Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek’

Boldly Go… To The Beginning

As the days count down to May 8, so too does the speculation of whether or not J.J Abrams’ vision of (IMHO) one of the two most iconic and enduring franchises in sci-fi  will live up to the legend.  Even if you have never seen one of the hundreds of Star Trek television episodes (spanning over 40 years, 5 spin-offs, and an animated series), any of the 10 big screen movies, or could careless… unless you live under a rock, you have at least heard of the phenomenon in some way.  Last night, a group of movie goers who thought they were walking into a screening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan were given a huge surprise.  Patrons at the Alamo Draft House in Austin, TX were greeted by the movie’s writers and the “old” Spock: Leonard Nimoy, himself and given an advance screening.  Unlike the recent problematic internet leaking of another summer blockbuster: X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Of course, in today’s world I would not be surprised to hear that Star Trek has by now made its way onto downloads… if so, I don’t want to know.

Personally, I want to know as little about the movie as possible; but the trailers look amazing.  What I want from the movie is basically what I enjoy most about the original series.  A good plot, a good villain, action whether it be on land or in space (however, a good ship to ship confrontation with phasers and photon torpedoes blazing is always enjoyable.  However, what I enjoy most about the old show is the chemistry between the three core characters: the devil-may-care, go where angels fear to tread Captain Kirk; the logical, usually stoic half-Vulcan/half-human Spock; and the certainly outspoken, cantankerous, passionate Dr. Leonard H. “Bones” McCoy (my personal favorite of the original characters).  Some of my favorite moments revolve around heated displays of verbal one upsmanship between the first officer and the chief medical officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise.  Most often, Captain Kirk would be the man in the middle who had to ease the tension.

Overall, I hope to be entertained and feel like I am stepping back into the world of 22nd century excitement.  The actors on screen may not be the same, but hopefully the characters they portray will be recognizable.

May 8th seems like an awfully familiar date to me… wonder why 😉  Maybe if I check out my coutdown widget….

The Story Behind The Mask

Have I yet posted on the coincidence involved in the Halloween movie franchise (at least the original 1978 movie)?  Well… if so, I apologize.  It seems that during the  3 year run of the original Star Trek series, William Shatner was fitted for a death mask.  Perhaps if the series had continued on the Enterprise’s five year mission (“to seek out new life and new civilizations”… yada, yada, yada…), the good Captain Kirk would have met his demise (guess we will never know).  As it turns out, the mask made its way into the hands of the creators of the horror film.  You can follow the link to a more in depth detail with the Shat himself being interviewed by his daughter, Melanie..  I think he might have been confusing the actor Mike Myers with the fictional villain Michael Myers.

Daughter of the Fifth House of Betazed, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Riix, and Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed

Perhaps the most enduring fixture in the world of Star Trek was Majel Barrett-Roddenberry.  She was in every incarnation of the universe.  She played the role of Number One in the original pilot entitled “The Cage.”  However, the role was scrapped when television censors first viewed the show as the role was too progressive for a woman (this was the mid 1960s after all).  When the series was relaunched, the wife of series creator Gene Roddenberry was given the part of Nurse Christene Chapel who had an unrequited attraction to a certain Vulcan first officer.  After the series ended, Mrs. Roddenberry would be heard in the animated series as Lt. M’ress as well as the voice of the computer in all future Star Trek series and later films including the new movie coming this summer.

However, my favorite role portrayed by the actress was as Lwaxana Troi who was the mother of Enterprise councellor Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Mrs. Troi would make periodic appearances not only to the Enterprise but also on space station Deep Space Nine.  Part of the fun of this character was her hilarious flirtatious advances toward Captain Jean-Luc Picard.  Unfortunately for the captain, Lwaxana is a full telepath able to read the thoughts of others.

On December 18, 2008 Mrs. Roddenberry lost her short battle with leukemia a disease I know all too well this year.  May the great bird of the galaxy watch over her and those she left behind.  Total coincidence that two postings in a row have a common theme.

Quotable Quotations (good Scrabble Words)

Ok… so this past week has not be fraught with hilarity… some fun, but a lot of downness (I KNOW a word that is not ), So, to cheer things up, I found a list of 24 quotable quotes from television… not from movies now. I’ll start off and let’s see how many we can come up with:

Ok… that’s five. come on all you shy people keep the ball rolling. Remember only television quotes for this one.  Sounds almost as fun as a rousing game of Shoes and Socks or “I’m Going on a Trip.”

To Boldly Go… Later

If you were planning to make a space in your upcoming holiday season to see two rather high profile movies, it would be wise to consider changing them or you will be waiting a LOOONG time in line. A few weeks ago, the reboot of Star Trek by Lost head guy, JJ Abrams has been shoved from Christmas Day to May 8, 2009. More recently, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince has been rescheduled for a July release. Not entirely sure why but articles suggest that the writer’s strike from earlier this year may have something to do with it. However, producers claim that the sixth installment of the cinematic adventures of the boy wizard is in the can ready to roll. Some speculate that changing the release date will help in the long run as Warner Bros. previously had no big releases set for midsummer.

As far as the latest franchise to get a face lift, I say ENOUGH already. We will probably be subjected to a totally new interpretation, with an entirely new cast, and be asked to forget everything that came before. Leonard Nimoy is set to make an appearance as an aged Mr. Spock. Of course, Mr. Shatner is bitter because he was not offered a spot in the role that made him famous. However like every good captain, Kirk DIED in Generations (although Bill in his profound wisdom did revive him in a series of spin-off novels… talk about ego). And we will again ask the question, when exactly DID Chekov come aboard the Enterprise. Another sign that this will be an entire relaunch of the series (only the names are the same to not protect the innocent?), it is simply entitled Star Trek (no bloody A, B, C, or D; but wait, they dropped the number after 6, I think).

Whoopee for Whoopi

It is so funny how a simple fun evening with a group of friends can inspire thoughts to re-emerge in your head. I have gotten almost totally out of touch with Star Trek. Tonight, I was reminded that Academy Award winning actress Whoopi Goldberg was indeed a member of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation beginning in the series’ second season. Although she did not receive a screen credit, she also appeared in the movies Generations, First Contact, and Nemesis. Whoopi played the enigmatic hostess of the Enterprise’s lounge Ten Forward. Perhaps more than any other person to have a role on the phenomenon, her history goes back to the original series.

In 1967 following the premiere season of Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols opted not to return to the show. Her character of communications officer Lt. Uhura was not being developed to its full potential. Upon learning of her departure, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. approached Nichelle and told her that she must not leave the show. The role of Uhura was not only one of the rare good female characters on television but also one of the first important roles for a woman of color. During the shows three year run, Nichelle had the distinction of sharing the first interacial kiss on television. This was shared with William Shatner in the episode “Plato’s Stepchildren.”

Twenty years later, Whoopi approached Trek creator Gene Roddenberry about being on the new television series. She cited the incident between Ms. Nichols and Dr. King as the inspiration behind her fascination with the franchise.

The character of Guinan has always been clouded in mystery. Like any good bartender, she is a good listener. She is extremely long-lived and very little is known about her alien race, the El Aurian. However, Guinan does share some history with Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) that has never been fully explained. Not even during the two-part episode in which members of the Enterprise crew travel back in time to the 19th century where they meet Mark Twain.


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