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Regulate Commerce?: Gene Roddenberry’s Original Star Trek Opening Sounded Like a Star Wars Prequel

Posted on the 25 December 2015 by Weminoredinfilm.com @WeMinoredInFilm

Next year is Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary (yay!).  To celebrate the occasion, Roddenberry Entertainment will use Facebook to release one never-before-seen artifact from Gene Roddenberry’s vault per day throughout 2016.  Entertainment Weekly landed the exclusive earlier this week, and unveiled three preview items, including an image of the Enterprise from the original storyboard for Star Trek: The Motion Picture and a candid photo of Leonard Nimoy in the Motion Picture. make-up chair. The most interesting revelation might have been this: Star Trek‘s iconic prologue didn’t always include lines like “Space, the final frontier” and “Where no man has gone before.”   The rough draft, dated August 2, 1966 (remember that the series premiere aired a little over a month later on September 8th), read more like one of the opening crawls from the Star Wars prequels:

This is the story of the United Space Ship Enterprise. Assigned a five year patrol of our galaxy, the giant starship visits Earth colonies, regulates commerce, and explores strange new worlds and civilizations. These are its voyages… and its adventures.

As EW learned, “Producers Robert Justman and John Black worked with series creator Gene Roddenberry, exchanging drafts to fine tune the text. One of Black’s earlier drafts began with the ‘Starship Enterprise’ and continued with its mission ‘to advance knowledge.’”

So, basically, no, that legendary narration which preceded every episode of the Original Series and was later re-used and revised for The Next Generation didn’t simply pour out of the genius minds behind the show.  They had to actually work on it, fine-tune it.  Score one for editing!

Here’s the narration, as we eventually heard it on the show:

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