Ever since Alex Kurtzman talked about the celebrities interested in being on Star Trek: Discovery, we’ve been speculating.
“So many actors are fans. We literally got a list of them that were like, ‘Here are people who said they want to be on Star Trek’. It was awesome… To just be in an episode or come in or out.”
With that in mind, we started thinking about some famous Star Trek fans who’d be great as guest stars (if they’re actors) or cameos. Trek has a long history of casting famous fans (like Jason Alexander, Stephen Hawking, Whoopi Goldberg and more), and there were others who wanted to be on but couldn’t work out the details: Robin Williams was a huge fan who was supposed to appear on TNG, but that was derailed by a scheduling conflict. (Matt Frewer ended up taking his place.)
In light of the requests Kurtzman mentioned, we started our own list of famous Trek fans who we’d love to see appear on Star Trek: Discovery.
1. Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks has talked a lot about his love of Trek, from taking a trivia quiz with Simon Pegg on The Graham Norton Show to telling Jimmy Kimmel about sneaking onto the set of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan with his Bosom Buddies co-star Peter Scolari. He’s so recognizable, though, that we think he’d have to go full-on alien so as not to get too distracting. (Don’t forget, he was approached to play Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact, and possibly would have done it if not for a scheduling conflict with That Thing You Do!, his feature film directing debut.)
2. Mila Kunis
Gotta love how Mila Kunis freaked out (with joy!) upon being told that Marina Sirtis would love her to play Deanna Troi if they ever recast TNG. She’s also talked about mingling with fans at Quark’s Bar at The Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas.
3. Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig once told the World Entertainment News Network that he’s a big fan of Star Trek, and that he’s had a secret ambition for years to turn up in a Trek show or movie. He’s already done a Star Wars cameo as a stormtrooper, so he’s fine with being in disguise, he just wants to get in there somehow. He’s got a good face for a Vulcan, methinks.
4. Olivia Wilde
When she was doing the publicity rounds for Cowboys & Aliens, Olivia Wilde talked about growing up as a Trekkie and how important she thought it would be to have a female captain (we’re assuming she’s unaware of Voyager, Shame!). Both she and her Cowboys co-star Daniel Craig seem like likely candidates to have asked for Discovery cameos; since Alex Kurtzman was one of the movie’s producers, they already know each other.
5. Barack Obama
We could just leave this photo here and call it a day, right?
Former President Barack Obama was known to flash around a Vulcan salute or two, but his fandom runs even deeper. Last year he guest edited the November issue of Wired Magazine, and had a lot to say about the importance of Star Trek to himself, and to the world. A guest appearance from Obama on Star Trek: Discovery would probably melt the Internet. (DO IT!)
6. Col. Chris Hadfield
If taking a call from William Shatner while commanding the International Space Station doesn’t give you fan credentials, we don’t know what will. Col. Chris Hadfield — who also appears in William Shatner’s latest documentary — would be a great score for guest role.
7. Elon Musk
Musk has expressed his appreciation for the utopian vision of Star Trek, and since he’s a visionary himself (whose goals include establishing a human colony on Mars), he seems like a natural for a cameo. And who would say no to him? If Jeff Bezos can do it…
8. Carrie Underwood
After the singer (and American Idol winner) told Us Magazine that she had a big crush on Captain Picard, she had a Twitter exchange with Patrick Stewart that thrilled her. He tweeted that “words excite me more than the solid results of my recent bone density scan,” and she responded with “FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW!!! HE KNOWS I’M ALIVE!!!!!!!! Play it cool, Carrie…play it cool…” She’s taken on acting in the past few years, so she’s ready for her moment in the Star Trek spotlight.
9. Jason Segel
Star Trek admirer Jason Segel once gave fellow fan Mila Kunis a vintage set of Star Trek figures, and at the Sci-Tech awards last year, he and co-presenter Olivia Munn demoed the way Star Trek crew members used to shake themselves around for battle scenes, complete with Star Trek music in the background. He’s already practicing!
10. Angelina Jolie
When Angelina Jolie met Zachary Quinto at an Oscar party back in 2009, she confessed to him that she’d always been in love with (the original) Mr. Spock. The Oscar winner is a director, producer, and writer in addition to being an actress, so she’d be handy to have on set. Still, you might want to keep her away from the Vulcans, since she said it was Spock’s repression that fascinated her, and she “wanted to make him scream.”
11. Richard Branson
Business magnate and philanthropist Richard Branson named his spaceship VSS Enterprise in honor of Star Trek, and once offered William Shatner a ride on the inaugural space launch of Virgin Galactic. It seems like a guest appearance is the kind of thing he’d know how to make happen.
12. Rosario Dawson
She’s been pitching herself as a Klingon for the last couple of Star Trek movies, so why doesn’t someone cast Rosario Dawson already? She says she speaks Klingon, and would be happy just to walk on with a “Qapla’!” if that’s all that’s available. And when Bryan Fuller was still on Discovery, he talked about how his dream cast would include Dawson and Angela Bassett. Don’t give up, Rosario!
13. Mira Sorvino
Her dad Paul already appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation as Worf’s brother, but it’s Mira who’s the fan. In 2003, she got to present the Pop Culture TV Land, award to Star Trek, and admitted on national television that she used to go to conventions regularly as a teen, and owned her own toy phaser — and that was six years before the first of the J.J. Abrams movies hit screens. Also, she’s an Oscar winner!
Rihanna was thrilled when they asked her to contribute a song to the Star Trek Beyond soundtrack, and talked about her love of the show during the fan event last year celebrating the franchise’s 50th anniversary. She’s taken up acting as of late, so it could be time for her to deepen her involvement, moving from soundtrack status to guest star; she certainly has the right connections.
15. Ben Stiller
It’s well-known that Stiller is a huge fan; his production company is named Red Hour Films (as a reference to “The Return of the Archons”) and his work often references Trek or includes some of its actors. He has his own collection of authentic Star Trek props, and also appears in Shatner’s documentary. The writer-actor-director-producer would be an obvious choice for a guest role; we’re sort of surprised it hasn’t happened already.
16 & 17. Trey Parker and Matt Stone
The South Park creators (and the minds behind the Tony Award-winning play The Book of Mormon) have put frequent Trek references into their work, titling a South Park episode “The City on the Edge of Forever” and constantly referring to specific characters and events from the original series. They’ve done nods to the movies as well, so it would be kind of nice if Star Trek reciprocated with a cameo. It would be cool to see these two huddled over a project in the background in engineering, and we suspect they’d find a way to stand out in the crowd.
18 & 19. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert
Both of these buddies have talked about their love for Trek, with Stewart tuning out J.J. Abrams after he admitted that he wasn’t a Star Trek fan, and Colbert calling J.J. to lobby to play McCoy. Since that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and Colbert has already done the cameo thing in The Hobbit, they seem like another good duo who could appear on Discovery together.
20. Neil deGrasse Tyson
The brilliant astrophysicist has made no secret of his love for Star Trek, and even specified his favorite captain and speculated on the outcome of a battle between the Enterprise and Star Wars‘ Millennium Falcon. Another one who appears in Shatner’s documentary, Tyson makes for a perfect guest because he’d probably already know how to operate all the panels and controls, and make it look convincing, much like our final suggestion …
21. Samantha Cristoforetti
European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti lived out many a fan’s dream when she tweeted a photo of herself aboard the International Space Station in full Star Trek uniform and evoked Captain Janeway with her “There’s coffee in that nebula” quote. She deserves to follow in the footsteps of fellow astronaut Mae Jemison, who appeared in an episode of TNG after getting famous for starting her communications to NASA with “Hailing frequencies open.”
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.