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    HomeEntertainmentStar Trek's Original USS Enterprise Model Emerges After 45 Years, Lawsuit Ensues

    Star Trek’s Original USS Enterprise Model Emerges After 45 Years, Lawsuit Ensues

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    The first model of the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier model and the men who created her” by Wasfi Akab is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    In what can only be described as a find that would leave even the most stoic Vulcan raising an eyebrow in intrigue, the original model of the USS Enterprise from the classic ’60s TV series “Star Trek” has reemerged from the depths of a storage locker after being lost for nearly 45 years. This story of discovery is now complicated by a lawsuit involving questions of ownership and alleged deception.

    Errata

    In the May 15 edition of TrendyDigests, a gallery titled “Star Trek’s Original USS Enterprise Model Emerges After 45 Years, Lawsuit Ensues” contained inaccurate picture about “USS Enterprise”. This error originated during the image sourcing phase, where due to key tagging consistency, the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and the USS Enterprise starship from Star Trek were placed in the same file within our image database. After the article was uploaded, technical reasons led to the incorrect image from the database overwriting the originally selected editorial image. We express our sincere apologies to all readers for the mistake and any inconvenience it may have caused. The gallery has been updated. We welcome your feedback and criticism of our work.

    NCC-1701 USS Enterprise” by -Jeffrey- is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    In October 2023, long-time friends and storage unit entrepreneurs, Dustin Riach and Jason Rivas, uncovered what they initially didn’t know was a valuable piece of television history: a 33-inch model of the USS Enterprise, a prototype for the version seen in the iconic opening credits of “Star Trek.” They found the model, created by Richard C. Datin, among various items in a storage locker in Los Angeles during a lien sale.

    NCC-1701” by vmcampos is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    After an overwhelming response to their eBay listing, Riach and Rivas realized they had a significant piece of memorabilia on their hands. With an estimated value of $800,000, they originally agreed to consign it for auction through Heritage Auctions.

    New CGI version of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise” by purpleslog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    However, according to the lawsuit, Heritage Auctions allegedly convinced the pair to sell it for $500,000 to Roddenberry Entertainment, citing a “strong claim” to the model’s title and potential legal entanglements.

    More of Enterprise Refit” by Matt_A is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment, none other than Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry Jr., son of the late Gene Roddenberry who created “Star Trek,” had expressed a keen interest in the model.

    NCC-1701 Prop” by FlugKerl2 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

    Once the transaction shifted from auction to direct sale, a new set of terms emerged, and the promised payment to Riach and Rivas was not forthcoming.

    NCC-1701” by JD Hancock is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Dale Washington, attorney for Riach and Rivas, contested that Heritage Auctions had a fiduciary duty and called the handling of the situation a case of moving “the goalposts.”

    Star Trek movie premiere: USS Enterprise model” by xeni is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Meanwhile, Heritage Auctions, through their lawyer Armen Vartian, disputed the claim of fiduciary duty, suggesting impatience on the part of Riach and Rivas and expressing confidence that the transaction would be completed.

    NCC 1701” by Agentex is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The lawsuit underscores the fierce loyalty and value placed on “Star Trek” memorabilia. The original series, despite a brief run from 1966 to 1969, has spawned a vast franchise and a dedicated fanbase.

    USS Enterprise NCC-1701” by DTrigger05 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Heritage Auctions has previously seen significant sales related to the series, including a Starfleet Communicator selling for $27,500 and Spock’s prosthetic Vulcan ear tips fetching $11,875.

    Sideshow Collectibles light-up Star Trek movie starship Enterprise model” by Doug Kline is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    The discovery of the USS Enterprise model, which had sat on Gene Roddenberry’s desk before its mysterious disappearance in the late ’70s, serves as a testament to the lasting influence of “Star Trek.”

    NCC-1701” by Ezra S F is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Rod Roddenberry himself expressed gratitude for the model’s return and intentions to share it with fans around the world, potentially in a museum setting.

    Original Star Trek Enterprise model” by Lee Bennett is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    This tale of discovery and legal dispute taps into the essence of “Star Trek” itself—a journey into the unknown, where the outcomes are as uncertain as the vast expanse of space.

    Original Star Trek Enterprise model” by Lee Bennett is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    For military tech and politics enthusiasts, who understand the strategic implications of every encounter and every piece of hardware, this saga of the original USS Enterprise is a compelling narrative of historical significance, nostalgia, and the complex dance of legal ownership.

    USS ENTERPRISE NCC 1701 #3D #print” by Howard TJ is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    As the story unfolds, one thing is certain: the legacy of “Star Trek” continues to engage new generations and reignite the imaginations of those who have long cherished its voyages.

    Relevant articles:
    Court is the final frontier for this lost ‘Star Trek’ model, Los Angeles Times
    Lost Original USS Enterprise Model From ‘Star Trek’ Returned To Gene Roddenberry’s Son, TrekMovie.com
    Original ‘Star Trek’ Enterprise Model Resurfaces Decades After It Went Missing, Smithsonian Magazine

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