Star Trek V: The Final Frontier might not have been the best Star Trek film, but it had some memorable moments.
No fan will ever forget Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) with the fans atop the sand dune. It was the perfect distraction for Sybok’s men and allowed the fortress to be infiltrated. But this is one scene that wasn’t in the original script. In fact, screenwriter David Loughrey never meant for the dance to be included in the film at all. Loughrey reveals this piece of information on the Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Blu-ray in a behind-the-scenes documentary “The Journey.” [via Screenrant]
As Harve Bennett, William Shatner, and Loughrey were discussing the distraction needed in this scene, Loughrey, who insisted he meant it as a joke, just threw out “well, why don’t we put Uhura up at the top of the sand dune singing a song and doing a dance?” Shatner and Bennett jumped on the idea.
This Lt. Uhura moment in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier didn’t have a happy ending for Nichelle Nichols
A noted singer, Nichols was promised that her vocals would be included in the film. In her 1994 biography, Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories, she wrote that the fans “would be thrilled to learn that Uhura would be singing in the new film.” But that isn’t what happened. For some reason that is beyond comprehension considering Nichols had an angelic voice, her vocals were dubbed in the final film.
How disappointing that must have been for Nichols (and her fans now that we know). And given that she had the ability to perform the vocals herself, it doesn’t make sense that her voice was dubbed over. Paramount should consider releasing the initial version with NIchols on vocals. It would certainly be a way of honoring the iconic actress and singer.