Whoopi Goldberg’s Star Trek Character Has A Son You Never Knew About

Chris Sarandon of The Princess Bride fame played a character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine who was going to be revealed as the son of Whoopi Goldberg's Guinan.

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Chris Sarandon as Martus Mazur in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Rivals”

When the Star Trek spinoff Deep Space Nine first began, it took the show a while to find its own identity. Early on, it wasn’t uncommon to receive cameos from beloved Star Trek: The Next Generation stars, including Picard and the mischief-making entity Q. It turns out the show almost had one more: Paramount originally wanted the character Martus Mazur (played by Chris Sarandon) to be the son of Guinan, and they only dropped the idea when Whoopi Goldberg was not available to star in the episode.

If the name “Martus Mazur” doesn’t ring any bells, you need to re-watch the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine second season episode “Rivals.” There, we are introduced to Mazur as a member of the El-Aurians, the same mysterious race of good listeners that Guinan belongs to. But he ends up using his powers for personal gain, especially when he gets an actual luck-altering device and sets up his own small casino that nearly drives Ferengi proprietor Quark out of business.

Chris Sarandon and Max Grodénchik in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Rivals”

The episode is largely forgettable, but it is notable at the time for showing us another member of Guinan’s race, the El-Aurians. We wouldn’t see another El-Aurian onscreen until Malcolm McDowell’s Tolian Soran was introduced in Star Trek: Generations. So far we have only ever met three named El-Alurian characters on screen, and the only thing they really have in common is that they are all refugees from a Borg attack.

star trek: generations
Malcolm McDowell as Soran in Star Trek: Generations (1994)

But the writers of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Rivals” originally wanted to create a special connection between Mazur and Guinan by making him her son. They dropped the idea when Whoopi Goldberg wasn’t available to make a cameo in the episode, but writer Michael Piller had another idea for Mazur: that he would be a recurring character on the show who would continue to vex Quark. Unfortunately, bad fan reception to the episode made them drop that idea for good.

Because the explicit Guinan connection was dropped in the episode, audiences didn’t know Mazur had anything to do with Guinan until a little over seven months after the episode released. That’s because even though “Rivals” name-checks Mazur as an El-Aurian, Guinan would not be identified as a member of that race until the later release of Star Trek: Generations. We only know that Mazur was meant to be her son thanks to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, though both his existence and his personality were foreshadowed by a line of dialogue in the TNG episode “Evolution” that she had a son who “wouldn’t listen to anybody,” which was odd for her race.

Finding out Guinan had a secret son is pretty weird, but Star Trek is a franchise full of hidden family members. Spock is the worst offender, previously avoiding mention of his crazy brother Sybok (whom we saw again in the prequel series Strange New Worlds) and his human adoptive sister Michael Burnham (series lead in Star Trek: Discovery) until absolutely necessary. To make things even weirder, Captain Picard once discussed meeting Spock’s father “at his son’s wedding,” and since Sarek only had two children, Spock was married before Picard was born and Sybok died unmarried, the only conclusion is that Spock has yet another sibling that we know nothing about.

Star Trek Newsletter

Subscribe For Bold

Star Trek News

Expect a confirmation email if you "Engage!"