This film marks the first appearances of the Excelsior class vessel, the Oberth class vessel (namely the USS Grissom), and the Klingon bird-of-prey. The models were reused as other, similar ships in numerous episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993).
This is the first Star Trek 'episode' to be directed by a member of the Star Trek cast. Leonard Nimoy also directed Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) and William Shatner directed Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989). This would later become commonplace on the various Trek TV series: Jonathan Frakes directed Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) as well as fourteen television episodes over three Star Trek series. LeVar Burton directed twenty-nine episodes over four Star Trek series. Other Star Trek actors who went on to direct their castmates were Patrick Stewart, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Alexander Siddig, Andrew Robinson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Roxann Dawson, Robert Picardo and Tim Russ.