In Gene Roddenberry’s first draft of the Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Captain Kirk had a fistfight with Jesus Christ on the bridge of the Enterprise, but Paramount shot down the idea as too controversial.
Well, actually the creature was a living computer entity designed to look like Jesus by aliens who were cast out of their own dimension and claimed to be God coming to Earth, according to The Guardian.
“In the climactic scene, Kirk had a fistfight with an alien who had assumed the image of Jesus Christ. So Kirk was slugging it out on the bridge. With Jesus.”
The shocking revelation came amid the 50-year celebration of Star Trek‘s time on television with the publication of a book by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman.
The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek – The First 25 Years, published last month, details the original concepts for the Motion Picture as envisioned by Gene Roddenberry.
William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on the original Star Trek television series, said he liked the idea of battling with an alien Jesus lookalike.
However, Jon Povill, an associate producer for Star Trek: The Mission Picture, said the storyline would have been the downfall of the iconic science fiction show, according to GameSpot.
“It probably would have brought Star Trek down, because the Christian Right, even though it wasn’t then what it is now, would have just destroyed it.
“In fact, Gene started the script under one Paramount administration and handed it to another… to Barry Diller, who was a devout Catholic. There was no way on Earth that that script was going to fly for a devout Catholic.”
The book also details another storyline written by Gene Roddenberry involving the crew of the Enterprise traveling backwards in time to prevent the assassination of President Kennedy.
Paramount shot down Kirk’s fistfight with Jesus and the script called “The God Thing,” despite Roddenberry’s insistence the story would have been about the “beauty” of God.
Star Trek author and screenwriter Michael Jan Friedman was brought in to finish Roddenberry’s script after the creator of the hit show died in 1991, according to The Guardian.
“This was a unique opportunity to collaborate with him. But when I read the material, I was dismayed … [It couldn’t] possibly have been his best work.”
The book The Fifty-Year Mission coincides with Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary this year along with a number of media additions to the franchise including another movie, a TV show, and a video game.
A Seattle museum exhibit honoring the crew of the USS Enterprise and their continuing mission to “go where no man has gone before” opened earlier this year featuring uniforms worn by every Enterprise captain. Also on display is one of the only two original phasers still in existence and more than 100 other props used on the original television show.
The next movie in the franchise, Star Trek: Beyond, directed by Justin Lin, premieres this month, July 22, and it features a new race of aliens led by Krall, played by Idris Elba.
Meanwhile, CBS is planning to stream the next iteration of the Star Trek television series on its digital platform, CBS All Access, next year in January 2017, and Paramount is already preparing for the fourth movie in the newly rebooted franchise.
The second volume of The Fifty-Year Mission is due out later this year along with an Ubisoft virtual reality game for the PlayStation VR, HTC Vice, and Oculus Rift.
What do you think? Would you watch a Star Trek movie with Captain Kirk fighting an alien Jesus in a fistfight?
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]