Beautifully Strange STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME (1986) Storyboards by Ralph McQuarrie

Check out Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home storyboards by Ralph McQuarrie!

Welcome to Flashback Friday where I feature artwork from classic science-fiction movies or tv shows. Today's feature is Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). 

It's no secret that my favorite concept artist of all time is Ralph McQuarrie. His work on Star Wars made him a legend but his style and skills are unmatched even today. McQuarrie was made famous by Star Wars but he crossed over in the Star Trek universe as well. 

His first work with creator Gene Roddenberry was on the abandoned 1977 film Star Trek: Planet of the Titans. He was approached to work on the first film but had a scheduling conflict. He recommended his protege Andrew Probert who took the job and produced stunning work for many other projects. 

A few years later he worked on the fourth movie in the franchise. One of his boards was the scene where Captain Kirk and the crew use a Klingon ship to travel back in time. The scene is already pretty trippy but thanks to PropStore's public sale of the boards we can see exactly how mind-blowingly weird it was supposed to be.

McQuarrie was a professional concept artist who worked on major motion projects like Cocoon (1985), Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).

Here's the original scene from the film with its giant morphing CGI heads.

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Here's the script description which tracks more closely with the storyboards.

We are inside Kirk's MIND as we see a series of hypnotic dream images floating up from Kirk's subconscious; undulating figures which float toward us and pass... Liquid faces... amorphous figures... images of Kirk's shipmates in semi-transparent ghostly shapes -- aging and regressing. Kirk's image of himself running toward himself... underwater looking up at a sunlight-dappled surface... gently waving strands of reeds at an abstract shoreline... disembodied voices, sounds, and music add to the hypnotic effect. And then...

Here are the storyboards. Click on the images to enlarge

See more of Ralph McQuarrie's portfolio at Click on the links if you want to see more of Ralph McQuarrie's work or Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home artwork on my blog.

About Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Official synopsis: "To save Earth from an alien probe, Admiral Kirk and his fugitive crew go back in time to 20th century Earth to retrieve the only beings who can communicate with it, humpback whales."
Directed by Leonard Nimoy
Cinematography by Donald Peterman
Production Design by Jack T. Collis
"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" stars William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Jane Wyatt, Catherine Hicks, Mark Lenard, Robin Curtis, Robert Ellenstein, John Schuck, Brock Peters, Michael Snyder,
"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" was released on November 26, 1986 (United States)
What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home what do you think of the look?
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© Copyright 1986 Paramount Pictures, and Ralph McQuarrie. All rights reserved.