on October 28, 1994, three weeks before the release of the film. 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 an 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.
During the battle with Klingons, Troi, played by 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. However, during the 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.
A new set of Starfleet uniforms was intended to be introduced in the film 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 Rick Berman. The decision was then made to use both 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 the film 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.
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.
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".
The Enterprise-B's science station shows the names of both ships stranded in the Nexus: SS Robert Fox and SS Lakul. In the Star Trek universe, Robert Fox was the ambassador of the United Federation of Planets in the episode Star Trek: A Taste of Armageddon (1967).
A plot-point that was not mentioned (or possibly cut) in the final film, but is mentioned in other media related to this film (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.
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.
When the Duras sisters' vessel is destroyed by the Enterprise, the explosion and destruction is reused footage of the prototype Klingon vessel in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), being destroyed.
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 Next Generation 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 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 reshoot of the ending (which was not Carson's fault), he did deliver the movie on time and under budget.
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.)
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 the TNG pilot episode, "Encounter at Farpoint" (1987). The Ferengi were unknown to the Federation until the fourth episode, "The Last Outpost" (1987), at which point Data even mentioned that they did not know what the Ferengi looked like.
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 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 film was to connect the original Star Trek (1966) series with Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), and so, Kirk could team with up with Picard to fight Soran.
Thomas Kopache has played Mirok in TNG: "The Next Phase", Train Engineer in TNG: "Emergence", Enterprise-B communications officer in this film, Viorsa in VOY: "The Thaw", Kira Taban in DS9: "Ties of Blood and Water" and DS9: "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night", Tos in ENT: "Broken Bow" and a Sphere Builder test subject in ENT: "Harbinger".
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Kirk's death scenes were reshot 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.
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.
One of the reasons for destroying the Enterprise-D was that it was designed for the narrow aspect ratio and low resolution of televisions. Destroying the ship allowed the creation of a theater-friendly ship for subsequent movies.
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 Doctor McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and Scotty (James Doohan). But Leonard Nimoy ultimately passed on the film, and Kelley was in declining health, and could not get insured, so the scene was never filmed, but this does appear in the novelization.
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.
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".
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 film's novelization told the story this way, but was later edited and republished. When this ending audience was shown to a test audience, Rick Berman remembers that an ominous silence was present in the room. The executives at Paramount told Rick and writers Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga that the ending had to be reshot. The writers considered multiple scenarios, including forcefields and tunnels, among 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 65 foot bridge was flown in by helicopter, and placed at the Valley of Fire. The actors returned, the ending was reshot to what was seen in the film. Rick Berman recalled that original photography occurred during the summer months in 110 degree heat, and when they returned, it was September and October and only about 80 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.
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 USS 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.
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.
The starship which Captain Picard and Commander Riker transport at this movie's ending, the USS Farragut, bears the same name as the ship upon which Captain Kirk served as a young lieutenant. In Star Trek: Obsession (1967), 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, is destroyed two years later by the Klingons during the short Federation-Klingon War. Its destruction is not shown on-screen, but is mentioned during the episode Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: ...Nor the Battle to the Strong (1996).
Captain Kirk wears a red vest in the later part of this film. 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 film's ending.
In the final shot of this film, the models of the two smaller ships evacuating the Enterprise-D crew, alongside the far larger USS Farragut, are those of the USS Reliant from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), and the USS 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.
This film marks the last on-screen appearance for newly-promoted Lt. 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 films.
Final appearance of William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk. It was decided that the character was to be killed off due to the actor's age and that Kirk would die heroically. Chris Pine succeeded William Shatner in the Star Trek (2009) reboot as an alternate Captain James T. Kirk. Although Shatner's Kirk died, he is reborn as Pine's Kirk.