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Famous Location To Appear in New Star Trek Movie November 24, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

It has been reported before that Star Trek director JJ Abrams is doing as much location shooting as possible, and that Trek geek co-writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have laced the script with multiple Trek references. TrekMovie.com has learned that those two things will come together in fun homage to Trek’s past.

MINOR SPOILERS below.

Vasquez Rocks to appear in Star Trek
An inside source has revealed to TrekMovie.com that the Star Trek crew will be shooting at the famed Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park north of Los Angeles. It isn’t known when the shooting starts, but Paramount scouts have already visited the famed Trek locale. Vasquez Rocks is possibly most famously known as the spot where the Metrons staged the death match between Captain Kirk and the Gorn in “Arena.” The TOS crew also used Vasquez for three more episodes as well as Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (where it stood in for planet Vulcan). The Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise also shot at Vasquez. Each time the location stood in for a different planet in the Trek universe. It is not known what planet it will be standing in for in the new Star Trek, but a source tells TrekMovie.com that the famous ‘Gorn Rock’ is likely to end up in the film as another one of those homage ‘Easter Eggs’ to the fans.


‘Gorn Rock’ to show up in new “Star Trek”

Vasquez not just for Trek
Vasquez is not just popular with Paramount shooting Trek, the location has been used by dozens of films and TV shows going back to 1928. Many of those films were westerns such as Dakota starring John Wayne, but also include genre films such as Army of Darkness and the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes. Vasquez’s Trek connection also served as parody for films shooting there, such as Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, Free Enterprise, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. William Shatner recently returned to Vasquez to film the documentary How William Shatner Changed the World. The location will also be used for the upcoming Star Trek New Voyages episode “Rest and Retaliation.”


It is Kirk v Gorn at Vasquez in TOS “Arena”


Shatner returns to Vasquez in “How William Shatner Changed The World”


Spock gets some ‘me time’ in “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”

More on Vasquez Rocks at Memory Alpha, Ex Astris Scientia and MovieSites.Org.

Comments

1. girl6 - November 24, 2007

They need to declare Vasquez Rocks a national monument. I could tell you anything you need to know about Vasquez. Mount Rushmore? Not so much.

2. andy hiscock - November 24, 2007

intresting.
1st on iPhone uk

3. andy hiscock - November 24, 2007

Oh well nevermind 2nd

4. CmdrR. - November 24, 2007

Don’t forget the papier mache boulders!

Love it!

5. karanadon - November 24, 2007

right, guys, you know what to do!!

take some time off, camp out there until they appear and start shooting and take LOTSA pictures (or even videos…!) =p

I’d love to, but i don’t live anywhere near there…

6. steve adams - November 24, 2007

Also seen in Phantasm 3 I believe. Anyone else think of obscure films that used Vasquez rocks?
^
Does this mean were also going to see young Kirk in a ripped up shirt??

7. VulcanBabe - November 24, 2007

This basically says Shatner might be in the movie…or at least present during part of the shooting? Or am I reading this wrong? *hopeful lip bite*

8. Anthony Pascale - November 24, 2007

7
I have no idea where you got that inference Vulcan Babe

please people can we not divert this thread into that well gone over territory

9. Dennis Bailey - November 24, 2007

No, it says nothing of the kind. Not even by implication.

10. Bobby - November 24, 2007

I have been there several times, usually for nighttime star gazing during meteor showers. Vasquez Blanket Bingo!

11. Snake - November 24, 2007

VR also appeared in The Invaders a few times – e.g The Saucer…..Hope that series gets the big budget treatment one day….Scoett Bakula starred in a sequel failed mini series in 1995

12. SPB - November 24, 2007

YESSSSS!!!

That just gives me a great, big, giddy smile on my face. The general public won’t recognize the location from squat, but the die-hards will get a great chuckle when the Rocks make their appearance in TREK XI.

Good call!

13. TK421 - November 24, 2007

Vasquez Rocks, woo-hoo! Curiously, it’s a bit of a disappointment in real life, so close to the freeway when you drive past it. But I have yet to take the exit and see what it’s like down up close and personal. Now I have another excuse to go!

14. Robo-Dude - November 24, 2007

I tell ya….Bill Shatner looks retrospective (yet old) and lost in the picture posted here. To get older and have the best years behind you. Sort of sad.

15. Etha Williams - November 24, 2007

The instant I saw “famous location,” I thought Vasquez Rocks…exciting. I visited them when I was a kid, before I even knew about their Trek significance…I’ll have to go back some time.

16. Jeffrey S. Nelson - November 24, 2007

Maybe we’ll see Miramanee’s famous twin peaks.

17. IrishTrekkie - November 24, 2007

@6 , lol Phantasm 3 nice , this is funny yea any other obscure films or tv show ?

18. Rastaman - November 24, 2007

My guess would be some sort of establishing shot on Vulcan, like it was used in Trek IV.

19. Charley W - November 24, 2007

Maybe it will be the Guardian Planet when a Gorn captain goes back in Time to keep Kirk from beating his scaly a**.

20. Oregon Trek Geek - November 24, 2007

I think after ST 12 wraps, Vaszquez should become a closed natural museum, open only to card-carrying ST fans, fan productions, and of course, studio productions of ST. :D

Oh, and #16, LOL…

21. Oregon Trek Geek - November 24, 2007

Umm…… I’m sure I mean ST 11 up there in my post #20… a result of typing while not yet fully caffeinated…. sorry… :D

22. Stanky McFibberich - November 24, 2007

Maybe the Metrons will interfere and will not allow fake actors to film there.

23. Quatlo - November 24, 2007

JJ and his crewe should invest more in story rather than making location shot and other types of Easter eggs – judging by mi 3, which I finally saw last night. Sure was a lot of plot getting in the way of any story there.

24. Litenbug - November 24, 2007

#22 Stanky
You take an awful lot of interest in a film you profess to dislike

25. Star Trackie - November 24, 2007

Gotta love those rocks! Just saw them in an episode of Wild WIld West…along with the fort on cestus 3…apparently it was built right outside the rocks. It’s only fitting that they should make a cameo in this TOS movie. Cool news for sure!

26. Dave - November 24, 2007

How time stands still for Vasquez Rock as you can tell by the pictures above however time is still moving along for the Shat.

27. sean - November 24, 2007

#23

Couldn’t disagree with you more on MI:3. Best of the series really. Moved along at a clip without sacrificing character moments.

28. JC - November 24, 2007

26 …and for everyone else too.

29. JBS - November 24, 2007

That picture of the Shat wearing yellow pants and white socks under his sandals, is just too funny. Did they let him dress himself? Sadly, my husband dresses like that, but I love him anyway.

30. Allister Gourlay - November 24, 2007

i concur…socks under sandals…not cool!
I remember visiting Vasquez Rocks in 1986 where they were filming back ground shots for “Masters of the Universe” with Dolph Lungren – while my wife and my friends and i took trek pose photos…and the crew though we were mad!
ah to be young again!

What a stunning place it is!

Al in the UK!

31. Bart - November 24, 2007

And of course these rocks made an appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation’s “Who Watches the Watchers”.

32. TrekMadeMeWonder - November 24, 2007

I heard they are recreating Vasquez Rocks in 3D AND on a soundstage.
Your Trek dollars at work.

33. Viking - November 24, 2007

Shat’s choice of footwear reminds me of those old fogeys I see at the beach, bopping around in print shirts and Bermuda shorts with black support socks and Oxford shoes……LMAO :-)

34. John Hudgens - November 24, 2007

It’s not Trek, but the first live-action Flintstones film built all the Bedrock locations around Vasquez Rocks… I’m pretty sure at least one episode of Brisco County filmed there as well – it’s a very popular location…

And of course, I even shot part of my own film “The Jedi Hunter” out there five years ago… :)

35. Stanky McFibberich - November 24, 2007

re: 24 Litenbug
“You take an awful lot of interest in a film you profess to dislike”

It’s like a train wreck. You want to look away…but you can’t.

36. lwr - November 24, 2007

to everyone in my family, we have fondly called this famous outcropping as “kirk rock”

37. Gary Seven - November 24, 2007

Stanky is as constant as the northern star.

38. Starship Conductor - November 24, 2007

#37 Shatners Hairpiece Said:
“Please shut up about Shatner being in the movie already, it’s getting old!”

WOW, SHATNER’S IN THE NEW MOVIE! WOO-HOO!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!

39. CanuckLou - November 24, 2007

Cool – love to look for these references.

40. Pr011 - November 24, 2007

The actors look pretty real to me.

Perhaps I just can’t tell the difference between real ones and fake ones.

41. Dennis Bailey - November 24, 2007

#35. “re: 24 Litenbug
“You take an awful lot of interest in a film you profess to dislike”

It’s like a train wreck. You want to look away…but you can’t.”

Find the strength of character.

What’s with the “fake actor” business, anyway? It’s not like any of the folks cast so far are, based on their previous work, any more or less “real” than the motley group of TV actors who’ve appeared in TOS and other Trek in the past. I mean, is Eric Bana less “real” an actor than the Shat? Not bloody likely. :lol:

42. JGG1701 - November 24, 2007

any other obscure films or tv show ?
Yes,
“Bill & Teds Bogus Journey” I believe.

43. Gary Seven - November 24, 2007

41- Dennis Bailey-

“Find the strength of character.”

Good one.

Kirk said in ST VI, “People can be very frightened of change.”

Spock said, in “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” “Change is the essential process of all existence.”

I guess that adds up to a lot of potentially frightened people?

Of course, some change is for the better, some for the worse. No one can tell which r the upcoming ST movie will be. The only thing we know is that the only way change will not happen, in Star Trek as in a person’s personality, is if it is dead.

44. steve623 - November 24, 2007

“They need to declare Vasquez Rocks a national monument.”

I’m all for that.

Just curious, Dennis – does Paramount pay you to defend online every currently-in-production Star Trek project? I very clearly recall you applauding and defending everything going on in the first season of “Enterprise” on TrekBBS.com way back when. Or are you just really enthusiastic about everything until you actually see it?

45. NCC-73515 - November 24, 2007

it is our job as fans to keep trek alive. i very much disliked ent seasons 1 and 2, 3 got better… but i watched every episode and guess how glad i was (because season 4 was the greatest of all trek).
same with nemesis. i didn’t like it and i still don’t like it. it’s like st5 with the many mistakes.
but i have the special edition dvd of nemesis. because i still like to see the enterprise flying into the unknown.

i will watch this movie many times in theaters, i will buy the dvd (special ed. if there will be one), the pc game, the soundtrack cd and the book. no matter what. because it will be a part of trek history and only the money will make sure that the trek continues.

46. Litenbug - November 24, 2007

44. steve623 – November 24, 2007

Not speaking for DB, but I’d rather we start positive and see where it goes rather than some of the negativity posted here.

I’d forgotten the “rocks” appeared in ST:IV

47. Dennis Bailey - November 24, 2007

#44:”Or are you just really enthusiastic about everything until you actually see it?”

Only things that look interesting. But it’s a lot more fun to look forward to the future than to bitch, complain, and predict/expect the worst.

What, one might be disappointed? One might feel that they’d been “fooled?” Pretty wimpy to fear that kind of thing.

I did enjoy “Enterprise” immensely. That was more fun, too, than hating it appears to be. :)

48. Oregon Trek Geek - November 24, 2007

I remember seeing, several years ago, a magazine spread of the Shat, resplendent in his STVI era uniform, posing with pretty women. Does this ring a bell for anyone? (The discussion of his sock and sandal feux pas popped that memory up out of the hazy hopper….)

Perhaps it was more in the Generatons era, I’m not sure. He had several hot babes hanging on him while he wore a movie-era uniform, and smiled (leered?) at the camera knowingly….it could have been a layout called “The Women Of Star Trek” or something like that…

If anyone remembers that, let me know. Perhaps those pics are online somewhere…they were most cheesy, and yet fun to look at…

49. TheLittleTrekkie - November 24, 2007

since you mention New Voyages someone on their forums sed this since both productions are filming at Vasquez:

QUOTE:
“ah imagine the scene
James Cawley: I’m Captain Kirk
Chris Pine: I’m Cadet Kirk
James Cawley: I’m Captain Kirk.
William Shatner (jumping out from behind a large rock): I’M CAPTAIN KIRK
JJ Abrams: Okay who invited the fat man in the girdle? Get him out of here. If we’ve told you once, we’ve told you twice, Bill, you’re just not in this movie.”

lmao

50. jonboc - November 24, 2007

#49

Then I imagine Shat wiping the floor with all 3 of them. And the funny part is, at 76, I think the fat man in the girdle could do it!

51. Litenbug - November 24, 2007

48. Oregon Trek Geek – November 24, 2007

TV Guide is the rag you want, but I don’t recall the year

52. Litenbug - November 24, 2007

#50 jonboc

…..pffffffft.

53. Litenbug - November 24, 2007

Let’s get back to the subject.

SoCal locals… where is this location?

54. TheLittleTrekkie - November 24, 2007

Los Angeles thats for sure

55. Harry Ballz - November 24, 2007

So, if I understand this correctly, and I think I do………when JJ Abrams is filming Star Trek XI at Vasquez Rocks, while still wrestling with how to fit Bill Shatner into the film…….we can then say, both literally and figuratively, that Mr. Abrams is stuck between a ROCK and a HARD PLACE!!!

No? How about….having this location in the new film ROCKS!!!

56. Bramblett - November 24, 2007

53. It is just north of Los Angeles, located at 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Road, Agua Dulce, CA 91350.

57. Lostrod - November 24, 2007

Some folks asked if Mr. Shatner appeared to be losing weight. Look at images over the past 3 months and judge for yourself:

http://www.virtualheartland.com/miscstuff/shatspan.jpg

58. The Vulcanista - November 24, 2007

#57

Hmmm…… Fascinating.
Thanks!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

59. reptileboy - November 24, 2007

I agree with #1. I’ve never been to the US but I would consider myself more interested in having myself pictured in front of Vasquez Rock than in Mount Rushmore or anywhere else.

It’s one of the most amazing geographical features the US has. Why isn’t it more used by the tourism board.

Sorry if my spelling is wrong. I’m just back from the pub to find my housemates watching Star Trek: Nemesis and wondering what the hell that’s all about.

60. diabolk - November 24, 2007

We talked about them using this on the new movie before this, here on this forum. And they did! Woo-hoo!

61. Xai - November 24, 2007

59. reptileboy – November 24, 2007

Sorry, I love Trek and the “Rocks” goes with that, but there are far more spectacular mountains, rocks and peaks than this. Rushmore is one of them, but it likely has less meaning to a non-American. No offense intended.

62. Xai - November 24, 2007

#57 Lostrod.

I see no change and lets get back to the “rocks”

63. reptileboy - November 24, 2007

#61 Xai

It’s all about perception. There are many aspects about a particular country that draws in tourists that would otherwise be ignored by the locals.

I live in Ireland, and we sell ourselves on the perception of tourists that we are a quaint and traditional country.

Take the whole Lord of the Rings movies series and the effort that the New Zealand tourism board put into the promotion of that countrys involvement in the trilogy.

I know that it is simple for me to travel to the US and explore the more well known tourist spots. But I would really like to see and experience Vasquez Rocks in person. They seem so unique and spectacular.

64. Xai - November 24, 2007

I am not saying you are wrong, just pointing out that they are not the most spectacular place. I hope you get to see them someday.

65. reptileboy - November 24, 2007

Xai, I get what you mean. When your country is the size of the US, the geographical features available to a tourist, and even a citizen, is immense.

I think that Vasquez Rocks is so heavily used by movies and television, that there are hundreds of thousands of viewers out there that recognise them.

It’s really amazing that a simple geographic feature like this can be so easily recognised by people the whole world over, that few can actually pinpoint to an actual location.

Out of interest. Have you actually been to see them? Because that would be awesome and raise you a level higher in my estimations on this site.

66. Greg2600 - November 24, 2007

Abrams is likely filming a very small segment at Vazquez Rocks. VR were also used in Free Enterprise, when the main character and his girlfriend, both Trek fans, had a date there.

A few people mentioned Mount Rushmore. That was a proposed “location” for Sulu and Chekov in ST V, when they get lost. It would have been an effects shot I think. Since the FF budget was so tight, it was not used, but the DVD has a very shoddy mock up of it.

67. Justin Olson - November 24, 2007

#57

There is also a change in the focal length of the zoom lens, from wide in September to telephoto more recently. Wide focal lengths distort facial features in close-ups. Longer focal lengths are more flattering on actors.

68. Susan from Claremont - November 24, 2007

I was at the rocks today, and there is a set being built. The security guards said that the film was to start shooting on Monday, and that it was a “space film”….that is all they would tell me. Might just be Star Trek! I’ll be watching for the scene and the set I saw for sure!

69. Jackson Roykirk - November 24, 2007

LOL. I read somewhere (probably here on trekmovie.com) that one of the locations is a secret desert spot in SoCal. I immediately thought “It’s probably at that big rock from the TOS Kirk vs. Gorn episode…”

I love the idea.

70. Oregon Trek Geek - November 25, 2007

57, 67 — I’ve always thought that the Shat still looks good enough to play Kirk again. If he could drop some poundage, he’d look fine in a TV movie of Spock & Sulu yanking their beloved Captain out of the Nexus (similar tot he bbk trailer 2). What do they do with him after they yank him out of the Nexus? I dunno, hopefully the writers are back by then and they can figure that out. Nevertheless, it would be a sweet TV or theatrical movie.

71. Iowagirl - November 25, 2007

#25, 41

I don’t think it quite accurate to compare Bana to Shatner in terms of the ST background. By using the word “fake” Stanky was referring to actors being about to play those roles which have been played by the same actors for almost 4 decades. Bana will introduce a new character to the ST universe.

Anyway, caring for the original series and having doubts concerning re-casts doesn’t necessarily make you a chicken.

72. StarTrekRockerGirl - November 25, 2007

Gotta love those cool yellow pants that The Shat is wearing in the pic above! Very futuristic, indeed! ;)

73. DEMODE - November 25, 2007

Most men can’t make yellow pants look cool, but Shatner “found a way!”

:)

74. Stanky McFibberich - November 25, 2007

re: 43 Gary Seven
“Kirk said in ST VI, “People can be very frightened of change.”

Frightened is not accurate in this case. Annoyed and irritated is much closer.

re: 45
The suits at Paramount must love you.

re: 71 Iowagirl
Thank you for that. Most correct.

75. Meh - November 25, 2007

75TH YEAHHH ALRITE!!!!

76. Xai - November 25, 2007

65. reptileboy – November 24, 2007
Sorry to “lower” your estimation of me, but I’ve not yet seen the the rocks, but’s on the list. Rushmore, Chimney Rock, Scottsbuff, Pike’s Peak, Haleakala, the Devil’s Tower (from Close Encounters)… those I have seen and all impressive in their way. Good luck on your travels.

Let’s get back on subject please? Shatner needs no more ego boosts.

77. Woulfe - November 25, 2007

I can just hear Joel, Crow & Tom chanting “Rocks, Rocks, Rocks”

AND of couse talking about mountain climbing and how many times THIS location has appeered in Star Trek and other films and TV series over the years.

The gang is like Pop-culture Trivia 101 ;)

- W -
* Say didn’t Shatner toss rocks at a lizard here once or twice ? *

78. neal - November 25, 2007

#59. The US has a zillion other fascinating geographical thingies besides the vasquez rocks. As someone else mentioned, it’s right by a highway. I’ve seen a lot weirder places in the US, but my favorite is the Joshua Tree national park, just outside of Palm Springs, CA. That place was really truly weird, and I kept thinking when I was there that it is a lot weirder than any science fiction planet I’d ever seen in a movie. And I wondered why no production had yet taken advantage of it. You drive into it and there are these enormous piles of rock that look like a giant just arranged into a pile for fun. Like, no natural force could’ve arranged them that way. Weird.

79. Xai - November 25, 2007

I still want a bit of REAL (not fake, Stanky) Iowa in the flick. I’ll find you a good spot, Roberto!

80. TomBot2007 - November 25, 2007

Why were the “Rocks” so popular? Easy answer; accesible, cheap, and locale? Yeah, there probably are much more “alien” locales available in the U.S. but those were conveniently nearby. :-) Did they use them in Galaxy Quest? I thought they did, not sure. :-)

81. Tim Handrahan - November 25, 2007

#48 & #51

The T.V. Guide issue was from their Star Trek at 30 Trbiute. It was Shatner pictured with Louise Sorel, Kim Darby, Grace Lee Whitney, Barbara Luna and Nichelle Nichols. I still have that issue.

82. FlyingTigress - November 25, 2007

#78

The use of the VR adds a huge geek factor for the movie, so, in that respect, I think that its much more of a “Valentine” to us than the ending v.o. scenes from TATV.

That having been said, I’d have to concur that while they are interesting, and their proximity to a major urban area and accessibility adds something to the interest, there are a number of geologic features just in the lower 48 that I’ve seen — and, I know that there are many, many, others that I’ve only heard about via others’ personal descriptions (never mind those that don’t aren’t covered in those two catagories) — that would be more interesting than the V.R. — and aren’t ‘the usual tourist sites’.

Just a note to JJ and company… while you’re filming out there, bring back some of the diamonds — :D

83. Tim Handrahan - November 25, 2007

#57
It also appears that his hair looks better than it did in previous pictures.

HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

84. Hammerman - November 25, 2007

I think the location was used in the “Roswell” series as well, possibly where their ship landed or something.

I also think MI3 is a perfect example of why J.J. is the perfect choice to do this movie: MI3 was the only film of the three that actually felt like the original Mission Impossible series – and isn’t that exactly what we want for Star Trek?

85. Oregon Trek Geek - November 25, 2007

81. Tim Handrahan

THANK YOU! I’d like to see it again. I’ll do a search on eBay. I may just have to get that issue somehow…. :D

Happy Thanksgiving (Weekend)
Casey

86. Oregon Trek Geek - November 25, 2007

Again, 81. Tim Handrahan, Thanks, I did indeed find the TV Guide set from the mid 90′s on eBay, and my most geeky trek nerd index finger did indeed click on “buy it now.”

Wow. I had a major Trek Geek morning. I couldn’t be happier! Check out the covers below (hope the link works)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=330013722463&ssPageName=STRK:MEWN:IT&ih=014

87. Xai - November 25, 2007

yea, back to the rocks please.

88. JC - November 25, 2007

I think it’s kinda campy that they’re using those cheesey rocks again.Maybe they’ll have a styrofoam boulder landslide for old time’s sake

89. Decker's Stubble - November 26, 2007

Didn’t Brent Spiner write a song called “Old Yellow Pants”? Or was it “Old Yellow Eyes”? I dunno, caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet.

90. Diabolik - November 26, 2007

I truly can’t BELIEVE that no-one has mentioned the one episode with the most use of this area…. SHORE LEAVE?

What’s up with you fans, are you all slipping?

91. jero - November 26, 2007

Hammerman you’re right… Vasquez was used many times in the TV series Roswell… It’s where the alien pods were hidden after the ’47 crash… It’s one of the ‘must see’ places when Roswell fans visit Cali…

92. Cervantes - November 26, 2007

Great news, and I particularly like the framing of the rocks in pic above with the Kirk / Gorn face-off by the way J.J….

93. Diabolik - November 26, 2007

You know, unlike most of the Original Series crew and guest stars, the Vasques Rocks have aged the best. Very little change in them, except for a couple small cracks here and there. At least they will play themselves and not younger, fresh-faced replacement rocks.

94. uss enterprise - November 27, 2007

yo biggit up whats happening in this new star trekk film is pattrik stewert in it and captian kirk and is it the enterpirise ir is it like a planet thing

95. Olive Percifield - July 11, 2011

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