Star Trek Insurrection veteran signed as costume designer for next Star Trek

Insurrection Sanja Hays design

If you’re a fan of Star Trek costumes like we are, you may be familiar with Sanja Milkovich Hays, the costume designer on the ninth film in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek Insurrection.  Hays is responsible for some of the best Star Trek costumes created for the movies that featured the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast.  Her agent released this weekend that she has been tapped to be costume designer for the next film in the Star Trek franchise, unofficially referred to as Star Trek III. 

Hays created the stylish civilian wear for the principal cast, with her designs for Worf and Data particular standout pieces for the characters.  She designed the look of the villains for Insurrection from a fabric she developed from cellulose, including F. Murray Abraham’s Ru’afo and the Son’a, as well as the beautiful copper latexwear for the female Ellora, the purple outfitted Tarlac and blue male Ellora.  For the Ba’ku villagers, she used natural fibers in her costumes that included hundreds of extras.

Check out her Insurrection designs in Terry J. Erdmann’s The Secrets of Star Trek Insurrection here at

Star Trek maroons
Could these Horatio Hornblower-inspired designs for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan be making a comeback in 2016’s Star Trek III?

Hays has created costumes for many other genre films, too.  Could they indicate what may be coming in Star Trek III?

Sanja Hays designs
Original costume designs by Sanja Hays include the Ba’ku, Ellora, Tarlac, and Son’a.

Hays was also costume designer for Blade, Mission to Mars, the adaptation of Philip K. Dick short stories Next and Total Recall (2012), and the Fast and the Furious franchise.  She was also in the costume department for Tombstone, Stargate, and Independence Day.

Better yet, she designed the costumes for the Fox TV series Sleepy Hollow, including the military uniforms for Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman introduced in the series pilot.  Could the selection of Hays be an indication it’s time to bring back the look of the classic Horatio Hornblower-inspired maroon Starfleet uniforms worn by Kirk and Spock and the rest of the crew in the original Star Trek II-VI?

Sleepy Hollow costumes
Military costumes from Sleepy Hollow.

Hays replaces Michael Kaplan, who updated the classic red, yellow, and blue tunics of the original Enterprise crew for Star Trek (2009) and introduced the earlier Kelvin era Starfleet uniforms.  Kaplan re-invisioned a completely reconfigured design for the Romulans and Klingons and then took what seemed like an endless costume budget to create several new costume designs for each principal cast member in Star Trek Into Darkness.  He also adapted many costumes from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, such as Dr. McCoy’s medical garb and Admiral Pike’s dress uniform, into new designs for the reboot films.

The selection of Hays should be an interesting change, from someone who already has worked with the Star Trek universe and many other genre films.

C.J. Bunce

One comment

  1. I’m worried about this. I just watched Insurrection again on Netflix and the costumes are pretty awful. Lots of drab pyjamas and community theatre robes and capes. Sure, it was 17 years ago — so maybe we can blame the ’90s.

    The Insurrecton costumes look cheap (like the rest of it). I really, really like what Kaplan (Blade Runner) did with Trek 09 and Into Darkness.

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