Long-Lost Star Trek USS Enterprise Model Discovered and Returned to Roddenberry Family

A long-lost miniature model of the USS Enterprise from the original Star Trek TV series was discovered on eBay and returned to Gene Roddenberry's son, who plans to restore and display it as a priceless cultural artifact.

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Long-Lost Star Trek USS Enterprise Model Discovered and Returned to Roddenberry Family

Long-Lost Star Trek USS Enterprise Model Discovered and Returned to Roddenberry Family

A miniature model of the USS Enterprise from the original Star Trek TV series, which had been missing since the 1970s, was discovered on eBay in 2023 and returned to Rod Roddenberry, the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. The 33-inch model, originally made of solid wood for the show's special effects, had graced Gene Roddenberry's desk before vanishing after being loaned to the production of the 1979 film Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The model's resurfacing on eBay last fall caused quite a stir. "The model had vanished after my father loaned it to the makers of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in the 1970s," explained Rod Roddenberry. "Its disappearance had become the subject of Star Trek lore, so I was thrilled to see it resurface after all these years."

Heritage Auctions, which facilitated the model's return to Roddenberry, authenticated the iconic prop with the help of a group of Star Trek experts. They noted that the model could easily sell for over $1 million at auction due to its cultural significance and rarity.

Why this matters: The recovery of this lost piece of Star Trek history is a significant event for fans of the beloved sci-fi franchise. The miniature USS Enterprise model represents the dreams and hopes that Star Trek has inspired in generations of viewers.

However, Rod Roddenberry is not interested in selling the model. Instead, he plans to have it restored and eventually put on public display in a museum. "I want to preserve and share this important piece of Star Trek history," Roddenberry stated. "It's like the return of Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. This model is a priceless cultural artifact."

Key Takeaways

  • Iconic USS Enterprise model from original Star Trek TV series found on eBay.
  • Model had been missing since 1970s, loaned to Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
  • Model authenticated by experts, could sell for over $1 million at auction.
  • Model returned to Gene Roddenberry's son, who plans to restore and display it.
  • Recovery of lost prop seen as significant event for Star Trek fans.