Star Trek is known for its creative designs, as it imagines a distant future of space travel and alien species. Since the 1960s, the franchise has been innovating incredible visions of the future, pioneering special effects and makeup techniques. The result is a futuristic world unlike the one fans know, complete with diverse alien species that have become familiar and dear to the hearts of Trekkies everywhere.
However, even these innovative designs were constrained by the multiple concerns that go into making a television show. Star Trek's on-screen creativity could only ever be as vast as its budget, technology, current techniques, and viewer expectations.
Star Trek's many creative fans, however, do not have to be constrained by the difficulties of putting ideas on screen. They have developed their own ideas of well-known characters, alien species, and franchise concepts, and they have harnessed their artistic skills to show the Star Trek that could have been.
These fans have reimagined and redesigned the familiar world of Star Trek to show a different side of this world, delving into parts of Star Trek's potential that were never fully explored in the series and movies.
Here are the 17 Crazy Star Trek Fan Redesigns Better Than What We Got.
17 Original Series Klingon
The Klingons ever-changing design has been a source of controversy in the Star Trek universe for a long time. In the Original Series, there is little to differentiate the species from humans. The Next Generation took a vastly different direction with the Klingons, developing their forehead ridges and emphasizing their warrior culture in their design.
In this fan art, DeviantArt user Vijil provides a middle ground for the two main Klingon designs, reimagining the Original Series Klingons as more warrior-like humans.
Though they remain physically similar to humans, their facial features are rougher and more pronounced. The armor adapts The Next Generation's warrior design to fit the Original Series Klingons. This design could easily be used for Klingons in the transitional period between the two series.
16 Practical Seven of Nine
Seven of Nine's catsuit remains one of the more baffling aspects of Star Trek. For a former Borg, the skin-tight corseted catsuit (complete with heels) often felt out of place for the character. Tumblr user cubeofwonders gave Seven of Nine's uniform a much-needed redesign, emphasizing the practicality of the suit over showcasing her physical attributes.
The extremely detailed design makes several key changes to Seven of Nine. Her suit combines human and Borg features with a cybernetic suit, which would work with her early character development.
It abandons the more impractical and pointless aspects of her catsuit, like her high heels, while still retaining a sleek design that would allow her to move freely. The suit could also possibly retain more of her Borg capabilities. The artist also notes that the suit could change over time to reflect her evolving humanity.
15 Mirror Geordi
While the Original Series introduced the intriguing concept of the Mirror Universe, containing twisted versions of the familiar Starfleet characters, not all series since that time have delved into the concept.
The Next Generation never addressed the Mirror Universe, though evil doppelgängers of some of its characters would have been amazing to see. The concept was pitched several times for The Next Generation, but no episode featuring the Mirror Universe ever made it to production.
Tumblr user petimetrek imagines the Next Generation Mirror Universe, showing what the Enterprise crew dopplegängers could have been. This fan art features Mirror Geordi La Forge, taking a TNG spin on the Original Series sleeveless Mirror uniform.
One of the most interesting features is Geordi's adapted visor, designed to look more futuristic with perhaps more advanced tech.
The main species of Star Trek were designed with their heavy use on the series in mind. While these species were still creative and elaborate, they could only be as elaborate as daily makeup application and episodic special effects could allow. Many of these species could have been more imaginative if not for these considerations.
Tumblr user marvelousindustries redesigned the Ferengi with some more elaborate physical features.
The artist explains the context for the reimagined design, commenting that "their homeworld is a relatively dark, lush, rainforest planet which causes them to have exceptionally large pupils, however in the average lighting setting that is aboard Federation ships they have the remarkable ability to constrict their iris so that it isn’t too much of a hinderance. Though many Ferengi do still complain about the brightness and instinctually squint or scowl."
Star Trek has never had much success in creating characters with complicated anatomy. Dr. Phlox's rarely-used, strangely-CGIed Denobulan smile was a disaster from the beginning and quickly abandoned. The special effects in the franchise's heyday did not seem to allow this kind of take on the characters, but that is not a problem for fan redesigns.
DeviantArt user insomniaprojects completely redesigns Neelix's physiology, incorporating some interesting changes such as an elaborate mouth, fangs, and distinctive black eyes.
The artist complained of Neelix's original design, stating that it looking like "a mulleted goldfish-bulldog who dressed like he raided a curtain store"-- and they're not wrong.
This redesign is a refreshing change on a rather tired character design limited by special effect and makeup constraints, though it just wouldn't be Neelix if the clothes didn't still look like he raided a curtain store.
12 Mirror Janeway
Like The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager also never got the chance to explore the Mirror Universe, but the evil doppelgänger versions of the Voyager crew would undoubtedly have been excellent. The most disappointing part is that we will never see an on-screen portrayal of Mirror Janeway, a character with serious potential.
Tumblr user themostpowerfulmagicofall imagines what Mirror Janeway would look like, and it is quite a sight. The doppelgänger Janeway still exudes the same power and confidence as the original Janeway, but with a few marked differences.
This Janeway is shown as much more risqué, in the usual style of the Mirror Universe. This provides a natural polar opposite to the original Janeway, who Kate Mulgrew prevented from being too revealing. The leather jacket and deep facial scar further the impression that this Janeway is not to be trifled with.
11 DS9 Underwater
The adventures of the Star Trek crews took them to many interesting locations, home to incredibly diverse species. While the series occasionally got creative with the locations that the crews visited, they usually did not create environments that required significant special effects outside of the norm or design species that would live in environments starkly incompatible with humans.
Tumblr user startrekscribbles shows an interesting hypothetical plotline with Sisko initiating a first contact with a water-dwelling species. Most Star Trek series' constraints of budget and technology prevented the shows from setting up a plotline like this, as episodes involving this level of special effects were few and far between.
It would be an interesting chance to break the usual boundaries of the franchise and introduce more non-humanoid species.
10 Victorian Voyager
Although the various temporal troubles the Star Trek crews got into could easily have sent them anywhere in time and space, they certainly had a high probability of sending the crews to late 20th century Earth.
Only on a few occasions did the crews end up traveling to any time earlier than the decade in which the series was produced. While this obviously made the episodes easier to film, it missed the potential to put the crews in an even more unfamiliar environment.
Tumblr user summerartist conceptualizes a trip farther into the part for the Star Trek: Voyager crew. In this design, the crew is blending into a Victorian-era world, although seemingly not very effectively. Especially for such a diverse and female-led series, this time travel concept would have been worth exploring.
9 Starfleet Armor
Starfleet uniforms served many practical purposes, but they also seemed to be lacking in many situations the crews would stumble into.
Of course, the standard Starfleet wear is fine for a regular workday or directing exploration from the bridge, but it seemed inadequate when the crews found themselves in trouble. Any crew member is easily taken out by a standard weapon, like a phaser on stun.
DeviantArt user Jedi-Art-Trick created this mock-up of combat-ready Starfleet using a Mass Effect design. While such a design would not be necessary for most of Starfleet's work, it might be useful to keep around next time the crew members find themselves in a stand-off or hand-to-hand combat with one of their many antagonists.
Leaving the crew without any kind of body protection seems ill-prepared for an organization like Starfleet.
8 Regency Era Redesign
Much of Starfleet is conceptualized as a futuristic naval organization, using a similar structure to the naval branch of a military. Certain periods of American and European history heavily focused on the Navy, especially in literature. This prevalence in the literature of the time is just asking for a throwback for fan-favorite Star Trek characters.
DeviantArt user avoxsus shows Spock, Kirk, and Uhura in a redesign from the Regency Era, throwing the crew into an Austen-esque environment. This design incorporates some of the hallmarks of Starfleet, such as the blue, yellow, and red uniforms for different specializations, with the style of period costumes.
Instead of a simple time-travel concept, this completely reimagines Starfleet as a Regency Era organization, which thankfully still includes Uhura.
7 Pre-Dominion Vorta
The Vorta were one of Deep Space Nine's more innovative additions. The Dominion genetically engineered the Vorta to serve them, supposedly engineering them from their original form as ape-like, forest-dwelling prey animals.
Over time, the Changelings turned the Vorta into humanoids and employed them to administrate their plans. The Vorta often popped up to cause trouble in Deep Space Nine, usually in the form of Weyoun's many clones.
Tumblr user laurelhach takes a different look at the Vorta, imagining what they would have looked like before the Dominion began their work on them.
The artist used lemur-like species as inspiration, specifically the tarsier, loris, and jerboa, while still incorporating vague impressions of the later humanoid Vorta. This design provides an interesting look into species evolution in Star Trek.
6 Time-Traveled Trek
Star Trek's frequent time travel adventures are often the best part of the franchise, throwing the crew into an unfamiliar and-- for them-- completely archaic era. In these time travel plotlines, the crew is often stranded for a while, forced to adapt to the circumstances of the time.
DeviantArt user Rabittooth provides a new twist on the time-traveled redesigns, incorporating the Original Series crew with vintage photos that make the scene looked like it was ripped directly from a real episode. The crew is put into their usual vocations in this era.
Kirk is still in military command. Spock and Scotty are showcasing their inventiveness. McCoy is practicing as a doctor, probably complaining about being in the Dark Ages of medicine. Uhura is picking up hailing frequencies of a different kind. Chekov and Sulu are probably getting into some kind of trouble with those ridiculous bicycles.
Odo's Changeling abilities in Deep Space Nine always provided an intriguing element to his character and set up a clear contrast between him and the rest of the crew.
The show utilized his abilities as much as a series of the time could, mainly featuring his humanoid and liquid forms, but occasionally breaking out his shapeshifting abilities for other uses. However, Odo's shapeshifting could have been used much more in the series, even leaving him in a non-humanoid form.
Tumblr user Subspacecommunication redesigns Odo in a reptilian manner, more liquid and sleek than he appeared as a humanoid. Since his original form is a liquid, a fluid design makes more sense for his abilities. Although Odo's form is drastically changed, this design still somehow retains Rene Auberjonois' face.
4 Starfleet Uniforms With Head Coverings
Star Trek always made diversity a priority. Beyond the wide array of species that the show presented, diverse cultures throughout the universe have been a central feature of Star Trek.
For example, Deep Space Nine's main series plotline was based in the Bajoran culture and religion. Even Starfleet standard uniforms have varied to allow crew to practice their own customs, such as Worf's Klingon sash.
Tumblr user sto-vo-kor imagines a cultural variance on the Starfleet uniform, incorporating head coverings into the standard uniforms of all of the different Star Trek series and movies.
Since head coverings have traditionally been a part of several Earth cultures and religions, it makes sense they would appear on Star Trek as part of the practices of an Earth crew member or a crew member from another planet with similar cultural mores. It's a simple variance, but with interesting potential.
Lt. Uhura was an incredibly progressive and forward-thinking role when the Original Series was broadcast in the 1960s. Uhura was a woman of color with a high rank and a place on the bridge of the Enterprise, and she opened up the Star Trek universe to even more progressive roles in the future of the franchise.
However, in hindsight from several decades later, Uhura was still confined by some of the trappings of the time. Her role on the bridge was primarily administrative, and all female crew members were clad in the dated '60s miniskirt dresses.
DeviantArt user stourangeau gives Nichelle Nichols' Uhura the update she deserves, putting her in a more practical uniform that highlights her muscular physique, getting her ready for a role in the middle of the action with the rest of the crew.
2 The Borg
The Borg are one of the most threatening antagonists of the Star Trek universe, if not the single most terrifying of all the franchise villains. The threat of assimilation by the Borg has been an ever-present fear for Starfleet crews since the Collective was introduced in The Next Generation.
The Borg will assimilate any population with biological or technical distinctiveness that would merit being added to the Collective.
Given the Borg's reported far-reaching assimilations, it is curious that most of the Borg seem to be identical to humans. DeviantArt user Wallaceclan redesigned the Borg to look less human and more like a standard sci-fi alien.
It shows an unexplored possibility, in which non-humanoid species and technology were incorporated into the Borg. Surely the Borg would have assimilated more than a few distinctive-looking species that were never shown.
The ever-altering appearance of the Klingons has provided plenty of inspiration for fan artists. Star Trek has shown three major incarnations of the Klingons, with distinct designs introduced in the Original Series, The Next Generation, and Discovery. The incredible variance in the Klingons between eras begs the question of how many more types of Klingons have existed.
DeviantArt user TheMorlock reimagines the Klingons in a more beastly form than the franchise has ever feature. The artist based this design on the devolved Worf in the Next Generation episode "Genesis".
This take on the Klingons is animalistic, but retains many of the classic Klingon features. However, the forehead ridges are emphasized and made a major feature of the head, and the jagged, Jem'Hadar-like jawline is added for a rougher appearance.
What do you think? Do you prefer these Star Trek fan redesigns over what we saw on the shows? Tell us your opinion in the comment section!