This week marked the 20th anniversary of the “Star Trek: Voyager” finale. The final episode of the show’s seven-season run aired on May 23, 2001. Aptly entitled “Endgame,” the finale showed the crew of Voyager battling the Borg and finally making it back to the Alpha Quadrant. It also gave fans a peek at the futures that awaited each of the crewmembers, giving the characters a sweet sendoff.
Though the episode is well-rated, earning 8.6-stars on IMDB, many fans found it a disappointing end to a beloved show. In an interview with Larry Nemeck for Star Trek Communicator, showrunner Ken Biller admitted that the writing team struggled with how to wrap up the series, and several potential endings were discussed.
Here are a few of the alternate endings for “Voyager” that would have drastically changed the show.
A Tragic Sacrifice
Brannon Braga, one of “Voyager’s” executive producers and lead writers, had strong feelings about the fate of one fan-favorite character. He really wanted to kill Seven of Nine in the finale. Braga told the authors of “Star Trek Voyager: A Celebration,” that he believed the only proper ending to Seven’s character arc was a brave sacrifice. He wanted to write a beautiful, tragic scene in which Seven gave her life so the crew of Voyager could get home.
Braga said that Seven’s death would have been especially poignant because she’d just found out that the Borg technology in her brain wouldn’t allow her to love the way she wanted. Braga was overruled by the other writers, which he now admits was a good thing.
If Braga’s story had made it through, Seven wouldn’t have been able to return for “Star Trek: Picard.”
More Time on Earth
Several of “Voyagers” key cast members told Cinefantastique that they had no idea whether Voyager was going to make it home before the end of the series until weeks before they started filming the finale. Each of them had their own opinions about whether the crew should make it home and when.
As the final season unfolded, time to get the ship and its crew home ran out. Though Biller told Star Trek Communicator that they’d always intended to send Voyager home, the climactic homecoming had to be stuffed into the feature-length finale. The writers did consider getting the crew home earlier than the finale and showing their lives on Earth after their return. However, this plan never panned out.
Ryan told Cinefantastique that the finale “felt rushed,” and that she “would have liked to have seen what happened and how people reacted [to Voyager’s return].”
According to Memory Alpha, Dawson told Star Trek Monthly, “I wish we had started to deal with the ending a little bit earlier, instead of just in that last two-hour episode.”
Returning the crew home in the last season, but not the last episode, could have provided the opportunity to show how the characters readjusted to their lives. Though fans got to see the characters’ futures in “Endgame,” they didn’t get to see any of the aftermaths of their return.
It Was All a Dream?
The details of the finale were still in flux for months as ideas were thrown around. Biller told Nemeck that he could only reveal one thing for sure ahead of the finale — the entire series definitely wasn’t just a dream. The soap opera “Dallas” famously retconned an entire season by saying that the events had happened in a dream.
Biller admitted that as the writers struggled with the ending, they did joke about doing an “it’s a dream” ending by revealing that the crew never actually left Earth. Thankfully, that idea was never more than a joke.
For better or worse, “Endgame” wrapped up many of the loose ends left by the show and offered a clear conclusion for each of the characters. At the very least, it was a better ending than the sci-fi version of “Dallas’s” dream season.
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