Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trek Or Treat

Fans of War of the Worlds are in for a special Trek treat, as an airing of a classic radio show featuring several well-known Star Trek actors is available this weekend.

The L.A. Theater Works has posted their broadcast of War of the Worlds, which features Leonard Nimoy, Gates McFadden, Wil Wheaton and Brent Spiner. This War of the Worlds broadcast was directed by John de Lancie.

In addition to War of the Worlds, one can listen to Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World which follows a scientific expedition deep into the Amazon jungle and back to the time of cavemen and dinosaurs.

Finally, there is an all-new “Question and Answer” session with Leonard Nimoy, recorded before a studio audience.

listen to it here:

Star Trek DAC Coming To PS3, PC Next Month

Top-down spaceship shooter Star Trek DAC will finally make its way to the PSN and PC in November. The new versions will come with features not included in the Xbox Live Arcade release.

DAC allows two teams of up to six players to battle it out in authentic Starfleet and the Romulan Empire ships. It can be played in single-player or co-op as well. The PS3 and PC versions come with the three match types included in the 360 iteration - Team Assault, DeathMatch, Conquest - as well as a new type called Survival. Survival challenges players to last as long as they can against increasingly difficult waves of enemies.

PS3 and PC owners will also get two new ship classes - Missile Corvette and Support Frigate - to play with in addition to the original three (Bomber, Fighter and Flagship). The Missile Corvette is a slow ship with heavy weapons that excels in long-range combat. The Support Frigate can repair nearby ships and is adept at intercepting escape pods.

There's also one feature that's exclusive to the PC version: support for NVIDIA 3D Vision. Should you own those nifty goggles, you'll be able to experience the game in full stereoscopic 3D.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Kate Mulgrew Says She Haven't Seen J.J. Abrams Trek Movie Yet, Would Love to Play Admiral Janeway in a Future Star Trek Movie

Sci Fi Now posted a new interview with Star Trek Voyager star Kate Mulgrew and here are few excerpts.

The show drew some criticism for humanising the Borg over the years. Would you say that they became less effective as an adversary as the show went on?

I don't know, I mean Seven Of Nine was a very tough and powerful character to bring on board in the humanisation of the species, so maybe that softens that adversarial relationship, but I don't think in any way mitigated the horror of that final confrontation between Janeway and the Borg Queen. I don't think for one minute that when you saw the Borg Cube approaching Voyager that a terrible chill doesn't run down your spine. I think that with the Borg, resistance is futile, and in the person of Seven Of Nine, it was just a way of trying to further understanding of Roddenberry's vision.

Is there an episode that stands out for you as a favourite?

I loved ‘Death Wish', the discussion of suicide in the Continuum, because I thought that it was the first time that we really saw Janeway in a conundrum. And that's the best of Star Trek, when the dilemma is philosophical. I also loved ‘Counterpoint', where I could have a little love. I loved ‘Endgame', where I had my hand in almost every aspect of that. ‘Final Moment'... I enjoyed a lot of them. A few of them left a little something to be desired, but most of them I thought were very well done.

Have you seen the new Star Trek film?

I haven't, I imagine that I'm going to be asked that all the time! I haven't, but not for any bad reason; it's a reason of comfort. I did Star Trek myself, and I want to enjoy it when I see it, I want to be comfortable when I see it, so I'm going to wait until I can see it in my living room. I understand that both of those young men [Pine and Quinto] are extraordinary. I'm sure it's beautifully done. I just want to see it in the comfort of my home.

Would you ever consider a return to the character of Janeway?

I would, I'd love to return to Janeway! I'd love to do her in a movie, it would be great.

So if JJ Abrams came along and offered...?

I'd love to do it! I think he'd be wise to do it, don't you? He should get Picard and myself in there. I think that's a brilliant idea.

Leonard Nimoy in search of human life forms through photography

Wander around the home of Leonard Nimoy and you'll find very few mementos from all those years spent roaming the galaxy as Mr. Spock. He kept the last pair of pointy ears he wore on the classic television series, and on one wall of his bright and airy home office, there are two Hirschfeld drawings of the actor in his Starfleet uniform. But that's about it -- no movie posters, no plastic models of the good ship Enterprise, no tribbles on the mantel.

Instead, the walls and shelves reflect the passion of Leonard and Susan Nimoy for contemporary art; in fact, their collection would be envied by many gallery owners. But some of the most interesting pieces are the actor's own photography, and on Halloween night he will be at the Santa Monica Museum of Art for a one-night exhibition of selected pieces from his conceptual project "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Nimoy3 Last year, Nimoy spent two 16-hour days shooting portraits of total strangers in Northampton, Mass., who had answered a public invitation to share a glimpse of their hidden selves. He photographed 95 people and chose 25 of them for the exhibit that will go on display next summer at MASS MoCA.

"The idea was to invite people to reveal their secret selves, the self they wish to be or the self they hide from the world," said Nimoy, 78, who has been an avid photographer since his youth. "There was a measure of bravery in this by everyone involved. I had no idea what to expect. Some of the people walked in with these amazing stories, stories you couldn't anticipate or make up."

A rabbi arrived with a leather vest over his bare torso and announced that he would use the photograph to publicly acknowledge for the first time that he is gay. A middle-aged psychologist showed up in conservative clothes but toting a chainsaw, a symbol of her inner masculine power, which still goes unrecognized after years as a single woman. One heavyset woman, her voice trembling, came and dropped her robe to reveal the tattoos up and down her backside and described her secret self as "a shy whore."

One of the more striking images is a man who looks like some sort of forest spirit. He is a painter who specializes in portraits of war veterans, and to show his secret self, he applied brown body makeup, pulled on a loincloth and sprinkled tree leaves at his feet -- his desire was to avoid "war, strife and violence of all kind, and be part of nature," Nimoy said.

Nimoy1The portraits speak to the culture of Northampton, which has an active gay and lesbian community, a tilt toward academia and, apparently, a fair number of eccentric souls.

"It would be interesting to see what would happen if you solicited people -- sought them out instead of making a public invitation; it might be a difficult process, an ordeal, or it might be explosive. What would you get if you did this in a different community, such as Los Angeles? Would it be totally different? I don't know the answers to these questions."

Nimoy is a renaissance man -- he may be forever associated with the role of Spock, but he has directed six films (among them "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," "The Good Mother," "Three Men and a Baby"), written two autobiographies, published seven books of poetry and made a somewhat infamous foray into music in the late 1960s. Photography may be his true passion, though. In the early 1970s, he attended UCLA to study for a career change that would have found him behind a camera instead of in front of it.

"I thought very seriously for a brief time that I would go in a new career direction, but then I realized that commercial photography was not for me," Nimoy said. "I didn't want to photograph to fill a need or at someone else's direction. I wanted to pursue it as an art."

Nimoy2 As a young man, Nimoy was fascinated by the darkroom process and for decades he shot only black-and-white and developed all of his own prints. He took a camera with him everywhere he went. Shooting films and television productions on location, he snapped pictures of people and places across the globe.

Only once, though, did he take a photo on the set. Nimoy photographed Yul Brynner while the two were making the 1971 western "Catlow." But looking through the viewfinder, he saw the cast and crew stiffened or changed when a camera was aimed at them. Nimoy realized the camera was invasive in that setting and might undermine the trust of the actors at work.

"I never took a camera to the set again," Nimoy said.

Nimoy's photography has always been based on serendipity, but he changed his approach with "The Shekhina Project," in which he sought to study "the feminine aspect of God" by shooting portraits of women that emphasized the body and soulfulness of the gender. There was a small stir of controversy in 2005 when Nimoy published a book of the photos, many of them nude and sensual, side-by-side with commentary of Jewish scripture.

Next came "The Full Body Project: Photographs by Leonard Nimoy" in 2007, a book that collected his portraits of plus-sized women. Nimoy said that book was intended as a look at the "distance between reality and the fantasy of fashion photography where clothes are worn by women who, on average, weigh 25% less than average women."

Krxnpinc The third in his series of concept projects is the secret-self study, which was inspired by a line of mythology about Zeus splitting humans in half -- the species had four legs and two heads before the deity cleaved them down the middle. The idea that the split left humans incomplete on some level, hungry to reconnect with their other aspect, fascinated Nimoy. For the portraits, he shot in color for the first time. He spent eight to 10 minutes with his subjects, on average. The process was videotaped, and a 40-minute "making-of" movie will be screened on Halloween at the Santa Monica Museum fundraiser, which has a masquerade-ball theme. Visitors are encouraged to come dressed as their secret selves.

Nimoy said he no longer carries a camera with him, waiting for moments that present themselves; instead he found, through his latest project, some insight into his own secret self.

"This is the one that came the closest to the bone to the things that interest me," Nimoy said. "There was a certain amount of performance and direction and psychological exploration involved. There was also a lot of role-playing involved, and I've spent a considerable amount of my life doing that. What I love about the project is that anyone who sees it immediately asks themselves, 'What would my secret self be? What could I show -- what would I show?' I know people ask me what my secret self is and I have to laugh. I have no secrets left. I revealed it all a long time ago."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Constellation, Ares I-X patches designed by Star Trek artist Michael Okuda - Ares I-X

In one way, Ares I-X and the Constellation program have already gone where no NASA program has gone before: they've got what have to be the coolest mission patches in the history of manned spaceflight.

const.jpgAnd if these mission patches have a somewhat familiar feel to them — especially for you Star Trek fans out there — well, there's a good reason for that: NASA hired one of Star Trek's graphic designers to develop them.

Hawaii native Michael Okuda, who started working his way up through the Star Trek ranks with set work on the 1986 movie "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," has actually been at work for many years designing mission patches and other program patches for NASA, efforts for which he was recognized with the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal last July. The space shuttle Atlantis astronauts toiling to repair the Hubble Space Telescope in last May's STS-125 mission did so with Okuda-designed patches on their spacesuits.

"I love the style of military unit or squadron emblems," Okuda told reporter Dwayne Day in a 2008 interview for The Space Review. "That wonderful sense of bravado, since that's such a big part of NASA's culture."

That taste of military bravado is certainly evident in Okuda's Star Trek work, and there's a certain sense of it in his Constellation program patch designs as well. But the difference in tone in the Constellation designs is palpable, and reflects a purpose beyond simply conveying team pride: to instill a certain sense of wonder, a thrill of space exploration to a public being asked to buy into a new space program.

James Orry Star Trek and Transformers Xbox 360 bundles incoming

According to the latest issue of trade publication The Future, Microsoft is readying two new Xbox 360 Elite bundles.

The supplement (included with this week's edition of MCV), features a page dedicated to the Xbox 360. Two thirds of the page focuses on the newly launched Sky Player for Xbox 360 and the Sky Sports and Entertainment Pack which offers a one month subscription to Sky and Sky Sports, a Media Remote and a three month Xbox LIVE Gold subscription card.

In the final third of the page is an ad for Xbox bundles, revealing the Star Trek and Transformers 2 packs.

The Star Trek bundle includes an Xbox 360 Elite plus Star Trek the movie on a Star Trek USB stick, 800 MS Points to download "Star Trek PDLC" and an additional black Wireless Controller.

The Transformers bundle includes an Xbox 360 Elite plus Transformers 2 the movie on a Bumblebee-styled USB stick, a copy of Transformers 2 The Game and an additional black Wireless Controller.

There's no indication of pricing or if the Xbox 360 Elite features the standard 120GB hard drive or the larger 250GB variety.

Beam Me Up to This Classic ’80s Star Trek Film, Scotty

Conventional wisdom says that not only is Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan the best film in the franchise, it is also the most accessible to non-Trekkers. I was never able to test this theory until this past summer. One day in July, some friends of mine (familiar only with J.J Abrams’ popular new Star Trek film) and I (a Star Trek fan since childhood) went out to the AFI Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, and watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as part of their 1980s summer film festival.

Wrath of Khan sees an older, now “Admiral” Kirk (William Shatner) manning a desk at Starfleet Academy in San Francisco, with the Enterprise assigned a trainee crew under the leadership of Spock (Leonard Nimoy). Without a ship to command or space to explore, Kirk is beginning to feel the weight of his advancing age. Just then in the nick of time, genetically engineered supervillain Khan (Ricardo Montalban) breaks free of the barren planet where Kirk marooned him fifteen years earlier with his heart set on revenge and a weapon of unspeakable power, developed by Kirk’s old flame (Bibi Besch), who has her own beef with the Admiral. In response Kirk assembles his old crew, takes back command of the Enterprise, and sets off to defeat his embittered nemesis once and for all.

What struck me most about watching Wrath of Khan with an audience was how much laughter there was. It has been my favorite Star Trek film since I was a kid, but it was always deadly serious business. Khan spends most of the film with the upper hand, and the ending, though uplifting, is nothing resembling happy. What I could never see, which only a group of neophytes could show me, is how the film smells of 1980s cheese in the best way possible. With a title like The Wrath of Khan, what else can you expect?

Shatner gives his greatest performance as James T. Kirk, but his (at times) famously stilted delivery is bound to inspire chuckles, and his iconic, oft-parodied bellowing of, “KHAAAAAAAAAN!” has too much cultural baggage for someone not raised on the film to take seriously. Montalban is hands down the best Trek villain ever to grace any sized screen. His performance, whether he is unleashing rage or seething in resentment, exhibits a theatricality which, in its excess, is enthralling. No attempt is made to make this larger-than-life character seem less than that, and a modern audience used to more subdued performances could find Montalban’s brilliant villainy amusing at times.

All cheesiness aside, Wrath of Khan is still the greatest Star Trek movie ever made. (Uncredited) writer/director Nicholas Meyer had no familiarity with the original series when he signed on, so he brings a freshness and irreverence for this group of space-faring legends. Instead of focusing on giving audiences what they want, Meyer gives the characters what they need and succeeds at both.

Wracking Kirk with insecurity gives this often infallible hero something other than a fantastic villain to overcome. An old lover gives him more to regret about his past and compounds his midlife crisis. The friendship of the logical Spock, the emotional Dr. McCoy (Deforrest Kelley), and Kirk, comes front and center for some of the best character interaction the series has seen in its 40-plus year history. The personal stakes of the main conflict make it more engaging than the crew doing battle with a faceless machine as they had in the soporific Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Meyer also has no compunction about ending the film with the death of a main character, the most shocking and moving Star Trek moment ever shown in any medium. I won’t spoil it for those who have not seen it or live under a rock, but it isn’t too hard to figure out. (Hint: What’s the subtitle for Star Trek III?)

Of course, it’s not all character drama. This Star Trek has gripping action sequences perhaps not on the level or scope of Star Wars, but still more than suited to a character driven space opera of this kind. The special effects look dated, especially compared to J.J. Abrams’ latest entry in the franchise, but regardless they were fantastic for the time and are more than compensated for by the film’s tight pacing and strong acting. The rousing, bombastic score by James Horner is one of the composer’s best. Then at the end of it all, the defeat of a bad guy and the loss of a close friend give Kirk a new lease on his life, and the film leaves him sobbing, “I feel young.” After a ride like that, so does the audience.

As I left the theater with my friends, I had to ask the obvious question, “So which did you like better, this one or Abrams’ new one?” The vote was unanimous: Wrath of Khan all the way. It may not be new, and it may be cheesy at times, but you can’t beat a classic with a big heart and a lot of blood.

J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Trek’ Deleted Scene Brings Klingons To The Party

Another very cool part of this week’s Scream Awards on Spike TV was a deleted scene from J.J. Abrams‘ new vision of Star Trek that will appear on the movie’s DVD special features.

The scene brings the well-known Trek species known as Klingons into the mix. In the movie, the Klingons were not used and the villainous race were the Romulans and Captain Nero (Eric Bana). The deleted scene shows Nero restrained on a table while a helmed Klingon questions him and threatens to extract the information that he wants by means of a nasty little bug called a Centurion Slug that doesn’t enjoy dark, restricted areas, and will force its way out if need be. (And now we know where Nero got the idea of using said Slug for his interrogations.) Nero then finds the opportune moment and fights off his captors in an attempt to escape.

Click over to check out the deleted scene from Star Trek, which will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital download on November 17, 2009.

The scene ties together some loose ends from the movie in which viewers wondered where the hell Nero had disappeared off to for many years. Seeing the deleted scene now, you may even become more confused as to why Abrams even cut the scene out of the final product. It would not have altered anything; it wouldn’t have made it too long; and all-in-all, its deletion just doesn’t make much sense. The only reason I can personally think of is that maybe the director didn’t want the popular Klingons to take away from the status and concentration on the Romulans, who had to be the enemy in focus.

Star Trek - DVD Bonus Footage

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Win Star Trek on DVD!

To celebrate the films' release on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, Moviehole, with thanks to Paramount Home Entertainment, has 5 out-of-this-world "Star Trek" packs to giveaway. Each pack contains a copy of the "Star Trek : 2-Disc Special Edition" DVD, and a "Star Trek" leather keyring.

The greatest adventure of all time begins with "Star Trek," the incredible story of a young crew's maiden voyage onboard the most advanced starship ever created: the U.S.S. Enterprise. On a journey filled with action, comedy and cosmic peril, the new recruits must find a way to stop an evil being whose mission of vengeance threatens all of mankind. The fate of the galaxy rests in the hands of bitter rivals. One, James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), is a delinquent, thrill-seeking Iowa farm boy. The other, Spock (Zachary Quinto), was raised in a logic-based society that rejects all emotion. As fiery instinct clashes with calm reason, their unlikely but powerful partnership is the only thing capable of leading their crew through unimaginable danger, boldly going where no one has gone before!

To Win : Fill out your details below, and tell us "Which 'Alias' star appears in "Star Trek"?

Enter to win here:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rare Roddenberry/Shatner Interview Hidden On Comic Book Site

We've all heard of trying to find Easter eggs on DVDs. But how about Web sites?

Gene's Journal, the popular online comic created by Trevor Roth and drawn by David Reddick, features a young Gene Roddenberry and the tales of his adolescence that would later lead to him creating "Star Trek" -- in a fictional way of course.

Commissioned and approved by the Roddenberry family, other characters include Agent 4 and Agent 6, two aliens who are visiting Earth during Roddenberry's childhood for the purpose of studying human beings.

The hidden interview was one Gene Roddenberry did in July 1976 with William Shatner called "Inside Star Trek" that was recorded at United Western Studios in Los Angeles. It was part of a series of interviews, rarely heard, that included DeForest Kelley (Dr. Leonard McCoy) and Mark Lenard (Sarek).

The interviewers were meant as a look at the development of "Star Trek" as well as the story of Gene Roddenberry, his dreams and his difficulties.

Because "spoken word" albums such as this were typically unpopular in music stores, "Inside Star Trek" sold poorly and was not released again in the LP format. However, in 1999, Columbia re-released "Inside Star Trek" as part of the two-CD "Star Trek: The Motion Picture 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition."

In order to access the interview, visitors to the Gene's Journal site need to have a special Konami Code. It will play on both PCs and Macs (but not Linux), and once the code is entered, the screen goes dark, a retro radio appears, and Eugene Roddenberry Jr., the son of the late "Star Trek" creator and his wife Majel Barrett Roddenberry, delivers a special introductory message.

To find the interview, visit Gene's Journal at, and using your cursor keys and keyboard, type in the following code that Roddenberry Productions provided to Airlock Alpha:


Gene's Journal is one of two comic properties produced by Roddenberry Productions and Reddick, the other being the popular "Rod & Barry." Reddick, a former cartoonist for the "Garfield" comic strip line, also is known to genre fans for "The Trek Life" that once appeared on the official Star Trek Web site.

A 'Star Trek' for the Recession

Gene Roddenberry's "Star Trek" television series foresaw much of today's technology. Before you held your cellphone, underwent non-invasive surgery, or used a GPS in your car, technologies like these were used on the series. But can the franchise have meaning during the Great Recession?

One can only hope. I wrote in May about what newspapers can learn from "Star Trek" because insight often wades in the waters of creative drama. Well, I couldn't resist talking about the franchise again because CBS and Mad Science Group recently announced that in 2010 they will present "Star Trek Live" shows in theme parks and performance venues nationwide. reports that an official brochure says the shows will offer "cutting-edge special effects, unmatched audience interaction and cool science."

Cool science? Again, one can only hope. says the 60-minute shows will feature Capt. James T. Kirk and Spock interacting with the audience as Starfleet cadets during an incident where the USS Enterprise is attacked. Will this format be real-time problem solving? If joblessness in the U.S. hits 10 percent at the end of this year and hovers at 9.5 percent at the end of 2010, as some economists predict, some Americans may be quoting Spock to get them through the economic night. Really. The strategic, albeit make-believe, conversations between Kirk and Spock sorting out a galaxy-wide conundrum may inspire more change than the sluggish, bureaucratic debates in Congress.

The arts in general stir inspiration despite horrific times. During the Great Depression, for example, movie theaters became a place for entertainment and a mirror of what Americans were enduring. From the unforgettable funny scenes with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant to Henry Fonda's hollowed-out expression in "The Grapes of Wrath," movies told much-needed stories for the Depression era.

I'm not saying "Star Trek Live" will carry the lasting cachet of the 1930s movies. But could the shows appeal to our tech-laden generation, which faces widespread economic trouble -- despite technological advancements? If written and cast well, could the "Star Trek" shows become an unexpected alternative to much of American entertainment that is a slave to duplicate hospital dramas, celebrity gossip and endless reality TV?

NASA's new rocket boldy carries a little Star Trek design

The following neat story about Ares I-X comes from some stories on Robert Pearlman’s excellent website

Positioned under a large American flag decal and below the NASA insignia on the side of NASA’s Ares I-X test flight are three emblems designed for the space agency by graphic artist Mike Okuda, who is perhaps best known for his design work on the "Star Trek" television series..

As a technical consultant and scenic artist, Okuda has designed the computer displays screens, some spaceships and other technology for four TV shows and six feature films, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise. He was recognized for his work with three Emmy nominations."

Though not the first of his emblems to fly on a real spacecraft, Ares I-X will be the first vehicle to fly emblazoned with Okuda's Constellation, Ares and Ares I-X logos.

"I can't tell you how proud it makes me to help represent all the men and women who haveMike Okuda worked so hard on this program and this flight test," shared Okuda in an e-mail to collectSPACE. "Honestly, I never expected to see any of these emblems on actual flight hardware, and it was a real thrill when I first learned that they'd be on this vehicle."

While the other logos may go on to fly on other rockets, at the bottom of the line of emblems is the blue, red, yellow, gold and white insignia that Okuda specifically designed for Ares I-X.

"The emblem is an attempt to illustrate the tremendous propulsive power required for space flight," he said of his design, which features a view from below Ares I-X as it lifts off. "[It] is intended to resemble the Ares project logo. However, the Ares I-X mission patch uses a circular background shape, to distinguish it from the rounded triangle used for the various [other] Constellation program emblems."

You can read more about Okuda at and on Wiikipedia.

ReprintPrint Email Font Resize 'Star Trek' exhibit beams into San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation

For more than four decades — from the debut of the original TV series in 1966 to director J.J. Abrams' wildly successful reboot of the franchise this past summer — "Star Trek" has explored strange new worlds and sought out new life and new civilizations while boldly going where no sci-fi franchise has gone before.

Over those 43 years, covering five television series and 11 theatrical films, it has become firmly embedded in American popular culture. Not even the occasional lapse in its grip on the fanboy nation — the last "Trek" TV show went off the air four years ago, and the 2002 film "Star Trek: Nemesis" was such a box office dud that it put the next franchise film on ice for seven years — could diminish its long-running impact on the world of science fiction.

Now — with perfect timing, given the blockbuster status of the new "Star Trek" — an extensive exhibit of all things "Star Trek" has beamed into San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation. Spread over more than 15,000 square feet of space, "Star Trek: The Exhibition" features some 200 props, costumes and other artifacts representing all of the series and films, as well as carefully designed and constructed replicas of sets such as the bridge of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (the Kirk-Spock one).

You'll also find a couple of motion simulators: one replicating a space shuttle, the other a starship escape pod (Red alert: This one is


not for those with sensitive stomachs). There's even a tabletop computer programmed by Microsoft to let museumgoers take the famous Kobayashi Maru test that Captain James T. Kirk beat in his Starfleet Academy years.

While Tech Museum officials hope the exhibit will attract both fans and newcomers, it helps if you know at least a little about the "Trek" world before venturing into the exhibition (or, for that matter, catching the latest movie, which will be screening at the museum's Imax theater). So here is a rundown of the coolest don't-miss items at the show:

The entrance

The first room of the exhibit is set up as kind of introduction to "Star Trek." It includes detailed scale-model replicas of all the starships, from the Phoenix, Zefram Cochrane's first warp-drive vessel ("Star Trek: First Contact"), to the Enterprise-E (the three "Trek" films before the latest).

But the real treat is an array of costumes and props from various shows and films. There are phasers, communicators (the inventors of the cell phone copied the design of the original ones) and Dr. Leonard McCoy's medical equipment (a number of which look as if they started life as salt and pepper shakers, which they did). A personal favorite: a Tribble from one of the original TV show's greatest (and funniest) episodes, 1967's "The Trouble with Tribbles."

The bridge

Just off the entrance is a replica of the bridge on the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, which exhibit organizers say is the prime photo op for most visitors. The circular bridge was built by set designers (many of whom worked on the films and TV shows) from the original designs. And, yes, the bridge in the original TV series really was this retro and really looked this cheap close up. Remember that the magic of special effects was then in its infancy, and computer-generated animation was years away. But take a seat in Kirk's chair; it doesn't require much imagination for you to feel in command.

The corridor

From the bridge you step into a saucer corridor, circa "Star Trek: Next Generation." Be sure to check out the schematics on the wall to your left. When the corridor was replicated, the set builders included all the in-jokes from the original designs. In the schematic of the Enterprise, for example, look for a duck, a rat and other weird little visuals sprinkled throughout the design.

To your right is Capt. Jean-Luc Picard's ready room from "Next Gen." The exhibit folks have added all kinds of details, including the captain's phaser, a painting given him by Data (who went through a painting period to become more human), Picard's Ressikan flute, a wedding photo of Will Riker and Deanna Troi and a bottle of Chateau Picard wine, made at the Picard family winery.

Next to the ready room is a replica of a transporter room, loaded with props like tricorders. The coolest thing is that you can step onto the platform and, on a video screen in front you, see yourself being transported. Be nice to Scotty, and he'll beam you up.

The Guardian

The next room is given over largely to time travel, a recurring theme in the "Star Trek" canon. The dominant exhibit is a full-scale replica of the Guardian of Forever — the time portal from one of the original TV series' most famous episodes, 1967's "City on the Edge of Forever." Written by noted sci-fi author Harlan Ellison (although revised enough that Ellison once threatened to take his name off it), the episode sent Kirk, Spock and McCoy back to the days before World War II, where McCoy changes history (the Nazis win) by saving the life of a peace activist.

Of course, Kirk and Spock save the day, and the Guardian is able to pronounce, "Time has resumed its shape. All is as it was before." That prop also offered the Enterprise team the opportunity to travel through time — to which Kirk replied, "Let's get the hell out of here."

Also worth a look is a wall devoted to the most famous "Trek" time-travel episodes, including two of my favorites, "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" (the Enterprise shows up in modern times and is mistaken for a UFO) and "Yesterday's Enterprise" (one of the best "Next Generation" episodes).

Shooting models

Even as special effects improved over the years, "Star Trek" still relied heavily on "shooting" models of its various spacecraft. (The first film done completely with computer-generated animation was the most recent.) These models (they're originals, not replicas) are scattered throughout the display. One of the most notable — a Borg cube from "First Contact" — is included in the time travel room.

In the last exhibit room, there are a number of other models, including one of the NCC-1701-D, which was the first "Next Generation" Enterprise. It famously crashed on Veridian III in "Star Trek: Generations."

Also worth a look in the final room of the show: costumes from the latest "Star Trek," set in the days when Kirk and Spock were students in Starfleet Academy. This is the first time artifacts from that film have been part of the exhibition.

'Star Trek: The Exhibition'
  • When: Through Jan. 3 (may be held over); 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thanksgiving weekend and Dec. 19-Jan. 3
  • Where: Tech Museum of Innovation, 201 S. Market St., San Jose
  • Tickets: $25 adults, $22 students, $19 children 3 to 17; 408-294-8324,

    'Star Trek' wins Hollywood Movie Award

    J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" walked off with the Hollywood Movie Award at the 13th annual Hollywood Film Festival's awards ceremony, which took place Monday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

    The prize was determined by online voting at the Yahoo! Movies Web site, where more than 160,000 votes were cast.

    The ceremony's World Award, chosen by a panel of judges, went to Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon."

    At a separate ceremony Sunday night at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood, the fest handed out its Discovery Awards.

    Kim Tae-kyun's "Crossing" was named best feature film, while Mai Iskander's "Garbage Dreams" was singled out as best documentary. Other winners were: Todd Berger's "Scenesters," comedy; Andrew Zimbelman's "Stories from the Perch," animation; Stephen Huff's Lambs," short subject; and Brian Thompson "As I Lay Daying -- The Sound of Truth," music video.

    At the Monday awards gala, the fest doled out honors to Robert De Niro, Hilary Swank, Christoph Waltz, Julianne Moore, Jeremy Renner, Carey Mulligan, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Melanie Lynskey, Zachary Quinto, Paul Schneider, and Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe for acting, Bradley Cooper for comedy, Kathryn Bigelow and Lee Daniels for directing; Ryan Kavanaugh for producing; Nora Ephron, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for screenwriting; "Up," directed by Pete Docter, for animation; Alexandre Desplat for film composing; Roger Deakins for cinematography; Dana Glauberman for editing; Scott Farrar ("Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen") for visual effects; Rick Carter for production design; and Colleen Atwood for costume design.

    More awards coverage
    The Hollywood Humanitarian Award was presented to Father Rick Frechette for his devotion to the medical needs of children in the Caribbean and around the world.

    'Star Trek' wins Hollywood Movie Award

    Robert De Niro, Julianne Moore pick up acting prizes

    By Gregg Kilday

    Oct 27, 2009, 04:22 PM ET

    J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" walked off with the Hollywood Movie Award at the 13th annual Hollywood Film Festival's awards ceremony, which took place Monday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

    The prize was determined by online voting at the Yahoo! Movies Web site, where more than 160,000 votes were cast.

    The ceremony's World Award, chosen by a panel of judges, went to Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon."

    At a separate ceremony Sunday night at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood, the fest handed out its Discovery Awards.

    Kim Tae-kyun's "Crossing" was named best feature film, while Mai Iskander's "Garbage Dreams" was singled out as best documentary. Other winners were: Todd Berger's "Scenesters," comedy; Andrew Zimbelman's "Stories from the Perch," animation; Stephen Huff's Lambs," short subject; and Brian Thompson "As I Lay Daying -- The Sound of Truth," music video.

    At the Monday awards gala, the fest doled out honors to Robert De Niro, Hilary Swank, Christoph Waltz, Julianne Moore, Jeremy Renner, Carey Mulligan, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Melanie Lynskey, Zachary Quinto, Paul Schneider, and Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe for acting, Bradley Cooper for comedy, Kathryn Bigelow and Lee Daniels for directing; Ryan Kavanaugh for producing; Nora Ephron, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for screenwriting; "Up," directed by Pete Docter, for animation; Alexandre Desplat for film composing; Roger Deakins for cinematography; Dana Glauberman for editing; Scott Farrar ("Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen") for visual effects; Rick Carter for production design; and Colleen Atwood for costume design.

    The Hollywood Humanitarian Award was presented to Father Rick Frechette for his devotion to the medical needs of children in the Caribbean and around the world.

    Klingon Propaganda and Star Trek 2

    With the cast of J.J. Abrams successful reboot of the Star Trek universe ready to get back into character (Zoe Saldana talks Star Trek 2), it's inevitable that fans are looking for any clue about the second films plot. This week an animated short is making the rounds on the web, and has everyone thinking that perhaps this is viral marketing for the next 'Trek'.

    Clocking in at 1min 52 seconds, the mini-flick gives fans of the Trek universe a taste of Klingon propaganda, a la Dr. Strangelove and Starship Troopers. Fans have already jumped the gun, suggesting the clip is a clue to the next film, while others believe it may be viral marketing for a new Animated series.

    It's more than likely that this little gem of fandom could be the work of a really talented 'Trekkie'. The animation has been credited to Bad Monkey Studios and according to Klingon language experts, the clip directs viewers to a website: tlhingan(dot)com.

    Bad Monkey Studios is also the talent behind the 2008 Star Trek parody " Don't Deport Me Scotty".

    Monday, October 26, 2009

    Star Trek begins IMAX run on Thursday

    Dress up as your favourite Star Trek character, and get ready for the ultimate galactic journey on Thursday for the highly anticipated launch of Star Trek: The IMAX Experience.

    Fans and moviegoers of all ages are invited to the launch party which will be held at 7 p.m. in the CTV Atrium at Science North for the first screening of the movie during it's limited one-month run.

    The launch will include hors d'oeuvres, and a cash bar for the price of $25 (plus GST), and the chance to show off your best costumes.

    Don't miss this virtual treat onboard the U.S.S. Enterprise and experience the action in a way that only IMAX can deliver. With proprietary IMAX DMR technology, which includes crystal clear images, laser-aligned digital sound and maximized field of view to provide the world's most immersive movie experience.

    The Star Trek epic begins with the story of a young crew's maiden voyage onboard the most advance ship ever created. The new recruits must find a way to put an end to an evil being's mission of vengeance and save all of mankind. Bitter rivals James Kirk (Chris Pine), a delinquent farm boy, and Spock (Zachary Quinto), a man raised in a logic based-society that rejects emotion, must form a partnership in order to lead their crew through unimaginable danger. As fiery instinct clashes with calm reason, this surprisingly powerful duo will go boldly where no one has ever gone before.

    Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment present this unforgettable journey in the most remarkable film format in the world.

    Tickets for the event will be available online at or by calling (705) 523-IMAX (4629). For showtimes and the Star Trek movie trailer you may visit the website.

    Exclusive : Marina Sirtis Addresses Her Opinion on the Next Generation Movies and J.J. Abrams Star Trek Movie, Talks Future Projects

    In this exclusive interview, TrekWeb talks to Star Trek The Generation actress Marina Sirtis, in which she talks about her opinion on the TNG movies, the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie and more. Here is the interview :

    Ms Sirtis, how do you feel to be involved in such an event as the Astronaut Autograph Show this November ?

    I do a lot of autograph shows but I must admit that this one is special as we don't often get the chance to meet real astronauts, the people we are emulating on Star Trek. Being afraid of heights, I have never wanted to go into space but I have nothing but the greatest admiration for the brave people who do so.

    Lets talk about the Star Trek movies. There was Generations, and then there was First Contact, then Insurrection and then Nemesis. How do you feel about them?

    My favorite of all the movies was First Contact. I thought it was a great script and loved being directed by Jonathan. The others I liked in varying degrees but it was always a joy working with my lovely cast. After the series ended I think we all looked forward to working together again.

    What is your opinion about J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot ?

    I think JJ and the actors did an amazing job. I went to the premiere with Jonathan and it was so exciting to feel the buzz surrounding another Star Trek movie. At times like that, one can't help but feel proud to be involved in a franchise that has so successfully endured for over 40 years.

    You recorded the commentary with Jonathan Frakes for the new release of Insurrection on DVD and Blu-Ray, plus a few new interviews as well, including a special feature entitled Reunion with the Rikers, again with Mr Frakes. Did you enjoyed ? It was fun ?

    I had never done a commentary before and I was surprised at how much fun it was. Jonathan and I had a hoot. We basically commented on everything including the hairstyles! I hope the fans enjoyed it as much as we did.

    Finally, tell us about your future projects, such as the sci-fi movie Doomsday and your role as a greek protistute in The Cleveland Show.

    I was thrilled to be asked to be in Doomsday as the part I played, Paxton, was written for a man. I had worked with the director, Nick Lyon, On Grendel and it was his idea to cast me. The film is about particle colliders and while we were filming they activated the real one in Switzerland. Talk about life imitating art!

    31 North 62 East, a political thriller just opened in the UK and Otis E is going to be shown at the LA film festival next week.
    One of my favorite projects, Green Street 2:Stand Your Ground is available on DVD.

    TrekWeb wants to thanks Ms Sirtis for her kindness and her time to writing this brief interview. Thank you.

    Star Trek Online Preview

    Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek is on the rise again. The science fiction franchise got a major push over the summer, between the release of Star Trek D.A.C for Xbox Live Arcade and J.J. Abrams' blockbuster Hollywood remake. Now the series goes warp one into the deep reaches of massively multiplayer online gaming, withStar Trek Online set for a 2010 release.

    Players entering the Star Trek universe take control of their own ship, along with its respective crew. You'll be able to choose from a number of ranking officers, including Starfleet and Klingon. Personally, we'd go with the Klingons, since they talk like they're about to spit phlegm with each syllable.

    Over the course of each episode, you'll engage in a number of missions, both in space and on the surface of new planets. You'll explore for new signs of life while occasionally fighting hostiles, showing them whose boss with photon cannons and phasers.

    While aboard the vessel, you'll interact with a number of crewmembers, briefing them on the mission at hand while keeping your ship in one piece. No word yet if any specific characters from the series will make an appearance, but they will be referred to throughout the game. Besides, it wouldn't be Star Trek if we didn't hear about Spock.

    Star Trek Online's combat system breaks down into two parts. The first involves your team visiting planets, using run and gun combat to defeat enemies. The other portion is much deeper, as you strategically move and place your starships through real-time tactical planning. Capital ships play a huge part in these scenarios, and you'll need to constantly shift power back and forth between offense and defense. First, you'll put everything you've got into bulking up your weapons, then turn it around and put your shields at maximum.

    As you establish your fleet, you'll expand it by utilizing a proposed Galactic Economy system. You'll be able to pool your resources and recruit new members for your team, while also creating new installations, such as space stations, mining platforms, shipyards and much more. The more you have, the stronger you become. Just make sure you don't put too much of your resources into one thing.

    Being an MMO, Star Trek Online will feature heavy multiplayer interaction. You'll work alongside others in co-op, taking orders from Central Command and scheduling meet-ups to talk battle tactics and other things. You can also fight against renegade forces, during both planet exploration and in tremendous space battles. It's time to prove who's the best race: Starfleet or Klingon. (What, no room for the Romulans?)

    Thankfully, the game has a vast universe. Exploration is part of the fun, being able to track down and discover new planets to log with your federation. You'll find new life forms, follow side stories and perhaps even leave your historic mark for other Star Trek users to see. Well, either that, or you could just goof off with Vulcans for a few hours. It's your call.

    rom what we've seen thus far, Star Trek Online is a spectacular-looking game. You feel like you're being thrust headfirst into Roddenberry's universe as each battle unfolds, with starships zipping by and floating asteroids and space clouds appearing in the distance. The interior stuff is excellent too, with plenty of explorable rooms, interactive characters (mostly NPCs, but you may run into a colleague or two) and the classic "whooshing" doors.

    Overall, Star Trek Online has a lot going for it, and should be an outstanding addition to your PC library once it releases next year. Cryptic Studios currently hosts a closed beta for the game at the Star Trek Online web page, so head over there and see if you can join the party. Set phasers to "stunning".

    Star Trek onesies for young nerdlings

    While scores of parents the world over may worry endlessly about the distinct possibility of their children growing up nerdly, I say get ‘em started early with stuff like these Star Trek onesies.

    Nerdy kids are smart, they develop loyal friendships, and they laugh hysterically at various factoids and inside jokes that most of the rest of society will never understand. Plus if you happen to be around during your freshman year of college for the first time a nerd gets drunk, don’t walk away. Picture child-like wonderment mixed with double-jointed limb flailing and uproarious laughter, and you’ve got the makings of a good night.

    As for these onesies, they’re available in several styles and sizes for $16.

    Next ‘Star Trek’ movie to “go deeper and maintain fun and adventure”

    Don’t get too used to saying “Star Trek 2″ to your buddies. J.J. Abrams isn’t keeping that name.

    The Star Trek director recently said in an interview that the next installment in the venerable sci-fi series will “go deeper” into its story. “The second one has an obligation to go deeper and maintain the fun and adventure in the sense of optimism and scale that ['Trek' originator Gene] Roddenberry created,” Abrams said. “But I do think it has to evolve and not become some polemic over-the-top, on-the-nose allegory,” he continued on explaining his grounds. “It needs to be something that is not just about the characters meeting each other and having their first adventure; it needs to be about having their most meaningful one.”

    When the Lost co-creator was asked if the next Trek will be called Star Trek 2, he responded, “I think we can’t really do that, right? I don’t know what you’d call it. It’s a good question. I’m not sure.”

    Paramount has secured original writing duo Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, along with Damon Lindelof, to begin work on the script for the next Star Trek which is rumored to be presented in 3D. No official word on that yet.

    Star Trek was arguable the best movie from the summer of 2009. In addition to rave reviews, the film made a whopping $383 million worldwide.

    Terilynn's Trek: Thoughts On Star Trek Cruise, 'Star Trek XII'

    Could the announced delay of new film actually be a good sign?

    I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in airport bars or airline clubs. The good part about that happenstance is the fact that I can whip out the laptop and begin to type my column when I tend to get what I call “The Wave.”

    "The Wave" is that brainload of ideas and stuff that sometimes builds up and then begs to be let out.

    As some of you know, The Husband and I participated in the Star Trek Cruise organized by, and attended by several Trek celebrities from "Star Trek: Voyager," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Star Trek: Enterprise" – specifically, Chase Masterson, Garrett Wang, Anthony Montgomery and Gary Graham.

    We. Had. A. Blast.

    As I sat in Los Angeles International Airport after disembarking from the ship realizing it had taken me awhile to figure out just exactly what I want to say about the experience. That was until I reviewed it briefly with some friends at breakfast in San Pedro that morning and heard myself talking about the trip.

    What surprised me was what I heard myself saying. What I truly loved about this voyage wasn’t the ability to sit next to, be around, or merely gawk at Trek actors – it was the pure and rather raw celebration of human creativity and how that related directly with the “soul of Trek.”

    What I came away with wasn’t just an autograph or two and feeling like another number in the crowd, but the feeling of being truly honored to be able to share in what these wonderful people willingly offered to a very small group of fans.

    I have yet to meet one single Trek performer who hasn’t had that deep-seeded need to perform and create, but these people were so obviously excited to share that we couldn’t help but get caught up in it all. Discussions, sometimes heated and zealous, started on the very first night of the cruise and the one thing we all seemed to have in common was enthusiasm.

    This was the first Star Trek Cruise put on by this particular entity. Yes, being the first effort revealed that not everything was perfect and some organizational things were unfortunately kind of crazy; but in a way, those quirky imperfections only added to the absolute charm of it. The group consisted of about 25 people total, including the celebrities. Talk about an intimate experience!

    On the first morning of the 7 day adventure to the Mexican Riviera, the group was informed that a couple of attendees had unfortunately missed the ship’s departure from Los Angeles’ San Pedro Harbor due to bad weather at their origination point. We were then told that they would be flying to Cabo San Lucas to meet our ship on the following day.

    No less than three hours after breakfast, the captain of our ship made a very unusual announcement … we would be forced to pass by Cabo San Lucas and shift its position in the itinerary due to Tropical Storm Patricia which was moving directly upon our intended destination.

    We all wondered – would the missing couple just scrub it all and go home?

    As we spent our second day at sea, the poor couple made it to Cabo only to be told that they would have to fly on to Mazatlan to catch the ship. And here’s the thing – everyone – and I mean everyone in the Trek group felt absolutely horrible for missing them.

    We arrived in Mazatlan on Day 3 of the cruise and thankfully, the couple boarded the ship (after several more humorous stories which I will leave for them to tell in what can only be a script-in-waiting) and they joined the family.

    And that’s exactly what this felt like – a family. Trek people, whether they be performers, fans, producers, writers – whatever – are the most peculiar family. We all share an admittedly bizarre affection for a set of television shows and movies, and just when I think there must be something terribly wrong with me for enjoying the show so much, I am smacked right upside the head with the reminder – Trek people love the show and continue to love the genre because it always holds true to a core belief that Trek celebrates what's best in humanity.

    This subject became the focus of a lot of our group’s discussions revolving around J. J. Abrams’ new "Star Trek" film. Not too surprisingly for a small group of devoted fans, a lot of people felt the same way I did – it was a good first effort to bring in new fans, but it can’t be considered a true-to-heart Trek film.

    Many, if not all of us felt like too much of Trek’s “soul” was missing. While all of us were willing to give Abrams and his writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman one more chance at getting it right, some of us weren’t sure whether or not the men really “get it.”

    So imagine my smile when yesterday I read here at Airlock Alpha that Orci and Kurtman announced that we will likely have to wait until 2012 for the 12th installment in the Trek film library.

    After browsing a few Trek forums after this announcement, I found some speculation among the die-hard fans that Orci and Kurtzman may be taking their time with this script for a very, very good reason – namely – they literally can’t afford to screw this one up.

    Many fans, including me, were barely able to stomach the plotholes and underdeveloped script in order to make room for the lens flares, lingerie shots and explosions in the last film. So those of us that felt that way are standing by with guarded skepticism wondering if these two men actually have it in them to create a film that really does speak to the real soul of Star Trek.

    After the announcement there appears to be hope that maybe, just maybe, Orci and Kurtman might actually realize they have to write a compelling and indelible story for their next venture, or risk losing not just the new fans, but the majority of existing Trek fans as well.

    Frankly, judging by their other work on "Transformers," "Mission: Impossible III," etc., I’m not so sure they have it in them. If they’re wise, I believe they should hire new writers and stick to their roles as executive producers and increase their chances of creating a real Trek film that can appeal to everyone, Trekkie and non-Trekkie alike.

    If they do have it in them, they’d better come up with it now because "Star Trek XII" may very well be the last Trek film made if it doesn’t exceed the last film’s take, or worse, the fans’ heightened expectations.

    If they can pull it off, then there’s hope that 40 years from now another group of people will get together to travel and talk about how "Star Trek XII" inspired them to be astronauts, linguists, writers, actors, filmmakers, singers, lawyers, nurses, doctors, engineers, technicians, astronomers, and just better humans in general.

    I don’t need to go on about what the performers said or did on the cruise. I don’t need to post photos or a video in the article. I got to listen to people talk about their experiences creating – and I can’t begin to tell you how inspiring that is.

    When a person gets a glint in their eye when they talk about a new project or reminisce about their time on a show, and they really, truly talk about it with affection, you can’t help but get a little bit of the schmaltz to rub off on you. That’s where I’m at.

    I can’t wait to write a little more, watch a little more DS9 and get a few pictures framed for the office, and I am really, really, really excited to immerse myself once again in the genre that somehow continues to give me such immense pleasure to play in and about.

    I want to thank Gary Graham, Anthony Montgomery, Garrett Wang, Chase Masterson, Sky Conway, James Kerwin, Jennifer, Bettina, and every single Trek fan who attended the cruise. I hope and wish that you all find success in everything you do and if you don’t mind me geeking out for just a bit (although I know you don’t) …

    … live long and prosper.

    Star Trek Explores The Tech

    View more news videos at:

    Starting this Friday, October 23, for a limited engagement both techies and Trekkies alike will boldly go through Star Trek: The Exhibition at the Tech Museum in San Jose. Star Trek icon George Takei, who played Lt. Sulu, beamed into the Bay Area to promote this exhibition of over 200 artifacts from the past 40 plus years of film and TV.

    “Well seeing this exhibit is humbling because this is something that we participated in originally,” says Takei, adding, “now for it to be a museum exhibit, with the people who were not born at that time being active fans makes us very, very grateful for the fan following.”

    Takei also explains how the exhibition represents so much more than just paying homage to television and the movies. “I think what Star Trek did… it inspired people, it galvanized young people to imagine what the future can be, a better future, a more exciting future and one that hopefully will be more peaceful,” he says.

    The Tech will also present ‘Star Trek: The IMAX Experience’ in conjunction with the exhibition, featuring the latest Star Trek film.

    Star Trek 2: Rumour Round-up

    There's been a lot of gossip lately about the hotly anticipated sequel to Star Trek, with talent behind the film doing press for the movie's imminent DVD and Blu-ray release. We were finding it hard to keep track of all the Trek-chatter, so we decided to condense what we've learnt into one handy round-up of all that we know about Star Trek 2 so far.

    The Story

    In short, no one attached to the film knows what the story of Trek 2 will be and which villains it will involve. Or if they do, they're not saying. This hasn't stopped the writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, director/producer JJ Abrams and even actor Leonard Nimoy talking around possible plot-points for the movie. Some of the ideas that will shape the script for Trek 2 seem to be:

    1) Keeping it mainstream. Says Kurtzman: "Whatever the final movie ends up being, I know it will be something that on its own terms and be something that you don't need to know and study Star Trek to get." In short; making sure it's accessible to non-Trekkies.

    Expect more character development for the expanded crew of the Enterprise in Trek 2.

    2) Going deeper into the characters. One of the issues IGN had with Trek was that, Kirk and Spock apart, the supporting cast were somewhat lightweight - there simply wasn't enough time to go deeply into their relationships. Apparently this is the plan for Part 2. "I think that it is the job of the next film to go a little bit deeper," said Kurtzman. "Not to be any less fun, not to sort of take itself too seriously, but to consider now who these people are and to sort of grow with them and, and just examine maybe a little bit more closely."

    3) Most tantalisingly, Orci has also said that he's been re-reading many of the Trek novels and fan-fiction for further plots: "I'm starting to re-immerse myself again in what's come before."

    We are the Borg?

    Could this include plots from The Next Generation, or more specifically, fan-favourite organic-assimilating villains The Borg. Again, it's a possibility. Orci told Coming Soon: "I think we would think about it, because we do love The Next Generation." Kurtzman meanwhile said: "it is on the table" though ideas from the original series have priority.

    "Khan is out there..."

    One mooted plotline that would surely get fans excited is the re-introduction of Khan Noonien Singh - the iconic baddie from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Back in August, Abrams addressed the rumour, saying: "It'll be fun to hear what [scripters] Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob [Orci] are thinking about Khan... [Khan and Kirk] exist... Certain people are destined to cross paths and come together, and Khan is out there ... even if he doesn't have the same issues."

    Kurtzman meanwhile also admitted to thinking about the mad super-genius, but said that it would be who's most appropriate for Kirk and Spock that decides which villain they eventually choose. "How do we want to test them...Who would be the best foe?"

    Social Commentary

    Back in September Orci said that they would want to reflect present day issues in Trek 2, maybe even a 'war-on-terror' Klingon storyline. The writer cleared this up recently.

    "The torture thing was just a for instance," Orci explained. "We're not doing a story about...Guantanamo Bay. But now that we've established the characters, we can have a more philosophical allegory where what's happening in the future represents our world. Like the best versions of it in the '60s did, represented racial equality, progressive issues." So don't expect any heavy-handed political allegories in the next movie. A good thing, no?

    Abrams loves Shatner. So do we.

    Will Shatner Return?

    A big part of the story for Star Trek was the time-travelling plot, which saw Leonard Nimoy return as an older version of Spock and go back to meet his younger incarnation. (Spoiler Alert) The writers said that after Nero's time-travelling device was destroyed at the end of the movie, there would be no more hopping back-and-forth through the decades, ("we're stuck with this universe we're in now."), effectively ruling out further appearances for former cast members.

    However there's been recent speculation (from Cinnematical) that Nimoy and possibly William Shatner could return. Beginning with the former Captain Kirk, JJ Abrams has said that he's already opened a dialog with Shatner about appearing in the next instalment.

    "I would love to figure out something" he said. Apparently now they've done the job of introducing the new cast, it gives the writers more scope to get Shatner involved. "Maybe there's less of a burden and there's going to be more opportunity to work with him again. I would love to work with him."

    This could also leave the door open for Nimoy to don pointy ears once more, but the actor himself is not convinced, telling us: "I frankly doubt that I will be called upon again. I think I was useful in his last film to help bridge between the original characters, the original actors, and the new cast. I don't see, at the moment, why they would need me in the next film." Having done such a good job rebooting the story initially, we reckon bringing back one or both of the old guard would be an odd decision, but who knows?

    Back-to-back Trek

    Moving away from possible storylines, there's also been chat lately about various behind-the-scenes aspects of the sci-fi sequel.

    One such rumour was that a second and third Trek movie would be shot back-to-back (like the Matrix sequels) and would follow-on directly from one another. It seems Orci is certainly thinking about it, telling us that there is more than enough Star Trek material for a two-part story. "It happens to cross your mind, but we're not leaning one way or the other yet."

    The Release Date

    When the sequel was announced (a month before the original came out) in the trades, a summer 2011 release date was mooted. However with JJ Abrams now definitely attached to Mission: Impossible IV, the date could be pushed back to 2012.

    JJ Abrams might not direct Star Trek 2.

    Trek in 3-D?

    Another tantalising rumour we heard recently was the possibility that Star Trek 2 would be shot in 3-D. Abrams hasn't made a decision yet, but wont rule it out.

    "It's funny, Paramount talked to me about doing the first one in 3-D and having it only be my second film I was petrified," Abrams admitted. "I thought that it would be another dimension of pain in the ass. I thought it would be like, 'Oh, my God. I just want to make a decent 2-D movie.' I was so worried that instead of it being a decent 2-D movie, it would be a bad 3-D one. But I'm open to looking at it because now I feel a little more comfortable and if, in fact, I direct the sequel of our Star Trek film, 3-D could be really fun. So I'm open to it."

    Will Abrams Direct?

    Hang on, let's time travel back to the previous quote. "...if, in fact, I direct the sequel". That means that the big man hasn't even fully committed to direct the next film (although he'll definitely produce). Maybe Mission: Impossible IV commitments (see above) would mess with his schedule. Either way, the possibility of another helmer at the bridge of the franchise is perhaps the most terrifying Star Trek rumour to have emerged so far.

    3-D Lenticular Star Trek Review

    Roddenberry Productions introduced a new Star Trek product at Comic Con this summer and for those who enjoy art, the three lenticular prints of Star Trek ships are a “must have.”

    Adam “Mojo” Lebowitz, co-creator of the original Ships of the Line calendar series, thought it would be a great idea to use lenticular printing to make hi-resolution, lenticular 3-D art. Three different ships were chosen: the USS Enterprise 1701 (no bloody A,B,C or D!), the most recent Enterprise from Star Trek XI, and for Star Trek: The Next Generation fans, a shot of the Enterprise-E and a Borg Cube from Star Trek: First Contact.

    Most people are familiar with lenticular images. Two or more separate images are used when making a lenticular image, with each image first being cut into strips using a computer graphics program, and then the strips being joined together, or interlaced, by alternating strips from the first and second images. Then, a transparent plastic layer is put on top of the new image. The plastic layer is made of separate ridges called lenticles. Half of the lenticles lean to the left, half to the right and overall, they will alternate left, right, left, right. The finished product will therefore show one image when one views the image from the left, and a different image when one looks from the right.


    The three Star Trek ships are crisp and sharp, and simply spectacular. No 3-D glasses are needed to view the 3-D effects of these photos. Beginning with the Enterprise 1701, as any old-school fan would, one notices immediately that the saucer part of the ship seems to jump off of the image, with two blue phaser shots arcing off to the right. The right-most nacelle emphasizes the depth, being behind the saucer and a close observation of the starfield shows stars in different layers of space, further emphasizing the depth.


    Next up is the Enterprise rising up from Saturn. In this exquisite shot, it really DOES appear that the ship is rising up from the planet and coming out of the print into the room. One can almost touch the ship. The seemingly semi-transparent rings of Saturn are on the left side of the image, at a different angle in the background behind the ship, which enhances the perception of depth. The mass of Saturn, with golden bands of color, shimmers on the right side of the image.


    The Star Trek: First Contact image has several layers of depth to it, beginning with a blue Earth and a starfield in the background. The Earth is detailed, with a small band of atmosphere, and colorings that hint at land masses and bodies of water beneath clouds.

    The next layer on the First Contact image is that of an enormous Borg Cube. There are various spots on the Cube that are lit, hinting at the life inside of the Cube. The upper right part of the Borg Cube is lighter in color and the intricate detail of the outside of the Borg Cube can be clearly seen. A green energy beam emerges from the upper part of the Borg Cube and appears to get closer to the viewer as it reaches the bottom left side of the image.

    Finally, the last layer of the First Contact image is that of the Enterprise-E itself. One of the nacelles, its underside lit in green, appears to be coming out of the image into the room towards the viewer.

    Those who purchase these images will face a dilemma. The automatic impulse is to have all three framed as they are beautiful prints that would grace any room. But each image has something on the back too; starship schematics, tactical displays and archival information.

    The set of three lenticular prints sells at for $39.95 for the set. Each print sells individually for $14.95. To get a sense of how they would look in 3-D, pick up a pair of 3D glasses and head over to Darth Mojo’s blog.

    Sunday, October 25, 2009

    Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman Say Star Trek XII is About Digging Deeper into the Characters, Talk Spock and Uhura Romance

    IGN posted a new interview with Star Trek writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and here are few excerpts.

    IGN: I have to throw in the requisite pulling teeth Trek sequel question.

    Orci: [Laughs]

    IGN: You mentioned that you ended up with more time to write it then you first expected. Has that allowed you to take a step back and not have to rush anything?

    Orci: Yeah. We want it to come like the first one, which came organically.

    Kurtzman: Because we weren't rushed.

    Orci: We weren't rushed, so I think the time we got to spend on it is reflected in the work. We feel the pressure a little bit coming on, but we're easing into it slowly.

    IGN: Kirk and Spock have always been the stars of the series. Is it a difficult to make sure all those characters get their time to shine?

    Kurtzman: For sure. In a sequel, you have even more of that burden, because the first movie is about introducing characters, but the second movie is about digging deeper into them. So you've got to make sure your story is giving everyone a moment... More than a moment. An arc.

    Orci: We've always thought of the bridge crew as a family, so it's not just, "What are we gonna find for them?" It's part of the DNA of doing Star Trek right, I think - to make sure all the characters represent a significant part of the family.

    IGN: How did you decide to make Spock and Uhura a couple?

    Kurtzman: It actually came from the original series...

    Orci: There was a little flirtation in the original series. But we thought that since we were doing a harmony on some of the things that were happening before, well, what happened in the original series? The first interracial kiss was with Kirk. So we thought what can we do that's different, but that still pays homage to that? Spock

    Star Trek The Next Generation Motion Picture Collection Blu-ray Review

    Paramount set a high bar with the Star Trek Movie Collection featuring the original series cast earlier this year. Those standards carry through to the second half of the complete series run, the Star Trek: The Next Generation Motion Picture Collection.

    This series of films 7-10 begins with a passing of the torch from Kirk to Picard in Generations and then moves full warp ahead with the new cast in fan-favorite and my pick for the best film in the set, First Contact. Insurrection represents a creative step back for the franchise with less mass appeal, and the darker Nemesis is the most forgettable live action Star Trek film and consequently was the last before the J.J. Abrams reboot in early 2009.

    The Next Generation DVD transfers were heavily knocked for being overly digitally manipulated with less than stellar results. Paramount has applied some slight artificial cleansing in the form of noise reduction and edge enhancement to the Blu-ray transfers likely out of necessity, yet done so as elegantly as imaginable to make up for past mistakes.

    Generations, First Contact and Insurrections are unnaturally clean without a hint of grain while Nemesis carries a slightly more film-like image. Astonishingly even with the film grain removed, fine detail remains relatively strong when lighting conditions allow it to. Data's almost glittery makeup and Geordi's contact lenses are especially mesmerizing to stare at. Could detail be stronger? Perhaps some, but not enough to gripe about the picture quality which is across the board a substantive upgrade from the DVD editions of these films.

    Each film has been bestowed with a new 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track and not one of them is a letdown. The aggressive use of bass and surround in the mixes tends to improve ever so slightly with each successive film into Nemesis which takes the cake when the Enterprise falls under attack. There are no noticeable instances of dialogue drowning out or improper panning of sound in any of the films. Film purists might argue the tinkering with the video but there are no complaints to issue in regards to Paramount's handling of lossless audio.

    There are over 3 hours of new bonus features evenly spread across the entire set, all in high definition, as well as 7 hours of previously released material from the older DVD editions. Even the most serious Star Trek fan should be pleased with the extensive offering Paramount has put together for its flagship franchise. The list below represents only the new material attached to each film!

    Star Trek Generations

    * Commentary by David Carson and Manny Coto
    * Scoring Trek
    * Next Generation Designer Flashback: Andrew Probert
    * Stellar Cartography on Earth
    * Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond Part 1
    * Trek Roundtable: Generations
    * Star Fleet Academy: Trilithium

    Star Trek First Contact

    * Commentary by Damon Lindelof and Anthony Pascale
    * Industrial Light & Magic: The Next Generation
    * Greetings From the International Space Station
    * SpaceShipOne's Historic Flight
    * Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond Part 2
    * Trek Roundtable: First Contact
    * Starfleet Academy: Temporal Vortex

    Star Trek Insurrection

    * Commentary by Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis
    * Westmore's Legacy
    * Marina Sirtis: The Counselor is In
    * Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond Part 3
    * Trek Roundtable: Insurrection
    * Starfleet Academy: Origins of the Ba'ku and Son'a Conflict

    Star Trek Nemesis

    * Commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda
    * Reunion with the Rikers
    * Today's Tech Tomorrow's Data
    * Robot Hall of Fame
    * Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond Part 4
    * Trek Roundtable: Nemesis
    * Starfleet Academy: Thalaron Radiation

    A fifth disc titled Evolutions is dedicated to newly produced bonus features exclusive to this set. The packaging is identical to each of the individual film thin Blu-ray cases and not ideal, but the content covers the evolution of various Star Trek people, places and things through not only the Next Generation years but the entire film saga.

    The Evolution of the Enterprise (14:23, HD) – The Evolutions disc kicks off with this fun feature which covers a topic that has likely crossed the mind of many casual Trek fans at one time or another. New CG animation walks through the various Star Trek Enterprise models while voiceover narration and interview snippets with crew members dissect the key components and changes of each design.

    Villains of Star Trek (14:04, HD) – Much of this feature is dedicated to discussing Khan and the Borg, and rightfully so given their place atop of the list of Star Trek film villains. One of the writers who narrate this piece finds the villain in Star Trek IV the most intriguing. Their name? Humans.

    I Love the Star Trek Movies (4:34, HD) – Producers and writers share their favorite Star Trek films and moments. Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek are included in the participants.

    Farewell to Star Trek: The Experience (28:06, HD) – A visual ode to the Las Vegas Hilton Star Trek Experience exhibit and rides that closed on September 1, 2008. This piece is equally cool for those who saw the exhibit with tons of behind-the-scenes footage, and those who never did with an inside look at what it was all about.

    Klingon Encounter (3:29, HD) – A video camera records the actual Klingon Encounter portion of the Star Trek Experience. It is the next best thing to having been there – though the camera operator could have used a steadicam.

    Borg Invasion 4D (5:12, HD) – Another Star Trek Experience attraction from the point of view of a visitor. The 4D effect is not quite as thrilling as having been there but the point gets across.

    Charting the Final Frontier - This interactive map lets you jump around the universe to locations from all the Star Trek films. The map is a bit confusing to read and will likely only appeal to hardcore Star Trek fans.

    The Star Trek The Next Generation Motion Picture Collection on Blu-ray Disc is a classy release all around and perfect compliment to the Movie Collection. The films, of questionable uneven creative quality to non-Trekkies, look and sound better than they ever have, there are hours of new and old bonus features, and even the packaging with a lenticular Starfleet Emblem is a winner. If you have to own them all then grab this set and engage.