Star Trek and Batman

Russ, our regular Sci-Fi Saturday columnist is taking the week off, but the big genre news this weekend is that The Dark Knight had the biggest opening day of all time, taking in $66.4 Mil Friday. Today TrekMovie takes a look at some of the connections between the Batman and Star Trek franchises.


The Star Trek and Batman franchises have a lot common. Both are decades old franchise with multi-generational fan bases and incarnations across multiple media (film, TV, animation, comics, games, etc). Both have generated spin-offs (Batman spawning Nightwing, Catwoman, etc and Star Trek spawning TNG, Voyager, etc). Both had high profile (and some would say ‘campy’) TV shows in the 60 that continued in syndication for decades after. Star Trek and Batman were both big at the box office in the 80s and mid 90s (with both going into declines in the late 90s).

In 2005 the Batman franchise came back in a big way with a new look and new origin story with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. The film was a critical and financial success, making over $370 Million worldwide. Nolan, along with screenwriter David Goyer, retold the story of Batman, but made it work in the 21st century with a much realer and less kitschy approach (where else have we heard that lately?). When talking to people working on the new Star Trek film, Batman Begins is often held up as a model of a film that successfully reinvigorated a franchise. This weekend proves that Warner Bros. has shown that they have successfully brought in new fans by eclipsing the first ‘new’ Batman film. This makes me thing of something a new Star Trek insider once said to me, noting that the film they think will be even bigger than the new Star Trek is the film that follows it…something that Dark Knight proves is possible. Let’s hope that JJ Abrams (and Orci, Kurtzman, Lindelof, and Burk) can do to Trek what Nolan and Goyer have done for the Bat.

Batman Begins showed Bruce Wayne grow to become Batman,
just like JJ Abrams Star Trek will show the origin story of the TOS crew

Trek connections to Dark Knight
There are actually a few direct connections between the Star Trek franchise and the new Dark Knight. Four former Trek guest actors have roles in the film: Keith Szarabajka (Detective Stevens), Andrew Bicknell (Prison Ferry Pilot), Danny Goldring (Grumpy), and Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Jr. (Tattooed Prisoner). There are also a number of stuntmen and behinds the scenes people, including Nathan Crowley who helped designs the sets for Star Trek Deep Space Nine and is the production designer for both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Resident ‘six degrees of Trek’ expert Chuck Trotter has put together a full list at Memory Alpha.

The reverse is also true as there are a couple of Batman vets working on JJ Abrams new Star Trek film, including supervising art director Keith Cunningham and set designer Dawn Brown, who were both set designers on Batman & Robin.

Past Batman and Trek connections
Of course when looking at all the past Batman films there are many Trek connections. DS9 series regular Rene Auberjonois appeared in Batman Forever and many Trek guest stars appeared in the past Batman movies, including John Glover, Ed Begley Jr., Tracey Walter, Vincent Schiavelli, Branscombe Richmond, Anthony De Longis and Biff Yeager. Star Trek Nemesis costume designer Bob Ringwood did the costumes for Batman, Batman Returns, and Batman Forever.

There are a ton of Trek connections with the Batman animated series. A bunch of Trek stars, including series regulars, voiced villains, including Kate Mulgrew (Red Claw), Ron Perlman (Clayface), John Glover (Riddler), Michael Ansara (Mr. Freeze), Adrienne Barbeau (Catwoman), David Warner (Ra’s al Ghul), and Paul Williams (Penguin). DS9 guest star Loren Lester voiced Robin; Clive Revill was the original voice of Alfred; Diana Muldaur and Brock Peters had recurring roles; John de Lancie, Robert Picardo, LeVar Burton, Paul Winfield, and even Nichelle Nichols lent their voices to episodes.

When looking at just the 60s Batman and Star Trek shows, there were some noteworthy crossovers. Frank Gorshin played The Riddler on Batman and Bele in “Let That be Your Last Battlefield.” And two of Batman’s Catwomen dropped by the final frontier: Lee Meriwether (Losira in “That Which Survives”) and Julie Newmar (Eleen “Friday’s Child”). Roger C. Carmel (Harry Mudd) played Colonel Gumm on Batman and Yvonne Craig (Marta “Whom Gods Destroy”) played Batgirl (aka Barbara Gordon). 

(L-R) Gorshin, Carmel, Meriwether, Newmar & Craig in Star Trek (top) and Batman

Batman vs. Star Trek
Taking the connection a step further, the folks at RascoFilms created a parody called Star Trek vs. Batman. Check it out below.


Did you see The Dark Knight?
So did you see the new Batman movie? Tell us what you thought below? Do you want to see Star Trek reinvigorated in a ‘realer’ way like Batman?


Special thanks to Chuck and John Tenuto for helping put together this article


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Gorshin was the best.

What about da’ Batgirl/Barbara Gordon?

Good article!

what do i want from star trek hmm to make 70 million the day it opens would be nice

Only having seen the Bat-preview they did for IMAX a few months ago, and parts of the earlier Nolan Batman film at a con, it would be a stretch for me to come up with an opinion or comparison. However, if years of earlier film references can get encapsulated simply — through a gesture or look or something — within a stylistically superior creation, then I’m all for it. Hollywood movie history is rife with remakes, often keeping the same title after the previous version has been enshrined or forgotten.

As an example, try comparing Jackson’s Return of the King with the much earlier animated version. They are quite different, yet either one can be viewed without necessarily ruining the other.

As for the Batman; I hear that he can now turn his head from side to side. The new costume no longer inhibits the actor’s ability to make head gestures, or to turn and look in any direction. This new development may well mark a turning point in what gets expressed in these movies, just as the new cast of Star Trek might far surpass the acting in the original series.

wasnt Adam West considered for Kirk?

Dark Knight looks to be all set to have the highest opening in the history of cinema – $180 – 200 million

The Dark Knight is a spectacular piece of film making. It’s rare when a movie is executed this well. Christopher Nolan and his team accomplished exactly what they set out to do: create an epic and compelling story that was worthy of following Batman Begins. Anybody who enjoyed the first film in this series will be completely blown away by The Dark Knight. The writing, acting, cinematography, special effects, and music are all exquisite. The Dark Knight is definitely the complete package and does not disappoint.

I hope with all my heart that the new Star Trek movie reinvigorates the franchise as much as Christopher Nolan’s movies have for Batman. After the disappointing way Paramount let both Enterprise and the TNG movie series die, we desperately need something absolutely stellar to breathe new life back into Star Trek. Based upon what I’ve seen so far in the coverage here on, I think we’re going to be in for a real treat….. :)

I hope Pine plays Kirk like his picture makes you think he will. BAD ASS! ARROGANT! IT’S MY SHIP DAMNIT!

Went and saw a 6am iMax showing on friday. The movie was very good and very well made. Nolan is a brilliant writer and director. This is a must see and the imax scenes were fantastic looking. I can only imagine how great the new trek would look on an imax screen shot with imax cams. This is a must see movie. Heath Ledger’s Joker was great. I mean come on The disappearing pencil trick was great! lol. I think the new Star Trek is going to have to be pretty amazing to beat the Dark Knight. Honestly.


Good point. I loved Yvonne Craig too.


I think you may be thinking of Jack Lord of Hawaii 50 fame.

Stage 16 at Culver studios in Culver City was home to the TV series Batcave sets and also home to the exterior Talos 4 and Delta Vega sets in TOS pilots

It’s all about the villains. Yes, we need and love heroes, but without bad guys they would just be admirable overachievers. It takes an external evil force to turn Bruce Wayne and James Kirk into heroes.

There are many similarities between Wayne and The Kirk. They’re both humans without superpowers, they require the help of others and thus can’t act on their own, they nonetheless break the rules from time to time, they depend heavily on technology, and the sheer force of their moral will is what enables them to win their conflicts.

Their motivations are different. Wayne is tormented by the murder of his parents and feels compelled to help Gotham in ways his father couldn’t have. He’s just as sick inside as the bizarre villains he has to put down.

The Kirk, The Creator, is a brilliant adventurer who also happens to be a natural leader. He was made for Star Fleet. I’m sure the new movie will give us a whole lot more back story. What really makes The Kirk want to keep risking his life to save The Federation? Was it some kind of personal tragedy like Wayne’s parents’ murder? We’ll see.

That’s all fine, but to make drama, we these heroes need to be pitted against villians that we believe could actually defeat them. This, for me, is the problem with Superman. Bullets bounce harmlessly off his cornea. Only Kryptonite can slow him down. It’s just a comic book power fantasy.

So the bad guys have to be just as brilliant and/or twisted as our heroes. And our heroes need to be vulnerable but for their unbreakable moral strength and will power. I think JJ knows all that and is going to deliver big time.

I saw The Dark Knight yesterday and I must say it is definitely the best Batman flick since the 89 Tim Burton version. I will definitely be going to see it again in the coming days.

I truly hope that something similar happens with Star Trek. I would love to see it generate this kind of buzz.

I just hope from The Dark Knight…

I just SAW The DArk Knight…wow, (Holy Slippery Mental Staircase, Batman!)


…John Byrne, who currently writes & draws a few STAR TREK titles for IDW comics, hosts his own web forum. However, for some unknown reason (to me, anyway), he has banned ANYONE from discussing THE DARK KNIGHT in any way! Anyone who has the “audacity” to start a TDK thread has it immediately deleted or shut down.

Any Byrne enthusiasts out there in TREK-land who can fill us in as to what his beef is with THE DARK KNIGHT…???

I have not seen either “Batman Begins” or “The Dark Knight” but it’s success as a “new origin story” is hopeful for Trek. It also sounds as if the new Trek will be “realer” than what has come before and that’s fine and sounds very interesting. I’ve made my thoughts clear on canon before (ignore the little stuff but keep the major events like WWIII, Federation founded in 2161, etc.) and I’m not concerned about any canon being violated in the new film. It seems to be the origin story of Kirk and crew and it sounds like it’s going to be excellent.

On a side note, in another blog about the new movie that featured the “Enterprise corridor” from and an artist rendition of what they think the Enterprise will look like based on the “Teaser Trailer” one person made the observation “it appears as though JJ Abrams looked at the “Motion Picture” design of the Enterprise and made the Enterprise in the new Trek more primitive [than TMP design] as opposed to taking TOS and trying to make it look more advanced.” If that is indeed what they did I think that’s an excellent choice.

An excellent article and so long as the film isn’t a “Casino Royale” style reboot (i.e. disregarding the last 40 years and starting over) then I’m happy. (By the way, starting over in the Bond franchise has so far brought them success as well.) An “origin story” style movie is an excellent choice since it’s a new tale and you have the benefit of starting over without really starting over (i.e. It takes place prior to TOS.) I look forward to this new film and I hope that it is a true blockbuster. Time to “reinvigorate” the franchise!

One final note, I’ve heard that the new Batman film is superb, I’d like to know what people think before I decide to go see it in Theaters or wait to rent it on DVD. Thanks.

#18 –

Staggeringly enough, THE DARK KNIGHT is listed at #1 over at IMDb… of all time.

“Dark Knight” is a very good movie. Only a few faults:

a. Michael Caine was given almost nothing to do
b. Harvey Dent’s two-face appearance was a little over-the-top. Okay, wayyy over the top. Did we really need him to look like a reject from “The Mummy III”?
c. The movie is about 15 minutes too long.

Still, this is the best Batman movie ever, and probably the best comic book movie ever. The OSCAR buzz for Heath Ledger is truly deserved. Bale, Freeman and Oldman are excellent too. Gyllenhall and Eckhart do well, but aren’t on the same level.

Joel Schumacher should be thoroughly humiliated when comparing his disastrous Batman movies with Nolan’s.

If Star Trek 2009 is half as good, it will do well.

And oh, Lord, it looks like they’ve totally ruined “The Day The Earth Stood Still”.

The only negative I can think of in terms of The Dark Knight is that Ledger’s Joker is so pitch-perfect and brilliantly executed that no one will ever be capable of following him, either in terms of a replacement Joker (impossible, I think) or the series next villain. Honestly, he’s THAT good.

The Dark Knight was AMAZING!
Saw the midnight showing Friday morning and loved it so much that I saw it again at 9:30 Friday night!

I hope with this great movie, people will finally get it out of their heads that Jack Nicholson’s (Old, Fat, and Dead) Joker was so great! I go with these new Batman movies any days over the G rated Tim Burton style movie!
1# Dark Knight
2#Batman Begins
And a distant 3rd Tim Burton’s Batman

Just saw ‘The Dark Knight’. The real standout performance was the late Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker. It is the stuff of which Oscars are made.

The local fishwrap said the movie was about 1/2 hour too long. My wife & I agreed it was about 1/2 hour too short! Batman #3 is perfectly set up unless they choose to handle the dangling plotline in a Superman/Batman crossover, of which there is still some talk [but not much].

Judging from past work, regarding ST09, the roles of Spock and McCoy are in good hands. Here’s hoping Bana can pull off a villain half as memorable as Ledger’s Joker and that Pine works out as Kirk. From the little bit I’ve seen of Pine, I just can’t make that jump right now.

Did anyone notice the 30min commercials and previews before the movie…..what happen to the good ole days when movies started on time

Anthony? Did you not know that Michael Dorn was Batman? I am not sure what season ( or version ) of the animated series, or how many episodes he played Batman, but it’s true. One day I was watching, and Batman was in the process of intimidating a bad guy, and thought, “Oh! My! That’s Worf” It sounded so much like him that I checked it out, and sure enough it was Michael Dorn. Far out isn’t it?

However, I might be confused.

Don’t see how the STAR TREK movie can even come close to be compared to BATMAN under the wings of Chris Nolan. Abrams is more a TV producer than a film director. Nolan IS a movie director and a good writer as well. He has directed some very good movies: Insomnia, The Prestige, Batman Begins, and now The Dark Knight that boast great cinematic style and great filmmaking. Abrams has done one film, MI3 and it was less interesting in cinematic flair and stylistic storytelling than the first two MI movies. Paramount has constantly under valued STAR TREK with low budgets and personnel. I still wish they would have gone with a director with more films under his belt–with a more pronounced cinematic technique, and frankly more talent than Abrams. Not trying to be insulting, but that’s just the way I feel.

I have not seen The Dark Knight, and probably won’t in the near future. I thought Batman Begins was really good until the last part of the film, where Bale actually becomes Batman and later fights Liam Neeson. I just didn’t like the way it finished. It was still pretty good. As for Joel Schumacher, he really had no chance at making a good film, because Warner Brothers’ people were insane and cared only about merchandise and toy sales. Back to Dark Knight, I’m probably going to be too weirded out by Ledger, who is dead, to enjoy the film. I do think Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are wasted in these Batman films. I love both those guys, and always feel sour when they aren’t in a major role in a film, they’re that good. Maggie Gyllenhaal as the love interest? Uh, no, I’m not buying that, I’d rather see Jake in drag. Anyway, Christopher Nolan is a great director, particularly of the mysterious, like Memento and The Prestige. Insomnia was a disaster.

Relation to Star Trek? There is some, in that the Batman roles have been recast. But Batman has evolved greatly over the years, whereas Star Trek has not. So coming out with something way out of the box for Trek probably won’t go over as well.


I know if we all racked our brains we could find lots of crossovers from the two show…..I remember Sherry Jackson being the Riddler’s henchwoman on a Batman in a super hot Little Bo Peep outfit.

And Anthony,…..Malachi Throne (Commodore Mendez)played False Face…one of my all time favorite villains of the show and his theme song was great too.


Can’t help you there but I’ve noted that his website is incredible difficult to log onto. At least I’ve had trouble logging on. No luck. Too many stipulations of what you can and can’t do. I’ve since picked up on the fact that he’s a quirky duck. And this is coming from me.

Did you see The Dark Knight?
So did you see the new Batman movie? Tell us what you thought below? Do you want to see Star Trek reinvigorated in a ‘realer’ way like Batman?
I saw Dark Knight. I liked it, but didn’t “love” it like the last Batman movie and I guess it’s because this one was so much darker. The ending was especially, and so I guess that’d be the only reason for me being disappointed in any way all be it that any disappointment would be minor. The movie is absolutely worth seeing, but be forwarned: This movie is absolutely not fit for children.

As for Star Trek, the answer is yes. I’d love for it to be given that same “realizim” as was given to “Batman Begins”. I’ve loved Star Trek anyway, but anything that gives the franchise a constructive “shot in the arm” is what I will hope for because I want to see the franchise be invigorated.

29. Greg2600 – July 19, 2008

While it’s your opinion… I think you are holding too much against a film you’ve not seen. Go enjoy.

#31 Agreed… this IS NOT a film for younger kids.

I truly hope they’re not considering Heath for an Oscar just because of his demise. That would be a slap in the face (imo). He was an INCREDIBLY talented man and I’d like to see that recognized instead of a pity vote.



Yup. I’m always amazed at the so-called parents that tote along 5 year olds into PG13 movies. There were plenty at The Dark Knight yesterday, and it was pretty ridiculous. Hell, *I* was unsettled with Heath’s Joker, so it certainly isn’t something for a little kid. “Mommy, where did the pencil go?”

And I’m kind of surprised at all the people that found the movie too dark…it certainly was, but to me it ended on a hopeful note, not a down note.

I was in the minority that wasn’t completely blown away by Batman Begins. I thought it was overrated. But this one… oh my god… great movie. This one actually lives up to the hype. Ledger ownes this film.

34: I have an opinion about the Oscar aspect for Heath Ledger. Granted: He did a wonderful job in that role. What disturbs me though, is this: It is how his drug abuse at least partly came as a result of his need to cope with the personal psychological implications from his prepartion and portrayal of this role. He was a method actor who took the role very seriously. Too seriously, and so much so in fact that he apparently had sleep issues that he treated himself–with medication, even after the filming had stopped. That medication is what led to his death.

When you give an award to someone, you set them apart to be an example for everyone else to follow. I believe that the way Ledger chose to cope with “The Joker” is an example that no one should follow. I believe that awarding him with a posthumus Oscar sends a message of doing exactly that–rewarding him for what killed him, and would back-handedly encourage others to observe him as an example. He should have sought out professional help, and instead he chose an avenue that took his life. I don’t want to see anyone else do that.

Haven’t seen Dark knight Yet, I hear It’s Amazing. hey where’s “1701 over gotham?” Oh And take The Damn Kids to Sponge Bob or somethin’ Geez.

Such a great movie, it just stays with you. I’m going to see it again very soon.

It is interesting the BATMAN/STAR TREK connection. I even believe someone did a fan film mixing the two properties? Just got back from THE DARK KNIGHT. Two words on that film KICK ASS! Man it rocked! So thumbs up in my book. Can’t wait some some STAR TREK on the big screen and BMIII. Hell you know they will make one!;)

me review o’ tha’ Dark Nutcase be in post 261 o’ tha’ Chat thread – clickee on above tha’ blue navigation, mates… join tha’ chat fun…

Batsman and Starrrr Trek… two fantasy franchises that go on… one gets better… and one, well… hey JJ… ye’ have a harsh mistress o’ a task ta’ make a bonny film… I have faith his Starrrr Trek will be worthwhile… I have faith! In me heart!

Tha’ bar is raised. JJ can deliver, I tinks…


Burton’s “89 version was incredibly overrated. The writing was actually horrendous. Strange, at the time I thought it was brilliant.
BBegins WAS brilliant and a massive step up, but WHY burn down Wayne Manor?? That was excessive and really unnessesary.
Have not seen TDK yet, but did see Hellboy II. Outstanding FX, but waaay too long, and needed some script tweaking.

#42 I know, I was thinking about That Yesterday. Burton’s Batman, the original only was So Pre 911 Comic book movie Serious. Which still Made it Kinda Silly. Then with Batman Begins it was Hard core and Awesome, I Thought Ras Was Cool. Oh and… about those New Trek Posters….heh heh.


I respectfully disagree with your interpretation of what an award represents. I found myself in a similar position when people such as Natalie Cole decried the fact that Amy Winehouse was awarded a Grammy. She said that winning the award told other up-and-coming artists that we reward bad behavior. I find this statement completely off-base.

The award is about the work, period. If the Grammy committee had failed to acknowledge Amy Winehouse’s album because they disapproved of her personal decisions, they’d have been making it about her. These aren’t Humanitarian of the Year awards. The Grammys and Oscars alike are about the work, the performance, the moment in time. They can’t be about the actor or performer’s life outside the work, otherwise they become judgments instead of awards. Not only that, but then there’s an implied approval for all the stars taking part in ‘inappropriate’ behaviors behind closed doors. We only know about Ledger’s problems because he died as a result. Would it have been alright to reward him if he’d lived through what happened? I don’t think it’s up to any award committee to become deputized members of the Morality Brigade.

In terms of what actually lead to Ledger’s death – we really don’t know and will never know. How much of it was due to the role’s pyschological toll with a method actor like Heath? How much of it was the stress/sadness of the dissolution of his relationship with the mother of his child? How much of it was due to childhood traumas? There’s no way to know, because we simply weren’t inside the man’s head.

And having known many individuals with depression, mental illnesses and the like, I can tell you that sad people don’t make rational decisions. They make choices in the moment, choices that to them seem perfectly sound but that would flabbergast many of us. It is impossible for us to judge when we aren’t in their position.

I’ve had friends that have died as a result of self-medication, and I have no problem remembering all the wonderful things they did and the happy memories I have of them. At the same time, that doesn’t imply tacit approval for the decisions that lead to their deaths. I can condemn the choice that took them out of this world without forgetting all the good things about them. I think a posthumous Oscar for Heath could likely fall under a similar qualification. If the performance was truly extraordinary, then the award is deserved.

Sorry, I went on quite a bit there. I didn’t mean to bite anyone’s head off, I just feel very strongly about the subject.

Wow, that is agood article. I never realized all the connections between Batman and Star Trek. But I think it will be hard for Star Trek to break Batman’s box office record.

The Dark Knight wasn’t what I expected– it was better. Exceeded my highest hopes. Saw a midnight show and am going again tomorrow. Brilliant.


btw if nolan wishes to resurrect the joker in a 3rd batman film…theres only 1 actor who could do it other than the late heath ledger….dont vaporize me with a phaser over this…but looney andy dick…did u guys see his recent mugshot on another thread on this site?? classic joker XDXDXDXD pascale even mentioned so in the caption under said mugshot! LOL

apropos Jocker : walter Koenig’s son Andrew should be mentioned, who did a marvelous job in Batman: Dead End, and was also in one DS9 episode

Joker- sorry