(covers information from several alternate timelines)
Veridian III was the uninhabited third planet of the Veridian system, in the Beta Quadrant. Classified as M-class, the planet had three moons. Its surface contained rocky mountainous regions as well as lush vegetative areas. There were also several large bodies of water. Its ionosphere created enough interference that it was hard to penetrate by sensors. In 2371, the position and orbital path of Veridian III was illustrated in a system map displayed in stellar cartography aboard the USS Enterprise-D.
Dr. Tolian Soran used Veridian III as the final key to his plan to return to the Nexus. He established a small launching site on the planet sometime prior to 2371, needing to destroy the Veridian star to change the gravitational forces in the sector and alter the course of the Nexus to Veridian III. He obtained trilithium for his weapon from the Duras sisters, and began destroying other stars in order to alter the path of the temporal energy ribbon towards Veridian III. After discovering his plan aboard the Amargosa observatory, the Enterprise-D chased Soran to Veridian III, where Captain Jean-Luc Picard beamed down to negotiate with him.
In the meantime, the Enterprise was attacked by the Duras sisters. While they were killed when the Enterprise destroyed their ship with a photon torpedo, they inflicted enough damage to cause a coolant leak which led to a warp core breach. The saucer section was safely separated before the stardrive section exploded, but the ion shock wave from the blast left the saucer completely disabled and forced it into the atmosphere of Veridian III, where it eventually crash landed in one of the jungle regions.
Dr. Soran eventually succeeded in launching his trilithium weapon, and the resultant collapse of the Veridian star destroyed Veridian III, the Enterprise saucer section, and everything within the Veridian system. Fortunately, Picard was swept into the Nexus along with Soran, and enlisted the help of Captain James T. Kirk. The two captains returned to a few moments before Soran launched the weapon and prevented the launch, saving the Veridian system and Veridian III from destruction. Unfortunately, Kirk was killed in the attempt. Picard buried Kirk on one of the mountains in the area.
Three Starfleet ships, including the USS Farragut, a Miranda-class starship, and an Oberth-class starship, were dispatched to the planet in order to rescue Enterprise survivors. The remains of the Enterprise were left to rest on the planet. (Star Trek Generations)
|Veridian I • Veridian II • Veridian III • Veridian IV • Veridian V • Veridian VI|
Scenes set on Veridian III were filmed in the Valley of Fire in Overton, Nevada, around an hour's drive from Las Vegas.
The exact coordinates of James T. Kirk's final resting place are 36.451679, -114.498770. It is a moderately difficult hike from a nearby car park.
In the novel The Return written by William Shatner, Commander Riker returns to Veridian III to ensure that the Enterprise-D's saucer is fully recovered (to prevent its technology influencing the development of civilization on Veridian IV when its inhabitants inevitably develop space travel themselves), and also to provide transport to Spock who has come to see Kirk's grave. The saucer's remains are briefly attacked by the Borg-Romulan alliance to provide a distraction while Kirk's body is stolen, and Spock – accompanied by Riker and Deanna Troi – subsequently accesses the remaining computer data banks in the damaged saucer in an attempt to work out whether any of Kirk's old foes could have still been alive and recovered his body for some reason.
In the third issue of the IDW Publishing comic Star Trek: Spock: Reflections, Spock traveled to Veridian III after Picard sent him a message explaining what really happened to Kirk to retrieve his body and bring him back home to Earth to be buried at the Kirk family farm in Iowa.