Gene Roddenberry's Son Recovers Original Star Trek Enterprise Model After Decades

The iconic 33-inch USS Enterprise model from the 1966 Star Trek TV series has been recovered after 45 years, thrilling fans as it returns to the Roddenberry family for restoration and public display.

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Ayesha Mumtaz
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Gene Roddenberry's Son Recovers Original Star Trek Enterprise Model After Decades

Gene Roddenberry's Son Recovers Original Star Trek Enterprise Model After Decades

The original 33-inch model of the U.S.S. Enterprise from the opening credits of the 1966 Star Trek TV series has been recovered and returned to Gene Roddenberry's son, Rod Roddenberry, nearly 45 years after it went missing. The iconic model, which graced Gene Roddenberry's desk during the show's production, resurfaced on eBay last fall with a starting bid of $1,000.

The eBay sellers contacted Heritage Auctions to authenticate the model, which experts confirmed was the original filming miniature used in Star Trek's opening credits and pilot episode. Gene Roddenberry had loaned the model to Paramount Pictures for reference during the making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, after which it disappeared and became the subject of Star Trek folklore and fan speculation.

Rod Roddenberry expressed his excitement at recovering the long-lost piece of Star Trek history, saying, "I'm thrilled to have it back in the family and excited to share it with the fans." He plans to have the model restored and placed on public display, potentially in a museum, to allow Star Trek fans worldwide to see this iconic piece of television history.

Why this matters: The recovery of the original U.S.S. Enterprise model is a significant event for Star Trek fans and television history enthusiasts. As one of the most recognizable and beloved sci-fi icons, the model's return to the Roddenberry family and its potential public display will allow generations of fans to connect with the franchise's roots and appreciate the craftsmanship that brought the Star Trek universe to life.

The authentication and return of the model was facilitated by Heritage Auctions, which compared it to historical photos and production blueprints. The auction house described the model's recovery as a "major discovery" and likened its significance to the recovery of the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, representing the dreams and aspirations of the Star Trek franchise and its dedicated fanbase.

Key Takeaways

  • Original 33-inch USS Enterprise model recovered after 45 years
  • Model used in Star Trek TV series opening credits and pilot
  • Model returned to Gene Roddenberry's son, Rod Roddenberry
  • Model to be restored and displayed publicly, potentially in a museum
  • Recovery hailed as a major discovery, akin to finding the ruby slippers