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Star Trek Reference/Cameo in Tranformers June 19, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Orci/Kurtzman,Trek Franchise , trackback

[MINOR SPOLIERS]
Transformers
is sure to be one of the big blockbusters of this summer. The mainstream action movie is full of pop culture references including one nod to Star Trek.  The reference comes from the character of Bumblebee (pictured right). Bumblebee is probably the most realized Transformer in the film and certainly gets the most screen time. He befriends the movie’s hero Sam Witwicky (played by Shia LaBeouf). One of the running gags is that the radio in Sam’s Camaro (aka Bumblebee) tunes into all sorts of things all on its own.

When Sam just learns his Camaro is actually a giant robot he asks it (Bumblebee) where he is from. It turns out that Bumblebee (unlike other Transformers in the film) can only communicate through recorded sounds and songs using the car radio. In order for him to indicate that he is from outer space he points up and you hear the distinctive voice of Nichelle Nichols as Uhura saying "hailing frequencies open." Sam immediately picks up on it and realizes his car is an alien robot (this comes after the moment seen in the trailer when Sam states the robot is ‘probably from Japan’). The Uhura phrase is heard again when Bumblebee ‘opens a channel’ to Optimus Prime (the leader of the good guy ‘Autobots’). One might think that this reference was put in by the Transformers and Star Trek writing team of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, but Orci tells TrekMovie.com that it wasn’t in the script and was added in post production…although he did think it was cool.

I will have my review of Transformers up of the film on opening day (per Paramount rules). 

 


Nichelle Nichols gets a small voice cameo in Transformers

Comments

1. snake - June 19, 2007

first – at last :)

Nice touch – good to see its an TOS cast member…guess they are ‘prime’ing us for ST next year..

Transformers will probably be the best of a bad year for big movies…

Spidey 3 was awful…really really dreadful…POTC 3 ditto, Die Hard 4 is a godamn PG 13 for f**ks sake!…cant remember the rest but there was nothing that got me thinking ‘boy i cant wait for that’ – just Transformers but thats it

Just waiting for next year really – Indy 4, Rambo 4 (have you seen that great early footage? – no pussy PG 13 cash in for Sly), Bond 22, Incredible Hulk (what an incredible cast), Dark Knight and of course Star Trek…

Bring on 2008.

2. John Cocktoastin - June 19, 2007

Can somebody explain the appeal of Transformers to me?

3. snake - June 19, 2007

never watched it as a kid…but i have to admit – the trailers look quite cool…sorta like Terminator for kids

4. Demode - June 19, 2007

Sounds cool! I do hope though that Bumblebee talks in the next film. Doesn’t makes sence for him not to have his voice repaired.

5. snake - June 19, 2007

looked at imdb – so they got the cartoon guy back as Prime but hired Agent Smith for the villian instead of the other cartoon guy?

Nimoy voiced for the 86 toon movie – guess he must of had a bit of spare time in editing Voyage Home or something…

and the kid in this is now playing Indys son in the new movie eh? Shif Leburp or sumthin…stars with a nice 20 year old hottie called Megan Fox in this….nice little life for a 20 year old fella huh? wish i was mates with Spielberg

6. Mike Wilson - June 19, 2007

The fact that they used Uhura explains perfectly why the next Trek movie will be a remake of TOS (call it a reboot/reimagining all you guys want, the film is simply going to be titled Star Trek). If they had used a sound clip of Data or Worf, the general mainstream public wouldn’t have picked up the reference. Michael Bay knew this.

….although he still did Plear Habour.

7. snake - June 19, 2007

Bay also did Armageddon – didnt that have a few TOS references?

Steve Busemi – when he was asked if he was going on the mission – ‘You know me….beam me up Scotty’

actually it was used in the trailer :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCsnsFm0pzM

there might have been another in that film too..cant remember…by god that trailer really makes u wanna see the film (Armageddon i mean…chessy as hell….but what the hell)

8. snake - June 19, 2007

wow i just thought of another TOS ref in a M Bay film – The Island (2005)

theres a scene when McGregor and Scarlett go into a bar in the desert and are dressed in their clone suits and the bar guy goes ‘sure thing Captain Kirk’ or something to McGregor when he asks for a drink

guess Bay must be a big TOS fan…hmmm how about him doing a Trek film at some point after Abrams eh? sure it’ll be action packed.

9. OddballUK - June 19, 2007

I think that a Michael Bay Star trek film would be fantastic.

Sue it wouldn’t be the stongest story but would have some fantastic set pieaces

10. snake - June 19, 2007

and what of Tarinitino eh? TOS references in his films too (Crimson Tide -he did the Kirk/Scotty stuff), Kill Bill 1 (“Revenge is a dish best served cold” – Old Klingon proverb title intro) and True Romance (TJ Hooker/Captain Kirk/Shatner)

Sign up Bay and QT for sequels!! (as well as Singer and Meyer of course)

ok I’ll stop now.

11. Driver - June 19, 2007

“Kill Bill” also had the fight music from “Amok Time”, if memory serves, as did “The Cable Guy”.

12. Lao3D - June 19, 2007

#8 And what about the scene with Ewan and his clone: “No shoot him HE’S the clone!” He had to have seen the Kirk vs. Garth fight from “Whom Gods Destroy.”

And I hope they had to pay Nichelle a nice little royalty for her quote at least.

13. snake - June 19, 2007

re 12 – yep of course – also see Trek VI Kirk and Iman….I actually liked The Island and thought it was an ok Sci Fi flick (it was also written by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci so maybe they had a hand in those Trek refs) ….when i watched i couldnt help but think ‘man Singer wont be doing Logans Run remake now….’

wonder if its Nichelles voice as of now or a piece used from TOS – probably the latter…

14. Xai - June 19, 2007

#6
Gee, after 40 years of first run series, a billion re-runs and 6 movies, I’d HOPE someone remembered a signature phrase or two.

15. Jeff - June 19, 2007

If Michael Bay directed a Star Trek movie, there would be lots of explosions while people ran around with the camera shaking a lot. You can also bet he’d have someone who was famous but not a good actor in one of the main parts.

And he’d come up with some visual “innovation” equivalent to the bomb’s-eye view from Pearl Harbor.

Ehhhhh.

16. Lao3D - June 19, 2007

They’ve already blown the ship up eight ways ’til Sunday. I don’t think he’d bring anything new to the franchise. He makes a mean popcorn flick, but I shudder picturing what he’d do to the characters.

That said, if we’re talking about blowing up fast cars and giant robots, I’m there.

17. doubleofive - June 19, 2007

“Can somebody explain the appeal of Transformers to me?”

They’re fast cars and planes, but they’re also robots. What’s not to like?

18. thx-1138 - June 19, 2007

Yeah I was going to say giant f-ing robots from space. Good stuff!

19. Ro-Dan - June 19, 2007

“Can somebody explain the appeal of Transformers to me?”

If you’re a child of the 80’s you’d probably understand. Had to be there, I guess. ;)

20. Gsmarty Pants - June 19, 2007

#15

Please no Michael Bay in Star Trek. Not unless he promises to behave himself and Bob Justman stands over his shoulder the entire time.

But I will probably see this movie anyway.

21. snake - June 19, 2007

talking of pearl haraour didnt josh hartnet claim he was the son of nimoy? i assume he was jokin

22. Mark 2000 - June 19, 2007

Hey, another alien character that speaks in earth pop culture references. Genie for Aladdin, the alien for “Explorers”, Wreckgar friom the OTHER Transformers movie. This is SOOOOOO original I could just die. This makes me very fearful of Star Trek’s outcome.

23. Ruthless Nate - June 19, 2007

Has Nemesis taught us nothing?

Michael Bay would be an awful director for a Star Trek movie because he doesn’t know how to put in the type of character interactions and development that makes Star Trek. Stuart Baird couldn’t get it right, and I doubt Michael Bay could either.

However, he is probably a good choice for Transformers because it demands to be an action movie and Bay can definitely do action.

24. NZorak - June 19, 2007

#5

I believe the original voice of the main villain is not the one from the cartoon because that voice actor is dead. If I have everything straight in my head (and I admit, I might be wrong), it was the same guy who voiced Cobra Commander. Dead.

25. Mark 2000 - June 20, 2007

24 that was star scream

26. Redshirt - June 20, 2007

I’m just sick and tired of action without a decent plot and it shows badly in Bey movies.

I hate to be the bearer of such bad news but they are getting the same amount of criticism about how they re imagined the Transformers which is almost justified if your a die hard fan .
.I can Wait six months for a DVD.

But if this does a well this might open the floodgates say for a GI Joe movie which I would be more interested in seeing.And not be done by Bey lol

Bey and Orci collaborated before I believe on “The Island.”
I cant believe The Island bombed at the box office. I thought It was a decent flick but some of the action defied any sense of logic that make Uwe Bowl films look like blockbusters. If anyone has seen Pearl Harbor Bey is just plain boring on characters…to a point you can take that long break in the bathroom and you wont miss anything. . .

27. [video] ‘Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen’ Writers Talk Themes, Sequels « STREET KNOWLEDGE MEDIA - May 14, 2009

[...] a sly follow-up to Bumblebee’s sampling of “Trek” actress Nichelle Nichols in the original “Transformers” film — and one of many pop-culture touchstones the duo [...]

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