In the eternal battle of Star Wars and Star Trek fandoms, I was always a Star Wars kinda guy.  However, growing up, I did have one odd Star Trek exception in my otherwise all-Star Wars world – a read-along record book of Star Trek adventures from Power Records.

I have no clue how I wound up with a Star Trek record – maybe it was a confused relative who didn’t know the difference between Trek and Wars, maybe it was just on sale and my parents bought it to keep me entertained.  Either way, this record book got quite a few spins when I was a kid.

Beginning in 1975 and running until 1979, Power Records, an imprint of Peter Pan Records, released 11 unique Trek stories that were repackaged and reformatted for 23 different record releases over those four years.  The first seven stories were released on two LPs in 1975, then later that same year, two of those stories were released as read-along comic books.  These early stories were mostly written by Alan Dean Foster, a writer famous for movie novelizations like my beloved Star Wars, Alien, and The Last Starfighter.  Early in his career, Foster wrote 10 novels based on the scripts for Star Trek: The Animated Series, which ran on NBC from 1973 to 1974 for a total of 22 episodes.

Foster’s Power Records stories segue nicely from the Animated Series, including bringing over some of the characters that were first introduced on that show, like M’Ress, a female, feline lieutenant and Arex, a member of the Edosian species, who had three arms and three legs.  Unfortunately, Foster didn’t clear these new characters before including them, so, while they appear in the audio, their appearance had to be altered in the comic books so they didn’t run into copyright issues.

M’Ress on the animated show vs M’Ress in the Power Records comic

But these weren’t the only oddities when it comes to the Trek comics.  For whatever reason, Lieutenant Uhura, famously played by the black actress Nichelle Nichols, is portrayed in the comic as a blonde white woman.  Another oddity, Lieutenant Sulu, played by Japanese American George Takei, is seen as a black man. 

I’ve done some research and haven’t been able to get a verified reason why this happened.  Some think it could have been a likeness issue, so perhaps the comic book creators wanted to make sure there was no confusion that these were not the original actors being portrayed.  

Speaking of the comic, like most artwork for Power Records comics, the artwork is on the same level you would have seen in a Marvel or DC comic book of the era.  That’s because the artwork was handled by Continuity Comics, a comic book art studio run by Neal Adams and Nick Giordano, two well-known comic book pros who worked extensively with DC in the late-1960s and into the 70s and 80s.

Today’s Star Trek story is called Passage to Moauv and is the first track on the first Trek record released in 1975.  The original LP release did not have a read-along comic book, but was just four audio-only adventures.  There was a read-along comic book on a 45 record release of Passage to Moauv that same year.  The LP I own is from 1979 and does include the comic book adaptation. In all, Passage to Moauv was included on six different records all the way up to 1979 when Peter Pan re-issued many of these adventures to capitalize on the debut of Star Trek: The Motion Picture that same year.  

If you’d like to listen to Passage to Moauv, it’s on a recent episode of my podcast, When You Hear This Sound! Head over to to listen to the record, as well as check out photos of the accompanying comic book.

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