I understand why some would've liked the Valeris character to have actually been Saavik (I always thought this was simply because the actress wasn't available, or is that not the case?)
Kirstie Alley was asked, but declined.
Nicholas Meyer did not want to pursue Robin Curtis and her agent was never contacted.
Meyer went with his original
choice for Saavik: Kim Cattrall. She didn't want to be the third actress to play that character, so they created a new one. She suggested Eris as a name and designed the hairstyle and the hairband. Meyer added the Val'
prefix to the character's name. The apostrophe was gone by the final draft.