Star Trek started out as a single TV show that was just barely avoiding cancelation throughout most of its run. As time went on, it ballooned into a media franchise that encompassed everything from books, to movies, to video games.
This meant that Star Trek had various different canons and timelines that didn't always gel well with each other.
The main timeline of Star Trek has always been the TV show universe. The long-running nature of the franchise has led to storylines starting in one show and being resolved in another, with years and even decades passing between a question and an answer about the lore, such as the truth behind the different Klingons that appeared in Star Trek: The Original Series.
Not all storylines were given an answer in the Star Trek TV show, however. There were times when the writers would put in a concept and then never follow up on it. The extended Star Trek universe might have answers, but the show itself never addressed them again.
We are here today to look at the Star Trek plotlines that were created and then ignored.
From Wesley finally finding a job to the fate of Riker's clone, here are the 15 Star Trek Storylines That Were Completely Abandoned!
15 What Happened To The Mysterious Probe?
Starfleet's most important rule is called The Prime Directive. This states that a ship or individual should allow themselves to be destroyed, rather than interact with a civilization that has yet to discover warp technology.
Starfleet are the only people who adhere to this rule, as higher species seem to love screwing around with the Enterprise.
This happened in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called "Schisms", where an alien spaceship is kidnapping members of the Enterprise crew and performing experiments on them.
The episode ends with the crew realizing that the aliens had sent a probe into their dimension and their behavior meant that they weren't a friendly species. They never showed up again after this episode, save for an appearance in Star Trek Online.
14 What Happened To Hugh & The Free Borg?
It was originally assumed by Starfleet that anyone who had been assimilated into the Borg Collective could not be restored to their previous personality. This was later disproven when Locutus was captured and Captain Picard's mind was brought back.
The Enterprise later encounters a Borg drone whose original personality slowly returns. He was given the name Hugh and was returned to the Borg, to prevent the Enterprise from being pursued.
It was revealed in "Descent" that Hugh's sense of identity was contagious, as he managed to free an entire Cube from the Borg's control. Hugh later took the other free Borg underground and became their leader.
So what happened to the free Borg and Hugh? Where the rest of the Borg content to allow them to live peacefully, even though their existence posed a threat to their security?
13 Who Was The Future Guy?
Star Trek: Enterprise stopped being about the past of the Star Trek universe and started to talk about its future. Captain Archer and his crew became part of the Temporal Cold War, which involved factions from centuries in the future battling across time.
There was a mysterious figure who was influencing events in the past.
This character became known as the "Future Guy" among the Star Trek: Enterprise fans, as his true identity was never revealed.
This figure seemed to have some kind of connection to Archer, though we never find out what they were, as the Temporal Cold War plot was resolved and he never showed up again.
The creators of Star Trek: Enterprise never knew who this mysterious figure was when the show was being made and they have given different answers as to his identity since it ended. The most common answer is that the figure was a version of Archer from the future, who was trying to influence the past.
12 Why Did Wesley Rejoin Starfleet?
In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called "Journey's End", Wesley Crusher left Starfleet in order to join the Traveler and fulfill his destiny... whatever that may have been.
Wesley Crusher is later seen in Star Trek: Nemesis at the wedding of Will Riker and Deanna Troi while wearing a Starfleet dress uniform. The deleted scenes on the DVD included Wesley telling Captain Picard that he has rejoined Starfleet and will serve on the engineering team of the Titan.
Wesley's return to Starfleet is never explained. The series had built-up the idea that he had some kind of special destiny, which was followed through with his departure with the Traveler, yet he abandoned this journey without explanation.
Why did Wesley leave his mystical quest behind in order to become just another Starfleet engineer?
11 What Was The Point Of Sela?
The fourth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation concluded with a cliffhanger ending that showed a new Romulan enemy who looked just like Tasha Yar. It was revealed in the next season that her name was Sela and she was the daughter of Tasha Yar from the "Yesterday's Enterprise" timeline.
Sela led the Romulan initiative to help the Duras family take control of the Klingon Empire.
She later concocted a plot to bring Spock to Romulus as part of an invasion of the planet Vulcan.
Despite her big introduction, Sela was never important to the story of Star Trek. Her role could have been filled by any Romulan officer and Picard even states that her parentage will have no effect on his decision making.
The later seasons of The Next Generation and their movies (especially Nemesis) offered numerous opportunities for Sela to return and be relevant, yet she never did.
10 What Was The Fallout From The Pegasus Incident?
"The Pegasus" involves a secret mission to salvage a ship that Riker had been stationed on in the past. The Enterprise is forced to enter an asteroid in order to find the Pegasus.
It is revealed that a cloaking device was being tested aboard the Pegasus, even though the Federation is strictly prohibited from researching cloaking technology, due to the Treaty of Algeron, which was created to enforce peace between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire.
"The Pegasus" ends with the truth behind the cloaking research being revealed to the Romulans. We never learn of any fallout from this incident, despite the fact that the Romulans have been seeking a legal means to invade the Federation throughout the run of the show.
The creation of a cloaking device is more than enough of a reason to spark a war, yet we never hear more about the Pegasus incident.
9 What Happened To Geordi's Mother?
Starfleet is very much a family organization. This is why the Enterprise allows members of the crew to keep their families aboard the ship, despite the fact that it almost gets destroyed every other week.
While Geordi La Forge was serving aboard the Enterprise, his mother, Silva La Forge, was the captain of the Hera. In the episode called "Interface", Geordi discovers that his mother's ship has gone missing. Search and rescue missions are performed by the Noble and the Excelsior, but no trace of the Hera is ever discovered.
So what happened to Silva La Forge and the Hera?
It's odd that the show would base an entire episode about this mystery and then never bring it up again.
The Star Trek novels offered an answer, with the Hera being trapped on a planet and Silva being killed in a landslide, but this explanation is not considered to be canon.
8 What Happened To The Parasites?
Gene Roddenberry believed that Starfleet represented the ideological peak of humanity and that nothing could lead them astray. This was fine from a philosophical point of view, but it made things difficult when trying to write a show, as it made it hard to write interpersonal drama.
"Conspiracy" was originally an episode about a plot among high-ranking Starfleet officers. This was changed at Roddenberry's request so that the traitors were being controlled by alien parasites.
"Conspiracy" concluded with Data theorizing that Remmick had sent a homing beacon to the other parasites so that they could find Earth. The parasites never showed up again on any Star Trek TV show. They have only appeared in the Star Trek comic books & novels, where it was revealed that they are related to the Trill Symbionts.
7 Why Didn't Geordi Fix His Eyesight During The Show?
LeVar Burton spent almost all of his time on Star Trek: The Next Generation wearing an uncomfortable golden visor that obscured his eyes. This helped to make him one of the most visually distinct members of the crew, but it also made it difficult to play the character, as having expressive eyes can help with a performance.
It was this thinking that led to a scene in "Loud As A Whisper" where Doctor Pulaski claims that she can restore Geordi's eyes through several surgeries. This is never brought up again on the show.
Geordi would later regain his eyesight through other means in the movies.
This storyline was introduced so that they could remove Geordi's visor, as LeVar Burton wanted to get rid of it. We never learn of his reasons for not having his eyesight fixed during the duration of the show, even though a throwaway line could have done the job.
6 What Happened To Sonya Gomez?
The second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation introduced a new character named Sonya Gomez to the engineering staff of the Enterprise. Sonya was presented as being highly intelligent but wasn't confident in her new role, which led to her having embarrassing run-ins with Captain Picard.
Sonya Gomez appeared in two episodes ("Q Who" and "Samaritan Snare") and never showed up again. She was given a lot of screentime during these appearances, with there being a suggestion of a romance blossoming between her and Geordi, yet she never returned.
Lycia Naff (the actress who played Sonya) claims that she annoyed the production staff by cutting her hair before the show had finished shooting, which caused issues with reshoots. This seems like an incredibly petty reason to never use such a promising character again.
5 What Was Keyla's Plan?
The number one holiday destination for Starfleet officers is the planet Risa, which is home to a humanoid species that are very open in their attitudes towards intimacy. The Starfleet officers who visit Risa on the Star Trek shows always seem to run into trouble there, which still never deterred anyone from visiting the planet.
The Star Trek: Enterprise episode called "Two Days and Two Nights" involved several crew members taking a vacation on Risa. Captain Archer has a romantic liaison with a woman named Keyla Terrana.
It seems that there was more to Keyla than meets the eye, as Archer discovers that she is a disguised Tandaran.
Keyla drugs Archer and tells him that she doesn't want him interfering in her plans.
We never discover what Keyla Terrana's plans are, or how Archer could have influenced them.
4 What Happened To Moriarty?
Professor Moriarty is the nemesis of Sherlock Holmes in the books created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A version of James Moriarty was created by the Enterprise's computer to act as Data's equal in a holodeck game.
This version of Moriarty gained sentience beyond what was normally capable of a hologram and managed to take control of the Enterprise. "Ship in a Bottle" concluded with the Enterprise crew trapping Moriarty within a fictional hologrammatic universe that he could explore to his heart's content.
We never learn of the fate of Professor Moriarty's program when the Enterprise is ruined in Star Trek Generations. Star Trek: Voyager also revealed that a hologram will become corrupt if it's left on for too long. Does this mean that Professor Moriarty is trapped in a glitched universe that is slowly decaying around him?
3 What Happened To Ensign Ro During The Events Of Deep Space Nine?
A new person joined the crew of the Enterprise in the fifth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Ensign Ro Laren was a Bajoran and had grown up during the Cardassian occupation of her planet, which exposed her to the horrors of war at an early age. Ro would later betray Starfleet and join the Maquis, with her final appearance happening in "Preemptive Strike".
The Maquis were later almost totally wiped out by the Cardassians and their Jem'Hadar allies during the events of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
We never learn if Ro Laren was one of the survivors of this conflict, or what she did afterward.
Ro Laren was originally intended to be the first officer in Deep Space Nine, but Michelle Forbes wasn't interested in reprising the role. This is why we never had any closure on the fate of Ro Laren.
2 What Happened To Suspiria?
The USS Voyager was trapped in the Delta Quadrant when Captain Janeway ordered the destruction of the Caretaker's Array, in order to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Kazon.
It was revealed in the episode called "Cold Fire" that the Caretaker had a mate, who may have possessed the ability to send Voyager and her crew home. This mate was a being called Suspiria, who blamed Captain Janeway and the Voyager crew for the death of the Caretaker.
Captain Janeway was able to subdue Suspiria and drive her off. Janeway later promises to find Suspiria and convince her to send them home. Suspiria never appears on the show again.
Suspiria was created as a backup plan, so that the writers could return Voyager to the Alpha Quadrant easily, on the off-chance that there was a studio mandate to abandon the original premise of the show, or if they needed to quickly wrap up the show if it was canceled.
1 What Happened To Thomas Riker?
It seems that the producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation just couldn't get enough of Jonathan Frakes and his beautiful beard, which is why he was cloned in a transporter accident. William Riker had a duplicate, who chose the name, Thomas Riker.
Thomas Riker would later appear on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where he joined the Maquis. Thomas was later taken into custody by Gul Dukat, who imprisoned him aboard the Kraxon.
Before Thomas was beamed to the other ship, Kira promised that she would come back for him.
She never did. This was the last canonical appearance of Thomas Riker. A few ideas were pitched to the Deep Space Nine staff about resolving the Thomas Riker storyline, but no one was interested in pursuing it. For all we know, Thomas Riker spent the whole Dominion War sitting in a jail cell.
Can you think of any other Star Trek storylines that were completely abandoned? Let us know in the comments!