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First Star Trek Movie Almost Had Kirk Fistfight Jesus

Star Trek has always been about logic vs. emotion, but the first movie came close to being downright absurd.

Speaking to The Playlist, veteran Star Trek TV series writer Michael Jan Friedman said an early treatment of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) by creator Gene Rodenberry was "disjointed" and "didn't build toward anything meaningful." It did, however, include one memorable image. "In the climactic scene, Kirk had a fistfight with an alien who had assumed the image of Jesus Christ," said Friedman. "So Kirk was slugging it out on the bridge. With Jesus."

But Friedman said the surreal fight was just one of many problems with the script by Rodenberry (who Friedman still considers one of his heroes).

"When I read the material, I was dismayed," said Friedman. "I hadn't seen other samples of Gene's unvarnished writing, but what I saw this time could not possibly have been his best work... Kirk, Spock and McCoy didn't seem anything like themselves. There was some mildly erotic, midlife-crisis stuff in there that didn't serve any real purpose."

Of course, religion and mysticism did make their way into the finished product. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise encounter an entity that claims to be God, only to find out it's a living computer.