Peter Jackson, Stan Lee, Alfred Hitchcock... no one can resist a good cameo. Movies and TV shows a littered with familiar faces and Star Trek is no exception. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, here's nine Star Trek cameos from the movies and the various series, including Seth MacFarlane, Christian Slater, and more.
1. Seth MacFarlane
Episode: The Forgotten and Affliction
The Family Guy and American Dad! creator appears in two different episodes, so you could argue he’s a recurring character. The first time, he’s glimpsed working on repairs after Enterprise has been attacked. The second time, he gets a name (Rivers) and three lines of dialogue; now on the Columbia, he’s on the wrong end of a lecture from Trip Tucker. MacFarlane’s in came via Family Guy producer David Goodman, co-writer of The Forgotten. "There were some Family Guy fans over there, so they thought it would be fun for me to come on and do the show."
2. Bryan Singer
Movie: Star Trek Nemesis
The X-Men director obviously can’t get enough of working with Patrick Stewart. He can be glimpsed for just a split second in Nemesis, as an unnamed Enterprise-E tactical officer who takes over Worf’s station when he leaves the bridge to battle a Reman boarding party. Three years later, after the cancellation of Enterprise, Singer (a keen Trek fan) was involved with a proposal for a new series.
3. Mick Fleetwood
Series: The Next Generation
Fleetwood Mac’s drummer scored possibly the most bizarre cameo in Star Trek history, playing one of two Antedian delegates whom the Enterprise is transporting to a conference. Fleetwood is completely unrecognisable under a fish-like mask, but wasn’t remotely bothered, according to make-up man Allan Apone: "He’s a huge Star Trek fan. He just wanted to be part of it."
4. Stephen Hawking
Series: The Next Generation
Episode: Descent, Part One
The most visible of Star Trek’s 'celebrity cameos' – which sees Data playing poker with holograms of Hawking, Einstein, and Newton – came about after the physicist visited the Paramount studios to shoot a promo for a documentary about A Brief History of Time on the engineering set. Whilst there, he took the opportunity to sit in the captain’s chair, and made it known that he’d love to appear in an episode. Ronald D Moore was promptly instructed to add a scene to the script he was working on.
5. Jane Wiedlin
Movie: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
You have to be eagle-eyed to spot the singer of The Go-Gos. She can be glimpsed on a viewscreen in the background, sending a distress call, as Starfleet HQ goes to hell in a handcart. As a little girl, Wiedlin was in love with Spock, and made her own Trek movies on Super 8. In 1986 she was trying to get into acting; when she heard about Trek IV she begged for a cameo. Interviewed by StarTrek.com, she recalled, "The uniform I wore was 100% wool, so it was very thick, very hot. I was uncomfortable... I’m sure I was awful because I was so star-struck and so nervous."
6. Christian Slater
Movie: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Christian Slater’s still quite a geek (at a 2011 con he paid $20 for the Gorn’s autograph!), but in his twenties he had an extensive memorabilia collection, as he explained on a US chat show: "It looked like The 40 Year-Old Virgin’s house. When I see that movie I go, ‘Oh my god, I had all the same stuff!’" No wonder that when his mother got the job as casting director on Star Trek VI, he asked for a cameo. Slater plays a comms officer on the Excelsior. He’s said of the experience, "That was probably the most nervous I had ever been."
7. Tom Morello
Series/movie: Voyager and Star Trek: Insurrection
Episode: Good Shepherd
The guitarist in Rage Against the Machine has made two Trek appearances. For Insurrection, he sat through hours of make-up to play one of the alien Son’a (good luck spotting him in the planet surface scenes). He’s far more easily recognisable in Voyager, as a crewman who gives Janeway directions when she gets lost on deck 15. In an obvious irony, given Morello’s political leanings, his last words to her are, "To the left, ma’am."
8. Abdullah II of Jordan
Back in 1996, when the Star Trek-loving monarch of Jordan was merely a Prince, he snagged a non-speaking role in Voyager. He can be glimpsed early on as Neelix strikes up a conversation with Harry Kim. As the King explained to the BBC in 2003, he was visiting the States as part of a military delegation, and had a stopover in LA. A friend offered to arrange for him to visit the set and try on a uniform. "Then the next thing, when I actually showed up, they said that if you want you can stand in. So it wasn’t planned, it just turned out that way. I had a great time."
9. Harve Bennett
Movie: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Harve Bennett produced the third, fourth, and fifth Trek films, as well as writing III and IV. In Star Trek V he plays Admiral Bennett, who gives Kirk his orders to go to Nimbus III. He’s just the most obvious example of crew popping up in front of the camera. David Gerrold, writer of The Trouble With Tribbles, can be glimpsed in DS9’s Trials And Tribble-ations, and is one of a host of Star Trek notables in a crowd of crewmen in The Motion Picture. And numerous behind-the-scenes staff made appearances in the final episodes of DS9 and Enterprise.
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