The Making of Star Trek The Motion Picture by Susan Sackett

A couple of months back I posted about finding out that there was “making of” book about Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan when I had always assumed there had never been such a book published. ( Finding that volume prompted me to go looking for “making ofs” for the other original series movies and I quickly discovered that a similar book was published for Star Trek The Motion Picture. Eventually I found a copy of the online and after a long wait it arrived.

The authors are credited as Susan Sackett and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, although inside the book it is made clear that Sacket did the actual writing given that Roddenberry was a bit busy what with making the actual movie at the time.

book_front book_back

This book is slightly larger than the one that followed for the second movie as can be seen in this photo.


Also the book for TWOK was written after the fact and featured interviews with cast and crew of that movie some time after production had finished and the movie released. This earlier book however gives a much more hands-on approach to the making of TMP and it is clear that the author was actually present during the production.

One surprising thing is that the book doesn’t shy away from recounting the convoluted and torturous process of writing the script for the movie based on pilot episode script for the cancelled Star Trek Phase II series, even admitting that the script had no ending when they started production. These days that fact is common knowledge but I am surprised that an official Paramount-authorised book would admit such a thing in 1980.

The date of publication is given as March 1980.


And here’s an idea of the contents.


Also of note is the inclusion of 16 pages of colour images, something the book for TWOK didn’t have.


There’s a lot of reading in this book and I can imagine how Star Trek fans would have gobbled it up after a decade with no new live-action shows.

As a final note I will mention that it does not appear that such a book was produced for The Search for Spock. But I’ll keep looking just in case.