Star Trek has been around for more than five decades, and in that time, it’s attracted its fair share of big names from the world of movies, music and even actual science. In fact, a surprising amount of modern Holywood icons actually got their break on Star Trek, appearing in small roles in both ‘Trek movies and episodes while working as jobbing actors.
There are almost too many of these blink-and-you’ll-miss them cameos to choose from. But now, after weeks of arguments we’ve managed to whittle them down to our ten favourite.
Without further ado, here are the coolest cameos in the history of Star Trek.
Before he made the move from wrestling ring to cinema screen, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson appeared in a 2000 episode of Star Trek: Voyager entitled “Tsunkatse.” The ep’s story revolves around a blood sport playing out in an arena on an alien planet. In a nice case of two fandoms colliding, Dwayne plays a Pendari warrior who ends up defeating Seven of Nine with the help of The Rock’s signature move, Rock Bottom. Funnily enough, he isn’t the only wrestler to appear in Star Trek, with Big Show also showing up in Enterprise episode “Borderlands” as a slave trader.
Fun fact –Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood wasn’t new to acting when he cameoed in Star Trek, having previously played a resistance leader in The Running Man. But at least you actually saw his face in that movie. When Mick showed up as an Antedian dignitary in Next Generation episode “Manhunt” in 1989, he was buried under a mountain of fishy prosthetics. Making him pretty much unrecognisable. Still, the role was a juicy one, with Fleetwood’s character revealed as something of a terrorist.
Family Guy creator guy Seth MacFarlane LOVES Star Trek — and he hasn’t been shy about his favourite fandom. As a teen he made the above fan film with his friends. Hell, he even manages to work Trek references into pretty much all of his shows. And now he’s had a character named after him. Still, nothing can beat actually being IN Star Trek, and in 2005 Seth played engineer Rivers in Enterprise episodes “The Forgotten” and “Affliction.” If that wasn’t enough Seth MacTreklane for you, more recently he created and starred in Star Trek homage The Orville.
Comedian Sarah Silverman played astronomer Rain Robinson in the Voyager two-parter “Future’s End.” In this double-pronged outing, the Star Trek crew meet Silverman when they travel back to 1996 Los Angeles. According to a Tweet by producer Bryan Fuller, the showrunners liked Silverman so much that they considered bring her onboard as a series regular. Though that idea was apparently nixed when Jeri Ryan went full-time as Seven of Nine in Season 4.
Rock legend Iggy Pop sometimes seems like an alien. So it’s little surprise that he played one, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Magnificent Ferengi” in 1997. As Vortan clone Yelgrun, Pop endeavoured to negotiate a prisoner exchange, and ends up being captured and handed over to Starfleet. Impressively, the star actually delivered a controlled and understated performance that’s a million miles away from his crazy onstage persona.
Christian Slater is a long-time Trek fan, and briefly appeared as ‘Excelsior Communications Officer’ in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Though the actor probably didn’t have to work too hard for the part, as his mother — Mary Jo Slater — was in charge of casting on the movie. Slater has since revealed that the costume he wore was William Shatner’s in Wrath of Khan. Which Christian duly kept once he’d wrapped shooting.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
The very talented Jeffrey Dean Morgan achieved global fame playing Negan in The Walking Dead. But long before he was fighting zombies and bashing in human skulls, he played a Xindi Reptilian in Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Carpenter Street.” Apparently though, Morgan didn’t exactly enjoy the experience. Telling Entertainment Weekly “I had to pay my bills. I knew I’d play some guy saying some stuff. Then I got a call saying I needed to go in for a prosthetic fitting. I remember them dripping goop on my face, and I had straws sticking out of my nose. I couldn’t eat lunch. I was claustrophobic. I’d go home in tears. This was the job that made me want to quit acting.” We’re glad he didn’t.
That time I was on Star Trek Voyager, or prom? pic.twitter.com/XED9dDq1xj
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) May 24, 2016
Guitar legend Tom Morello is also a Star Trek super-fan, and asked producer Rick Berman for a part. Which Berman duly agreed to thanks to his son being a Rage Against the Machine super-fan. Morello is therefore uncredited as a Son’a officer in Star Trek: Insurrection. But his trekking didn’t end there, with Morello playing Crewman Mitchell in Voyager episode “Good Shepherd.” In which he does the opposite of raging against the machine, snapping to attention when Captain Janeway enters his space. Trekking in the name of.
Best known for her roles in Interview with the Vampire and the Spider-Man movies, Kirsten Dunst appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1993, when she was just 11-year-old. Playing Cairn child Hedril, Dunst’s character visits the USS Enterprise-D on a diplomatic mission with her father. Where her telepathic powers trigger painful suppressed memories in Lwaxana Troi.
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was so famous, he got to play himself in Star Trek. During the Season 6 finale of The Next Generation, Hawking participates in a hilarious game of poker with Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Data. With Hawking winning by bluffing Einstein. It’s a memorable cameo, which Hawking followed up with guest spots on the likes of The Simpsons, Futurama, and The Big Bang Theory. Speaking of which…