Warning: This post contains spoilers for the “Battle at the Binary Stars” episode of Star Trek: Discovery.
Farewell Captain Georgiou, we hardly knew ye. Introduced as one of the stars of Star Trek: Discovery in the show’s maiden voyage — which premiered Sept. 24 to a love it or hate it response — Michelle Yeoh’s shocking death at the end of the second hour, “Battle of the Binary Stars,” bumps her down to cameo status. But the actress and action movie icon is in good company in that regard. After all, the various Trek TV shows have a long history of memorable episodic appearances by current and future stars. Click through the above slideshow to refresh your memory about some of the many famous faces that have visited the franchise’s final frontier over the course of the past five decades.
New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery premiere Sundays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS All Access.
Teri Hatcher (‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’)
She may not have received an onscreen credit, but Hatcher’s appearance on a 1988 episode of TNG is real… and it’s spectacular. The future Lois & Clark star played transporter chief, B.G. Robinson, who beamed Bill “The Rocketeer” Campbell’s space rogue, Thadiun Okona, aboard Picard’s Enterprise and — it’s heavily implied — had a private meeting with him in her quarters later on.
(Photo: Getty Images/CBS)
Sarah Silverman (‘Star Trek: Voyager’)
A decade after Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the crew of Voyager took their own trip back through the timestream in a 1996 two-part episode that set them down in ’90s-era L.A. It’s up to Silverman’s earnest astronomer, Rain Robinson, to get them back to the future… and prevent a future apocalypse. Trek lore has it that Richard Pryor very nearly starred in The Voyage Home; landing Silverman early in her career was a great get for Voyager.
Iggy Pop (‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’)
Here comes Iggy Pop again! The “Lust for Life” rocker transformed himself into a real space oddity in a 1997 DS9 episode, playing the Vorta clone, Yelgrun. It was dream casting on the part of writer/producer, Ira Steven Behr, who made a point of hanging out on set with the Stooges frontman as much as possible.
Kelsey Grammer (‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’)
Frasier Crane in spaaaaaace? Not quite. In a one-shot 1992 appearance on TNG, Grammer played Captain Morgan Bateson, ranking officer aboard the 23rd century starship the USS Bozeman who finds himself in the 24th century thanks to a serious case of temporal distortion. That’ll toss your salad and scramble your eggs.
(Photo: Everett Collection)
Whoopi Goldberg (‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’)
A lifelong Trekkie, Goldberg turned what could have been a single stunt cameo apperance into a regularly recurring role on TNG as Enterprise bartender, and all around good listener, Guinan. On this particular 1990 episode, Guinan consoles Geordi (LeVar Burton) about a dispute he’s having with another engineer.(CBS via Getty Images)
(Photo: CBS via Getty Images)
Dwayne Johnson (‘Star Trek: Voyager’)
The People’s Champion became The Pendari Champion on an episode of Voyager that originally aired in February 2000 when Johnson was merely a king of the ring instead of the new King of All Media. Even then, his onscreen chemistry was cooking.
Seth MacFarlane (‘Star Trek: Enterprise’)
These days, MacFarlane pilots the Trek-inspired Fox sci-fi series, The Orville. Back in 2004, though, he boldly went into the Delphic Expanse as fresh-faced Enterprise ensign, Rivers. Is it a coincidence that Captain Mercer kind of rhymes with Captain Archer?
Frank Gorshin (‘Star Trek: The Original Series’)
Riddle me this: Which frequent Batman villain visited the final frontier? None other than Frank Gorshin, who gave young viewers a crash course in the dangers of racial prejudice in the memorably metaphorical 1969 TOS episode, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.”
Jonathan Banks, ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’
Better call Golin Shel-la. Amongst the copious guest appearances on Banks’s extensive pre-Breaking Bad TV resume is a freshman season DS9 episode where he played the leader of an alien race locked in eternal warfare with another faction.
Kirsten Dunst (‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’)
One year before her breakthrough role as a child bloodsucker in Interview With a Vampire, 11-year-old Dunst donned a pair of oversized ears (instead of fanged teeth) to play a youthful Cairn who inadveretently causes — and then heals — a rift between Deanna Troi and her mother.
(Photo: Getty Images/CBS)