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Majel Barrett-Roddenberry To Play Computer Voice In New Star Trek Movie December 10, 2008

by Staff , Filed under: ST09 Cast , trackback

In another nod to Star Trek history, it has just been officially announced that Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, will reprise her role as the voice of the computer for the Enterprise in JJ Abrams 2009 Star Trek movie. The news came late tonight in a brief mention in Variety.


The entirety of the Variety story:

Majel Barrett-Roddenberry will reprise her role as the voice of the starship Enterprise computer in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming "Star Trek" feature. She’s voiced the role in four "Star Trek" TV series and three films.

The late announcement of the casting of Barrett-Roddenberry is likely due to the sound mix being the last element of post production before Paramount puts the film in the can, awaiting the May 2009 release.

It’s not Star Trek without Majel doing the computer
Majel Barrett Roddenberry has been part of Star Trek since the first pilot ("The Cage") where she played ‘Number One.’ Although that role was not carried over to the main series, she did get a recurring role on the show as Nurse Chapel and also played Deanna Troi’s mother Lwaxana Troi on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

Majel Roddenberry’s most prolific Trek work was providing the voice for Starfleet computers, mostly for the various Enterprises. Barret-Roddenberry did computer voice acting for all six Trek series (including the Animated Series) and four feature films. Here is a nice tribute video to Roddenberry’s voice work over Star Trek history

Like the casting of Leonard Nimoy as Spock, the inclusion of Roddenberry in the new film is surely to be very popular with Star Trek fans and is certainly a nice nod to Trek history by the film makers.


UPDATE: Roddenberry Productions has issued a press release on this, it can be seen at


1. Xplodin' Nacelle - December 11, 2008

Awesome news! – now she has come full circle.

2. That One Guy - December 11, 2008

Ah! That’ll be nice. I always liked her voice for the computers. Not to mention, Lwaxana was always an…. interesting character.

I thank Kahless that she’s not MY mother-in-law.

3. Zeo - December 11, 2008


4. Harry Ballz - December 11, 2008

Hey, what can I say, she gives great voice!!

5. Federali Aundy - December 11, 2008

Cool news

6. Illogical (Bink) - December 11, 2008

Yae!! Best news of the day!

7. peter - December 11, 2008

right on ! gene must be smiling in heaven. his legacy will be carried through her voice!

8. Sean4000 - December 11, 2008

Very fitting.

9. MattTheTrekkie - December 11, 2008

That is something I was not expecting. Wow… this really is good news. Its kinda like a:

“I know we’re rebooting and everything, but we’re not forgetting the things that came first,” gesture.

Its a nice feeling :)

10. Jeffries Tuber - December 11, 2008

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that once they have her voice in a modern computer system, they can synthesize her voice going forward.

Another actor could eventually be hired to read the computer’s lines, but using the same technology that turned Maria and JLo into pop stars, the actor’s voice can be modified to sound like Majel’s.

Gene gave his wife the roll of several lifetimes.

11. sebimeyer - December 11, 2008

I had been wondering about this! Excellent news indeed!

12. the king in shreds and tatters - December 11, 2008


13. DJT - December 11, 2008

I love it when a plan comes together.

14. Thomas Jensen - December 11, 2008

Will the voice be in the style of the halting, tinny robotic cadience from the original series? Or will it be the smooth and soothing computer from the 24th century? I wonder if it could be something in between?

15. naHQun - December 11, 2008

Yes! buy’ ngop!
I wondered about this “out loud” on another thread.
I am *SO* glad she made it into the film.
She *belongs* in the film.
Like the article says, she’s been around since day one with “The Cage”. Her and Nimoy were the only ones to do that, and they’re BOTH in the film.
I actually pulled over to the side of the road to type this. I’m THAT excited.

#10 If that’s true, I’m going to need her voice on my TomTom GPS, and in my car warning me that my “door is ajar”.

16. AJ - December 11, 2008

What great news.

Majel is wonderful.

17. Cobalt 1365 - December 11, 2008

Strange, as a Trekkie since my childhood days with TNG, I never really thought about Majel reprising her role in the new movie. It makes perfect sense! But now that I’ve heard about it, of course! Thank you JJ and crew!

18. Pete359 - December 11, 2008

Great to hear this! Majel is a brilliant actress, I’ve loved every role she’s done.

I still love hearing her tell Capt. Janeway to “Make it yourself”. LMAO

19. Jared Butcher - December 11, 2008

This is great, so unexpected.

I got goosebumps reading that.

20. OR Coast Trekkie - December 11, 2008

Interesting. I thought Majel was battling health issues.

#14 – I would have to say that the computer will sound closer to the 24th century. ANY sort of a talking computer in the 60’s was seen as futuristic The roboticness of it was seen as MORE futuristic. However, in “In a Mirror Darkly” the computer on board the Defiant did not have that tinny, robotic cadence. Heck, even today, computer voice software sounds superior to the voice tone that Barrett chose. If she uses that original tone, you would essentially, be asking the audience to believe that computer voice technology has gone backwards.

I’m sure I just started some sort of “canon violation” argument. I apologize for that…

21. Mickey MET - December 11, 2008

>> 10. Jeffries Tuber – December 11, 2008

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that once they have her voice in a modern computer system, they can synthesize her voice going forward. . . .<<

Don’t they really already have her voice then? I mean she’s already been in so much Trek, can’t they already feed her voice into a ‘puter and run with it if that’s the case?

22. Crewman Darnell - December 11, 2008

It’s a smart decision to include Majel in this way. I’m looking forward to that touch (or sound, rather) of TOS familiarity.

23. Pete359 - December 11, 2008

Anthony, the Cast Page needs updating now!

24. Christopher Mulrooney - December 11, 2008

That’s AWESOME really exciting I am sure she’s thrilled to be included. Thats really makes me happy they included her.

She’s really a great and sweet person.

25. Will H. - December 11, 2008

Good choice I think. True, some will say its kinda a cannon violation, but with as much as its already been violated, this doesnt mean much, you know, compared to the enterprise being built in freaking iowa. I think its good to give us trekkies, you know, the people responsible for keeping the franchise going as long as it did, a little something like this.

26. Toddk - December 11, 2008

Hooray For Majel!! and Hooray For Star Trek! :) Masterstroke!

27. Doug in Kabul, Afghanistan - December 11, 2008


28. I am not Herbert - December 11, 2008


Spock – Chapel nod would be nice as well…

29. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - December 11, 2008

25 Will H. — “True, some will say its kinda a cannon [sic] violation”

As others have pointed out, she lent her voice to the computer on TOS, however, the point in question in regard to canon is what style of voice she will use. I am with 20 OR Coast Trekkie in thinking it’s better to violate canon on the style of voice and not go with “Robbie the robot” enunciation, but rather go with an accurately futuristic voice by today’s standards — which is to say, the computer has a natural language enunciation.

30. Rob - December 11, 2008

all I need now is a cameo by Shatner and I’m happy :-)

31. Vance S - December 11, 2008

Remember in TOS when the Enterprise computer was given “more” feminine personality by some amazonian-style culture? They felt the computer lacked personality and gave it a sultry, come-hither regard for the Captain, referring to him as “Dear”.

So it was likely the birthplace of the smoother voice we enjoy now. Kirk ordered the computer to be less affectionate, but never ordered it back to the tin can.

32. Sean - December 11, 2008

Great news! Majel is a great actress and, in my eyes, the best representation of the lasting power of Star Trek (sorry, Mr. Nimoy, you’re a close second). She deserves to be able to play any role she wants, and especially the one she turned from just an ordinary background voice into a character of its own!

33. Jordan - December 11, 2008

She’s the best when it comes to computer voices. Oh how I wish my computer would talk to me like that. You know, in the future people will try and replicate her voice onto actual computers.

34. Spockish - December 11, 2008

So when Microsoft comes out with their voice controlled OS how long until Majel Replaces that computers voice. It will be a natural fit. Most of the then user base will have already been use to using the computer, since I guess some if not many have thought what they wanted the computer to say. /hopefully as we develop into Trekhood in the next centuries her voice will bring The Great Bird’s visions of a better future for humanity.

Indirectly this can almost make Gene an analogy to GOD by giving us a desire for a better future, and Majel would be like Gods connection to humanity. In todays stupidity of Political Correctness I’ve used the the big four letter word of ‘GOD’ and here is another Majel could be a similar analogy to being the Star Trek Universes Jesus.

An addition note, when I first started reading the Comment trails here they were short comments like from Grade schoolers, and now Some two years later many of the comments are true works of thought and comment making the reading have much more value. There are still one liners but that may be attributed to the depth that others have worded and most likely said what others wanted to say but did not desire to sound like a echo.

One day someone may take the comments and fill them in with the history at the times they were made. And as a result they could author books and maybe historical video productions into Productions call ‘The thoughts of the Trek Universe’. May this thought be a gift to the creators of this Web Site.

May someone forward this thought to them or it is a free Public Domain idea for any and all to work on for Trek.Movie’s profit or whom ever ventures with the idea.

35. James - December 11, 2008

It wouldn’t be Trek without her. Excellent news.

36. T2 - December 11, 2008

icing on the cake….coincidentally watched TNG’s “Dark Page” today…Lwaxana or the Computer…I’ll be happy.

37. Vernon Wilmer - December 11, 2008

At least they’re doing something right

38. John - December 11, 2008

At the 2006 Las Vegas convention, she got a standing ovation when she answered, “In a heartbeat” when I asked her if she would voice the computer in the new movie if asked to do it. Nice to see she lives up to her word. :)

39. Quarksbartender - December 11, 2008

What’s up Vernon? This is good news, I loved waiting on her at Quarks when it was open the stories she would tell me about her late husband and Star Trek were fantastic.

40. CmdrR - December 11, 2008

It’s just great that Majel is still…


41. CmdrR - December 11, 2008

Will there still be a teletype soundfx to go with her voice? tee hee

42. Lancelot Narayan - December 11, 2008

Wonderful news!

43. Trekmatt - December 11, 2008

I think its great news! She was the only natural choice to voice the computer :) well done JJ and gang!

44. Rod of Rassilon - December 11, 2008

Just GREAT news!

45. P Technobabble - December 11, 2008

Of course this is great news.
I got to meet her once, about a year after Gene Roddenberry’s passing. She is wonderful, a real class-act.

46. Iowagirl - December 11, 2008

Wasn’t there another character she used to be famous for in TOS? One that could be heard *and* seen? Ah stuff it – I suppose that one didn’t fit in.

Clever move nevertheless…

47. Paul - December 11, 2008

Wow – I am really pleased at this development. It doesn’t make up for my extreme disappointment at the absence of Rand (who has great potential for comic relief in addition to Chekov and Scotty) and Chapel. Nevertheless, if we can count the computer voice as one of the recurring female characters, we have two out of four, so things are improving! Go Majel!

I really hope that the writers wise up and learn how to use women in the franchise. Star Trek has been left in the dark ages of equality by shows like Battlestar Galactica and, considering its pioneering start, that is a huge disappointment. Plus, who doesn’t want to see more hot chicks in short skirts? It’s a win / win scenario!

Right now I’d be happy if Rand just got to serve coffee in the movie as long as she’s there! Longer term, I want her to be a bad-a** martial-arts expert / bodyguard for Kirk. “Look at my legs…” Thwack!


48. Republikraut - December 11, 2008

Did anyone doubt they would do this?
I mean, she and Nimoy are the only two actors to have gone all the way from the pilot to the reboot, and shes the only star trek actor to have appeared in some shape and form, in every show that span forward from the original (we ignore Enterprise around me :P).

She had to take part, and JJ knew it.

49. Ashley - December 11, 2008

yay ^_^

I kinda hope they do some sort of reverb or flanging or something with her voice, to make it seem a bit retro without being unrealistically old…but no matter what I’m happy she’s in it :)

50. Dr. Cheis - December 11, 2008

Glad to hear it. I was afraid she wasn’t going to be in the movie when I didn’t read anything about her involvement on trekmovie before now.

(Although I can’t help thinking if she was announced this late in the process, Shatner could still possibly be as well. Not that I’m counting on it or anything…)

51. catchupwiththesun - December 11, 2008

I am definitely pleased about this.

52. SolFlyer - December 11, 2008

Mr. Nimoy AND Mrs. Roddenberry. How can any true Trekker not have warm fuzzies?

53. Mike T. - December 11, 2008

#34 Spockish, Microsoft Vista already has a text to voice function called Narrator and it has a female voice called Anna and it sounds pretty good.

54. JP Saylor - December 11, 2008

Fifty Fourth!

YES!!!! Now some of my faith has been restored.

55. Admiral_BlackCat - December 11, 2008

Good call!
She really gave the Entrerprise personality, she gave this liveless mechanical mass a real voice, something the audience could connect with. If the Enterprise truly is another character like Kirk or Spock then she will give life to this character.

56. Kosher Coder - December 11, 2008


Seriously – This is AWESOME news! Majel IS Star Trek.

57. Mark Lynch - December 11, 2008

Nice news. It is good that Majel is well enough to be doing this.

58. Fansince9 - December 11, 2008

Cool, wouldn’t be right by any other way :)

59. Geoffrey Alan Holliday (writer STAR TREK ''Soldiers of Pawns'') - December 11, 2008

This is always great news. It is a ”continuity arc” that will join the entirety of the many generations of the ongoing phenomenon.

This is just and right since the most under appreciated and ignored and most compelling character ever was one that she inhabited…Number One (or as I might call her, Robin Archer).

60. Jörg - December 11, 2008

Absolutely best news of the day!

61. KevinA Melbourne Australia - December 11, 2008

Here Here! I love Majel, It’s great to have her in.
It’s like the families all coming home for Sunday roast!

If this movie goes off, what’s the chance “old Kirk” turns up in a sequel before he meets his maker (in real life)? Then the circle will really be complete.

62. Star Trek XI: Fakten, Gerchte, Infos - Seite 199 - SciFi-Forum - December 11, 2008

[…] Majel Barret-Roddenberry wird auch in Star Trek XI die "Rolle" des Computers bernehmen. Majel Barret in STXI Ich kann es schon wieder in meinen Ohren klingeln hren, "Die TOS-Computer hatten aber eine […]

63. jw wright - December 11, 2008

well, this is good news, love majel!

however, she’s no spring chicken, i hope someone has had the foresight to record a library of her voice, for future projects.

i’m just sayin’…

i wonder if we’ll see a character on pikes bridge whom he refers to as ‘number one’?

64. Q Macedonia - December 11, 2008

Great news. I love how the computers sounds with here voice.

Just great!

65. MrAtoz - December 11, 2008

Brilliant ! And as it should be.
: ) Right on!

66. CanuckLou - December 11, 2008

A nice touch back for the fans.

….and the adventure continues….

67. Scott - December 11, 2008

I wonder if the many, many fans suggesting this very thing on this website inspired the decision to do this?

In any case, excellent news.

Scott B. out.

68. Weerd1 - December 11, 2008

Very Groovy.

69. The Underpants Monster - December 11, 2008


70. Sc00ny - December 11, 2008

Good call JJ, I’m impressed.
Pass it on Orci !!!!

71. RM10019 - December 11, 2008

That’s it, I’m boycotting! I was promised a reboot!! ;)

Seriously, really great news that Majel will be back.

72. Chris M - December 11, 2008

This is awesome news!!!! Majel Barrett-Roddenberry has been involved in Star Trek since the first Pilot “The Cage” in 1964 and of course having been married to the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, it makes even more fitting that she should be in the Movie! This news will bring a smile to face of Star Trek fans the world over! :)

73. Cobra Commander - December 11, 2008

This is the best news! How many more ways can they build my excitement for this film?! Only five more months to go . . .

74. i like this's exciting!!! - December 11, 2008

#46—are you high? hello…majel played nurse chapel in TOS

75. krikzil - December 11, 2008

Good news — I’m glad she’s well enough to do it.

76. steve - December 11, 2008

Love Majel. Sooo glad she is the voice of the computer. Hope they give her a chance to show some computer personality. Those bits are fun.

“Warp core breach, sooner than you think.” LOL

77. paustin - December 11, 2008

great news….i wish i didnt know though, but fantastic

78. PDX Trek - December 11, 2008


79. ChristopherPike - December 11, 2008

Excellent move.

It would’ve been nice to establish the Computer Voice as modelled after Number One’s (from The Cage). But as Pike’s “woman on the bridge” ain’t in this, hey-ho…

80. Shatner_Fan_Prime - December 11, 2008

Excellent news. The more TOS veterans associated with this, the better.


81. starfleetmom - December 11, 2008

#38: that was ME who asked her! And I’m soooo thrilled! I asked her again at this year’s Vegas Con and she didn’t know. My own computer uses her voice!

82. Spockanella - December 11, 2008

Aw, how sweet. I’m thrilled to hear it.

83. John Gill - December 11, 2008

That’s the best news I’ve heard about this film in quite some time!

84. captain shroom - December 11, 2008

That’s incredible news. A class act by all involved in Trek XI.

85. Third Remata'Klan - December 11, 2008

This is excellent. So glad to hear that the First Lady of Trek has a hand in this. Thank you, J.J. and Majel!

86. Iowagirl - December 11, 2008


Hello…you don’t come here on a regular basis, do you? :D

87. captain shroom - December 11, 2008

I occurs to me, and I am embarrassed to admit, that during all the discussions of Nimoy, and his involvement with Trek over the years, we overlooked Majel.

Of course she has been with the show since its inception, and with virtually all incarnations thereafter.

I feel rather ashamed to have not acknowledged such a wonderful, and much beloved member of the Trek family. Apologies Majel.

88. Ralph F - December 11, 2008

I kind of thought it’d be a nice quirky shot if you started it with Douglas Rain as the voice of the computer under Pike and then Kirk decides he’d rather a female voice, and you get Majel then.

89. Jason P Hunt - Kansas City Filmmaker - December 11, 2008

For those hoping that this means a Shatner appearance, just remember this: Majel’s involvement is as a VOICE. This means she goes into a studio and stands in front of a microphone during post-production. It’s all been shot. There are no cameras rolling. So even this late in the process, it doesn’t mean Shatner could still show up.

Unless the Abrams team is very good at hiding things under the bed…

“Unable to comply.”

90. alphaquad20 - December 11, 2008

#49 – I agree, some sort of processing of her voice seems appropriate to match with the look they’re going for in the set design. The TNG-era voice characteristics would be too soft. It was appropriate for the hotel-like interiors of TNG-era ships, but for ST’09 it seems like there should be some added texture to her voice. But I’m SO glad it’ll be her!

91. Capt Mike from the Terran Empire - December 11, 2008

This is great news. The New Movie is shaping up better and better. Having the real voice of Star trek on is the best corse. Wtg J.J

92. Brett Campbell - December 11, 2008

Kinda thought this might happen. Very glad it did.

93. S. John Ross - December 11, 2008

Hmmm. It’s funny; I don’t consider this “good” news; simply “right” news. To have anyone OTHER than Majel be the voice of the computer, when she’s still available and willing to do it, would just be unthinkable.

94. Chris Doohan - December 11, 2008

That’s great news!! love that woman.

95. Eric Cheung - December 11, 2008

63. I wonder, given how linguistics works, wouldn’t someone only need to record the known pronounceable syllables for as many languages as possible and then tweak the sounds in a computer to get the desired line readings? But then at that point there might not be a need for Majel Barrett’s voice.

But this is certainly wonderful news!!

96. tbk1701 - December 11, 2008

That is great news!!!
It wouldn’t be the Enterprise with out her.

97. Catie - December 11, 2008

This is a great idea. I didn’t expect it at all! I’m glad that she is involved with the project.

98. thorsten - December 11, 2008

So with all the discussion about Ryan Churches version of the ship, with Majel Barrett’s voice it is the Enterprise.

99. Jeffries Tuber - December 11, 2008

21 Mickey MET

Presumably yes, but sound engineers can do a more precise sampling, because it’s not about capturing her voice saying things like “working.” It’s about the full alphabetical and phoneme range.

100. hitch1969© is back in 2008. - December 11, 2008

i think that the orcster alluded to this just the very other day when he said that sounds are everything. maybe this is one of the things he was talking about.

nonetheless… sir JJ just might pull this off. And, in a most impressive yet respectful fashion. I’m fully stoked.



101. S. John Ross - December 11, 2008

#98: Given that the fans accepted the Enterprise-D, I think they can accept _any_ visual design as long as there’s a saucer and some nacelles somewhere :)

102. thorsten - December 11, 2008

yep, even these huge bussard ramjets… ;))

103. The Shat in the hat - December 11, 2008

This is great news and sure to please the hardcores!

Always good to see that clip from ‘Relics’…. my fave snippet of all time

104. Closettrekker - December 11, 2008

I never doubted that they would desire her involvement. I’m glad she was in good enough shape to do it.

105. Scott - December 11, 2008

This is great news! Maybe she will do the robot-sounding computer voice from TOS at first though…

106. Sven K. - December 11, 2008

Very nice. As, in fact, she IS kind of the Miss Moneypenny of Trek ^^

107. Dr. Image - December 11, 2008

I give them credit for that decision. Very smart.
Hope she does the TOS voice. That would be smart as well.

108. Jordan - December 11, 2008

Glad to hear she’s the computer voice once again! I hadn’t even thought about the computer until this announcement, so it did catch me off guard.

109. Cyberghost - December 11, 2008

Awesome news, it’s right up there with Mr. Nimoy taking his place in the film. To bad that there is one piece of news we will probably never hear in this movie, and that would be the Shat. Even though it’s doubtfull we will ever hear that news, there is always ST12, 13 . But one new ST movie with time travel in it, pretty much knocks out that news. Hopefully Majel will be in all 3 movies, so Majel here’s to a happy and healthy 6 and many more new years.

and to the website, doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.


110. Marcelo - December 11, 2008

>> 10. Jeffries Tuber – December 11, 2008

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that once they have her voice in a modern computer system, they can synthesize her voice going forward…<<

I’m a professional sound editor for TV and movies. This technology is not yet available. It’s getting there slowly, but not quite yet. You might have to wait another generation or two. If the technology does arrive soon, I hope Majel would be one of the first candidates.

Majel’s appearance in the film is great news.

111. Dom - December 11, 2008

Cool with the news, but I’m surprised they haven’t gone with a full-scale onboard AI, rather than just the boring old computer. Still it’ll be nice to hear a familiar voice, even though I loved the late Teresa E Victor’s voice work in TSFS. The way she voiced the countdown to the Enterprise’s demise was wonderfully mournful!

112. Dom - December 11, 2008

Oh, and to address the rancid hate brigade out there, would Majel Barrett really lend her voice to a film that ‘betrays’ her husband’s creation? Think on that before you post any more nasty jibes about the new team! :p

113. 1701 over Gotham City - December 11, 2008


This is a GREAT show of support to old fans and Trek traditions… My hat is off to the producers. Regardless of how the film is a a finished product, this simple addition will be a real crown jewel.

It cannot be true Trek without Majel involved. And that woman is a hoot to talk to!!

114. Orb of the Emissary - December 11, 2008


115. Wolf Trek - December 11, 2008

This is just too, too, cool!
You go girl!

116. Wolf Trek - December 11, 2008

I think this is the ONLY comment section that I have read on this site where this is NO negative statements.
The power of Majel !!!

117. richpit - December 11, 2008

Yeah, that’s awesome. It would have “felt” wrong to have a different voice coming from the computer.

118. captain shroom - December 11, 2008


Rather refreshing. I think Majel’s participation is both a wise choice and a sound endorsement of the movie.

119. earthclanbootstrap - December 11, 2008

okay, no matter what other questions I have raised about this film,
thanks guys.

120. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - December 11, 2008

41 CmdrR – “Will there still be a teletype soundfx to go with her voice? tee hee”

That would be a riot. I’m just waiting for someone to say “computer tapes” at some point in the new movie…. :-)

121. DM79 - December 11, 2008

Shouldn’t the character of Number One show up in the movie on the Enterprise with Capt. Pike? I haven’t heard anything about that. Would have been nice if that had happened.

122. Nelson - December 11, 2008

Grreat news and a nice nod to TOS which is appreciated!

Considering no one at NBC at the time of The Cage wanted her in the pilot, except Gene Roddenberry, she has endured in probably the most incarnations of Star Trek!

123. Yeah! - December 11, 2008

Y E S ! ! ! !

Thank you ALL involved in the production. This was the right thing to do.

124. Danny L - December 11, 2008

I am surprised that no one EVER comments that if you include the pilot, both Nimoy and Barrett-Roddenberry are the two longest serving peole in Star Trek ever.

Thats amazing,

125. TrekMadeMeWonder - December 11, 2008

With all the computer graphic displays all over the bridge, I am surprised that the crew would need a “Computer Voice” to tell them what is going on. For the first time they are using a real TOS element, and now it seems a bit achronistic. Primarily due to the (apparent) redesign of the Enterprise bridge.

With the Original Series set designs, it kind of made sense that there was a computer voice. The computer voice complimented the simplicity of the set direction. And with the TOS designs the production was forced to rely on the acting. Which then played right back to the story. And so on. It was a good mix. I always saw that the computer voice was there as an explanation for what they could not then show graphically onscreen – computer readouts, cutaway shots FX and such.

I assume that they will use Majel’s new voiceover very little.
Majel is fine with me though. Great in fact!

But, I am still really worried about the sets. It’s all got to make logical sense. Has anyone seen engineering?

Hopefully it will be a major set design. But I think not.

126. OneBuckFilms - December 11, 2008

125 – The Computer Voice is not something that that dates it for me. I think the Computer Voice can get specific items of data when the system is occupide displaying other info.

Bring up a long text about something, and the Computer Voice could replace the Message Box notifications of important data, such as the completion of a long running task.

It is also useful if the UI is occupied with a lot of complex information, and the user (crew member) needs to ask a simple, ad-hoc question.

It would also acknowledge voice commands, such as dimming lights, or perform a course correction, without interrupting the user’s primary task.

It is faster to ask than to type, and no written text can tell you how to pronounce an alien culture’s language.

The Computer Voice, and it’s voice recognition interface, is an enormous benefit.

127. Star Trackie - December 11, 2008

I hope it’s done in the cool, old school roboto voice. When I’m watching Trek I don’t like to feel like I’m sitting inside a luxery car.

128. Bill Peters - December 11, 2008

Ha HA that is just Awsome!! go Majel!!

129. DFG333 - December 11, 2008

How cool is that. I I’m so pleased that Majel is doing voice:-)

130. Danpaine - December 11, 2008

Yeah, great news. A nice nod to us ‘old folk.’

131. Closettrekker - December 11, 2008

#121—“Shouldn’t the character of Number One show up in the movie on the Enterprise with Capt. Pike?”

There are too many possible variables to make that judgement.

For one, does ‘Number One’ serve as a member of Pike’s staff for the entire duration of his command, or only during the period of time in which the Enterprise visited Rigel VII and Talos IV over a decade prior to the events depicted in “The Menagerie”?

Did those events (in this altered timeline) even take place, gievn the fact that they are supposed to occur after the timeline incursion?

Is the Enterprise even old enough to support the visit to Talos IV under Pike’s command? What if the “Supreme Court” has chosen to rule that the Enterprise, as indicated in TSFS, is only 20 years old 15 years after “Space Seed”? We often forget that Harve Bennett and Leonard Nimoy effectively retconned the age of the Enterprise 25 years ago in TSFS (and according to them, it was done quite intentionally).

Is Number One even alive during the events depicted in STXI? For all we know, she may have been killed aboard the USS Kelvin in 2233. She could also have been assigned somehwere else as a ripple effect from the timeline incursion by Romulans from the future.

The bottom line is, we don’t know if she should be there or not…too many questions.

132. EFFeX - December 11, 2008

That’s great news, it’s little things like this that are really going to make this movie something special.

133. -E- - December 11, 2008

YES!! *pumps fist* I was hoping to hear that!

What a great time to be an unabashed dork.

134. Scott Gammans - December 11, 2008

#116 My thoughts exactly. If there’s ever a Grand Unified Theory it should be named the Majel Theory.

135. McCoy - December 11, 2008


This is good news. After the movie is out for a few months, and I finally go see it, it will be great to hear her voice! Definitely 2nd best thing of the movie (Nimoy is first).

136. I am Kurok! - December 11, 2008

131- I’d wait to see the movie: Remember that JJ is a mastermind at whetting fan’s appetites, teasing them and uses the net with great savvy: remember that Cloverfield (like trek now) didn’t get much TV exposure. I think that too much has been invested in the details of trek to throw canon out the window. Given the alternate timelines-premise, anything is possible. I daresay have patience, and in my best Guardian of Forever-esque voice, “. . . .all will be revealed.”

Majel-I’m so glad she’s a part of this: as a consistent player in the franchise, not to mention Rodenberry’s widow, to me she IS Star Trek’s “Mom.” I love her range of characters: from the hardass Number-one, to the sensitive Nurse Chapel, not to mention the regal and irrepressible Lwaxana Troi, and yes, the computer voice-gotta love her!!

137. Christine - December 11, 2008

Awesome! I always heard her voice, but never actually made the connection that it was her. ^_^; That’s really interesting.

So, yeah, looks like we’ve got 2 people from way back in ’66 still doing the show… 42 years later! That’s the coolest thing. Ever.

138. Xplodin' Nacelle - December 11, 2008

I hope she mentors the Number One actress (if there is one), like the other TOS actors have w/ their respective characters.

139. Devon - December 11, 2008

#135 – Why don’t you want to see it when it first comes out?

140. JusticeBoy - December 11, 2008

Great news!

All this talk is making me miss my computer talking like her. I’m off to find that TNG Interactive Technical Manual CD & install it on my current computer. Lots of Majel talking in that!

141. Spockanella - December 11, 2008

102: I think “The Bussard Ramjets” would be a great name for a band. ;-)

142. AdamTrek - December 11, 2008

Mrs. Roddenberry playing her part of the computer is very fitting and kind-of expected, but very cool nonetheless.

Every once in a while the computer had a different voice, so even if it wasn’t her it’s understandable, but this just makes it cooler.

Hey, Bob Orci, please give us a hint as to how many lines the computer voice has in the script.

143. CMX54 - December 11, 2008

Majel’s presence is a *very* meaningful news item, IMHO. Still awaiting something even more significant to win me over, however. It’s gonna take an awful lot to get me to accept that dreadful red Corvette business. ;)

144. Andy S - December 11, 2008

AWESOME!!! I’ve been bugging TrekMovie for months asking about his! Sorry, Anythony! Majel + Nimoy will make this film feel so much more authentic!

145. Falvoant - December 11, 2008

Thats great news…However I would be remiss if I did not point out that we have had Majel doing the voice of our computers for years…
I mean who else would you have????????
Majel does a wonderful job…especialy in “World Enough and Time”
and she introduces each of our teasers with “Next Time on Star Trek NewVoyages”….soon to be changes to “Next Time on Phase II”
Majel will be a welcome part to JJ ‘s Movie and will help to ground it back to what FANS know….

(one of many)

146. Rastaman - December 11, 2008

I hope Majel lives forever. It wouldn’t be the Enterprise without that voice!

147. Jeffries Tuber - December 11, 2008

110 Thanks for that, Marcelo. It had been explained to me that the software that lets Maria Carey, Paris Hilton and JLo sound like they can carry a tune can also adjust levels on another person’s voice to the sample’s. I wouldn’t think it’s perfect, but a little imperfection might suit the Computer Voice quite well.

As for the TOS vs TNG voice issue, I think that has to go in the category of redesigning the bridge. There’s no plausible reason that computer generated voices in the 2260s would be technologically inferior to the 2360s.

To digress, I just saw VOY:Flashbacks last night, where Janeway mentions that there were no replicators in Kirk’s era. That’s just ridiculous. If you can transport a human being at warp speed, you can certainly replicate solid matter.

148. frederick - December 11, 2008

I was hopeful they would have her do it, but not optimistic about it, “old ” and all that. This is very good news!!!!

149. Jeffries Tuber - December 11, 2008

By the way, VOY:Flashback was written by Braga. What a stupid scientific idea to canonize. [above]

150. Rhett Coates - December 11, 2008

#33, #110, #147: More “sampling” of Majel’s voice might be heard from Union Pacific Railroad’s wayside “defect detector” boxes. Those devices (in our day and age) scan passing trains and relate pertinent information to the onboard conductor and engineer: UP’s recorded voice is MAJEL BARRETT RODDENBERRY herself. Yes! (I hope they paid her well for that!) So if we’re looking for more “sampling” of her voice, simply listen in for – and perhaps record – her voice west of the Mississippi River on UP Railroad’s defect detector radio frequency.

151. Garovorkin - December 11, 2008

I like it.

152. The Last Maquis - December 11, 2008

Good, Very good.

153. Spock's Brain - December 11, 2008

25. Will H. wrote: “some will say its kinda a cannon violation, but with as much as its already been violated, this doesnt mean much, you know, compared to the enterprise being built in freaking iowa. I think its good to give us trekkies, you know…”

First: the word is “canon”, not “cannon.” That’s something armies shoot at each other. A really BIG gun.

Second: How is anything in a movie you have not seen other than the trailer a “violation” of c a n o n? You don’t know the premise, plot, the full story.

Third: I am and always have been a Trekker. Trekkie sounds like junkie or Moonie.

154. Dark_Lord_Prime - December 11, 2008

I was hoping they’d ask her. :)

As for “which voice should they use,” I think it should go like this:

The computer voice on the Kelvin is an earlier version, so it sounds stilted and mechanical.

Flash forward to the Enterprise time-frame, and the voice has been tweaked and evolved into something closer to the TNG version. :)

Alternately, we see the computer engineers working on the voice system early on. As they’re testing it, it starts out speaking in the mechanical TOS style, and they tweak it and adjust it, and it slowly turns into TNG style.


155. Paul-Fitz - December 11, 2008

I’m so happy that Majel is back, I would love to have my computer talking like her.

156. Wick - December 11, 2008

I don’t want to offend anyone here, but I got to say it. I have always found the use of Majel’s voice to become more and more of a distraction as the various series went on. No disrespect to Majel, I think she is a great actress, Lwaxana Troi is one of the greatest characters to come out of TNG. But I think of the Enterprise’s computer as a state of the art peice of equipment that deserves a very exotic sensual soothing female voice, not the voice of a 70 year old woman.

157. McCoy's Gall Bladder - December 11, 2008


Number One is very sexy

Wait until you’re 70 and you think 50 year old women are HOT


158. VOODOO - December 11, 2008

Everyone but Shatner.

159. Tholianhata - December 11, 2008

Of all the things I’ve heard about the new movie, this might make me happiest. It’s a little detail that will feel so right.

160. crazydaystrom - December 11, 2008

I’m sitting here surprised at how happy this news makes me!

161. Poizen_Prince - December 11, 2008


I thought they’d gone with the chick who played ‘Karen’ in ‘Will & Grace’…

(NOT doing THAT voice, obviously!)

Nice to have MBR (née LH) back, though…

Full circle indeed :-)

162. Viking - December 11, 2008

Congrats, Majel!!!! J.J., you magnificent bastard!!!!!!!!! NOW we’re getting some TOS raw meat! Throw a Shat cameo in there, and I’ll follow you through the Gates of Hell!

163. Mr. "Why does Paramount keep screwing with Trek?" - December 11, 2008

Ya know, after hearing this, I have the same feeling that I used to get when my late grandmother would greet me at the door when I came to visit.

Welcome home.

Thank you, Mrs. Rodenberry, and Mr, Abrams.

164. John - December 11, 2008

Wow this is fantastic. We saw Majel in Vegas this year and had a photo with her. It’s so cool that she is going to be the computer voice again!!

Can’t wait till May

165. oztrek - December 11, 2008

Although I love the look and feel of a new Trek, I am pretty sentimental about my Star Trek so, like most of the posts, I reckon this nod to those who have previously bodly gone, is great news indeed.

Thank you JJ and welcome back Majel!

166. Darth Ballz - December 11, 2008

I’m glad “Genes Hole” got a job…….

Darth” Genes other hole’ Ballz

167. Katie G. - December 11, 2008

#156. Wick

“…not the voice of a 70 year old woman.”

Sorry everyone but I have to agree with Wick.

Don’t know when I last heard her as the computer voice (Voyager or the TNG movies) but damn, guys, haven’t any of you heard the age difference? It’s hokey that a ship computer would sound so old.

I love her to death (and all the great parts she did in all the series – – especially as “L’Waxanna” as a guest appearance in DS9) but her age is really showing. Just like when Nimoy did “Space… the final frontier…”. Almost made me cry because he sounded so old and it reminded me that he wouldn’t be around much longer. But also – – man, did he ever sound OLD – – but I guess that was the point.

Maybe it’s just us, Wick. Oh well. I’m still going to see the movie. I’ll be third in line (after Harry and his friend).


168. Jordan - December 11, 2008

Fantastic news!

169. Leonel - December 11, 2008

YIPPEE!!! :-)

Got to meet her once. Had her and John De Lancie sign my copy of Q-In-Law.. *sigh*

170. Darth Ballz - December 11, 2008

What the hell is a Jona’s brother?

Darth ” NX-Balls” Ballz

171. Paul - December 12, 2008


It’s true that there could br any number of reasons to justify Number One’s absence from Pike’s crew. There could also be many equally simple reasons why the character COULD be there. Her character is largely a blank slate.

The point is that if they don’t feature her it will be yet more evidence of the astoundingly sexist casting of this film. Having said that, I’d be amazed if she isn’t there. All they need to do is stick a brunette at the helm and hey presto, it’s Number One. If somebody else is at the helm it will be as if they are deliberately trying to annoy me. If it’s yet another guy, I may have to start killing…

Sorry to bang on about it – I’m really pleased that Majel is on board but sexism in sci fi REALLY annoys me. I can handle the skirts, it harks back to Trek’s camp roots but going one step further and populating the movie with moms, nubile slave girls, a transporter technician, and Uhura is nowhere near enough when you look at the number of male officer characters they’ve showcased so far. The original show was FAR less sexist when you consider the era in which it was made.


(but not more than Janice)

172. Closettrekker - December 12, 2008

#171—“The point is that if they don’t feature her it will be yet more evidence of the astoundingly sexist casting of this film. ”

I’m not sure how you’ve come to that conclusion.

“…populating the movie with moms, nubile slave girls, a transporter technician, and Uhura is nowhere near enough when you look at the number of male officer characters they’ve showcased so far.”

There were only 3 recurring female characters aboard the Enterprise in the TOS-era (Uhura, Rand, Chapel).

There is also no indication that the Orion female in the film is a “slave girl”. Reports seem to indicate that she is a Starfleet cadet, and in fact, a roommate of Uhura—not the stereotypical Orion female.

Furthermore, what of the reports that Uhura is depicted as a far more important and well-developed character than she ever was before?

Most importantly, we don’t know how many officers will be male or female, beyond a few well established characters (who happen to have already been cast as males over 40 years ago).

173. Izbot - December 12, 2008

“Last time on Star Trek: The Next Generation…”

“…And now the conclusion!”

174. Fred - December 12, 2008

Uhura was very well-developed in my eyes… wowza! Loved nichelle, She had a better body than her replacement.

175. Canon Father - December 12, 2008

Hey! That’s not canon! TOS computer voices must be robotic and stupid sounding to maintain the integrity of canon!

176. Charlie Jade 2070 - December 13, 2008

– This is a very great news….

177. Victor Hugo - December 13, 2008

Great news!

It made me want to play the 1995 computer game “STTNG: The Final Unity”, which has plenty of her voice for the games menus.

“unable to comply” weeeeeee

178. Will - December 13, 2008

Ha! “Working.”

I love it.

179. Jack - December 13, 2008

I agree with Wick and Katie. Over the years I found her voice — and her cadence for the TNG computer — increasingly distracting. Perhaps it was more the way they used the computer voice — the computer wasn’t usually very bright (in a world where Data was pretty bright, and I know there have been all sorts of explanations that they didn’t want a sentient computer etc.) and was relied on a bit too much (ie. the many episodes Geordi solves the mystery by asking the computer the right question). Have to say I liked Nana Visitor’s anonymous yet sexy DS9 computer way better.

180. Interesting stuff I saw online from Dec. 9 to Dec. 14 | STL Social Media Guy - December 14, 2008

[…] Majel Barrett-Roddenberry To Play Computer Voice In New Star Trek Movie | – Majel Barrett Roddenberry has been part of Star Trek since the first pilot ("The Cage") where she played ‘Number One.’ Although that role was not carried over to the main series, she did get a recurring role on the show as Nurse Chapel and also played Deanna Troi’s mother Lwaxana Troi on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. […]

181. Dan - December 14, 2008

Man I totally geeked out when I read this news!

182. Katie G. - December 14, 2008

#179. Jack

I just realized in the last few years that it was also her in TOS. Guess I never really paid attention until recently. What a difference.

“…Have to say I liked Nana Visitor’s anonymous yet sexy DS9 computer way better.”

Get out!! Nana did the computer voice? I read this about the computer voice:

“Actress Judi M. Durand was the computer voice for Cardassian facilities such as Terok Nor/Deep Space 9 on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She had earlier provided the Spacedock computer voice in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.”

Wow! Who knew…


183. Paul - December 15, 2008


Uhura will hopefully get a better shout but I’ve always hated token feamle syndrome. Putting Janeway in charge of Voyager did not make up for the fact that she was sexist. She had almost no female officers in her crew and tried to block Belanna’s appointment as chief engineer.

I’m only basing my view on the screen shots so far. Even if she is a cadet, the orion looks as though she is a ‘love interest’. The only shots we’ve seen so far are of her in bed with Kirk!

And yes, there were only 3 recurring women, which is why it is so frustrating that two of them are absent!

I’m willing to be proved wrong but the screen shots and cast list do not look promising in terms of sexism.

184. bird of prey - December 18, 2008

Fitting Tribute unbeknownst what was to happen on 12/18/08. RIP.

185. rednax - March 5, 2010

RIP Majel.

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