Star Trek’s Most Famous Bar Almost Debuted A Year Early

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ten Forward was introduced in Season 2 and quickly became the most important location in the series. Sure, the bridge was where the action happened, and engineering was where the science happened, but this bar (complete with a bartender played by Hollywood legend Whoopi Goldberg) is where the juiciest conversations and interpersonal drama played out.

It’s tough to think that TNG went a whole season before introducing the bar, and it turns out said bar (complete with a different name) was almost introduced one year earlier in the Season 1 episode “Coming of Age.”

One Of The Most Important Locations On The Enterprise

Before we dive into the dirty details, it’s important to review some basic information about Ten Forward as it was portrayed on the show. The bar takes its name from the fact that it’s located on Deck 10 on the forward side of the ship’s saucer section, giving everyone inside a killer view of the ship traveling at high warp, orbiting an exotic new planet, or traveling at impulse speed through the stars.

In addition to serving as an ongoing bar and restaurant, Ten Forward was also used for various diplomatic meetings, musical performances, and official ceremonies.

10 Forward Humanized The Crew

As mentioned before, Ten Forward was introduced in the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation…specifically in that season’s premiere episode, “The Child.” The location would become increasingly important over time, eventually appearing in film via Star Trek: Generations. There was even a Guinan-run Earth bar of the same name in both the past and the present, as seen on the spinoff series Star Trek: Picard.

Wesley Crusher’s Birthday

Much (if not all) of this info about Ten Forward is common knowledge in the Star Trek fandom. However, what may surprise even the biggest fans is that we almost had a very different version of this iconic bar in the season one episode “Coming of Age.” That episode’s script had an ultimately unfilmed scene celebrating Wesley Crusher’s 16th birthday party, and the location for this scene was listed as the Deck 21 Forward Lounge.

Because this scene was never filmed, we have no idea what the Deck 21 Forward Lounge would have looked like, but it sounds very much like Ten Forward but on a different deck. Whether it’s Deck 10 or Deck 21, a forward lounge would offer the same great views for the crew and any shipboard guests who happen to be visiting.

And since the area was going to be used to throw a birthday party, something we later saw Ten Forward used for, it’s reasonable to assume that we nearly got Ten Forward a year early with a different name.

A Missed Worf Moment

Incidentally, if the scene aboard this Ten Forward precursor had been filmed, we would have gotten some laughs and bizarre Klingon lore. In it, Data asked Worf how Klingons celebrate their birthdays; Worf told him that Klingons don’t do that, meaning that he doesn’t know how old he is. When he hits the android back with the same question, Data replies that he doesn’t have an age.

One Of The Best Additions To Star Trek

While it would have been fun to see this scene in the final version of “Coming of Age,” we’re glad the show waited until season two to introduce the real Ten Forward. If nothing else, the wait meant we got to see Guinan introduced simultaneously, and it’s nearly impossible to imagine this iconic Star Trek location without the equally iconic Whoopi Goldberg.

To celebrate both these icons, we’ll watch some while copying Deanna Troi’s Ten Forward ritual of scarfing down a delicious ice cream sundae (conversation with a handsome bearded buddy completely optional, of course).