In a recent interview, Leonard Nimoy spoke about wars taking place during the time frame during which Star Trek and Star Trek XI were being made, and how the original series dealt with war. Nimoy also explained the process of trying to find a place for Eddie Murphy in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
The original series aired during the Vietnam war and Star Trek XI was made in a time when Americans were shipped over to Iraq and Afghanistan. The original series occasionally addressed war and when intervention was appropriate. “The original overarching theme of Star Trek included non-intervention policy, but we did some intervening,” said Nimoy. “I think that was a concept, but I don’t think it was a reality.”
“In that era, there was a whole issue about whether gunboat diplomacy was appropriate, and whether force in other sovereign countries was appropriate,” said Nimoy. “And we were going through a lot of turmoil on that issue. I think Star Trek tried to be on the right side of the issue, tried to be on the humane side of the issue, but there were times when I think our intervention was questionable.”
An example of that can be seen in the original series episode, A Private Little War, where the Klingons represent the U.S.S.R. and the Federation represents the United States. In the end, after the Klingons had armed one faction of tribespeople, the Federation reluctantly arms their adversaries, so that both sides would now be equal in firepower.
Nimoy also spoke about Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and how he tried to find a place in the movie for Eddie Murphy, a fan of Star Trek. “We tried to build a story that included him,” explained Nimoy. “He was a big Star Trek fan and very serious about it. I had a couple of meetings with him. The first time I met him, I said, ‘We admire you, you admire us. We don’t want to hurt each other. If we can come up with a story that works, let’s do this.'”
“We spent some time working on a story where we, the crew, come to Earth, just as we do in Star Trek IV during the 20th century, and he was to portray a radio-talk-show guy who dealt with subjects like the paranormal and alien visitors and began to suspect that he had spotted us as aliens,” said Nimoy. “That was to be the game, him trying to figure out who we were and what we were doing. The story just didn’t hold up, finally, and we had to let him go.”