In the past I claimed that Dune heavily influenced Star Trek but a friend pointed out that Dune and Star Trek were both made public in a similar time frame (less than one year apart). So maybe Star Trek is not influenced by Dune.

  • Dune by Frank Herbert was published 1965
  • Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry was broadcast on television 1966

I was wondering if Star Trek borrowed anything from Dune or was Star Trek created without any knowledge or influence from Dune?

  • 23
    Good old Star Trek, famous for giant worms and dynastic drama. Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 21:56
  • 10
    Generally people accuse Star WARS of being influenced by Dune. Because of the sand everywhere. Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 22:51
  • 9
    Why did you claim that Dune influenced Star Trek? Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 5:54
  • 11
    ???? Star Trek is nothing like Dune - not even to the extent of one inspiring the other. Star Trek is a dream of a better future. Dune is a disfunctional nightmare of medieval social structures and pyschopathic personalities set before a background of interstellar travel.
    – JRE
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 8:43
  • 7
    I would truly like to know what you see in Dune that gives you the idea that Star Trek is related to it. I'm not seeing it - at all.
    – JRE
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 8:53

2 Answers 2


In a nutshell: probably not.

  • The Star Trek Wikipedia page does not list Dune as an inspiration.
  • The Star Trek Wikipedia page has a link to a Star Trek script dated from 1964 which pre-dates Dune's first publication in 1965.
  • Another wikipedia page lists the original pilot episode as finished filming January 1965.
  • Given the original Star Trek television script from 1964 AND the first television pilot finished filming January 1965 both predate Dune's publication in 1965, I would say that Star Trek does not borrow anything from Dune.
  • update 2023-08-28: Dune was first published in the magazine Analog on date December 1963 BEFORE the 1964 Star Trek script was written
  • there is a small chance that the author of Star Trek read Dune before writing the 1964 Star Trek television script and was influenced in some way but i can not say for certain because i am sticking only to the facts (i.e. publication dates)
  • 5
    Not just script, but the first pilot ("The Cage") was in the can in January, 1965, months before Dune was published.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 19:23
  • 2
    A serialization of Dune was begun in Analog in Dec., 1963. Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 20:22
  • I think your last point pretty much says it all
    – Anthony X
    Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 22:27

More apt candidates for the inspiration of Star Trek would be the 1957-1962 western show "Wagon Train" and the 1956 movie "Forbidden Planet". Roddenberry pitched Star Trek as "Wagon Train to the stars", and if you've ever watched "Forbidden Planet" you'll be able to pick up all sorts of parallels and similarities from interpersonal dynamics of the crew to interaction with the planet dwellers and so forth. You may even notice similarities between the movie and the 3rd season episode "Requiem for Methuselah", as both are loose adaptations of Shakespeare's "The Tempest". Of course, these are entertainment properties, where he also had his own life experience from which to draw inspiration. He was a B-17 pilot during World War 2, and later worked in policing. Although he was an Army Air Force pilot (did not serve aboard ships), he drew upon the real-world U.S. Navy (specifically battleships and aircraft carriers) as inspiration for the operation of and life aboard a starship.

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