Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a contemporary behind-the-scenes reference book on the creation of the first Star Trek movie. The timespan covered by its author, Susan Sackett, ran from May 1975 to October 1979, before the movie was released. It also includes detailed annotations on its direct predecessor, the television series Star Trek: Phase II, the project that was abandoned in favor of the movie.


The Motion Picture That Was Made Because Millions of People Demanded It! This is the full, exhilarating story of a journey as exciting – and as grueling – as any the Starship Enterprise has ever taken – from the birth of Gene Roddenberry's great idea to the completion of a great movie… a journey that carried cast, crew and hundreds of behind-the-scenes people as far as imagination, skill and the latest special optical effects technology could take them. This is how it happened – the unexpected problems, the setbacks, the daily struggles and victories – from the reunion of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Chekov, and the rest of the crew to the final moments of triumph in…The Making of Star Trek The Motion Picture.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.


  • Acknowledgments, pp, vii-x
  • Preface by Susan Sackett, pp. xi-xiv
  • Introduction by Gene Roddenberry, pp. xv-xvii
  1. Bon Voyage, pp. 1-7
  2. The Resurrection, pp. 8-22
  3. Sub-Warp Speed, pp. 23-33
  4. The Almost (Again) Television Show, pp. 34-49
  5. Déjà Vu, pp. 50-56
  6. The Script's The Thing, pp. 57-71
  7. Robert Wise [note: featured in the white shirt on the cover, with Leonard Nimoy on his left and effects camera man Scott Farrar on his right], pp. 72-82
  8. Arts Gratia Artis, pp. 83-95
  9. Camelot Revisited, pp. 96-110
  10. The Rest of the Knights, pp. 111-121
  11. Spray-and-Wear Clothing, pp. 122-133
  12. Put On an Alien Face, pp. 134-142
  13. Property of Star Trek, pp. 143-148
  14. Take My Advice…, pp. 149-158
  15. It's Not All Done With Mirrors, pp. 159-171
  16. Welcome to Vulcan; Pleae Don't Feed the Bears, pp. 172-177
  17. All Hands in Deck, pp. 178-190
  18. It's a Wrap, pp, 191-195
  19. After the Trek Is Over, pp. 196-201
  20. Optical Optimism, pp. 202-212
  21. Keep On Trekkin', pp. 213-216
  • Credits, pp. 217-221

Background information Edit

  • Author Susan Sackett was singularly well suited to write the book as she was the close personal assistant to Gene Roddenberry during the 1970s, in which he repeatedly tried to bring back Star Trek to the screen as a live-action production, and she has been privy to the decision making processes on the producer's level. Prior to the book Sackett had already submitted articles and interviews with Roddenberry on the subject of revitalizing Star Trek, as well as a series of "Star Trek Reports" to Starlog magazine, keeping readership appraised about the progress of the production of The Motion Picture, starting in issue 6, 1977, all of which serving as the basis for her book.
  • Sulu is the only major recurring character not mentioned by name on the back cover of this book.
  • Although the front cover of this book is emblazoned with the names of both Sackett and Roddenberry, the book was actually written by Sackett and only contains comments from Roddenberry, as is explained in the book.
  • This book contains the notes of Robert Fletcher and Fred Phillips regarding the back stories for some of the aliens they created and used in background scenes.
  • Sackett finished her primary notes in the summer of 1979 while Visual Effects Producer Douglas Trumbull was still shooting the effects, and finished her copy writing in mid-October with the addition of Roddenberry's introduction, two months before the movie premiered. (pp. xv, 206)
  • Sackett has added a provisional end credit roll for the movie in her book, pp. 217-221, which differed from that as ultimately featured. While cast and primary production staff were featured as projected, there were some noticeable differences; several title descriptions were changed and especially amongst production staffers there were inclusion that were previously not considered whereas others that were initially, were now excluded. A very noticeable example of the latter was future Star Trek alumnus Rick Sternbach, who now missed out on an official credit for the Motion Picture as a consequence.