Star Trek is in rude health right now. J.J. Abrams gave the film series a reboot back in 2009, and the result was a blockbuster trilogy that made plenty of cash and earned its fair share of favorable reviews. Like all the Trek films that came before, this new trilogy also served up some intriguing deleted scenes.
Last year gave fans Star Trek Beyond, the third film in the new Abrams-originated timeline, marking the 50th anniversary of Gene Roddenberry’s franchise in a winning style. A lot of stuff did get cut from the movie, though.
Of course, there is also Star Trek: Discovery, which has revitalized the franchise’s TV wing, boldly going into the new frontier of online streaming, with a lot of success. A second series has been ordered, before the first one has even finished airing. Essentially, then, Star Trek fans are being treated to a lot of good stuff these days.
While you wait for the next Discovery episode, and the next big-screen outing for the Enterprise crew, it’s as good a time as any to look back over the Star Trek scenes that didn’t make it through the edit. Over the 51 years of this franchise, a lot has been left on the cutting room floor.
Any hardened Trek fan will surely enjoy these 15 Star Trek Deleted Scenes You Won’t Believe Were Cut.
15 Kirk Is Lonely In Yorktown (Beyond)
This scene, cut from Star Trek: Beyond, sees Pine’s Kirk being shunned by his crew upon arriving at the Yorktown. Simon Pegg’s Scotty turns down his offer of a drink, before awkwardly trying to invite Kirk along to his date as a consolation. Kirk declines. Scotty’s little alien friend Keenser then sneezes green goo onto himself and walks off, leaving Kirk to wander Yorktown alone.
Arguably, this scene should’ve stayed in. It would have helped to develop the idea that Kirk is bored of life as a Starfleet captain. The finished film touched on this -- with Kirk seeming unsatisfied and worn down after a lengthy period in deep space -- but the inclusion of this little moment could’ve really hammered it home.
Even when the Enterprise lands somewhere interesting, Kirk still can’t find anything to do. No one from the crew wants to spend time with him, putting him into an even darker spot. These themes still come across in the movie, but this scene would’ve contributed.
14 Riker Pranks The New First Officer (Nemesis)
On a more fun note, this little scene from 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis would have ended The Next Generation era of the franchise with a comedic flourish. The final cut of the film ended with Picard seeming glum after Riker’s departure, finding some solace in the fact that some semblance of Data’s personality has survived within B-4.
This scene would’ve put a funnier spin of Riker leaving the Enterprise to captain the Titan. In this short scene, Riker meets his replacement as Picard’s first officer, and decides to have a little fun with him: Riker tells his replacement to be casual with Picard, and to call him Jean-Luc, if he wants to win his favor.
Riker leaves, Picard comes in, and the replacement does exactly as he was told. He calls Picard by his first name. The captain clearly hates it, which would have provided a big laugh.
Picard sits in his new chair, hesitant to accept all the changes around him, but he soon perks up, realizing that his new assignment will take him to a place where no one has gone before. It would’ve been a more optimistic ending, fitting for the era it was closing.
13 Scotty Blags His Way Past Hangar Control (Into Darkness)
This scene from Star Trek Into Darkness sees Scotty attempting to blag his way past Hangar Control in order get a peek at the Vengeance. The finished film skips past this bit, picking up with Scotty when he’s already inside.
However, you could argue that they should have kept this scene in, for one nerdy reason: it appears to be a Star Wars reference, with Scotty filling in for Han Solo and Hangar Control for the Death Star. J.J. Abrams love for Star Wars informed his work on Star Trek, and this scene would have provided another fun little example of that.
Fans of both franchises would have got a kick out of this brief parallel between Scotty and Han, but ultimately it ended up on the cutting room floor, before coming a DVD extra.
12 Picard And Data Talk Moving On (Nemesis)
This highly interesting scene cut from Nemesis would have slotted in just after the wedding scene, near the start of the film. It sees Picard and Data discussing, as Patrick Stewart puts it, “change, necessary change, evolution, loss, friendship and family.” Over a bottle of Chateau Picard wine, the two iconic characters take the time to talk about how they’re feeling, and their hopes for the future.
Data talks about a “confluence of emotion” he felt at Riker’s wedding, where he felt “both pleasure and sadness simultaneously.” Picard explains to Data that certain traditions, such as weddings, “evoke very complex emotions because they mark important transitions in our lives [...] they make us think about our mortality.”
This scene is quite long and talky, so you can see why an editor looking to shave a film down might decide to remove it. However, it offers such an insight into both characters’ emotional well-being, making it a real shame that cinemagoers at the time did not get to see this conversation.
11 Kirk Tries To Apologize To Gaila (Star Trek '09)
A removed subplot from the 2009 Star Trek re-launch would have explained exactly how Captain Kirk programmed a subroutine into the Kobayashi Maru simulation.
In an extended version of the bedroom scene, Kirk explains that he has sent a note to Gaila, which she should open at a very precise time. When Gaila opens the note in a later scene, it downloads a virus into her Starfleet computer, which allows Kirk to defeat the no-win scenario test.
This subplot would have culminated in a really interesting scene: Kirk later encounters a green woman who he believes to be Gaila. He apologizes for using her, clearly conveying guilt over his actions. However, it turns out that this woman isn’t Gaila, which makes Kirk look like an even bigger schmuck.
This whole subplot, arguably, should have stayed in. It would have allowed fans to understand Kirk’s Kobayashi Maru win, as well as showcasing a bit of character development Kirk: his apology, albeit to the wrong person, is a clear sign of growth.
10 A Thought-Provoking Ending (Insurrection)
Star Trek: Insurrection originally had a different ending. In the original cut, Picard managed to stop the Son’a Collector’s self-destruct sequence, but Ru’afo got away in an escape pod. The pod journeyed into the rings of the planet Ba'ku, where a fatal dose of metaphysical particles hit Ru’afo. This caused him to de-age rapidly, before disappearing altogether.
However, after screening the film to test audiences, the producers felt that this ending was too soft. Instead of de-aging Ru’afo and letting him die a bizarre sci-fi death, the powers-that-be decided to blow him up. In the final version of the film, Ru’afo’s confrontation with Picard culminates in a giant explosion. Picard beams out in the nick of time, but Ru’afo is blown to smithereens. His final word is a lengthy “NOOOO!”
An unfinished version of the original ending, without completed special effects, was later included on the film’s home release. It may not have the Hollywood-friendly bang that the finished film did, but it was an interesting idea that built on the 'fountain of youth' themes in the film. This original ending could’ve really made audiences think.
9 Kirk Does A Skydive (Generations)
Star Trek: Generations originally opened differently. Initially, the plan was not just to open with the champagne bottle floating in space that ends up smashing against the new Enterprise.
Spliced in between the shots of the bottle, the original opening has Kirk skydiving from orbit down to Earth. On the ground, Scotty and Chekov look to the sky, bickering. Kirk lands in slightly the wrong place before enthusing about his next jump, which he’s planning for tomorrow. However, Chekov reminds Kirk that the new Enterprise is being christened tomorrow. Kirk insists that he isn’t going, but, of course, in the end, he does.
This alternate opening doesn’t really add much to the film in terms of story, but it would have been a fun way to reintroduce Kirk, Scotty and Chekov. It’s certainly a bit more interesting than watching a bottle float around for ages.
8 Kirk Meets The Harewoods (Into Darkness)
In another deleted scene from Star Trek Into Darkness, Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk crosses paths with Rima and Lucille Harewood, the wife and daughter of Thomas Harewood (played by Noel Clarke), who blew up a Federation base earlier on the film under the instruction of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan. Fans will remember that Thomas did that because Khan offered medicines that could save his kid from a terminal illness.
This tiny deleted scene would have slotted in near the end of the film, with Rima and Lucille (clearly cured of her illness) approaching Kirk after his speech. Rima thanks Kirk for his words, and Rima says hi. Kirk shakes hands with the youngster, and the two share a look for a moment. Kirk seems to realize that, although Thomas’ actions caused a lot of pain, they also saved this young child.
This scene should have stayed in the film, as it offers some closure on the Harewood strand of the film and gives Kirk some interesting moral material to think about.
7 Picard’s Working Lunch (Insurrection)
In this deleted scene from Insurrection, Captain Picard has an unsuccessful working lunch in his ready room. He drops a bowl of well-dressed cheese salad on himself, which would have provided a hefty laugh in the cinema.
Riker enters, and sneakily snares a bit of the salad, while Picard talks about the mission at hand and cleans himself off. The pair discusses the radiation in the region, before being summoned to the bridge.
This scene wasn’t exactly crucial to the plot, but it was full of interesting character beats. Picard enjoys dramatic orchestral music at lunchtime, Riker expresses amusement upon seeing his captain covered in gorgonzola, and the pair are clearly very comfortable together, discussing complex science while one of them is walking around and trying to smarten himself up. None of this is plot-essential, but it helps the characters feel fully fleshed out. They should’ve kept it in.
6 Spock As A Baby (Star Trek '09)
Here’s another deleted scene from the 2009 Star Trek movie. This one shows the infant Spock being handed to his mother, who is crying. “The baby is healthy,” says a nearby Vulcan, “why does the mother cry?” Another one responds: “She is human.”
Spock’s dad enters the scene, suggesting the name Spock based on some ancient Vulcan stuff. The new parents admire Spock’s eyes and ears. It’s a completely harmless scene, which offers some nice context. It would’ve helped newcomers to the franchise to understand Spock’s history.
There is one more deleted scene from the Vulcan, as well. It shows Spock’s parents arguing after he is bullied at school, with the topic of his half-human nature coming up again.
If it had stayed in, this moment would have offered even more detail about the iconic first officer’s backstory, and the struggles he has to deal with. Instead, viewers had to make do with a trimmed-down version.
5 Extension Of The Cold Open (Into Darkness)
Star Trek Into Darkness’ cold open was a lot of fun, throwing fans into an Enterprise adventure that was already well underway. The crew were spotted by the primitive indigenous species of a very colorful planet, who subsequently decided to worship the futuristic technology of the Enterprise. Of course, this broke the Prime Directive of the Federation.
This deleted scene shows how Kirk tried to get away with it. He produces a dishonest Captain’s Log, spouting lies about how he stayed off the planet to avoid interfering with their way of life. “If there is one word I would use to describe this mission, it would be: uneventful,” Pine deadpans.
In the finished film, this Captain’s Log is alluded to, but it isn’t explicitly seen or heard. This is a shame, because this scene definitely would have got a couple of laughs from most audiences. It wouldn’t have turned this divisive film into a fan favorite, but it might have earned a tiny bit of extra goodwill.
4 Cleaning Out Data's Quarters (Nemesis)
This deleted scene from Insurrection shows Worf and Geordi cleaning out Data’s quarters after the emotional android’s heroic final sacrifice. It was a memorable death scene, and this quiet moment of reflecting and mourning would have made its impact feel even greater.
For a minute and a half, Worf and Geordi silently gather up Data’s belongings, not saying a word to each other until the end of the scene. It would’ve been powerful to watch in the cinema.
Also, in the scene, Geordi finds Data’s emotion chip on the desk, hinting even further at the idea that Data could feasibly be brought back. The scene also ends on a moment of levity, with Worf becoming the owner of Spot the cat, despite not being “a cat person.”
There are three reasons to keep this scene, then: some quiet morning, a tease that Data still exists, and an amusing moment that would’ve raised a wry smile. As Data would've appreciated, there's a lot of emotion here.
3 Kirk Sees Pike Get Shot (Into Darkness)
During the filming of Star Trek Into Darkness, a couple of extra Kirk/Pike moments were shot. Prior to some script changes, a scene was shot which shows Pike taking the Enterprise away from Kirk and giving the command to himself. (In the finished film, the decision is made by Starfleet higher-ups.)
This alternate version – with Pike making the call - shows the dynamic between the two men in a different light. Pike looks a lot more like the punishing father, and Kirk the upset son.
In a similar way, an alternate version of Pike’s death was shot, where Kirk sees it happen. Kirk witnesses the fatal phaser fire, before rushing to Pike’s aid. Kirk attempts to save Pike, telling his mentor that he'll "be fine." In the finished film, Kirk is in action hero mode during much of this scene, engineering a way to take down Khan’s ship. As it plays in the final edit, Spock is with Pike instead of Kirk.
Arguably, both of these alternate scenes play better than the ones in the finished movie. They lean on the Kirk/Pike surrogate father dynamic that served the previous film so well, which would have had a huge emotional impact if the scenes were left unchanged.
2 Scotty & Chekov Mourn Kirk’s Passing (Generations)
Much like the clip of Worf and Geordi quietly mourning in Data’s quarters, this scene – from Generations – deals with the immediate aftermath of the death of a crewmember. In this brief scene, Scotty and Chekov react to Kirk’s death in dramatic fashion, with James Doohan and Walter Koenig both putting in loads of emotion.
“A quick run around the block,” laments Scotty, recalling Kirk’s description of the trip that would ultimately end his life. Chekov truly breaks down, managing to mutter, “I never thought it would end like this.” Then, Scotty tries to reassure him with the words, “All things must end, lad.”
Both actors are on the top of their game here, making it a shame that the footage was removed from the film. Plus, Kirk’s death might have resonated a bit more if viewers got to see his good friends react like this.
1 Young Kirk Doesn’t Want His Brother To Leave (Star Trek '09)
Here’s a deleted scene from 2009’s Star Trek that would have explained a lot about Kirk’s personality. This scene from his childhood leads directly into the clip from the finished film, where Kirk joyrides a car and drives it off a cliff. In the final edit, the scene still plays really nicely, but this prelude would have explained why it was happening.
Jim and his brother are in the care of a horrid uncle, due to the fact that their father died on the U.S.S. Kelvin. Jim’s brother has had enough, and he leaves home after a loud shouting match with the uncle. Jim protests, asking his brother to stay, and the uncle chimes in with a horrible statement: “what you want doesn’t matter. You’re no one. And I asked you to wash the car.”
Dejected, having failed to convince his brother to stay, Kirk cleans the car. He finds the keys within it, enabling that memorable joyride sequence. Kirk takes control of the car and of his own life, driving away from his uncle, his brother and his unhappy childhood. It leads him straight into trouble with the police, establishing this fiery new version of Kirk in under three minutes. Amazing stuff.
Which Star Trek deleted scene is your favorite? Did we miss one that you really love? Let us know in the comments!