"If you didn’t know I was in it, you’d miss me." When Rage Against The Machine legend Tom Morello turned up in Star Trek (twice!)

Tom Morello in Star Trek: Voyager
(Image credit: YouTube (Netflix))

Across his career, Tom Morello has often boldly gone where no guitarist has gone before but amongst what he would count as his coolest achievements, there can’t be much that beats the Rage Against The Machine six-stringer’s two cameo Star Trek appearances. If you’re a Trekkie, that’s the Holy Grail – you can go home, your work is done.

Morello first appeared disguised by make-up in a non-speaking part in the 1998 film Star Trek: Insurrection, but in the TV show Star Trek: Voyager, he even got a speaking part and a name – Crewman Mitchell. “I’m a huge fan of Star Trek, and through knowing one of two people, got the chance to appear in one episode of Star Trek: Voyager and was a bad guy in the film Star Trek: Insurrection,” Morello told Metal Hammer’s Malcolm Dome in 2006. “I did have some lines in the former, but none in the latter. In fact, if you didn’t know I was in it, then you’d miss me. I was so heavily made up. Am I serious about acting? Not really. My criteria are: is it Star Trek, or do I know someone involved? The actor Vince Vaughn is a friend of mine, which is how I got a part in the movie Made. I would never audition for a role.”

You might see Star Trek as a bit of frivolous sci-fi fun, but Morello sees it as something more than that. “The original Star Trek series was a social experiment on film,” he told Loudwire. “it was a harmonious picture of what the world could be.” He didn’t grow up a Trekkie, he said, rather he discovered it whilst living unemployed in Hollywood in the mid-80s. He obviously made up for lost time, and then some. Live long and prosper, Crewman Mitchell.

You can watch all things Star Trek on Paramount+ - including Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Voyager.

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Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer for The Guardian, Variety and Classic Rock, and co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former editors of Q magazine Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. Niall has written for NME, X-Ray Magazine and XFM Online and interviewed some of music’s biggest stars, including Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, St Vincent, The 1975, Depeche Mode, Radiohead and many more.