By Raven Snook
William Shatner, George Takei and the late Leonard Nimoy may forever be associated with Gene Roddenberry’s groundbreaking sci-fi franchise. However, lots of actors more famous for their work in Cheers, Back to the Future, Sex and the City, and other projects logged time as extraterrestrials in the original ten Star Trek films. Can you recognize these stars under all that latex? Know your celebrity aliens before tuning in to IFC’s Star Trek movie marathon on Wednesday, December 30th starting at 7:15AM.
1. Kirstie Alley as Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Years before she played a jock tease on Cheers or came out of Veronica’s Closet, this sitcom star played Lieutenant JG Saavik, a Vulcan Starfleet officer who bombs the no-win Kobayashi Maru training exercise in the first few minutes of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. She spends the rest of the film trying to prove she’s smart and humorless (ironic, given Alley’s future career). Although Saavik returned in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Alley did not because she demanded too much money (she was replaced by Robin Curtis). Hey, as a Scientologist she gets to hang out with real aliens, right?
2. John Larroquette as Maltz in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
The same year he debuted in the role that would win him four consecutive Emmys–womanizing ADA Dan Fielding on Night Court– Larroquette also played Maltz, a cutthroat Klingon officer serving under Commander Kruge (portrayed by another sitcom star, see below). Although Larroquette’s trademark sarcasm is as buried as his features under makeup, he does have one wry exchange with Kirk, who promises to give him an honorable death in exchange for Maltz’s help, only to later renege. (“You said you would kill me!,” Maltz pleads, to which Kirk replies, “I lied!”)
3. Christopher Lloyd as Kruge in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Great Scott! That really is Doc Brown from Back to the Future playing Klingon Commander Kruge, only he’s driving a Bird-of-Prey warship instead of a homemade DeLorean time machine. Kruge and Kirk play cat-and-mouse throughout the film and, at the end, engage in a knock-down-drag-out fistfight on the dying Genesis planet as molten lava shoots up around them…possibly inspiring a future lava-filled, sci-fi space battle?
4. Kim Cattrall as Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
As the gleefully promiscuous Samantha on Sex and the City, Cattrall got herself into some (pun ahead!) sticky situations. But she never broke a man’s heart in quite the same way she does Mr. Spock’s in Star Trek VI. She plays Lieutenant Valeris, Spock’s Vulcan Starfleet protégé who has ulterior motives, but a forced mind meld reveals her guilt. Just listen to that anguished scream — it sounds just like Samantha’s orgasm!
5. Malcolm McDowell as Soran in Star Trek: Generations
Sure he may look human, but Doctor Tolian Soran is actually an El-Aurian scientist who’s so obsessed with entering the extra-dimensional, desire-manifesting realm the Nexus, he’s willing to off anyone who gets in his way, even Captain Kirk. Despite his franchise-changing role, the Clockwork Orange star isn’t a big fan, claiming he actually did Trekkers “a favor” by helping to kill off Kirk, and griping that “Patrick Stewart spouting off for another forty minutes…if you find that exciting, hey go watch paint dry!”
6. Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan in Star Trek: Generations
Decades before the comedian and commentator started spouting her opinions on The View, she played an El-Aurian “listener,” Guinan, a.k.a. the USS Enterprise-D’s trusty bartender/unofficial therapist. As a little girl, Goldberg became a Star Trek fan when she spotted Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura and exclaimed, “There’s a black lady on TV and she ain’t no maid!” Once famous, she lobbied for a part and ultimately appeared as Guinan in 28 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation plus two movies, always acting super-Zen. The lack of Elisabeth Hasselbeck surely helped.
7. Tom Hardy as Shinzon in Star Trek: Nemesis
A decade before he terrorized one-percenters at the New York Stock Exchange as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy was out for Picard’s blood — literally. As Shinzon, a clone of the Enterprise Captain made by the Romulans in secret, he needed a transfusion from Picard to avoid certain death. Talk about daddy issues! He had no love for his Romulan creators, either, and led an army of Remans against both of the races that he felt did him wrong.
8. Ron Perlman as Reman Viceroy in Star Trek: Nemesis
Nope, that’s not Nosferatu. It’s the Reman Viceroy, Shinzon’s right-hand man in his war against, well, seemingly everyone. Previously, Perlman played romantic lion-man Victor in Beauty and the Beast and, later, the titular character in Hellboy, so he’s used to transformative makeup. However, it’s safe to say the Viceroy is his most nauseating role, both outside (for obvious reasons) and in (for participating in the telepathic rape of Deanna Troi. Ew).
9. Tom Morello as a Son’a officer in Star Trek: Insurrection
Blink and you’ll miss the Rage Against the Machine guitarist’s cameo as an uncredited Son’a officer in Insurrection. A devoted Trekker, Morello begged Trek producer Rick Berman for a bit part, but even though he didn’t have any lines, he still spent five hours in the makeup chair. He had such blast, he subsequently guest-starred on Star Trek: Voyager, although this time he opted to play a human — a lot less latex!
10. Adam Scott as a conn officer in Star Trek: First Contact
OK, so we’re cheating a bit with this last one. Yes, the Parks and Recreation star and Comedy Bang! Bang! guest really was in a Star Trek movie, First Contact to be exact. However, he played a plain old human, and a nameless one at that: USS Defiant’s conn officer. But hey, he drives the ship! When asked about his Star Trek role, he gave an honest response: “For me it was rent at the time but it was fun. Jonathan Frakes was directing, he was a really nice guy, but I was never much of a Trekkie.” That’s Trekker, dude!