Books: Everything you wanted to know about Star Trek, Part 2–Movies


Whether you are a Star Trek cosplayer or a collector of the real thing, the more information you have the smarter buyer of replica or real props and costumes you can be, and the more accurately you can create replicas from the Star Trek universe.  Yesterday we ran down the best resources for Star Trek information focusing on the various Star Trek TV series.  Today we will cover books that include reference material for the Star Trek feature films.  Some of the information in the general categories overlaps so we will repeat those that apply to movies here.

The eleven Star Trek movies are available on DVD, Blu-Ray, VHS, and streaming video, by series and in compilations.

Here are the key websites you need to know about:

  • Memory Alpha – A detailed, currently maintained encyclopedia of all things Star Trek.
  • Trek Core – A great source for screen caps of all series episodes, including some HD versions.

As to reference books, several licensed Star Trek books are available, many still in print, and the following are what I consider the best resources publicly available. I have also provided links to the books at, but your local library can also get these for you.  (Book cover thumbnails are a bit fuzzy since I used direct links to Amazon listings).

Running through the general books from yesterday again that also include information on the Star Trek feature films:

Star Trek – General

Star Trek: The Art of Star Trek, by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, 1997.  If you only have one book about Star Trek behind the scenes, it should be this book.  Full of original paintings, behind the scenes photos, and close-ups of costumes and props, this is the best book available on the Star Trek television shows and feature films.  If you have it you will read it over and over again.  It is only lacking in the fact it was made before Star Trek Generations, so for everything after that you should seek out some of the other suggested books.  Also, you’ll notice on this list the Reeves-Stevens are a great source of all sorts of Trek material.  Highest recommendation.

The Star Trek Encyclopedia, by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda, 1999.  With two Star Trek insiders like the Okudas writing this reference guide, it’s no wonder this is such a popular book.  Literally the A to Z guide to the Star Trek universe, make sure you get this most recent version that includes all updates.  Unfortunately it has not yet been updated to include the latest films and the Enterprise TV series.  Still, a single source for the obscure and the general in the franchise.  Highly recommended.

Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future, by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda, 1996.  Another reference by the Okudas, this time aligned in chronological order of the events of the Trek universe, as opposed to the order of production of the series, which is the format of all other Trek reference books.  Handy to see overlap between series and whether the Battle of Wolf 359 comes before or after the destruction of Praxis (in case you get confused on that).

Star Trek The Next Generation: Technical Manual, by Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda, 1991.  An unprecedented look at the science and technology of Star Trek.  The masters of the Trek art production team include here detailed drawings and explanation to support the science behind the stories portrayed in the television series and films.  A must for all Star Trek fans.

Star Trek: Aliens & Artifacts, by Michael Westmore, Alan Sims et al, 2000. This book provides key views from the main make-up artist and the propmaster for the later Trek series. Lots of close-up photos of alien races and make-up, but a lesser focus on props. Good behind the scenes stories. Highly recommended.


Captains’ Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages and Captains’ Logs Supplemental: The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages-Entire Deep Space Nine & Voyager History, by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, 1996.  Although this episode-by-episode guide has has been replaced for the most part by the TrekCore free website, it’s still worth flipping through to find episodes you may have forgotten about. The first contains the original series, the supplement expands into later episodes of Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Star Trek Generations.

And the books that focus on the feature films:

Star Trek Movies

The Making of the Trek Films, 1995, edited by Edward Gross, 1995.  Chock full of detailed insight into the creation of every Star Trek movie from The Motion Picture through Star Trek Generations.  Extensive scuttlebutt on what actors and crew thought of each production, including trials faced, marketing successes and perceived failures.  Surprisingly good resource for being more of an assemblage of data than a cohesive narrative.  Recommended.

Star Trek:  The Motion Picture

The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, by Susan Sackett and Gene Roddenberry, 1980.  Invaluable sourcebook for the decisions behind the creation of the first Star Trek film.  Low on photographs, but good insight into the movemaking process.  Recommended.

See The Making of the Trek Films, 1995 referenced above.

Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan

The Making of Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan, by Allan Asherman, 1982.  This book includes several interviews with the actors and creators of the best of the Trek films.  Includes contemporary stories and behind the scenes accounts.  The only book focused on this movie in this detail.  Includes some good behind the scenes photos in black and white.  Recommended.

See The Making of the Trek Films, 1995 referenced above.

Star Trek III:  The Search for Spock

See The Making of the Trek Films, 1995 referenced above.

Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home

See The Making of the Trek Films, 1995 referenced above.

Star Trek V:  The Final Frontier

Captain’s Log: William Shatner’s Personal Account of the Making of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, by Lisabeth Shatner, 1989.  What you would expect in a book by a daughter about her father.  Manages to document the uphill battle to make what is generally thought of as the least successful of the Star Trek movies.  Gives insight into Shatner’s inexperience with directing and how that translated to film.  For STV fans.

See The Making of the Trek Films, 1995 referenced above.

Star Trek VI:  The Undiscovered Country

Charting the Undiscovered Country: The Making of Trek VI, by Mark A. Altman, Ron Magid and Edward Gross, 1992.  The smallest of the “making of” books yet it provides good detail of Nimoy’s direction and story influences for one of the best films the franchise has to offer.  Also includes black and white photos of props, each cast photo from prior films, and information about costumes.  Recommended.

See The Making of the Trek Films, 1995 referenced above.

Star Trek Generations

Star Trek, the Next Generation Sketchbook: The Movies, Generations & First Contact, by John Eaves, 1998. Great illustrations and text from the artist behind several Star Trek properties.

See The Making of the Trek Films, 1995 referenced above.

Star Trek:  First Contact

The Making of Star Trek: First Contact, by Lou Anders, 1996. A great resource–lots of photographs of the borg, weapons, sets and cast interviews. Recommended.

See Star Trek, the Next Generation Sketchbook: The Movies, Generations & First Contact referenced above.

Star Trek:  Insurrection

The Secrets of Star Trek: Insurrection, by Terry J. Erdmann, 1998.  One of the best looks at a Star Trek production, including great tidbits like photos of stunt cast members, art production, close-up of background characters, and costume and prop design.  Nice behind the scenes text and photos.  Highly recommended.

Star Trek:  Nemesis

See The Star Trek The Next Generation Companion: Revised Edition referred to in yesterday’s post.

Star Trek 2009

Star Trek: The Art of the Film, by Mark Cotta Vaz, 2009. Great photos of the art behind the new film, some used and some that didn’t make it to the screen. Good sketches of costumes and details of alien masks and make-up. Nice explanations of the different locations from the movie.

Also, invaluable costume and prop information can be found in the following catalogs:

  • Christie’s December 2006 Auction Catalog
  • Profiles in History 12, 14 , 41, and 44 Auction Catalogs
  • Julien’s 2010 Star Trek Catalog

Happy reading!

C.J. Bunce

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