Majel Barrett played quite a few roles in the Star Trek franchise before her death in 2008. She was Nurse Chapel on the original series, Lwaxana Troi in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and even the second in command in the original Star Trek pilot. But her biggest role in the series was as the voice of the ship’s computer in every iteration of the franchise, aka LCARS, the Library Computer Access/Retrieval System. And it turns out Barrett might be coming back with Star Trek: Discovery.
The official Gene Roddenberry account reveals that Barrett’s posthumous return to the series is easier than we thought:
The phonetic recording is very, very important. Phenomes are, of course, the components of speech, and most virtual assistants and reconstructed dialogue rely on having them on file. Susan Bennett, the voice of Siri, didn’t record that voice for Apple; she did it for a separate project and Apple simply used those phenomes to build the voice iPhone fans know so well.
Granted, it will be fairly strange to hear the voice of someone deceased for nearly a decade coming out of the console when Star Trek: Discovery launches in 2017. But if nothing else, it’ll be a nice tribute to Barrett’s sometimes forgotten legacy on the show.