Original Enterprise Model From Star Trek Being Recovered By Rod Roddenberry

By Britta DeVore | Published

Star Trek fans rejoice! More news is coming to us at warp speed surrounding the Star Trek model of the U.S.S. Enterprise that originally went missing more than 40 years ago.

What started as a harmless eBay listing sparked a worldwide call to action from the dedicated fandom after a model that suspiciously resembled the misplaced one was put up for sale on the website.

Rod Roddenberry Confirming Original Model

gene roddenberry

Now, according to TrekMovie, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s son, Rod Roddenberry is hot on the case and doing his best to confirm the authenticity of the model.

Along with being the child of one of sci-fi’s biggest legends, Rod Roddenberry is also the President of Roddenberry Enterprises, so he’s more than enough to be at the head of this investigation.

While speaking to the outlet, Roddenberry seemed in good spirits about the Star Trek Enterprise model, standing with the community in wondering where it had disappeared for all these years.

Although he says that the model “appears” to be the collectible in question, the team is doing its due diligence to make a positive confirmation.

Working With Ebay

At this point, Roddenberry says things are progressing at a nice rate with the eBay seller taking the Star Trek Enterprise model listing down and directly communicating with the folks at Roddenberry Enterprises.

A staple piece on his father’s desk at Paramount throughout his younger years, the figure’s resurfacing undoubtedly brings much joy to Rod Roddenberry who – like the rest of the fandom – likely thought the piece of memorabilia was lost forever.

Enterprise Model

The history of the original Star Trek Enterprise model is a fascinating one, as it turns the dials back on the history of film and TV creation.

It calls back to a time before CGI and other computer-based technology took over when special effects came down to painstaking hours spent by artists who tried to get every detail right. 

First Introduced In The Cage

Star Trek Enterprise

Clocking in at just three feet in length, the Star Trek Enterprise model was built by Richard C. Datin Jr. in 1964 and consisted mostly of wood.

Designer Matt Jeffries penned the drawings that would eventually become the small but mighty figure before Datin got his hands on the construction.

Just as much a part of the production as William Shatner or Leonard Nimoy, the model was first introduced to viewers in the Star Trek: The Original Series pilot episode, “The Cage.”

Used For Photo Ops And More

Star Trek Enterprise

Along with using the model for photo ops, the creative team behind Star Trek often used the Enterprise’s mini as a fill-in and double for the bigger 11-foot model.

Given that the larger version was able to get even the smallest details correct, the smaller one soon became a centerpiece on Roddenberry’s desk and served as a constant reminder of the sprawling franchise that he created. 

Model Was Lost During Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Star Trek Enterprise

Then, during the production of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Roddenberry lent the Enterprise model to the film’s special effects team.

Somewhere during the process of filming, the model was lost and never recovered, despite multiple letters sent from Roddenberry to Paramount Pictures executive Jeffrey Katzenberg hoping to get some help in tracking it down.  

Now, all these years later, it seems that the dust is finally settling on what’s been one of the biggest mysteries plaguing the Star Trek community for more than four decades. Hopefully, Rod Roddenberry will keep fans posted on the progression of returning the Star Trek Enterprise model back to its rightful place.


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