Last month, Prop Store and ViacomCBS Consumer Products announced the groundbreaking first online auction to feature over 200 lots of original costumes, art, and more from Seasons 1 & 2 of the hit Paramount+ series Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Short Treks.
The response was incredible, with excited fans from around the world registering to bid in droves. Now, with the auction finally open to the public, we're is offering an exclusive look at a few of the key props available for bidding with insights by Discovery Prop Master, Mario Moreira.
Engineering pieces before The Original Series didn’t happen overnight and it required a team effort. According to Moreira, the process was comprised of several stages to narrow down the final design that appeared in Discovery. To help Moreira conceive the design, he tapped into Concept Illustrator, Ray Lai and Production Designer, Mark Worthington. According to Moreira, the trio’s vision was “to show an evolution towards the phaser you would eventually see in The Original Series. We looked at weapon designs over the years and again, we studied product design as our cue for the details on the phaser.” By understanding the technological foundation, Lai, Moreira, and Worthington were able to fabricate a weapon that was reasonable for the time period.
Once the design was slated, creating different versions (e.g., hero and stunt) of the phasers commenced. Due to “hero” props being used by leads of shows and films, they are frequently intended for use in close-up shots, which is why they are made of superior materials and include more details than “stunt” props. Specifically, the “hero” phasers on Discovery possess electronic lighting elements which, according to Moreira, required a build time of “ten weeks.” However, he said 3D printing is now more efficient compared to when they produced the phasers a few years ago, so he estimated to “cut that time in half” if they were produced today.
The design process for Rejac's Torchbearer D’k Tahg is far more penetrating than you might think. Glenn Hetrick and Neville Page’s Alchemy Studios, the creators of the ancient, distressed blade, re-imagined the original Klingon weapons from Star Trek: The Next Generation and other Star Trek films and series to emphasize “the cultural notes from Star Trek: The Original Series’ Klingons, employing a mixture of Middle Eastern, Mongolian, and Byzantine influences to achieve the Klingon aesthetic.”
Other carefully crafted props were the Starfleet badges. To create these intricate badges, Moreira took the creation process one step further: he designed the badges to be constructed out of real metal. According to Moreira, “The badges are wax molded, then the metal is poured into the mold to create the badge; the process is exactly like traditional badge making and not at all like regular prop manufacturing.” Needless to say, these badges were designed to withstand the challenges the Starfleet crew encountered through the show.
During the creation process, Moreira was concerned about displaying rank via the badges because, Gersha Phillips, the show’s Costume Designer, was set on a homogenous look for the Starfleet uniforms. But, this was solved during his deep sleep one night: “I’d been racking my brain trying to come up with something but nothing seemed to inspire. Then one night I woke from a dream, and said, the pips are on the badge.” This subtle detail proved to be ingenious and is well-received by Star Trek fans alike.
When it comes to original Star Trek props, these are just the tip of the iceberg, with costumes and set decoration from the productions also included. But remember - the Star Trek: Discovery Seasons 1 & 2 Online Auction only runs from September 2nd to September 16th, 2021, so place your bids now! Fans can view the 200+ lot online auction, get auction updates, and read more about the event now at PropStore.com/StarTrek.
Enjoy, live long, and prosper!
Star Trek: Discovery streams on Paramount+ in the United States, airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave in Canada, and on Netflix in 190 countries.