Star Trek has had to recast characters a few times in their history.
Star Trek has a long history, stretching over six decades and hundreds, if not thousands of characters. Some have popped up quite often, others not so much. Yet, the one thing they all have in common is that no character is too big to be recast should the need arise. That’s the case with this episode from TrekCulture, as they look at the ten times a character was given a new actor.
Now everyone will jump right to the J.J. Abrams version of Star Trek, which saw James T. Kirk, Spock and company get new actors playing them. After all, it was made in 2009 when most of the original cast was in their mid-to-late 70s or had sadly passed away.
Yet, they only make up three entries. Turns out the universe of Star Trek has a history of making changes you didn’t really expect.
Most recasting’s worked, except one.
Every time the world of Star Trek recasts a new character, it generally is the right call. For one reason or another, the character had to be replaced and it’s usually because the original actor wouldn’t return to the role or couldn’t. Now, sometimes that’s not the case. Like for instance when Ichep was recast for Picard. There was no good reason not to bring back the original actor from Voyager. That doesn’t mean the new actor didn’t do the job, he did, we’re just a loyal bunch; us Star Trek fans.
The one time the recasting really didn’t work was when the Vulcan Saavik from the first Star Trek film franchise was replaced between Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock. Kristie Allie was originally the actress who took the ears for a spin and brought some emotion to the role.
She was ultimately replaced after her fee became too high, and the character was re-written. Originally, Saavik was going to be part Romulan, which would explain her emotional “outbursts”, but when Robin Curtis took the role over, she was vastly different.
That’s because the character was changed. Perhaps it was changed because Leonard Nimoy, the director of the third film, didn’t think Curtis could deliver the same performance and therefore re-wrote Saavik to just be a Vulcan. Regardless of the reason, it hurt the character.