Is there any evidence in the form of interviews or statements from the cast, crew or writers of Star Trek that confirm that the events of 9/11 had an influence on the show?

For example, causing episodes to be re-written, or deleted, or inspired?

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    Arguably the thrust of the third season of "Enterprise", dealing with a sneak attack on Earth was 9-11 inspired, but I have no direct confirmation that that was acknowledged by anybody associated with the show. Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 21:30
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    @EmsleyWyatt I found it rather obvious in Enterprise at the time, and uncomfortably so, with the new enemy "Suliban" (Taliban) and the "Cabal" (Kabul)...
    – YetiCGN
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 8:45
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    @YetiCGN, the word "cabal" is far older than that, though: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cabal#English The name of the adversary, though..
    – ilkkachu
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 13:04
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    @EmsleyWyatt The first episode, which features the Suliban, aired 2 weeks after 9/11. I feel like the name Suliban would have already been in the script and filmed by that point so my guess is that it's a coincidence.
    – Alarion
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 14:50
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    Actually, I'm wrong. It was the inspiration for the name, but was still chosen before 9/11. There's a quote about it here under "Depicting the Species".
    – Alarion
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


Star Trek Films

Damen Lindelof advises of the 9/11 inspiration in Star Trek (2009), used to build the new film franchise:

On fallout "ripple effect" of the destruction of Vulcan

While talking about the parallels between modern terrorism and Nero in Star Trek 2009, Damon Lindelof appeared to imply that the impact of the destruction of Vulcan will carry into the sequel :

Lindelof: We often referred to the destruction of Vulcan as the 9/11 moment of [Star Trek 2009]. There had to be an event that was so significant that it allows you to change the Trek universe, not just for the purposes of the first movie, but moving forward. The idea of saying, if you did something that huge, what would be the effect of that rippling outwards?

Star Trek Into Darkness visibly includes a 9/11 dedication in its end credits:


Additionally, J. J. Abrams even included some actual post-9/11 veterans in the movie itself.

There is a scene with some Starfleet personnel folding the flag of the United Federation of planets, which has been seen in some of the trailers and commercials for the movie. Four of the six people pictured are real US vets. The four vets featured in Into Darkness (credited as "Starfleet Ceremonial Guard") are Melissa Steinman (US Coast Guard), Adam McCann (USMC) Jon Orvrasky (USMC) and Eric Greitens (US Navy). All are members of the Mission Continues charity, a service organization that helps post-9/11 veterans transition from the military to leadership roles at home. J.J. Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath have been active supporters of the organization. Mission Continues confirmed this on their website.

For his part, Roberto Orci had been an active social media participant who shared many of his personal thoughts over Twitter, particularly about 9/11 and Osama bin Laden, and through his “boborci” username in discussion threads at Trekmovie.com. A significant social media interaction kicked off with the “Star Trek is Broken” editorial, to which Orci responded around the Sept. 2, 2013 date:

September 2, 2013 1:46 pm

I think the article above is akin to a child acting out against his parents. Makes it tough for some to listen, but since I am a loving parent, I read these comments without anger or resentment, no matter how misguided.

Having said that, two biggest Star Treks in a row with best reviews is hardly a description of “broken.” And frankly, your tone and attidude make it hard for me to listen to what might otherwise be decent notions to pursue in the future. Sorry, Joseph. As I love to say, there is a reason why I get to write the movies, and you don’t.

Respect all opinions, always, nonetheless.

This interaction eventually culminated in Orci leaving social media and deleting his Twitter account on 9/11, 2013.

Star Trek: Enterprise

The most significantly impacted Star Trek work was Star Trek: Enterprise which originally aired from September 26, 2001, to May 13, 2005 on UPN. This series was pretty much right smack in production when 9/11 occurred.

After Star Trek: Enterprise spent an entire season on a massive terrorist attack, Scott Bakula (Star Trek: Enterprise’s Captain Jonathan Archer) reflected on 9/11’s influence during 2020 Star Trek Day anniversary event.

Bakula has generally repeated his same impressions in a number of venues, including an episode of Bob Saget’s Here for You podcast:

From the beginning from until today, the Star Trek stories have relevance. We haven’t achieved the vision by any shape or form. Of course, our series was colored by 9/11 happening. We were shooting then and that eventually took over the direction of our show in terms of mirroring that event and casting it into the studio and painting it with the Star Trek brush. All of a sudden, we had the last two and a half seasons were all basically finding the people that had attacked Earth and chasing them down and where that led us in the universe. Life imitating art and art imitating life, that was a very real part of our of our [show]. And I think that it holds up. I think that there was merit in doing that. It was really hard. If you’re a writer, you’re going to write about what’s going on in your world and in your life. And that that certainly took over all of our lives for a good amount of time, that event, and still to this day.

Producers of Enterprise used some actual footage from 9/11 in the episode “Storm Front, Part II”. Captain Archer (Bakula) was talking to the character Crewman Daniels (Matt Winston) in a temporal stream. Scenes from Earth’s history passed by, and an image of the World Trade Center can be seen (around 1:11):

Enterprise’s connections to the Taliban actually predate 9/11 Series co-creators Brannon Braga confirmed in May 5-11, 2002 TV Guide interview, Visionaries, that Rick Berman named the Suliban species after the Taliban in 1999. The Suliban were originally going to appear near the end of Voyager.

Suliban. Taliban. Coincidence?

Braga: Not at all. Rick named the Suliban after the Taliban. That was three years ago. Like a lot of people, I didn’t know anything about the Taliban. We didn’t draw a detailed analogy between the Suliban and the Taliban, other than they are a vague, shadowy, scary group. Berman: I’m not even sure it went that far. Taliban was just a mysterious, exotic name to me. Several years ago, I went to Afghanistan – I used to make documentary films and traveled around the world – and the Taliban regime was just getting a stronghold there. To me, there was something incredibly dramatic about the name Taliban – it was like something out of a Sinbad story.


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