Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Klingon Christmas Carol brought to the stage

It is the perfect Christmas present for the avid Star Trek fan: a ticket to the Klingon Christmas Carol.

Klingon Christmas Carol brought to the stage

A theatre in Chicago is staging a production of the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol" with a twist.

The entire play is delivered in thIngan Hol, the language of the Klingon race, which was developed in 1984 by linguist Marc Okrand for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

The show features a miserly alien warrior named SQuja', Klingon for Scrooge, who is visited by a trio of holiday ghosts who help him regain the festive spirit so that he can save sickly Tiny Tim.

The story takes place on the Klingon planet of Kronos during the Feast of the Long Night.

Written by Christopher O. Kidder and Sasha Walloch, the show's poster reads: "Scrooge has no honour, nor any courage.

Star Trek’s Holodeck, So Close We Can "Virtually" Taste It.

Star Trek’s Holodeck, So Close We Can "Virtually" Taste It.

Okay fellow Trek Fans, “hold on to yer hats and glasses, cuz this here’s the wildest ride in the Universe!” Star Trek predicts (or is that, directs) the future once again. We just found reports of a functional holodeck. Notice we didn’t say “fully” functional, as it doesn’t have force-field or replicator technology yet, but with the aid of fancy 3D glasses it’s pretty close. …Computer, Arch!

This Holodeck is actually the Duke immersive Visual Environment (DiVE), a six-sided structure that, when sealed, becomes a seamless virtual reality atmosphere built to enhance teaching, research and design planning. The chamber is 10 feet on each side. Each wall, including the floor and ceiling, functions as a large computer screen. Six computers control full-color projectors - one per wall - and a seventh is the master computer.

To use DiVE at its full capacity, users wear stereoscopic glasses made with liquid crystals that provide depth perception. Unlike 3-D glasses with red and blue lenses, the stereoscopic lenses are colorless, so the wearer can see all colors. The crystals also rotate, making the lenses alternate between transparency and opaqueness. That allows the eyes to fuse the 3-D imaging correctly, eliminating the blurry "ghosting" effect when video images double on the screen, Brady said.

Armed with a wand that tracks their movements and helps them navigate the virtual landscapes, users can be immersed in a believable visual fiction.

"Being inside the cube provides a large field of view," Brady said. "This is one of the best ways to interact with computer representations of data."

Now, what we want to know is…how can we get one?!

Star Trek beats ‘Glee’ in google online Top 10

You would think that the highly popular TV series Glee would be a top US search in 2010, but Star Trek rules the day.
With a hit movie out in 2009, Star Trek, the ‘re-birth’ was critically praised for putting the magic back into the fatigued sci-fi series, now on its way up once again in 2010.
In 2003, Patrick Stewart’s last outing in Captain was poorly received and fizzled out of the US Box Office with weak demand, and a disappointing global gross. With the massive popularity of Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk, and the pre-production of Star Trek 2, audiences are demanding more action, and fast paced visuals from the franchise. The reboot has also boosted the popularity of the series and the online star trek games.
As for Glee, Google has placed it 8th in the fastest rising search of 2010 overall with Justin Bieber in 5th place and the pad gadget crushing competition at 1st. In the entertainment industry as a whole, Justin Bieber was America’s ‘Hottest Seat in Town’
Top 10 American TV online searches
1. lost
2. american idol
3. snl
4. family guy
5. the office
6. big brother
7. real housewives
8. star trek
9. 24
10. glee

Man Creates Working Star Trek Door

The doors of the U.S.S. Enterprise appear to open automatically and send a jet of air that results in a *shh shh* sound. Of course, each time a door opened on the set of any Star Trek show or movie, a crewman needed to open the door manually and the signature sound effect was added later. An enterprising (heh) DIY engineer from Miami accomplished the task that Scottie couldn't by installing a door in his house that not only slides open like a real Star Trek door, but the compressed air that it uses exhausts out of a vent and provides that awesome real sound. Mark posted pictures and described how he created the door to his bedroom on his blog, but you have to watch the video to see it work.

"I always wanted a piece of Star Trek and the Disney Monorail in my house, and one thing they have in common is that they both have automatic sliding doors," Mark wrote. "It would be the perfect, most geek-ified entryway for my bedroom. Only one problem: I was still in school and still lived at home with my mother in New Orleans. I had tried to convince her for years that installing a Star Trek Door would be a good idea, but it never happened. It wasn't until we were renovating our house after Hurricane Katrina that she finally caved in. There wouldn't be a better time to do it."

I salute you Mark, not only for the technical chops that it took to make this door work, but also for making the sound a huge part of how it functioned.

JJ Abrams' Star Trek Continues in Starfleet Academy Book Series

After a false start last year with ultimately unpublished novels taking place after the events of JJ Abrams' Star Trek, Simon & Schuster has begun publishing young adult novels set during the Starfleet Academy days of Kirk, Uhura, McCoy and the rest.
"Teens like reading about their peers, and the Starfleet world is made up of characters who are their peers," Kara Sargent, editorial director of the Simon Says imprint explains to Star "These are great characters in a very cool setting. Using Kirk as an example, Starfleet Academy Kirk is pretty much exactly as you would imagine him to be, given your knowledge of Kirk the grown man and captain of the USS Enterprise. Starfleet Academy Kirk is this brooding and sexy guy at a new school, in a super-competitive environment with lots of rules and regulations, and this rebel is thrown in and has to navigate his way around. All the while he’s having incredible intergalactic adventures, training to be a Starfleet Commander, and, of course, picking up girls, hanging out with his friends, pulling pranks, and picking up some more girls. Who wouldn’t love reading about this guy? The whole process of coming up with stories in this setting really wasn’t tricky at all. It was a lot of fun, and it never felt forced. It seems like a really natural direction to go in."

Book one is Rick Barba's The Delta Anomaly, published on November 2nd. Says Sargent, "I love this story. At its core it’s a mystery about a serial killer. Early on in the book, the killer targets one of the Starfleet cadets—a friend of Kirk and Uhura, in fact—and the reader is immediately drawn in to this very fast-paced, very chilling mystery. All the while, there are fantastic side stories going on. One involves Uhura and a special assignment she gets from her favorite instructor, Commander Spock. I’ll just say there’s some serious chemistry between those two and leave it at that! Another side story involves a big Starfleet assignment Kirk is involved in that pits him against his nemesis at the Academy. There’s lots of adventure in that one. And, my favorite side story involves Kirk and a beautiful young co-ed he meets at a coffee shop. Her name is Hannah, and Kirk has his work cut out for him because Hannah actually doesn’t swoon at his feet the first time she meets him."

Book two, Rudy Joseph's The Edge, will be published on December 28th. Of the plot, Sarget notes, "The Edge focuses on the stress of life at the Academy. The story opens with a competition and Kirk realizes that some cadets seem to have an edge that he doesn’t have. One of the cadets is the girl he’s interested in. Some mysterious events and even a death occur, leading Kirk to investigate what’s going on, and he uncovers a really dark world of illegal activity."

There are plans for at least one Star Trek: Starfleet Academy novel per season.

NASA Launches A Home Version Of Star Trek's Stellar Cartography

NASA Launches A Home Version Of Star Trek's Stellar Cartography

Watching "Star Trek: Generations", who hasn't wanted their very own version of Stellar Cartography. Thanks to NASA, it's now available. Called "Eyes on the Solar System" and developed by Caltech & JPL, it's a 3-D environment full of real NASA mission data. According to the "Eyes on the Solar System" website you can explore the cosmos from your computer. Hop on an asteroid. Fly with NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft. See the entire solar system moving in real time. It's up to you. You control space and time.

Also available on the "Eyes on the Solar System" website is your chance to follow the EPOXI mission in real-time. EPOXI is a combination of two missions and embraces NASA's mission to explore the origin and history of our solar system by understanding the composition and diversity of cometary nuclei and the properties of other planetary system.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Star Trek Online : A Free-to-play future?

In an interview with Eurogamer yesterday, Cyrptic's Jack Emmert indicated that the decision to make Star Trek Online a free-to-play game is dependent, at least in part, on the success of one of its other franchises under a free to play model, that being Champions.

"If we did Turbine's level of success, that would certainly merit the discussion!" (Turbine re-launched Dungeons and Dragons online as a free-to-play, as well as another title of theirs which went free-to-play in Europe, Lord of the Rings Online. D&D Online has made big money for Turbine, and Cryptic will obviously be hoping that the free-to-play model, which it seems is being adapt by new gaming companies on a regular basis, will be successful for them as well.

As far as Star Trek is concerned, Mr. Emmert had this to say: "Im sure people are wondering whether we'll do it with Star Trek and the question is really how well it does for Champions." Jack offers some advice to his Star Trek fans to perhaps help guarantee a free-to-play model, or at least that will help steer their starships in that general direction: "We're not sold one way or the other with Star Trek yet. If people want Star Trek to go free-to-play then get in and play Champions and help make it a great success, because that would send a strong message."

Even so, he gave no guarantee that a success with Champions would seal the deal on a free-to-play model for Star Trek. He continued by noting "There are more people than just I on that decision and I can't begin to say it would be and automatic 'Yes, we'd do it," (if Champions is a big success.)

Champions Online's subscription structure will look like this. There will be two member tiers for play - the Silver (or free-to-play) tier and a Gold tier for paying (at $14.99/mo) tier. Silver members have limitations on classes, costumes and character slots, but the 'meat and potatoes' of the game - leveling from start to superhero status - could still be achieved without spending any money. And as with the free-to-play model, players can purchase content, items and buffs on a piece-meal basis - the "microtransaction" concept. I'd imagine that that this will be the model pursued for Star Trek...and they wouldn't be alone, a recent prime example being Everquest 2 and SOE's Everquest 2 "Extended" free to play service.

So the bottom line is this...if you are really looking to not pay for Star Trek Online in the future - then you had better pony-up and start (or keep) playing Champions Online, buy some stuff, and keep your fingers crossed.

Will Ferrell Sings Star Trek

Video: Shatner ‘Sings’ Cee Lo Green’s ‘Fuck You’

Star Trek legend and Sh*t My Dad Says star William Shatner sing-talks his way through Cee Lo Green’s obscenity-riddled hit “Fuck You” in this clip from Lopez Tonight. With the lyrics bleeped and/or altered in all the right places, you can watch this distinctly Shatner performance at work.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Holograms are becoming tangible

Holograms, staple of Star Trek, Star Wars and innumerable other science fiction universes, are creeping closer to reality.

Holographic image of an F-4 Phantom fighter. Credit: University of Arizona

The National Science Foundation announced Wednesday researchers at the University of Arizona have produced holographic video images able to be refreshed every two seconds. That still seems crude and primitive (think Captain Pike in his silly prop hospital chair in the original Star Trek series), but it remains the tantalizing stuff of make-believe to Earth-based mortals.

“This advance brings us a step closer to the ultimate goal of realistic holographic telepresence with high-resolution, full-color, human-size, 3D images that can be sent at video refresh rates from one part of the world to the other,” said project lead Nasser Peyghambarian in the foundation announcement.

Some applications of holograms being talked about are disappointingly mundane, if that’s even possible when we’re envisioning actual holograms. You have, for example, meeting attendees from other cities “beaming in” to a central conference room. Also: Draftsmen and engineers designing things with holo-helpers. Hokey examples include Japanese researchers playing with a holographic ball, and CNN’s faux holograms on the set of the 2008 presidential election night coverage.

If hologram technology ever reaches practical feasibility, the possibilities are unlimited. The boss could pop in at your workstation to check on a project or chew you out. Mom might zap into the back yard to call the kids in for dinner. NFL referees could review disputed plays without wasting all that time in those ridiculous hooded replay booths. Video-game opponents could spring to life in your game room, necessitating a quick melee response if you want to survive. Military planners doubtless would be in ecstasy.

I always thought the Star Trek Next Generation holodeck was beyond cool. Obi-Wan Kinobi’s hologram shimmering out of R2-D2 enraptured Star Wars fans. Now we can dare to imagine the prospect of the science fiction come to life.

Star Trek's Mr. Sulu latest voice for 'It Gets Better'

Ever since the suicide of Indiana teenager Billy Lucas, nationally known gay activist and Seattle icon Dan Savage has been rounding up celebrities for his "It Gets Better" campaign.

The latest to weigh in is Star Trek's Mr. Sulu. Actor George Takei, who came out himself several years ago, lent his distinctive voice to support bullied gay teens.

In a video posted on YouTube, Takei took aim at Clint McCanse, a school board member in Arkansas, who said he wished more gay teens would commit suicide.

"No person, let alone an elected school official, whatever their personal or religious beliefs, should ever wish death upon another human being," said Takei.

And never one to back down, Takei made it personal.

"I can only suspect that you have some, shall I say issues, to work out."

At the end of his personal message to McCanse, Takei said, "I sincerely hope you don't kill yourself Mr. McCanse, because no one should wish that upon someone else."

Simon Pegg: Star Trek 2 is written

Simon Pegg has revealed the plot of Star Trek 2 has been written, but he is still waiting to find out what it is.

The Burke And Hare star, who played Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott in JJ Abrams big screen version of the hit sci fi series, revealed the rivalry between Captain James T. Kirk and Spock was set to continue in the sequel, but that they could be united by a common adversary.

Simon said: "It's been written now, I don't know what the story is, it's not 'til next year."

He went on: "They are busy hashing out the story and they're excited about it. Damian Lindeloff had to finish Lost, and now they're at it. He has said that they're hoping to carry on the relationship between the crew and if they have the adversary."

The British actor, who is currently filming Mission Impossible IV also let slip he has a role in an upcoming secret project, but refused to give anything away.

Simon said: "Because it's not in place or definite yet, I can't say too much about it otherwise it'll be one of those parts that nearly happened.

"Too much is said too early these days. There's too much information being disseminated and there's no mystery any more."

Star Trek's USS Enterprise: owners’ workshop manual from Haynes

The 160-page guide delves into the technical specification of the world’s most famous fictional spaceship, containing in-depth drawings and a step-by-step approach to stripping the ship down to its essentials and reassembling it.

An invaluable tool to any aspiring Scotty, the book was written by Ben Robinson and Marcus Riley with the help of former NASA designer Michael Okuda, who worked on the Sci-Fi series for more than 20 years.

Co-author Robinson said: “It's something I think people have wanted for a long time, a proper history that puts the Enterprises into context with one another and gives you the story of how they evolved, with each ship building on the last.”

This something of a departure for Haynes, who started publishing car manuals in 1965, although they have diversified somewhat in recent years, producing books on classic military aircraft, Wallace and Gromit contraptions and a manual on teenagers.

Writer Damon Lindelof says that STAR TREK 2 will be “awesome”

Since the announcement of a sequel to last summer’s frankly smashing blockbuster STAR TREK, the internet has been literally alive with speculation, debate and discussion.

star trek 03 1024 300x225 Writer Damon Lindelof says that STAR TREK 2 will be awesome

There was originally talk that 2 would see the return of Kahn to the TREK franchise however this has recently (and officially) been ruled out. From my very comfy swivelling armchair in leafy England I can feel the collective sigh of discontent as it rolls out speedily across the bandwidths of the world. I must also confess that before STAR TREK (2009) I wasn’t really a fan but that I am a new convert. *runs and hides from the die hards*.

Anyway, STAR TREK had the unique quality that it successfully did what so many reboots have tried and failed to do in cinema history; it pleased almost everybody. It was funny, it was sensitive and most importantly it respected that which had gone before.

A movie for the fans by the fans…


So moving swiftly back to the now, STAR TREK 2 writer Damon Lindelof confesses that the STAR TREK universe is not about villains. The second movie, he says, will tell the story of the crew of the USS Enterprise. “We’re obviously aware of what people are saying on the web and we’re interested in it but at the same time TREK is not about villains, it’s about the crew and their relationship with eachother; that family”. I

Discussing the progress of the script, Lindelof was quoted as saying that it will be “awesome”. Encouraging words there Damon and thank you again for those pearls of intergalactic wisdom, I’m sure the DVD commentary will be both inspiring and degrading for you in equal measure. I truly can’t wait.

Returning to the possibility of villains, Bad Ass Digest (not a euphamism) reports that the villain is definitely one of the following. Harry Mudd, Trelance, Gary Mitchell, The Talosians or the Horta. So, if we’re totally honest, they probably have no idea either… I’m guessing that it will probably be a little out of left field and they’ll tackle the audience head on with a villain that works both psycologically and cinematically. Your guess is as good as mine on who, or what, that ends up being.

Please though make sure JJ Abrams is sitting in the Director’s chair because between this and SUPER 8, I may just let out a little bit of wee.

Asian Actress For Star Trek’s New Vulcan

The internet was all of a flutter yesterday as a tiny piece about the use of iPads in Hollywood mentioned a meeting which took place with writers and producers of the second Star Trek movie in its newest incarnation. Here is the quotation, lifted from the New York Times.

“[Robert] Orci, meeting with the producers JJ Abrama, Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk, and his fellow writer Alex Kurtzman, jump-started the discussion with an iPad slide show, showing stills from the first film, snapshots of potential locations and a photo of a suggested actress for one of the roles. On the woman’s photo, he had used his iPad to paint on a Vulcan ear.”

Some additional information which has been doing the rounds of agents’ offices and casting chatter for a good few weeks is the search for an actress of Asian origin to play the new Vulcan. As there isn’t exactly a glut of working Asian actresses in Hollywood with the required looks, age and height (the character has been noted as being “5ft 6 plus”) the field is a narrow one. What we do know is that the actress whose photo was used by Bob Orci is not under consideration, (she’s thought to be too much of a name) but was a suggestion of type. That actress was definitely of Asian extraction.

At the San Diego Asian Film Festival last weekend a panel of familiar East Asian faces including Lost‘s Daniel Dae Kim and Glee‘s Harry Sum Jr. discussed the recent headway made for Asian actors on network television but still bemoaned the limited opportunities in Hollywood features for Asian leads. (Althought not present, actress and writer Maurissa Tancharoen’s song “Nobody’s Asian in the Movies” could have been a nice soundtrack to the panel.)

Star Trek is one of the few sci-fi hits of recent times to have a prominent Asian character. Gene Roddenberry wanted Hikaru Sulu to represent all of Asia (a fact that wasn’t lost on Korean American John Cho when he took over the role from Japanese American George Takei) and imply that a peaceful future awaited the East of the continent which had seen a great deal of conflict when Trek began in 1966. The show became known for its willingness to push buttons, especially when it came to reaching out to other races and acknowledging cultural sensitivity (Spock was the first lead character on US television to be in an arranged marriage. though it didn’t exactly end well).

What hasn’t been established is which actress will follow in the footsteps of Linda Park (Hoshi Sato) and Jacqueline Kim (Demora Sulu). With Star Trek not filming until July next year, who’s up for a little speculation?

T’Pring, Spock’s Vulcan bride played by Arlene Martel; Dichen Lachman; Maggie Q

‘Star Trek 2′ Will Not Feature Khan, But Will Focus on a ‘Classic Character’

We’ve been looking forward to hearing story details for , which JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci have been drafting over the past few months. Rumors have persisted that Khan, the villain from the second film in the original Star Trek movie franchise, would make a spectacularly unimaginative return. But that’s not the case says a new report, which also emphasizes previous claims from the Abrams camp that we might not see a traditional ‘big bad’ villain in this movie at all.

So what will we see? Very likely the return of a character from the original Star Trek television series.

Devin Faraci’s new venture, the Alamo Drafthouse-affiliated Badass Digest, is the source of this info. Actually, a tipster is Devin’s source, and had this to say about the original series character that will be key to the new film:

It’s definitely a character that will make fans of TOS excited. Think along the lines of Harry Mudd or Trelane or Gary Mitchell or the Talosians or the Horta. Actually it’s one of those that I named.

So who is it? I’m totally in the dark when it comes to Star Trek characters, especially in the original series, but thankfully Devin is a serious Trek nerd. He runs down those possibilities and narrows it down to two that seem most likely: Gary Mitchell and Trelane. Who the hell are they?

Devin describes Trelane as “a godlike creature who ensnares the Enterprise and toys with the crew,” and notes that he was revealed to be part of the Q Continuum, the race of beings introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

But he puts better odds on the appearance of Gary Mitchell, Kirk’s best friend as revealed in the second pilot for the original series. An energy field gives him “godlike abilities,” but he kinda breaks under the strain and ends up battling his best friend. There’s great material there for a Trek sequel, especially one that wants to stay character-based. I hope this info is on the money.

Possible huge Star Trek casting news!

Star Trek:

Did a New York Times article just give away a massive character spoiler for the Star Trek sequel? Judge for yourself. The article talks about how Roberto Orci brought his iPad to a meeting where the creators were planning the next film:

Mr. Orci, meeting with the producers J. J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk, and his fellow writer Alex Kurtzman, jump-started the discussion with an iPad slide show, showing stills from the first film, snapshots of potential locations and a photo of a suggested actress for one of the roles. On the woman's photo, he had used his iPad to paint on a Vulcan ear.

So what actress do you think they're talking about? And is it true that they're looking to cast a female Vulcan? If so, who would it be? (Saavik, presumably, is too young, but there's always T'Pring. Or, just as likely, a new Vulcan character.) What do you think? [New York Times]

'Star Trek' Sequel Will Focus On Family

Ever since the May 2009 release of J.J. Abrams’ blockbuster “Star Trek” reboot, fans have been trying to guess what villain they can expect in the sequel.

But frequent Abrams collaborator and “Lost” executive producer Damon Lindelof said that the bad guy really isn’t the point of the film. When it comes to Star Trek, it's always much, much more than who wears the Khan pecs.

“Trek is not about villains," Lindelof said at Saturday's Scream awards. "It is about the crew and their relationship with each other, that family. If the villain helps sort of flesh that out and bring that to life, then we have hit a home run."

In fact, if there's another thing Star Trek movies definitely are not, it's comic book films.

"It’s not like the Batman movies where you are like, ‘OK, they have done The Joker. How do you one-up The Joker?’” Lindelof said.

Scripting for the next movie is already under way with Lindelof and the writing duo from the first movie, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Now that he doesn't have to worry about crafting together a crazy island story on the former ABC series "Lost," Lindelof seems to have some more time on his hands in working on the next script involving the USS Enterprise.

“It is progressing,” he said. “We are putting a lot of pressure on ourselves for it to be awesome.”

Following its release in summer 2009, Abrams’ “Star Trek” became the all-time highest-grossing film in the franchise, even when adjusted for inflation. Starring Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock, the film earned more than $257 million at the box office.

The as-yet-untitled sequel is expected to hit theaters on June 29, 2012. Abrams is believed to be returning to the director's chair for that movie, although it hasn't been confirmed just yet.

Nichelle Nichols Addresses Her Opinion on J.J. Abrams Star Trek Movie and the Spock / Uhura Romance

Nichelle Nichols is, as always, lovely and chatty and full of positive energy. And, given the opportunity to answer questions from you, the readers of, Nichols turns on the charm and answers questions in great, entertaining detail, often venturing into side conversations that are even more entertaining and detailed. She talked about the new film, discussed passing the Uhura baton to Zoe Saldana and recounted the story of how Martin Luther King convinced her to stay on TOS. Here then, is part one of our two-part interview with Nichols. Look for the second half tomorrow.

What did you think of the new film and the recasting of Uhura? And did you ever think, “My Uhura wouldn’t do that?”

Nichols: First, I loved the film. I loved the fact that J.J. made great use out of the technology we didn’t have, that everybody thought we had. As a film, I loved it because I’m actually just crazy about J.J. and about Zoe. “Uhura wouldn’t do that…” You have to understand and allow for the fact that this is a prequel. Let me tell you a story and I’ll try to keep it short. J.J. invited me to lunch. We had a wonderful time. It was after the usual lunch time, so we had the commissary to ourselves and could have a glass of wine and lean back and talk – without everybody looking and wondering, “What are they saying?” We talked about the character and the recasting and the movie, and I thought it was so wonderful of him to take the time to talk to several of the (TOS) actors before he went forward. He didn’t have to do that.

He picked my brain here and there, and we talked about he would have loved for me to be in the film and what would have taken place. I said “I’d love to play her mother or her grandmother.” And he said, “You look too young to even play her mother, much less her grandmother.” I said that’s what women will look like 300 years from today, and they’ll probably live to be 150 and maybe more. He looked at me and said, “Well… Hmm.” I said, “Good health and longevity will be simple.” We finished lunch and it was around the time of the writers’ strike and around that one was coming the actors’ strike. So there was a concern there and he had to get finished. Everything that was already written could be done. They couldn’t stop that. But they could stop anything new.

Ultimately, the strike threat prevented even the possibility of you being in the film. But that story about your lunch with Abrams has more to it. Please continue…

Nichols: J.J. and his right-hand man, who was with us, were walking me to my car. Actually, they were driving me to my car. It started to rain and he said, “Hey, Nichelle, have you got time? Why don’t you come on the set?” He said that Zoe wasn’t on set, unfortunately, but that just about everyone else was, and he wanted me to see the set. I said, “Oh, I’d love to,” and we went across the lot to the set. I walked in and there was the command level set and my heart stopped. As I was coming in someone said, “Be careful, ma’am, there are cords and things down here.” I said, “Well, I’m used to them.” He looked up at me and said, “Oh my God, that voice. Of course you know. Hello, Ms. Nichols. How are you?” And he shook my hand and said, “How good to see you.” We went on deeper to the sets and I met a few of the actors, and then J.J., who’d disappeared for a few minutes, came back around.

Everything calmed down and the next thing you know they were bringing out J.J.’s director’s chairs. They brought out three, one for him, one for his assistant and one for the script gal. They seated me in the one that said J.J. Abrams and he said, “I’ll be right back. Take care of Nichelle.” I’m sitting there and they’re rearranging and getting the cameras up because he wants this shot right. I’m making small talk with the people there and I look up and, from about 10 feet away, in walks this beautiful young woman with a ponytail and pulling up the zipper on the back of her uniform. And she said, “Are we shooting now? They just called me in…” She’s looking around, looking to see what the setup is.

Well, it’s Zoe, who wasn’t supposed to be working that day. J.J. had her called in, supposedly for some scenes he didn’t get, that he wanted to do. She didn’t get an answer from the assistant and she looks in my direction and says, “Well, how soon does he… AAAAHHHH!” When she saw me nothing else came out of her mouth except “AAAAHHHH! and “No way!” Now she knew that she was brought in to meet me. And he’d set me up, too, to meet her. Isn’t that cool? And there’s a great photo of us on the set. Then they brought out her director’s chair and put it next to me, and for the next two hours we had the greatest time, the greatest conversation, and I just fell in love with her. She’s so gorgeous and so good and so funny, and you would have thought we knew each other all our lives, or at least all her life.

What did you make of the Uhura-Spock relationship in the movie?

Nichols: The only way I could explain it was that she was a recruit and this was her first trip out. It was the five-mission where no man or woman had gone before. So J.J. had the right, as the director of the prequel, to show the characters as young people. NASA recruits train for a year, sometimes two, before they go out on their first mission. As young people, they’re excited and they’re new and they’re going to go on this mission, and there’s romance and so forth that’s going to go on. Kirk was hitting on her a couple of times and he was hitting on everybody else because he was cute – and knew it. She shined him off, but Spock fascinated her, her serious side. Now, this is me making my story on what happened, but he saw in her his human side and she touched a side of him that they were supposedly discreet about.

Now, go back to my participation in Star Trek as Uhura and Leonard (Nimoy) as Spock. There was always a connection between Uhura and Spock. It was the early 60’s, so you couldn’t do what you can do now, but if you will remember, Uhura related to Spock. When she saw the captain lost in space out there in her mirror, it was Spock who consoled her when she went screaming out of her room. When Spock needed an expert to help save the ship, you remember that Uhura put something together and related back to him the famous words, “I don’t know if I can do this. I’m afraid.” And Uhura was the only one who could do a spoof on Spock. Remember the song (in “Charlie X”)? Those were the hints, as far as I’m concerned.

Saldana is playing Uhura now and into the future. Do you see her building to your interpretation?

Nichols: OK, let me tell you another little story about Zoe and her approach to it. Zoe played it just like I was saying, a young recruit. They’re having fun. It’s exciting. They’re serious about their training, but when they’re off duty they’re like young people (typically are). I didn’t meet Zoe until halfway through her filming. As we sat there for two hours, she picked my brain. She said, “How did you approach Uhura? I’m so excited to meet you, and tell me about it.” So I told her. I said, “I created her as a serious person, but not that serious.” I told her that Uhura was as serious as cancer when we were on duty, but that when we were off duty she could be in the rec room singing, and teasing Spock with that song about him.

So I’m going on, talking, talking, talking, not knowing what Zoe has shot yet, not knowing how she has approached the character. She asked me about my background, my parents, and I told her about that. I told her I created Uhura’s parents and that they were rather like my parents, that they would have expected the highest from me. Blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah. And Zoe got very serious. She said, “Oh, my God, I wish I’d met you, talked to you before I started shooting.’ I said, “I’m sure that you’re bringing something fresh and beautiful.” She just looked at me and said, “Yeah, but I see Uhura in a whole new light.”

All right, that part of the story ends. I kept a good relationship with J.J. and everyone. I go to a premiere in Catalina Island, which was shortly after the premiere here in L.A. I couldn’t go to the L.A. premiere because I was at a big, big, big convention in Germany. When it was over I understood what the young lady was talking about when she said, “I wish I had spoken to you before I started,” because she was playing it light and flirty at the beginning. The time I spoke to her was the time they were then going on the ship. Do you remember the scene where she says, “No, I’m going! I was promised this, and I’m going,” and they had to take her on? She was destined to go on. She kissed Spock in a different way and said, “I’ll see you on board.” When she walked on board she was a full-blown Uhura in every manner and way that I had created the character.

Star Trek XII Script In Progress

According to, work has begun on writing the script for Star Trek XII.

Last week, Roberto Orci tweeted about beginning work on the script. “To do list: get groceries, do laundry, start writing Star Trek, walk dogs, get new book to read, vote…”

Orci confirmed with TrekMovie that he has begun work on that script along with Alex Kurtzman. “Fingers have been put to keyboard,” he said.

Star Trek XII will release on June 29, 2012.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Patrick Stewart reveals a fifth Star Trek: Next Generation film was planned

Actor Patrick Stewart has revealed that a fifth Star Trek film, based on the Next Generation characters, was planned. In the Star Trek film franchise four films involving the Next Generation characters were produced; Generations, First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis. However, Patrick Stewart - who played Jean-Luc Picard - has revealed in a recent interview with a fifth film was planned which would have been a proper "farewell" for the characters.

While we were filming Nemesis an idea was being developed by John Logan, the screenwriter of Nemesis, and Brent Spiner for a fifth and final movie. It was a very exciting idea for a screenplay. It would have been a real farewell to Next Generation, but it would have involved other historic aspects of Star Trek as well. I can't go into details because the project wasn't mine. When that didn't happen, the studio announced in its own inimitable way that we were suffering from franchise fatigue and that there was to be no more, and I am absolutely content with that. I remain very proud of the work that we did, very proud of the series and the movies, but I do not wish to return to it. - Patrick Stewart quoted on Blastr

The proposed fifth Next Generation filmed never happened though with the franchise going into limbo following the disappointing box office performance of 2002's Star Trek Nemesis. When Star Trek: Enterprise was cancelled in 2005 because of low ratings it was decided to rest the franchise before rebooting it. In 2009 that re-boot came in the form of a new Star Trek movie produced by J.J Abrams and written by Roberto Orci and Alex Roddenberry. The re-boot took the franchise back to the Academy days of the 'original series' characters such as Kirk and Spock. Amongst the cast of the film were Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana and Leonard Nimroy.

Star Trek Ultimate Fan Pack

Those looking for a holiday gift for a Star Trek fan might want to consider the Star Trek Ultimate Fan Pack, which includes six Star Trek ships and the Scene It Star Trek DVD Game.

The set, available at Costco, features the game and six Hot Wheels reproductions of familiar Star Trek ships.

The Scene It Star Trek DVD Game includes puzzles, trivia questions and clips from all six televised series, including the Animated Series, as well as the first ten Star Trek movies.

The six Hot Wheels toy ships will be of interest to Star Trek fans. The ships include: a battle-damaged USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A (from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country), the original USS Enterprise NCC-1701, a Klingon Bird of Prey (the HMS Bounty from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home), the USS Saratoga NCC-1867, a USS Enterprise NX-01 (from Star Trek: Enterprise) and the Romulan mining ship Narada (from Star Trek XI).

The Star Trek Ultimate Fan Pack will retail for $80.00

Will There Be Klingons? Director J.J. Abrams and Writers Talk Star Trek 2

J.J. Abrams' re-imagined Star Trek movie found fans in Trekkies and plebians alike. When it comes to Star Trek 2, everyone's waiting to see what the director and his team will come up with next.

Abrams and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman spoke to SFX Magazine about what's going on with the next installment. Abrams said, he wanted to "keep some of the mystery going," and he's a master at that: We're still wondering what happened in LOST. He offered this vague quote:

The universe that Roddenberry created was so vast. And so it's hard to say there's one particular thing that stands out as what the sequel must be. Which is on the one hand, a great opportunity. On the other hand it's the greatest challenge – where do you go? What do you focus on? But I'm incredibly excited about the prospects.

The one thing that the creators confirmed was that it wasn't going to take a super serious tone like The Dark Knight. It would be hard, considering that Simon Pegg is going to have a much larger role as confirmed by Orci. "The first one had dark elements, but was ultimately very warm. We'd hope to strike a similar balance [in the sequel]," Kurtzman said. Orici added:

Humor is part of the franchise and I think it's critical, certainly to the Bones-Spock relationship. It's definitely a big part of the Bones-Kirk relationship. So, I don't see any world where humor doesn't play a part.

It was Orci and Kurtzman who addressed the pressing issue on most people's minds: Will there be Klingons? Both didn't say much, but Kurtzman pointed out that a couple of the storylines they are considering could easily slip in Khan. Orci said the story would be picked depending on "what the characters need," but acknwledged that everyone is aware of what the fans want. Orci commented:

Introducing a new villain in the sequel is tempting because we now have this incredible new sandbox to play in. On the other hand, some fans really want to see Klingons and it's hard not to listen to that. The trick is not to do something that's been seen before just because you think it will be a short cut to likeability.

Will you tune out if J.J. Abrams doesn't include some of the classic characters like Khan or ask William Shatner to cameo?

Read more:

Worf from 'Star Trek' goes vegan

michael dorn MOST-FAMOUS KLINGON: Michael Dorn.
While the original "Star Trek" came out before my time, the "Next Generation" spinoff remains a solid part of my television childhood memories. Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Lt. Commander Data, Doctor Beverly Crusher, and a host of other characters all introduced me to the awesome world of "Star Trek". And of course, there was the hot-headed, but loyal Kilngon Lieutenant Worf.
While many of the other characters were easily recognizable outside of costume, the actor behind Worf — Michael Dorn — was hard to distinguish from his on-screen alien counterpart. The minute he opens his mouth, however, that familiar voice so central to Worf's character gives him away. In fact, he's so beloved to Trekkies that he has appeared in a total of 279 episodes of the "Star Trek" franchise — including five movies.
In a recent interview with, Dorn shared that after going vegan, he lost more than 40 pounds and feels fantastic.
“I have not missed meat at all,” said the actor. “The only thing I would even think about missing is hamburgers and French fries. You can still have French fries. But I’ve found that the vegetarian burger and the stuff that’s out there now is very good when you dress it up ... So I don’t miss it at all. It’s sort of like, it’s easy to make the transition because I feel so much better.”
Check out the rest of the video from one of my favorite Klingons below:

Rare Nokia Star Trek Communicator stays as a prototype

Trekkies would definitely love to have a Communicator in their hands, living out the intergalactic lifestyle. Well, Nokia did come up with a Nokia Star Trek Communicator some time ago, but too bad for the masses, this has remained a prototype with no plans of pushing it to the final frontier of being an actual consumer device. Also known as the "Starfleet Communicator" by certain quarters, there are only 14 of these constructed by Nokia, where they were built to simulate the iconic voice communication devices of the original TV series. The hardware itself isn't that exciting since we're talking about a now ancient N76 with an external LCD display and a trifecta of lights on its front. Just in case you were wondering, yes, it is an actual working phone, but you can't call anyone on the other side of the galaxy.

'Star Trek' Actor William Shatner Boldly Talks a Little $#*!

William Shatner's new TV show may not be taking him to the final frontier, but the "Star Trek" actor is set to take the helm of an original comedy that premieres this week.

Shatner, 79, is the star of the new show "$#*! My Dad Says," which debuts Thursday (Sept. 23) on CBS.

The sitcom is based on the popular Twitter feed of author Justin Halpern who, after moving in with his parents, used the micro-blogging site to record his father's amusing, but often expletive-laden and politically incorrect, observations and advice.

Halpern's success on Twitter led to a book deal with Harper Collins. The book, titled "Sh*t My Dad Says" was published in May and quickly became a bestseller.

Shatner will star as Ed Goodson, the blunt and opinionated father of Henry, played by Jonathan Sadowski.

Shatner himself uses Twitter, posting updates under the name "WilliamShatner."

"It's a mystery to me what people will think," Shatner wrote in a recent post. "Can't wait to hear your thoughts!"

According to the show's official CBS website: "When Henry finds he can no longer afford to pay rent, Ed reveals a soft spot and invites Henry to move in with him. Henry agrees, knowing that the verbal assault will not abate and now there will be no escape. Describing their father/son relationship is tricky, but Ed will easily come up with a few choice words."

Among his myriad roles on the stage, television and silver screen, Shatner is probably best known for his portrayal of Capt. James T. Kirk in the original "Star Trek" TV series that ran from 1966 to 1969.

Shatner reprised the role in seven feature films in the 1980s and 90s. He has also penned numerous science fiction and autobiographical novels, directed films, starred in commercials and appeared in many other television shows as both actor and host.

This summer, Shatner hosted the William Shatner 20th Annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show to raise funds for various charities for children. He also auctioned off his Harley Davidson motorcycle and other personal items as part of a larger Star Trek-themed charity auction in Las Vegas in June.

Nimoy, "The Conscience Of Star Trek" To Speak In Long Beach, CA. October 23rd.

Nimoy, "the conscience of Star Trek." To Speak In Long Beach October 23rd.

Leonard Nimoy, once described by Gene Roddenberry as "the conscience of Star Trek", will be speaking for one night only at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, CA. Set for October 23rd at 8pm, the intimate talk will touch on the subjects of innovation, creativity and personal development. Plus a ton of Trek!

According to, Leonard will speak on Star Trek, its origins, and how a new genre for television and movies was created. He'll also share his portrayal of the rational and emotionally suppressed Vulcan as part of a remarkable and diverse career that’s left an indelible imprint on American culture.

With his impending "retirement" this maybe one of the last chances to see Leonard in an environment such as this. Tickets for "An Evening With Leonard Nimoy are $65 for adults or $60 for seniors and can be purchased by calling (562) 985-7000.

Rod Roddenberry Gives His Opinion on Enterprise Cancellation and J.J. Abrams Star Trek Movie

The latest issue of the online magazine Trekkie Central Magazine features a new interview with producer Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry, the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and here are few excerpts.

TCM: What were your initial thoughts when Enterprise was cancelled?

ER: TO be honest my initial thoughts were I didn't care to much. I gave it a chance, I watched the entire first season and I thought it was good, maybe not great but sort of a good Star Trek with a little bit of a rocky start. It had jumped too far ahead for me, in fact I thought the entire first season should be a build up to discovering the Klingons. So I kinda just wanted a slower more natural progression of this young civilization reaching into the depths of space, it just moved a little bit to fast for me.

I tuned into the second season for just a few episodes and was immediately turned off and I cant particularly remember why at this time but I remember it just didn't interest me, and you know how it is, the minute you miss a season or a number of episodes its hard to tune back in. I'd heard that seasons three and four were much better, thanks to Manny Coto, but I never really gave it another shot and even to this day I haven't given it another shot because I've gotta sit down and watch it all over again from one to four.

So my first thoughts were kind of I don't care but I did care that it was, you know, the end of Star Trek running as a TV series, now truthfully I never thought and I still don't think that its off the air permanently. It had a good run and I figure it needed a hiatus, the audience, the market and the TV waves had been saturated with Star Trek series after Star Trek series and I thought it might be a good idea for it to rest for five, ten or even fifteen years, and to be honest I still feel that way.

I think Star Trek will come back on TV whether its in a year or twenty years, its never going to die, the fans are gonna keep it alive and also CBS and Paramount are always going to see profit

to be made. So one day they well dig it back up and say well ‘hey lets make something out of this'. I do know that Star Trek will come back in one form or another on TV, I just don't know when and I don't know how good it will be (laughs). The last thing I want it to do is to become Star Wars, that doesn't deal with ethics, humanity, the human potential, we don't want science fiction that doesn't have a statement about the positive attributes of humanity as well as learning from our negative ones.

TCM: What did you think of the latest Star Trek Movie?

ER: Well to be honest I thought it was pretty good, umm yeah there are plenty of things that I would do differently, there were plenty of things my father would do differently and there were plenty of things that you out there reading this would do differently, but I thought it was pretty good. In fact I was very impressed that they stayed as true as they did to the Star Trek canon. Now I know there's a lot of naysayers out there that are upset because it went on a different timeline but I have to give them credit for at least doing that, you know they could have gone back and said ‘you know what we're gonna re-write history and were gonna do it our way'. I would have been very disappointed had they done that, but instead they branched off on to a new timeline which allowed all the original fans, the people who like the original stuff like me to still connect and believe in that timeline, that it does still exist but there's also a whole new generation and for those of us with open minds there's a whole other timeline that we can go down, you know I thought it was fairly intelligent and basically very respectful of the current fan world out there. The story was fine but what really made it were the characters, I mean the story was nothing really special it was good guy verses bad guy, planets going to get destroyed, we've kinda seen it before, but again done by JJ. its always unique. Where I have to give credit is to the characters, they did a great job of casting, I mean Spock was Spock, McCoy was McCoy, they all did a fantastic job on that and that really helped I think ease some of the pain, some of the fears and some of the expectations we might have had. It lived up to that expectation by really making sure the characters stayed true to the original series, so I thought they did a great job.

My only issue, my only gripe if you want to call it that is that at the end when Neros ship is being sucked into the wormhole type thing and being destroyed. I was happy Kirk said ‘hey we're willing to offer you assistance if you just as for it', and of course Nero says no I'd rather die. I didn't think it necessary that they fire all the photon torpedoes to "blow them out of the sky" that was a little bit

over kill for me and I know that it came from a vengeful Spock who'd just seen his planet destroyed but the true Roddenberry/Star Trek way is to do what they did, offer assistance but then show remorse for and pity for the loss of life regardless of what its done.

Star Trek Enterprise pizza wheel

Trekkies love a good pizza. Who doesn’t? So if you are going to slice up a pizza, you may as well do it with the Enterprise. Set a course for the pepperoni frontier. This thing will slice your fresh pizza pie faster than phasers can slice through a Klingon warship.

The blade is made from laser-etched stainless steel, and the body is made from a durable zinc-alloy chromium plate. Mostly, it just looks awesome and you know it will impress your friends.

It’s available at ThinkGeek for $24.99.

Nichelle Nichols | 'Star Trek' icon still has rank

Nichelle Nichols is a singer, dancer, actress and activist, but she's best known “Star Trek,” as the original Lt. Uhura, the fictional USS Enterprise's chief communications officer and the first African-American woman featured in a major TV show.

But her influence on space travel isn't confined to fictional galaxies. Nichols helped NASA recruit the first female and minority astronauts into the space shuttle program, including Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut. She serves on the board of governors of the National Space Society and on the advisory board of the International Space Camp.

In the 1970s, you worked with NASA to recruit women and minorities into the space shuttle program. What was that process like?

NASA didn't quite understand why women and people of color weren't responding to their recruitment call. I didn't understand why they didn't understand: that they had put out there how many recruitment drives they had conducted before that one and it had always remained an all-white, all-male astronaut corps. I promised NASA that I would bring in so many qualified women and people of color that they wouldn't know who to choose. I went to universities with strong science and engineering programs, I went to the Black Engineers' convention and they opened their arms. Women of all colors, African-Americans, Asians and our Spanish community were very skeptical. By the time I finished speaking with them, I brought in more than 3,800 qualified people of color and women to apply. Now, an integrated Space Shuttle corps is de rigueur .

Theater Review: Washington Shakespeare Company's evening of the Bard in Klingon

We all know about the defense and intelligence industries' explosive growth in recent years -- but sentry work outsourced to space aliens? That's a new phenomenon. Nevertheless, there they were on Saturday night, staking out sidewalks in Rosslyn: humanoids (or so it seemed) wearing red T-shirts distinctly marked "Klingon Security."

The lookouts were holding placards that pointed the way to the Rosslyn Spectrum, which was hosting a rare interplanetary cultural extravaganza: Washington Shakespeare Company's "By Any Other Name: An Evening of Shakespeare in Klingon," featuring "Star Trek" alumnus George Takei.

Who could question the need for the extra sentinels outside the venue? In announcing the one-night-only benefit -- built around the language invented for the Klingon figures in the "Star Trek" franchise -- Washington Shakespeare essentially cried havoc and let slip the dogs of media frenzy. The event was covered by news outlets in Canada, England, India and Indonesia, as well as around the United States. Demand was such that, according to Executive Director Warren Arbogast, the company began selling less desirable seats it had originally intended to seal off.

"Tonight, all the galaxy's a stage!" proclaimed company member Joe Palka, the evening's master of ceremonies, kicking off the proceedings on a dais near a large red Klingon flag. There were brief remarks by Arbogast and Washington Shakespeare Artistic Director Christopher Henley -- each of whom appeared in mild shock over the attention their experiment had received. Arbogast displayed the rumpled restaurant napkin on which he and Henley had scribbled their original ideas for the event.

The introductions paved the way for an amusing autobiographical talk by Washington Shakespeare board president Marc Okrand, who just happens to be the linguist recruited by Paramount Studios in the 1980s to invent the Klingon tongue. The bespectacled academic-turned-sci-fi-luminary gave a wry rundown of the syntax and exotic sound structure he'd concocted for the language. ("There's no "K" in Klingon, and that's that!" he insisted, illustrating the raspy, back-of-the-throat "kh"-type consonants he'd woven into the lingo instead). He good-humoredly recalled how various "Star Trek" actors and directors had inadvertently mauled his concepts over the years, forcing him to invent all sorts of baroque grammatical rules and double meanings for Klingon, a tongue he formalized in 1985's "Klingon Dictionary." (Later updated, it is now, of course, available in Kindle format.)

The evening really shifted into gear with the performances -- in Klingon and English -- of the Laertes-Hamlet duel scene from Shakespeare's most celebrated tragedy, as well as a passage of Beatrice-Benedick banter from "Much Ado About Nothing." (Those two works by the Bard have been translated in their entirety by the Klingon Language Institute, a Pennsylvania-based organization.) Four thuggish-looking Klingons, sporting gnarled foreheads and robed regalia and clutching spears and scimitars, looked on as the two "Hamlet" renditions were performed side by side -- a minute or two of the grating, guttural Klingon version, followed by a minute or two of the English one.

Riffing on the conceit that the Bard originally composed in Klingon ("You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon," a character famously pronounced in the film "Star Trek VI"), actors from the extraterrestrial version periodically broke character to tell the English-language actors that the transliterations were inaccurate. The four berobed Klingons pounded their spears now and then and roared softly in outrage -- or maybe enthusiasm. It was hard to tell.

Henley and actor Jay Hardee glided gracefully through the "Much Ado" material, followed by Okrand and Rachel Wyman barking out the exchange in Klingon. Finally, Takei stalked onstage and delivered a dignified but rather stiff and emotionless interpretation of Cassius's Act 1, Scene 2 speech to Brutus in "Julius Caesar." ("Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world/like a Colossus . . . .") Rounding out the proceedings was a question-and-answer session fielded by Henley, Okrand and Takei.

Thespians and Trekkies who missed the event need not despair: Arbogast announced that Washington Shakespeare's Bard-in-Klingon gamble will likely be featured in an upcoming BBC documentary on language. To that end, "By Any Other Name" (minus Takei) may be remounted next February for a camera crew.

What's with the insatiable appetite for classics in a concocted parlance? The fault, dear reader, is not in our stars, but in ourselves: that we are suckers for a gimmick.

Abrams On Inspiration For Star Trek

J.J. Abrams may not make The Wrath of Khan Part II for the Star Trek sequel, but the original Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan was part of the inspiration for Star Trek XI.

Although one element of The Wrath of Khan particularly caught Abrams’ attention, Abrams can’t really think of anything else in the Trek universe that specifically inspires him when it comes to planning the sequel to 2009′s Star Trek XI.

Abrams was drawn to the chemistry between Kirk and his crew in The Wrath of Khan and he tried to recreate that chemistry for Star Trek XI. But that was really all he took away from the Trek universe. “It wasn’t that there was anything in particular that felt like this one thing that has to be in the sequel,” he said. “The universe Roddenberry created was so vast. And so it’s hard to say there’s one particular thing that stands out as what the sequel must be.”

This makes it a bit tougher when it comes to making a second movie. “Which is, on the one hand, a great opportunity, on the other hand, it’s the greatest challenge,” said Abrams. “Where do you go? What do you focus on? But I’m incredibly excited about the prospects.”

Star Trek Stars Help The Fight Against Breast Cancer With Project Teddy Bear

Star Trek Stars Fight Breast Cancer With Project Teddy

Today we stumbled upon a great reason to bid on and buy your favorite Star Trek actor’s autograph and photo…to help cure breast cancer via Project Teddy Bear.

Project Teddy Bear was started by Lisa Spodak in 2004 as a way to raise money for her third Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. On her website she says, “I’d wait outside theaters, talk shows or other events for celebrities and explain to them that I was doing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and trying to raise $10,000. I’d ask them to sign a little tag that said “Thank You for Your Donation to The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer” and to pose for a picture with the stuffed Avon Breast Cancer Crusade bear. Then I’d post all the pictures on the web and conduct an online auction. Voila! The almost $4,000 that I raised with Project Teddy Bear helped me raise a total of $15,000!” Read the full story here. Since then she has risen over $150,000 for The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and is still going.

Currently an auction featuring Wil Wheaton (TNG) is up and running on eBay until Oct 06, 2010 19:21:17 PDT and more Star Trek alumnae that are still to come include; Scott Bakula (Enterprise), Jonathan Frakes (TNG), Ethan Philips (Voyager), Armin Shimerman (DS9), Brent Spiner, Dean Stockwell (Quantum Leap & Enterprise).

If you just so happen to like other celebrities other than Star Trek, Lisa has a ton more to choose from (seriously…a ton…you should see the whole list). The other celebrities include; Matthew Broderick, William B. Davis, Rosario Dawson, Micky Dolenz, Sean Patrick Flanery, Mick Fleetwood, Cuba Gooding Jr., Val Kilmer, Rue McClanahan, Jason Momoa, Brittany Murphy, Kathy Najimy, Corin Nemec, Adrian Pasdar, and Jewel Staite.

See all the Live and Upcoming

New Star Trek Game Announced for Summer 2011 – Star Trek: Infinite Space

Star Trek Deep Space Nine returns as the setting for an upcoming browser-based game. Along with another yet unannounced game, German developer Keen Studios has a new Facebook title focusing on the classic Star Trek universe slated for release in the summer of 2011. Little is known about the title at this point, other than its name and projected launch date.

Star Trek production alum Michael Okuda, the man responsible for the design of the space station, and one of the key designers of the Next Generation and it’s sister series is working as a consultant with the game studio to make sure the game has an authentic to the Tv universe feel. His wife, Denise Okuda, who was also a scene designer and video editor on the TV shows will contribute as well.

I’m not sure what sort of gameplay to expect here, but it’s nice to see such an interesting setting within the Star Trek universe getting some attention outside Cryptic’s Star Trek Online universe. With the movies now residing in a parallel timeline it seems the only source of new adventures with these classic settings might be online.

Karl Urban Talks ‘Star Trek 2′

Actor Karl Urban says he’s looking forward to reprising his role as Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy in the next installment of “Star Trek.” Urban, who’s currently promoting his upcoming action film “Red,” said that in particular, he enjoyed working himself into a state of constant consternation during the first film.

“Of cantankerousness?” he asked rhetorically of Bones’ cranky disposition. “It’s fun actually, a lot of fun.”

Urban has appeared in some of the biggest franchises of the last decade, including the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the second film in the saga of Jason Bourne, “The Bourne Supremacy.” He said that he is confident that a follow-up will maintain a similar focus on characters rather than sci-fi spectacle. “I have no doubt that we will be able to continue to strengthen and deepen those relationships,” he said. “To me that was always the most interesting thing about ‘Star Trek,’ is that it was character-driven. It’s a wonderful, smart thing that J.J. [Abrams] and Roberto [Orci] and Alex [Kurtzman] have done, to maintain that.”

J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” was itself a sort of risky proposition for Paramount Pictures, who more or less exhausted the existing universe’s big-screen prospects by the time 2002’s “Star Trek: Nemesis” arrived in theaters. Abrams’ version not only rebooted the series’ mythology, but reintroduced the core ensemble to audiences in a way that appealed both to longtime fans and newcomers. Urban said he looks forward to further exploring his character within this developing universe of this new “Star Trek” franchise.

“I think there’s such a wonderful, rich tapestry of characters and territory to explore,” Urban observed. “The great thing is that we’ve got a bunch of Einsteins working on it –- you know, J.J. and Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman that are really sharp. But I’m really looking forward to seeing where we take the next story.”

Friday, August 20, 2010

'Star Trek' Captains to Team Up?

Star Trek captains William Shatner, Patrick Stewart and Scott Bakula are set to join forces in a new movie.

The trio will reportedly star in the unnamed film that will be set in the 'mirror universe,' which was featured in both the Next Generation and Enterprise TV series.

An insider tells movie gossip website, ""Apparently Shatner was in talks to do a guest role on Enterprise, but it didn't work out. The ideas for the episode will now be incorporated into a movie.""

Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.

Ryan: 'Star Trek helped with new role'

Jeri Ryan has revealed that her past role on Star Trek: Voyager helped her play Dr. Kate Murphy on new ABC drama Body of Proof.

The series stars Dana Delany as Dr. Megan Hunt, a medical examiner who solves crimes by examining dead bodies.

Ryan told the Los Angeles Times that her time spent delivering science fiction "technobabble" dialogue on the Star Trek spinoff had helped her learn complicated "medical jargon" for Body of Proof.

"I haven't had so much of that [medical dialogue] but it's not that difficult," she explained. "I did four years on Star Trek. I did technobabble for years, so if I can do technobabble I'm not that concerned about the medical stuff!"

She also revealed that real-life medical examiners were present on the set of the series in order to ensure complete authenticity.

"We've got technical advisers that will be with us on set, so we can keep all of [the science] realistic," she claimed.

Body of Proof will debut in the fall on ABC.

EXCLUSIVE: 'Star Trek' Actor Walter Koenig Returns To Comics With 'Things To Come' And New 'Raver' Tales

Actor Walter Koenig is best known for playing Pavel Chekov, the navigator for the U.S.S. Enterprise in the original "Star Trek" television series and films, but over the course of a career that has spanned more than 50 years of acting, writing, and directing, he's managed to carve out a niche for himself in other areas, too — including the comics world.

The author of Malibu Comics' early-'90s series "Raver," Koenig returns to the comics world next year with "Things To Come," a four-issue miniseries he's scripting that will be published by Bluewater Productions. Set in a post-apocalyptic world in which vampires have become the dominant species, Koenig's tale promises to feature a very different take on the vampire stories that have become all the rage these days.

I spoke with Koenig today to find out more about the series, as well as Bluewater's plans to re-issue the original three-issue "Raver" series next year with a brand new story featuring the character.

In "Things To Come," Koenig presents a world in which vampires are searching for identity and purpose in a world destroyed by their human predecessors. They've evolved to withstand the harsh environment, but remain uncertain of whether they're the next step in civilization or the precursor to something else.

"The one intelligent species that can survive in this post-apocalyptic world are vampires, and they are a bridge from what has gone before, which is this self-destruction of the human race, and what will come after," explained Koenig. "They are in pursuit of their own meaning. Why are they there? Why have they been created?"

"There are those among them who think it is an act of god, and those who thoroughly reject that idea," he added.

However, Koenig stopped short of implying that any of these vampires will be "good guys" by standard definition.

"I don't know that they're good guys," he said. "They evolve as circumstances dictate. They do things that offer the promise of being good, but there are those who are more bitter and they see themselves as doomed to a terrible, soulless eternity."

According to Koenig, the real question posed by the vampires and their existence is "What will come after them?" The answer is something he said he's wrestled with over time, and has changed dramatically over the course of the writing process.

"I had one concept about how the story would end and what will come from these vampire species, but as I grew closer to the end of the story I found myself changing it," he said. "So now it's a different ending than I had initially thought."

Koenig added that the public's current fascination with vampires hasn't gone unnoticed, though he plans to offer a very different take on the creatures than anyone is accustomed to.

"As pretentious as it sounds, I don't want to mimic what has gone before," he explained. "My purpose isn't to capitalize on a theme, but inject it with some fresh ideas. That's what makes writing fun for me. It's always been what makes writing fun for me."

And while some authors shy away from presenting their comics work as a potential prelude to a big- or small-screen project, Koenig indicated early on in the conversation that "Things To Come" is indeed the product of a feature film treatment he'd written over many years and hopes to bring to theater audiences. Before that happens, however, we'll also see a reissue of "Raver," a project he admitted to liking a lot more than he anticipated when he chose to revisit it.

"The 'Raver' comics were better than I thought they were," he laughed. "I remember them less endearingly than I actually felt when I went over them once again. He's a complex character and he has a lot of stuff going on. He's a character who must vanquish the enemy with powers that only mirror the antagonist."

Koenig said he plans to author a brand new story featuring the series' hero, who travels through nightmare worlds manifested by his own psychotic episodes. Almost 20 years separated from the last issue of "Raver," Koenig said he hopes to bring the character back with a new, "more topical" story that offers a "metaphor for our involvement in foreign lands."

"Things To Come" is planned for a Spring 2011 release, with the reissued "Raver" also hitting that year.

Bluewater Productions has provided Splash Page readers with the exclusive first peek at the cover to "Things To Come," featuring the art of GMB Chomichuk. Interior art will be provided by Nathan Ooten. Bluewater has also provided the new cover to the "Raver" collection, featuring art by Gregg Paulsen.

Things To Come


Interview: Producer of Star Trek Online on Season 2

In the world of MMOs, we all know the heavy hitters. There's World of Warcraft, maybe a little adventuring in Middle Earth, some crime fighting in City of Heroes and Champions Online, maybe some free-to-play action. Then there's Star Trek Online. When it launched in 2009, fans fell for the opportunity to enter the universe “where no man has gone before”. A substantial enough of a hit, Cryptic has been active in making sure new content comes to the game.

One side-effect of Star Trek Online is the “seasonal” approach to adding content. Atari and Cryptic have Season 2 available right now for Star Trek Online, and the new content will appeal to Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike. With new plot elements, mini-games, cameos and a whole lot more, it looks like there's a lot here to appeal to anyone wanting to make a return to the Star Trek universe. I had a chance for the Executive Producer of Star Trek Online, Daniel Stahl, to answer a few questions about all of this new content. We discussed the general feel of the new series, and what they hope for the future of the game. For anyone thinking about returning to Star Trek Online, this would be an important interview to read. Hit the jump for our discussion.

Destructoid: Now that the game is entering "Season 2", please describe for me the feelings you hope to evoke with this expansion. What sort of new experiences will we see with the game? Is this considered an expansion or a seasonal update?

Daniel Stahl-Executive Producer of Star Trek Online: Season 2 was a lot about reaction to the feedback we received from players. People asked for non-combat missions, so we delivered. People demanded more PvE Klingon content, so we built that.

We’re also trying something new with weekly episodes. They’re brand new, level-agnostic content that people of either faction can play. We’re debuting a new one each week for a while. The episodes are connected and tell a story new to Star Trek Online. We want people to have something to be excited about each week, and we think this is a good way to generate some of that excitement.

Season 2 isn’t really an expansion – it’s just a big update. We structure all of our updates like this. There will be a Season 3 and Season 4, as well.

Overall, I’d say we want to evoke a feeling of excited satisfaction from our current players, and to continue to provide a sense of wonder and potential from all of our players new and old.

Please describe the Diplomatic Corps. Star Trek has always been about intercultural interactions more than action and shooting, and what will fans of this side of Star Trek find?

The Diplomatic Corps is a new gameplay option for players. It has its own reward and advancement system. As you complete special missions for the Corps, you gain diplomatic experience and then progress in rank, which gives you access to higher-profile missions.

One early mission is called Quarantine. A disease has found its way onto your ship, and it’s up to you to work with Starfleet to develop a cure to save you and your crew. There are also First Contact missions, where you can reach out to civilizations that have just developed Warp technology. You can learn about the new species and speak with their leaders, and so on. But that’s just the beginning of this system. We’re going to develop it more based on what people tell us they want to play.

Will we see more references from the show make an appearance in the game?

Definitely! This is more of an “as we can” thing, and if it fits. Since Star Trek Online takes place at later time than any of the shows, it won’t make sense to see some characters from previous shows. That doesn’t necessarily tie our hands, though.

For instance, in Season 2 we introduced a gambling mini-game: Dabo. Leeta, a “Dabo girl” at Quark’s Bar, was a popular recurring character from Deep Space 9. Our community really wanted to see her included in our presentation of Dabo, so we designed a holographic Leeta and recruited Chase Masterson, the actress that played Leeta, to provide voice talent.

Plot-wise, where are we in the game now? How has the overarching narrative of the universe progressed?

The universe is still at war. The Federation and the Klingons are still engaged in hostilities, and the Borg are trying to take advantage of the instability to move against both groups. To make matters worse, the Undine, a shapeshifting race from beyond the Alpha Quadrant, have emerged as quite a threat.

In Season 2, we’ve added the Fek’ihri, a fabled enemy of the Klingons. They feature in the Klingon-exclusive episodes we put together. And in our weekly episodes, players will square off against the Breen. So really, things are pretty hot everywhere.

How has the response been to the game been? Working with the Star Trek franchise has probably been a dream come true. Has it been the flexible experience you hoped?

Star Trek fans are some of the most passionate and knowledgeable fans out there and they’re definitely not shy about giving you their opinion about the game. They have really given us encouragement and feedback as well as some great ideas for what they would like to see in the game. We’ve been taking a lot of cues from them on our mini-game designs, for instance.

I’ve been a Star Trek fan for a long, long time and I was really excited to be given the chance to add to such an awesome franchise. Fortunately for us, CBS has given us a lot of freedom with Star Trek and have been great about providing feedback and any sort of information we may have needed throughout the development cycle.

Where do you hope to go next with Star Trek Online?

We really want to get Klingons caught up, content-wise, with the Federation. And in general, we really want to polish the experience to a mirror shine. I want the things our players encounter to be good, not just there. That’s coloring everything we’re doing going forward.