Koenig Has Advice For New Chekov [UPDATED]

Last week George Takei was recommending a new Sulu and this week Walter Koeing has advice for a new Chekov (although  we still don’t know if either will be in the new movie). The new site Trekdom has an interview with the original Chekov where he talks about the origins of his Star Trek character and the subject of Trek XI came up. Koenig offered this advice for the new Chekov "stay out of shadows and insist on dialogue that does more than simply advance the plot." In the past Koenig has expressed his view that the ‘secondary’ characters in Trek (especially in the films) often had interchangeable dialog. Regardless Koenig is optimistic about Trek’s longevity, saying "For what it’s worth, if I knew of a way of collecting I’d wager substantial rubles that, in one form or another, it will definitely out live me." Check out the full interview at Trekdom.


Koenig also appeared in a live chat with fans at Trek United. One of the questions regarded if he would be interested in being in Star Trek XI, here is his reply

I can only imagine that if I were offered a role it would be in a cameo part that would probably be most significant insofar as that I was there as a visual presence. I can’t believe that they would think of me in some role that was substantial to the story. And why should they?

Click here for the full transcript. 

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May 8, 2007 12:29 pm

In the past Koenig has expressed his view that the ’secondary’ characters in Trek (especially in the films) often had interchangeable dialog.

Umm… and?

I love all the characters, but they were good in relatively small doses in this show. DS9 did a better job with integrating supporting cast into the main stories. Koenig should be grateful he wasn’t cast to fly the NX-01… he’d have had no lines at all for several whole episodes in a row.

May 8, 2007 12:34 pm

Thanks to the kind admins here for posting this.

I love the vampiric imagery that he uses to describe Trek. I wish he had more to say about XI though.

May 8, 2007 1:01 pm

“The first Captain, The first Ship, The first….underused Ensign! Star Trek: Enterprise.

Looking forward to casting news, confirmed casting news. Obviously Kirk and Spock, hopefully they will have mitchell but while it might be cool to see the whole crew I don’t think that would would work? I guess with good writers anything is possible but just might be too much.

Stanky McFibberich
May 8, 2007 1:06 pm

The only regular character and actor from the series I could do without.

May 8, 2007 1:18 pm

Now now…
Who could forget Koenig as Oro?
Oh… I guess a lot of people could.

(There are some consolations TOS didn’t verge into the seventies.)

ps- To repeat: I love the characters. But, if they’re gonna get all self-important, I’m gonna get snarky.

May 8, 2007 1:46 pm

I should say, I think Koenig’s turn as Bester on B5 is great TV.
He even had an 80’s sleeper about Borg-like baddies on the moon. (How to fight them? Fire up that left-over Apollo, of course!)

Lord Garth Formerly of Izar
May 8, 2007 2:27 pm

Bester – F*cking badass villian!!!!!!!! He was great on B5!!!!! and may get the chance to reprise his role in the next B5 arc which deals with Garabaldi hunting down Bester!!

He could play alternate universe Bester in the next Trek film.

I also loved that John Carpenteresque film he was in, really creaped me out as a kid. Moonscape?? Moontrap??? Moon-something or other

May 8, 2007 2:52 pm

1988 Moontrap, w/ Bruce Campbell

May 8, 2007 3:09 pm

“All right, you primitive alien screwheads, this here is my BOOMSTICK!”

May 8, 2007 4:09 pm

Keonig should’ve been captain dammit!

May 8, 2007 4:12 pm

Can Justin Timberlake do a Russian accent?

May 8, 2007 4:12 pm

This is likely a non-issue. If STXI is about the early days, it’s a safe bet Chekov isn’t even in the story.

May 8, 2007 4:15 pm

My reasoning for J Timberlake…The original Chekov was brought on to appeal to the Beatles generation (mop top and all).Justin Timberlake is kinda in that same pop idol vein.

May 8, 2007 5:58 pm


Bester in the next trek film? As much as I love B5, and think Keonig did a fantastic job playing such a complicated charicter, I don’t really think there’s much room for Alfred Bester on Star Trek. Babylon 5 charicters are all pushing their own agendas, and are knee deep in conspiricys and plots. Bester especially… he’s playing for Clarke, and for Sheridan, and against the Shadows, and he uses the Shadows to use Garabaldi against Clarke, Sheridan, and William Edgars. In the end, Bester is only out for his teeps, his own agenda. And it works in a universe where people operate through conspiracy. Star Trek is not like that. In Trek, the concept is that humans have moved beyond our distrust. DS9 tried to reintroduce that conspiracy element with Section 31, and I really hated it, because I thought it was going against the positive view of humanity from TOS.

Bester is an integral part of the B5 universe. I don’t think that you could beam him in to Star Trek without destroying the optomism of Star Trek.

May 8, 2007 6:57 pm

14 – Yes, it would be like trying to produce a quality Science Fiction series on a Network founded by a Redneck looney.
(I was working at CNN at the time, which is when NY and Time Warner were trying to manupilate EVERYTHING. Yikes, what a mistake to try to fit B5 and Crusade into THAT world.)
Kinda liked Section 31, only because I knew the good guys were gonna blow it up.

May 8, 2007 7:04 pm

What makes these guys think their characters are going to be in the movie. I thought it was set before they were even on board the Enterprise. Didn’t Sulu & Chechove appear later in the series!

May 8, 2007 7:07 pm

15 .Really ,all you have to do is listen to Jack Cafferty,who’s parroting Ted Turner’s lunacy to understand how all the other hacks at CNN are lining up to suck up to the boss.

May 8, 2007 7:44 pm


I don’t think he’s expecting it. He wouldn’t have mentioned it if the question wasn’t asked. It was a hypothetical question, and he gave a hypothetical response.

May 8, 2007 8:06 pm

I was last in a long line to get his autograph many years back at a convention. He seemed like he wanted to leave 30 fans before me. Barely looking up, he said “Name.” “Uh, just your signature will be fine sir.” He scribbles it. It’s at the bottom of a dresser now. Ho hum.

May 8, 2007 8:52 pm

^19 Driver

Holy shit! I was getting ready to write the same story you did when I saw yours at the bottom of the posts.

In 1976 at the Philadelphia convention, Koenig was out in the lobby. I had a copy of the Paramount Western Union telegram announcing ST:TMP and asked him, as the rahter breathless 12 yo I was, if he would sign the announcement.

He looked away with a disgusted look as his handler said, “Mister Koenig is not granting autographs now!”

He humiliated me, my two kid brothers, insulting my mother and father who, as fans themselves, drove almost two hours to get there from the Poconos.

I got his stinking autograph later on. But that press release sits in an unknown box somewhere in the attic. Or maybe not. Honestly, I never looked at it again.


May 8, 2007 8:53 pm

Correction: It was the 1977 Convention.

May 8, 2007 9:09 pm

#20 Olde Timey Fan

I like your passion and your honesty. :D

May 8, 2007 9:19 pm

# 16: Sulu was in the very first televised episode. Chekov appeared later on in the show to appeal to the younger demographic. It’s possible Chekov was on the Enterprise at the time of “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, but he wasn’t a member of the Bridge crew.

It would be cool for see Koneig as Chekov again. He was great as a villian on B5.

It would be cool to see him as an alien villian in Trek 11. He plays a really good bad guy.

May 8, 2007 10:32 pm

Sulu should have beat up Chekov a long time ago. George Takei was always more pleasant, a better actor, and PUH -LEASE…bad ass as the Cpt. of the Excelsior!!

May 9, 2007 1:09 am

So because someone does or does not sign an autograph invalidates their work or their opinion? Someone tell Shatner that.

May 9, 2007 5:09 am

Chekov got more lines than Sulu ever did. None of the supporting cast got a lot to do in the movies (even the TNG movies), but Koenig and Doohan got quite a bit of screen time and a lot more lines than Takei and Nichols ever did on the series.

Kind of funny, because they were the loudest Shatner detractors.

Admiral Deem
May 9, 2007 5:26 am

I would say characterizing a man for his apparently selfish actions 30 years ago is a bit harsh. I suspect if one is besieged by autograph seekers wherever they go, 24/7, it would get quite tiresome and annoying. Perhaps in his younger days, he had not developed either patience or diplomatic skills sufficient to mask his feelings.

I enjoyed his character and find him to be an interesting individual. That he may have human flaws does not dim that perception one whit. Don’t we all?

May 9, 2007 5:30 am


Do we need the big ST:TOS happy family to appear just to satisfy the FANBOYS. I would rather a universe where everybody doesn’t know everybody right from the begining!

May 9, 2007 6:12 am


Well stated. It’s a big galaxy out there.

Stanky McFibberich
May 9, 2007 6:49 am

In what other series could the secondary characters ever get as much opportunity to publicly grouse about their lack of lines or screen time and have anyone care? The Star Trek phenomenon of conventions and syndicated popularity after filming was long over is what got those people going about their self-importance. They knew they weren’t the stars from the get-go.
Koenig in particular always rubs me the wrong way in this regard.

May 9, 2007 6:59 am

I always enjoy Koenig’s no nonsense statments about the franchise.

Unlike self promoting people like George Takei and William Shatner (love both of them) Koenig says it like it is and does not have delusions of granduer.

Lord Garth Formerly of Izar
May 9, 2007 7:53 am

14- I was being sarcastic about Bester in the Trek Universe, great character though

Michael Appleton
May 9, 2007 8:45 am

Hey, if Koenig had been a bigger star, maybe he could have sprung for a better toupee! Sheesh, the rug he wears looks like a rat crawled up on his head and died there! Even George Burns had a better one!

Lord Garth Formerly of Izar
May 9, 2007 9:11 am

33- even John Saxon had a better one

May 9, 2007 9:46 am

anybody know?Has he been able to live off Star Trek all his life or does he have another career(s)?

May 9, 2007 9:52 am


Star Trek II, with the infamous line about Kahn remembering Chekov, makes it canon that Chekov was on the Enterprise by the time of “Space Seed”. He simply would have been one of the “little people” we never saw. He could have even had bridge duty, but on some hypothetical “night shift” that we never saw.

Though all that says nothing about whether he was on board before “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. It’s up to Abrams & Co. to decide if they want to have him or not.

Lord Garth Formerly of Izar
May 9, 2007 10:02 am

Jon – check out his IMDB profile

May 9, 2007 12:10 pm

Star Wreck: In the Pirkining. If you have never seen it, and you like to laugh (or if you speak finnish), get this one. In short, Bester vs Chekov is there… but way more. It’s fun.

May 9, 2007 3:51 pm

35, 37 …. Better yet, check his official website for his long list of credits: films and television. “The Bone Eater” is his latest tv role: a movie coming out this year on scifi. The film he wrote “Inalienable” starts shooting in June of 2007.

May 10, 2007 2:12 am

#33 Shatner has a better dead rat on his head, no doubt

Michael Appleton
May 10, 2007 2:35 pm

No, with him being Canadian it’s actually beaver on his head and (groucho marx tone) “I’ll tell you, I’m sure that’s not the first time he’s had beav….” aw, never mind!