In 1992 there were plans — real plans — to transform the Las Vegas skyline with a $150 million, full-size Starship Enterprise with a fully realized interior from Star Trek: The Original Series. So, who's the Denebian slime devil who axed it?
The proposal, which was only recently revealed by designer Gary Goddard and his team, was part of a competition looking to spruce up downtown Las Vegas, which had faded as a destination against the city's iconic Las Vegas Strip.
And what a destination it would have been:
The "big idea" was building the ship itself at full-scale. That was the main attraction. That being said, we also knew we would have to have some kind of "show" on board. So, conceptually, it was to be a "tour" of the ship, with all of the key rooms, chambers, decks, and corridors that we knew from the movie. There was to be the dining area for the ship's crew (where you could dine in Star Fleet comfort), and other special features. There were also one or two interesting ride elements that we were considering including a high-speed travelator that would whisk you from deck to deck. But we were really just getting into the show aspects when everything came to a head.
What came to a head was that the go/no-go call came down to one man, Stanley Jaffe, who was the freshly minted president of Paramount, which controls Star Trek as a property. Jaffe, who would be forced out of Paramount a few years later, isn't painted in a flattering light by Goddard:
The fact is, had Mr. Jaffe approved the project, it would have been the most memorable project in his life, it would have been a financial boon to Paramount, still paying the Studio to this day. And it would have been a great part of his legacy, the Paramount legacy, and the Star Trek legacy.
Albert Einstein said it best: "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
You can read the full story on Goddard's site, here.