One of the most unique models of the USS Enterprise in Star Trek history - designed by a man famous for Star Wars to resurrect the original Star Trek but ultimately used in Star Trek: The Next Generation - is about to go on the auction block.
The Enterprise model in question was designed by famed Star Wars designer Ralph McQuarrie in the 1970s for an aborted Star Trek revival movie called Star Trek: Planet of the Titans. McQuarrie's design is evident in the triangular shape of the model, much like the triangular shape of the Imperial Star Destroyers in Star Wars.
When Planet of the Titans was scrapped, the Enterprise model went unused until years later, when it appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds" as part of the Starfleet armada that was decimated by the Borg at the Battle of Wolf 359.
Here are the lot details from the auction site:
"Ralph McQuarrie and Ken Adam designed model for Star Trek's USS Enterprise, with McQuarrie's influence evident in the model's triangular design, while still retaining the original Starship Enterprise aesthetic by Matt Jefferies. Made in 1976 for the unproduced ''Star Trek: Planet of the Titans'', this model was subsequently screen-used in ''Star Trek: The Next Generation'' as part of the armada destroyed in the epic ''Battle of Wolf 359'' between the United Federation of Planets and the Borg Collective.
At the time of this model, McQuarrie was completing work on ''Star Wars'', whose influence has been noted here, specifically, its similarity to the Star Destroyers of ''Star Wars''. The design of this model is also the inspiration for the redesigned USS Discovery starship in 2017's ''Star Trek: Discovery''. Ship measures 15'' x 8'' wide, made of wood and plastic and with tape and ink accents. Professional repair where nacelle pylons meet the secondary hull, overall in very good condition, stunning for display. Accompanied by the book ''The Art of Star Trek'', where the model is photographed and featured on page 56."
Bidding on the item begins at $40,000.
Star Trek: Planet of the Titans was one of Paramount's early attempts to bring back Star Trek after the series began to enjoy newfound popularity in syndication and at conventions. The story would have seen the Enterprise crew travel back in time and interacting with prehistoric man. After teaching their ancestors to use fire, the crew would realize that they were the titans of ancient mythology, drawing on popular theories of the day that mankind had been visited by alien astronauts during its formative years.
Several possible reasons have been given for why Planet of the Titans was scrapped. Some suggest it was a change of leadership at Paramount, others say that it was because Star Wars was about to be released - the film was officially cancelled just two weeks before Star Wars opened - and the studio didn't think audiences would be willing to pay to see two different science fiction movies set in space. The success of Star Wars changed Paramount's mind pretty quickly, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture was soon put into production. It is a story that played out similarly in terms of Star Trek and Star Wars toys.
What do you think of Ralph McQuarrie's Enterprise? Let us know in the comments!