this would be a fun art project: draw or photoshop some of these alternate casts
personally I want to see this one:
Picard: Yaphet Kotto
Riker: Ben Murphy
Data: Kelvin Han Yee
Tasha: Rosalind Chao
Geordi: Wesley Snipes
Beverly: Jenny Agutter
although it'd be funny to see the version with
Data: Kevin Peter Hall
Geordi: Kevin Peter Hall
just never mention it.
put some makeup on the Data character to make it not 100% obvious, but don't really try all that hard.
also man, given that they were considering some non-caucasian actors for Data, I really hope they weren't planning to go with the same makeup job they did for Brent Spiner.
my personal most-boring geek fantasy is to have a device to let me watch films/tv from alternate universes where they made different casting choices.
like, watch the Star Wars: A New Hope from the world where they cast Christopher Walken as Han.
(or see what they do with the series if Mark Hamill doesn't come back to acting after that car accident he had after filming ANH. How do you do Empire/Jedi without Luke?)
although my personal massive geeky Star Wars alternate version is actually a Star Trek one:

Release Star Wars a month or two earlier.
so in the 1970s Paramount was trying to make a Star Trek movie, called Star Trek: Planet of the Titans.
It would involve the Enterprise searching for the Titans, an ancient powerful race who assisted many species early in their development, but have since disappeared
eventually it gets into weird time travel shenanigans and the enterprise is thrown back in time to Paleolithic earth, and end up teaching early humanity to make fire, becoming the literal Titans of greek mythology.
It was going to star Toshiro Mifune as a Klingon captain who was also searching for the Titans, and that's just an awesome idea and I would have loved to see it.
but it didn't happen.
There's a lot of reasons, but one of them was that they didn't think there was a big enough audience for big-budget sci-fi films, and that some upcoming film "star wars" was gonna be a minor hit (or break even) and that fans wouldn't want more scifi
so after rejecting the first script and their chosen director leaving the project, they killed the project in early may, 1977.

then in late may, Star Wars comes out, stays in theaters for TWO AND A HALF YEARS, and makes HALF A BILLION DOLLARS.
so paramount goes "WHOOPS" and reverses course, and instead planes to bring Trek back to TV as Star Trek: Phase II.
The second 5-year-mission of the Enterprise, featuring a return of the original cast, minus Nimoy.
this was going to be one of the headlining shows for Paramount Television Service, their planned television network to be launched in 1978.
It was going to have a 2-hour pilot tv-movie, and then 13 episodes. Scripts were written, sets were being built, actors were cast.
then in late 1977, they completely called it off. They had done studies and forecast they weren't going to be able to make enough advertising revenue to make it work.
fun side fact: The CEO of Paramount at the time was Barry Diller, who later left Paramount and joined 20th Century Fox, and oversaw their creation of their own "4th network": Fox Broadcasting Company
In any case, without the Paramount Television Service they didn't have a channel to put Phase II on, so they decided to turn the pilot tv-film "In Thy Image" into a theatrical movie, Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Some of the weirdness of The Motion Picture makes sense when you understand how it came from Phase II.
A new First Officer? Because the series wasn't going to have Spock.
A science officer who dies offscreen early in the film? That was Xon, the other Spock-replacement.
The fact that the whole film kinda just feels like one big episode of the TV show?

Well, because that's pretty much exactly what it is.
It was a Star Trek: Phase II episode that got turned into a movie.
Interestingly this isn't where the story of Phase II ends.
Ideas for phase II made it into Star Trek: The Next Generation, since it was basically started as "phase II but with a different cast"
You can see this in some of the characters.
Decker & Ilia: A young first officer who had previously been in a relationship with a beautiful empathic alien.
which got used pretty much unchanged as Riker & Troi.
And then then for the second season of The Next Generation, the Writer's Guild of America had called a general strike... It was resolved in August 1988, but TNG was returning to air in November. This left them barely any time to write scripts, so they raided Phase II.
So TNG season 2 starts with the episode The Child, where a non-corporeal alien impregnates Troi with itself, to experience humanity.
Which was written back in 1977 as The Child, the 3rd episode of Star Trek: Phase II.
Similarly the 4th season TNG episode Devil's Due was based on a rewritten Phase II script, which was based on a script idea from The Original Series that wasn't picked up.
apparently for Devil's Due they had originally tried to do it in Season 3 of TNG, with just a completely minimal rewrite. Just swap "Picard" for everywhere it said "Kirk", and so on... that didn't work.
so the actually filmed script was based on a more extensive rewrite, making it to air in season 4.
in any case, my point is that Star Trek almost had a very interesting-sounding film made that would have made it to theaters a year after Star Wars, and would have put them in an interesting position to move forward with movies or TV shows...
but a quirk of timing meant that Paramount didn't think it would work, then put all their money on a TV show that they could never launch, and then went back into movies by bodging a TV show into a lackluster movie.
But if they'd still been steaming ahead on Planet of the Titans, they would have completed the film after the Paramount Television Service plan had failed, then there never would have been an attempt at making Phase II!
And the future of Trek movies and The Next Generation would have been completely different.

And I would love to see how different it would have been.
BTW, another weird coincidence: The President of Paramount who officially ended the plans for making Phase II?
It was Michael Eisner, of all people.
Barry Diller had hired him when he was with ABC, and when Diller moved to Paramount, he hired Eisner to be the CEO of Paramount Pictures.
But when Diller left Paramount in 1984, Eisner was passed over to take over Paramount, so Eisner instead went to Disney, becoming their CEO.
So there's possibly another, even weirder, universe, where Paramount successfully launches Paramount Television Services, Barry Diller stays there, and Michael Eisner never ends up becoming the CEO of Disney, and maybe we don't get the Disney Renaissance?
it's butterflies causing hurricanes all the way down, man.
If you want to get weirder with butterflies, how about this one:
If Star Wars had been released a month earlier, Obama wouldn't have been president.
OK so if Star Wars comes out earlier, we get Star Trek: Planet of the Titans instead of Phase II, The Motion Picture, and then The Next Generation, right?
Well, in our timeline, when TNG ended, Paramount finally got their own network: UPN, the United Paramount Network.
And like they wanted to back in the 70s, they launched it with a new Star Trek: Star Trek: Voyager.
It started with a 2-hour pilot movie, airing on January 16th, 1995, the day UPN launched.
and to make sure the show was a big success, they brought over many of the creative staff behind The Next Generation:
Rick Berman, Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor.
However... ratings were never as good as they were hoping.
They rapidly declined through S1 and then stayed steady through S2 and S3.
So the creators decided to try to revitalize the show by introducing a new character...
Seven of Nine.
The hope was she'd be interesting to their geek audience because of the uniqueness of having a Borg character, and their non-geek audience by being a sexy woman in a catsuit.
The plan was to kill off the character of Harry Kim in the two-part Scorpion where 7 of 9 was introduced... but weird coincidences of timing intervened again.
The actor, Garret Wang, was voted one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" on May 12th, two weeks before Scorpion part 1 aired, complete with Harry Kim getting injured.
So they rapidly rewrote part 2 to have him survive, and then in the next regular episode (The Gift), the character of Kes left the show.
OK SO Voyager wasn't doing great in ratings and they added in 7 of 9 to try to help their ratings.

What does that have to do with Obama, you probably are yelling?
Well, 7 of 9 was played by Jeri Ryan, born Jeri Zimmerman.

In 1991 she became Jeri Ryan when she married Goldman Sachs investment banker Jack Ryan (no relation to the Tom Clancy character).
In the late 90s when Jeri Ryan joined Voyager, Jack Ryan was a senior partner at Goldman Sachs' Chicago office.
Voyager was being filmed in Los Angeles, so this involved a lot of flying back and forth and long periods of separation.
According to Jeri Ryan, this was difficult for their marriage, and they divorced in 1999, with stated reasons for the divorce kept sealed at their mutual request.
Also in 1999, Goldman Sachs went public, and Jack Ryan became a multi-millionaire, and he retired from the firm, to teach at a local Chicago highschool... until 2004.
in 2004 he decided to run for the US Senate (for Illinois), in order to replace the retiring Republican senator Peter Fitzgerald.
He won the Republican primary, and his democratic opponent was an Illinois state senator: Barack Obama.
But this all sounds like coincidental connections, right? so star trek failed to make a movie, then eventually made a show with an actor who was married to a guy who lost to Obama in a race for the senate?
Although the making of Star Trek: Voyager and the constant traveling between Chicago and Los Angeles was one of the stated reasons for the Jeri Ryan/Jack Ryan divorce, it turns out it wasn't the only one... by far. The other reasons had been sealed away... until March 2004.
The LA Superior Court Judge Robert Schnider ruled that several of the custody records resulting from the divorce should be made public, over the objections of both Jeri Ryan and Jack Ryan (and Barack Obama, for that matter)
and in them Jeri Ryan had alleged that Jack Ryan had taken her to BDSM clubs and wanted her to have sex in public in sex clubs around the world.

Which wasn't a good look for someone running for a senate seat as a Republican, especially back in 2004.
So a week later, the Jack Ryan campaign basically ends, and he officially withdrew in July, 2004.
Alan Keyes was picked as his replacement in the race for the senate seat, and he loses to Obama, getting 27% of the vote (vs 70% for Obama)
which is the point at which Barack Obama moves from being a Illinois politician to a national one...
putting him in a good place to run for president in 2008 (and win, as I'm sure you know)
So Obama got elected to the presidency, partially because he was able to become a Senator in 2004, because his original opponent dropped out, because of his divorce 5 years earlier, because of his wife starring in Star Trek: Voyager.
which was made how it was because of the success of The Next Generation, which was made how it was because of the TOS movies and Star Trek Phase II, which was planned because Paramount didn't think they could do a sci-fi film in 1977, because Star Wars came out in May of 1977.
it's all dominoes and butterflies.
So there's another universe out there where Star Wars gets released in April, and in reaction:
Star Trek ends up with different movies and no TNG
the Fox TV station doesn't exist
there's no Disney Renaissance
Obama doesn't become president
the moral of the story is if you have a time machine, don't step on any butterflies.
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