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Greg Ellis Joins Star Trek Cast February 19, 2008

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: ST09 Cast , trackback

TrekMovie.com has confirmed that English actor Greg Ellis will appear in the new Star Trek movie in the new role of Chief Engineer Olsen. Ellis is probably best known for his role as a villain for the third season of 24. The 38 year-old Ellis has also appeared in numerous TV series and feature films as well as doing quite a bit of voice work. This will not be his first time with Trek as he appeared in an episode of DS9 and provided voice work for two Trek games.

About Greg
Born and raised in England, Greg Ellis is an experienced theater, TV, film and voice actor with dozens of credits to his name. In addition to his role as the arms dealer Michael Amador on 24, Ellis has appeared on a number of TV series in the US and the UK, including CSI: Las Vegas, Jake in Progress, The X-Files, and The Division. He was most recently seen as the main villain in the pilot/TV movie for Knight Rider. Trekkies may also recognize him for his role as the Cardasssian Ekoor in the series finale for Deep Space Nine. In addition, the actor  appeared in a number of feature films including two of the Pirates of the Caribbean films (as Officer Groves), Titanic, Beowulf and Mr. And Mrs. Smith. Ellis is also an accomplished singer and has done extensive voice work for TV and film animation as well as video games (including "Star Trek: Hidden Evil" and "Star Trek: Invasion").


Ellis in 24, Pirates and DS9

Chief engineer? What about Scotty?
[SPOILERS]

Little is known about Ellis’ role as Chief Engineer except to say that it is a speaking role with multiple scenes. Some may be wondering why Ellis’ Olsen (and not Simon Pegg’s Scotty) is being listed as the Chief Engineer. However it should be remembered that this film is primarily a prequel to The Original Series. TrekMovie.com has already reported that the original crew characters go through their own arcs in Star Trek. For example Kirk (Chris Pine) does not start off as captain. So just like Bruce Greenwood’s Pike is the captain of the Enterprise for part of the film, so, too is Greg Ellis the Chief Engineer.

According to a source, Scotty may appear for part of the film as a civilian. However, it is confirmed with multiple sources that he eventually steps into his iconic role as Chief Engineer of the Enterprise under James T. Kirk. And TrekMovie.com has got one other Scotty report that is a bit strange but here it is…apparently at some point Scotty has a “midget sidekick.” It isn’t clear if this tip has anything to do with the casting call for little people in January. Not really sure what to make of that one, but it is from a reliable source so thought it should be passed along. Maybe a drinking buddy.

Ellis Interview at the Knight Rider Launch Party

More on Ellis: IMDB  |  Wikipedia  |   Memory Alpha  |   Official Site

Comments

1. [The] TOS Purist - February 19, 2008

OMG it’s the guy from the travesty that is the new Knight Rider…

2. T2 - February 19, 2008

maybe chief engineer under Pike? o well, welcome aboard!

3. Stanky McFibberich - February 19, 2008

More characters! More characters!!

4. Harry Ballz - February 19, 2008

Scotty has a midget sidekick?

OH, CRAP! STANKY WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG!!!

5. Brian Bedard - February 19, 2008

I may be wrong, but I thought it had been established somewhere that Scotty had been on the Enterprise about as long as Spock had.

6. Dab - February 19, 2008

Well… that’s a mixed bag of info. LOL

7. MCDoctor - February 19, 2008

Maybe it’s a OMPALOMPA?

From Willie Wonka. They did look like little aliens.

Boy, messed the spelling on that one up good.

8. The Vulcanista - February 19, 2008

Midget sidekick??

Wut?? Why??

Iguess the midget sidekick could be one of them gold dudes from “Journey to Babel.” Not that it makes it any easier to stomach.

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

9. Jackson Roykirk - February 19, 2008

Anthony…quick!

Check your sources and see if Vern Troyer has been cast. Scotty’s ‘mini-me’??

10. Jackson Roykirk - February 19, 2008

#5

Maybe he was, but as an Assistant Engineer.

11. CmdrR - February 19, 2008

A Scotsman, a midget, and a Vulcan walk into a bar…

I dunno, but it’s a start, eh?

12. Spiked Canon - February 19, 2008

#5 shame on you. This is a Canon Free site

13. maspill - February 19, 2008

a midget dide kick that must be tom cruise

14. Spiked Canon - February 19, 2008

maybe the midget is for the Jefferies Tube and Scotty just throws him up to where he needs to be.

15. I AM THX-1138 - February 19, 2008

You guys! You’re not going to believe this, but on the way home from work I finally got a call from JJ Abrams! He said now that the writers strike was over he was going to use Timmy but changed his mind and instead is going to cast me as Admiral Billy Rubin!

Isn’t that the coolest or what?

16. Harry Ballz - February 19, 2008

I KNOW how Abrams is planning to use the midget sidekick of Scotty…it’s for comic relief……..

Picture it……the midget is slow dancing with Yeoman Rand at the ship Christmas party and she hauls off and belts him after he compliments her on how nice her hair smells!

17. jonboc - February 19, 2008

makes sense…hence the recent casting call for little people. Probably a new alien race that is comprised of small sized individuals.

18. Dr. Image - February 19, 2008

Simon Pegg with a midget sidekick! How can you lose??
#14 LOL!!

19. GeneralChang - February 19, 2008

its a trip because in this video he looks like he can be peggs younger brother.

trek it out!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=j86OWncrTfo

20. Scott Xavier - February 19, 2008

Confucious says:
Crowded turbolift smells different to Scotty’s midget…

21. 1701 over Gotham City - February 19, 2008

#5 It’s non-canon that Scotty served aboard the E under Pike, although it was mentioned in a novel or two. It really makes better sense, considering his age.
But again, the Enterprise is not the only ship he served on. And that is canon.

Now then… a MIDGET SIDEKICK???? I want the rest of the details there…

22. MDSHiPMN - February 19, 2008

#18 — Agreed. I try not to get too worked up ’till we’re closer to seeing a finished product though.

23. Craig - February 19, 2008

14.
LOL
I got the same mental image. Except mine was that Scotty makes him crawl into the tight spaces in the warp core to save the ship.

“Don’t worry about those plasma energy burns laddy. A wee bit of scotch and you wont feel a thing. Now, go on and close that injector… Yeah, the one in the back. Keep crawling laddy.”

Glad you see the little people are in the future.

24. Prologic9 - February 19, 2008

ARRRRGgggghhh… MUST…. forget….. Knight Rider…. TV movie…

25. Jamie - February 19, 2008

Let’s face it, Jeffries tubes can’t always be as spacious as they were in TNG’s “The Hunted” :D

26. Prologic9 - February 19, 2008

Whew, there we go, forgotten all about it.

27. Prologic9 - February 19, 2008

ARRRGGHghghh… Knight Rider… 2000… flashbacks…..

28. Robo86 - February 19, 2008

Minor thing, Greg Ellis’ character in 24 (Michael Amador) was A villian in the third season but not the primary villian (Stephen Saunders played by Paul Blackthrone).

29. raulpetersen - February 19, 2008

he was probably the best thing in knight rider – it was very bland!

30. Chris Basken - February 19, 2008

#5

In one of the 80s novels, it was shown that Scotty was an engineer (not sure if he was CE) under Pike, and served alongside Spock. But the novels are not canonical, since they contradict each other as well.

31. sean - February 19, 2008

Midget sidekick = guaranteed blockbuster.

32. trekofficial - February 19, 2008

NOT CANON! He’s too tall to be a 23rd century citizen!

33. Valar1 - February 19, 2008

Maybe the midget is a leprechaun that helps Scotty work all his miracles.

34. Spock89 - February 19, 2008

#5,

It was in the novel “Vulcan’s Glory” by DC Fontana (my all-time favorite Trek novel) in which Spock and Scotty join the crew of the Enterprise under Pike’s command.

35. Spock89 - February 19, 2008

Also, in that novel, Scotty was not the Chief Engineer.

36. classictrek - February 19, 2008

horray! another Brit in the new star trek movie :o)
cheers
greg
UK

37. George Armstrong Custer - February 19, 2008

Good casting choice

38. boJac - February 19, 2008

Maybe Scotty was just two dwarves in an overcoat all along….

Wait, do dwarves grant wishes?

39. JimSpock - February 19, 2008

How many characters are in this movie….?

40. JimSpock - February 19, 2008

Kirk
Spock
Old Spock
McCoy
Sulu
Uhura
Chekov
Kirks Parents
Spocks Parents
Pike
Pikes Engineer
Nero
Nero’s Sidekick
And many many more…..

41. JimSpock - February 19, 2008

Oh, and a Midget!

42. Nexus Kirk - February 19, 2008

I vote for Bethany from Boston Legal

43. Ron Mosher - February 19, 2008

Could be Alexander from “Plato’s Stepchildren”.

44. Doug - February 19, 2008

Let’s see, we know that Montgomery Scott WILL someday be the Chief Engineer of the Enterprise. AND now we know he won’t be in the movie… at least not initially (gulp).

Ruh roh, Reorge! Methinks we might see the infamous red shirt syndrome in action.

I thought Mr. Ellis made a great villain on the pilot movie of the new “Knight Rider.” It wasn’t great, but I’d say let’s give it a chance. At least the “Hoff” isn’t the star (whew).

45. Red Shirt - February 19, 2008

Did someone say the movie won’t come out this year?

46. Spiked Canon - February 19, 2008

Maybe AP misunderstood and should be Scotty and his Widget. I’m sure one of the cannonites can find a book where he used a widget to save the day.

47. trekkie1415 - February 19, 2008

A small person in engineering? Cool!!! And scotty comes onboard at some point to take over the post? I’m seeing a pattern here…

I don’t mean to spoil anything, but does anyone else feel like were going to start out with pike’s crew and his Enterprise, and most of them die?

I’m just sayin… it kinda looks that way… I’m probably completely wrong…

48. Fleet Captain Kor'Tar - February 19, 2008

Maybe the midget is for one of those “forced perspective” shots …hmmmm.

49. Enc - February 19, 2008

#11
the scottsman picks up two food cubes turns to the midget, and says…

#7
never seen one before. but i know what you mean.

#1
oh that thing was painfull.
i dont know who scored worse? KR or BW.
whats next? planet of the apes, lost in space, airwolf, streethawk, space 1999. Star Trek?

50. Closettrekker - February 19, 2008

Someone has to die!

As far as Pike’s Enterprise goes, remember that Pike commanded the Big E for quite a while (ref. TOS “The Menagerie). I do not recall anything in canon which confirms that Scotty was on board as long as Spock, and certainly not anything that suggests he was Chief Engineer. Forget about the novels. They are fun, but not concrete sources.

This is alright with me. By the first season, Scotty is a mere Lt. Cmdr. This makes complete sense.

51. Enc - February 19, 2008

#47
no.
sounds too much like how voy got started.

#48
thats a good one. a nod back to TMP. werent those kids though?
oh yeah they also used kids in suits for alien right?

oh i got one.
cast paul mcgillion as pikes engineer. might not have gotten the part of scotty (a real shame) but at least he could still be an engineer the enterprise engineer :D
but no…… :(

52. Captain Pike - February 19, 2008

I was expecting Vern Troyer to show up in Nemesis as “mini-Shinzon” but alas it was not to be. It could have saved that movie, I tell you!

Perhaps they are doing the forced perspective fx in Engineering like they did in TMP. That called for kids/little people dressed as engineers.

53. cd - February 19, 2008

Not encouraging. >|>{

54. Red Shirt - February 19, 2008

Okay, Roberto Orci! Wow us! Do we get to see little people crawling through Jeffries tubes like they are in some big Enterprise Habitrail?

RS out

55. KJTrek - February 19, 2008

captain, there be little folk here!

56. Katie G. - February 19, 2008

Re: #1. TOS Purist

We got so fed up with 5 minutes of commercials every 5 minutes that we turned it off after while. I think whoever planned to have that many commercials must have been trying to stretch it out over two hours (and didn’t have enough material). That was a HUGE TURN-OFF for us. We aren’t really Knight Rider fans but I was curious to see how the replacement K.I.T.T.s voice-guy turned out. Yeah, Val Kilmer. But the commercials made us so mad we quit watching it.

Re: #50. Closet-Trekker

No, don’t think Scotty was Pike’s engineer but he wasn’t seen in TOS until Season 1, Episode 3 “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. However, I would SWEAR that he was part of Dr. Elizabeth Dehner ‘s entourage (Sally Kellerman) before she became “god-like” because he was with them (or was it George Takei hanging around) either way it makes me unsure as to when “Scotty” and “Sulu” officially joined the cast. I’ll watch my friend’s DVD of TOS and see.

kg

57. Jorg Sacul - February 19, 2008

you know… being 6’1″ tall, I can still feel the sting of some of these comments towards people of lesser height. It might just be possible that the character with Scotty is an actual, legitimate character, and is being played straight, not for laughs.

Who was it who said, “Judge me by my size, do you?”

And yes, he might be of the race of the gold dudes from Journey to Babel. I think that would be cool, but I don’t know if the fez is acceptable while in uniform? It would be sweet to see the little guy telling Scotty about warp theory and being a good engineer, etc. Scotty didn’t learn all his tricks from keeping up with “Popular Warp Science”, after all…

58. Izbot - February 19, 2008

I remember Scotty in “Relics” saying that he’d served on dozens of ships including freighters. He could easily have been a civilian engineer prior to his Enterprise gig.

59. Mike J. - February 19, 2008

#50.

I would not forget about a novel that was written by DC Fontana. She has written several original Star Trek episodes, the animateds, and started the letter writing campaign to save Star Trek in the 60s, plus wrote the Star Trek Concordance in the 70s. I would consider anything that she writes about Star Trek as canon.

MJ

60. The Vulcanista - February 19, 2008

#57

It’s not the midget part that I have a problem with. It’s the word “sidekick” that sent me into shields up/Red Alert mode.

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

61. Melissa - February 19, 2008

MMMMMM….Midget sidekick. Sweet!

62. Enc - February 19, 2008

well at this point ill just transl;ate ‘sidekick’ to say that a little person can be found in many of scottys scenes.

63. Harry Ballz - February 19, 2008

midget=stupid decision
sidekick=sophomoric decision

Sum total of midget decision= catastrophically asinine decision!

64. Xai - February 19, 2008

And is Austin Powers an Admiral?

Engineer Mini Me reporting sir!

65. The Vulcanista - February 19, 2008

And I suppose it’s better than having a middle-schooler Starfleet-officer wannabe as a sidekick.

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

66. Lou - February 19, 2008

Midget sidekick???????????

Great. Orci and Kurtzman’s antics at their finest. we’re getting the same corny crap as in Transformers. I wonder if someone is going to get peed on? will there be masturbation jokes? more 2-dimensional stereotype characters with no depth whatsoever??? will there be a flame paint job on the enterprise? SHEESH!!!

67. Harry Ballz - February 19, 2008

Mildly
Irritating
Deluded
Gimmick
Isn’t
Trek

Sidekick
Ideas
Destroy
Every
Known Trek ideal and
Illustrates
Crazy
Karma for the movie

Simply put, the midget sidekick idea, if correct, stinks on ice!

68. shorty - February 19, 2008

Hold on here — why does the midget have to be some alien or for comic relief?? Wow, what a closed-minded group for a ST site!

Anybody remember Plato’s Stepchildren? Where Kirk talks to the midget…

KIRK: “Alexander. Are there others like you?”

ALEXANDER: (offended) “What do you mean like me?”

KIRK: “Who don’t have the psycho-kinetic ability.”

ALEXANDER: (sheepish) “I thought you were talking about my size. Because they make fun of me for my size… Listen — where you come from, are there a lot of people without The Power and my size?”

KIRK: “Alexander, where I come from size, shape or colour makes no difference. And nobody has The Power.”

Learn a lesson.

69. The Vulcanista - February 19, 2008

#66

What’s the first rule in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

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

70. Harry Ballz - February 19, 2008

I wonder if they encounter a dwarf star and name it after the midget?

Even better, maybe the midget becomes very popular from his turn in Star Trek and becomes a dwarf star?

Or, maybe…………….ah, forget it!

71. shorty - February 19, 2008

Or maybe, Harry Ballz, you’re a bigot.

The joke’s not appreciated.

72. Justin Olson - February 19, 2008

Chief Engineer Olsen, huh?

73. The Vulcanista - February 19, 2008

#68

Understood. :)

It’s just that anytime someone comes up with a “sidekick” element to a character that neither wanted or needed one before does tend to raise the hair on the back of my neck. But then I remembered all that’s been said by Cast & Crew here at this very site, and I’m no longer in shields-up/Red Alert mode.

Perhaps he’s from a race of small beings who are actually the best engineers in the galaxy, and he’s actually Scotty’s mentor?

Ah, well. We only have to wait 15-1/2 months to find out.

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

74. shorty - February 19, 2008

Vulcanista,

Why does he have to be an alien????

75. Closettrekker - February 19, 2008

#57 and #68 are correct. Why does it have to be a “midget sidekick”? He could very well be just a Starfleet engineer who happens to be an alien (or human, for that matter) of small stature.

As far as Ellis’ casting as the “Chief Engineer”, we have no idea as of yet what part of the timeline (alternate or otherwise) in which this character occupies that position. It is as simple as that.

Good spoiler though–just enough, not too much.

76. boJac - February 19, 2008

A midget mentor would be cool. I always loved Oberon.

77. Harry Ballz - February 19, 2008

shorty

bigot, shmigot……you’re missing the point…..for Trek to endure, this movie HAS to succeed and the last thing it needs is anything, and I mean ANYTHING, throwing off the audience whatsoever in a visual sense. In this context a midget sidekick standing next to Scotty doesn’t HELP things. It would appear comical, if not farcical, in tone no matter how they spin it…….

Anyone who doesn’t see that is, dare I say it, being short-sighted.

78. Closettrekker - February 19, 2008

#71–Shorty, Harry is really not so bad. He is often OUR comic relief. I’m sure he means no harm. He doesn’t take himself seriously, so why should we take offense? Trust me, he’ll get the jokes (whether they are funny–as they often are, or in poor taste, out of his system soon enough). Tommorow he will joke about something else.

#50—I am well aware of DC Fontana’s impecable Trek credentials,but the novels are not canon whether they are hers or not.

79. shorty - February 19, 2008

Yep Harry B. That’s pretty much the definition of close-minded. Might you say the same about Uhura’s skin throwing the bridge off kilter?

80. shorty - February 19, 2008

I wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t pretty much the entire wall doing it.

Thanks to those like #57 though. I noticed.

81. Petey - February 19, 2008

Midget sidekick? With all due respect to the little people, this can’t be good. Maybe the casting directors have been watching too much WWE. Or worse, think that the WWE is the right way to go for the demographic they cater to.

82. The Vulcanista - February 19, 2008

#74

Simply because I think aliens are way cooler than run-of-the-mill Earthlings.

That’s all. Nothing more to it than that.

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

83. Harry Ballz - February 19, 2008

shorty, I’m not going to argue with you as Anthony would step in and stop it anyway……….let’s just say coming down to your level would be beneath me…….

84. shorty - February 19, 2008

Just got to get one more in there, then we’ll call it quits, eh:

My level is up, Harry.

85. Harry Ballz - February 19, 2008

Don’t get short with me!

86. The Vulcanista - February 19, 2008

#82 edited to add: And yes, I consider little people to be run-of-the-mill Earthlings, along with anyone else who’s native to Terra.

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

87. elmachocombo - February 19, 2008

I agree with Shorty. Maybe he’s a great engineer who happens to be short. There could be some inherent humor in there if handled right, but the chemestry between the two would have to be authentic. We don’t need Mini-Me humor in Trek. Or it could just be another “midget” joke. If so, shame on them. Trek is about diversity and overlooking other people’s differences. My cousin is a little person and it’s been an experience that is at once humbling, heartbreaking (30 years of being laughed and stared at can take its toll) and inspiring. For her sake I hope it isn’t low brow since she is a huge fan of Star Trek. I don’t mean to sound preachy, but this hits home.

88. boJac - February 19, 2008

Maybe it’s just to make Simon Pegg look taller. I think he’s a bit shorter than James Doohan was.

89. elmachocombo - February 19, 2008

I also agree that Harry doesn’t mean any harm. Let’s just be careful. It’s one thing to stick it to a poster for being a dunce (lots of folks are stupid by choice) quite another thing to make stinging remarks about size. After all I’ve read I don’t think JJ is going to throw a “Tatoo” type character into the mix. If he’s there and he’s short there will be a good reason for it. He may well be a scene stealer that we all look back on ang go, “Wow, that movie just wouldn’t have been the same without that incredible guy.” Let’s hope.

90. thebiggfrogg - February 19, 2008

Props to Shorty! Why does every “different” character have to be specifically cast to highlight their difference? I love the idea of an engineer who just happens to be a midget for no plot reason whatsoever. Sort of like having an African-American or Japanese-American on the bridge just because they ought to have a place. Thought that was what Trek was all about, but I guess HB is more interested in not-so-witty one liners and bastardizing the Trek ideal for box office success (heaven forfend, some immature 12 year old laughs at a midget playing a role straight–da movie will tank fer sure den!).

And does the guy have to be named “Olsen”? Blech, how original! How about throwing in another Johnson or Jones too. Ain’t this supposed to be an international crew? How about throwing in a few more “exotic” names for the non-bridge crew crew? Since the guy is white, how about an Eastern European or some other-language-not-oft-heard in Trek name for some variety.

91. Harry Ballz - February 19, 2008

thebiggfrogg “laughs at a midget playing a role straight”

You’re right! There have been so many little people nominated for Academy Award dramatic roles , how could I have presumed to think that the image of a midget standing next to Scotty could be perceived in a humorous light?

The box-office success of this particular movie takes precedent over breaking down stereotypical roles……..save that for another occasion! The last 7 Trek films have had more than enough farcical humor to bury the franchise forever! Let’s give this “tentpole” production a chance to achieve tremendous success before you start to take liberties, shall we?

92. elmachocombo - February 19, 2008

C’mon Harry. Little people don’t get awards because they don’t get cast. Billy Barty was a great actor with tremendous presence both on screen and in person. Yet even he was relegated to spending much of his career dressed like an elf, troll, munchkin, etc. If the person is right then he is right, regardless of hight. If the character is a “sidekick” well, that’s another thing. Like you said before, Trek don’t need no stinking sidekicks. Yoda was funny for two seconds, then he spoke in his true voice the whole world went, “Holy CrapJacks!” and forgot he was 2 feet tall. His character overshaddowed everything else. I don’t think it’s fair to assume that because a short actor is cast in a role it’s somehow going to throw a pall over the whole production unless of course it’s a stupid sidekick role in which case he could be an 8 foot ape for all I care.

93. Harry Ballz - February 19, 2008

elmachocombo…..I shall consider your eloquent observations…..goodnight!

94. thebiggfrogg - February 19, 2008

HB: “save it for another occasion”

NBC Exec, “Forget the interracial kiss. It’ll never play in the south. Ditch it and you’ll probably get another season.”

Trek was an idealistic enterprise (sorry about the pun). If the new Trek breaks box office because it has big explosions and lots of killing o’ Klingons terminator-style then it should die for a looooong time until someone can do it right. Stamping any old space opera with the title Star Trek doesn’t make it so (aiya, enough of the puns). If it doesn’t retain some essence of what the whole shebang is about I’d rather go watch another show that doesn’t purport to be Star Trek, like Farscape or Firefly (they are fun shows, but they didn’t have the underlying humanistic philosophy of a better century to come). I’m something of a purist, I want this to somehow slide comfortably next to the original stories I know and love, but if they go for a complete reboot they need to at least be true to Trek’s underlying m.o. Otherwise it ain’t Trek, it’s drek.

95. thebiggfrogg - February 19, 2008

Oh and elmachocombo, excellent observation and response to HB. African-Americans weren’t nominated for Oscars fifty years ago either, because they were usually only given the opportunity to play bug-eyed comic relief or fat mammies.

The one thing I do agree with HB on–if this is a sidekick, played-for-laughs Mini-Me device then it is a dumb idea. If that is the level they are shooting for it ought to tank. Humor in Trek should flow from the story and characters (best example, ST IV), not be slapstick thrown in for cheap yucks (best example, ST V–though I see nuggets in that; there was some heart in the campfire scene).

96. thebiggfrogg - February 19, 2008

Ellis was in Jake in Progress!!! I’m sold! ; )

97. Willow - February 20, 2008

I’m quite surprise that two little words “midget sidekick” caused this much commotion. I can understand that they generally have negative connotations, though… especially “sidekick” with regards to a Star Trek movie.

But I sincerely hope that this little person is just that… a little person. Someone’s who just as valuable a member of the crew as anyone else and just happens to be shorter than the rest (whether he’s a different species or not).

Harry, Star Trek is all about addressing issues and breaking down stereotypes (at least that’s what it’s always been for me). I would be very disappointed if the powers-that-be go and sell Star Trek’s soul simply for bigger box office numbers.

PS: On a personal note… I’d love to see some gay people finally in a Star Trek movie!! But that’s just me :D

98. shorty - February 20, 2008

Hey, I called out Harry Ballz, but that was just the luck of the draw. He was one example among many. (I couldn’t possibly have taken on every person who had the gall to post anti-midget/short person comments on this Star Trek site.)

Imagine if you logged onto trekmovie.com to read about a new casting rumour and ended up getting slogged in the face by 50+ comments denigrating what you are. Not nice. Not fair. Uncalled for.

Thanks for the support all those that gave it.

99. Battletrek - February 20, 2008

This just might be the next film to equal Star Trek V, can’t wait.

100. ety3 - February 20, 2008

#58 –

Maybe, but why would Starfleet — a military organization — make a civilian a chief engineer on one of their top ships and just hand him the rank of Lt. Comm.?

That doesn’t make sense.

101. Pauln6 - February 20, 2008

Another male crewman? Where are all the women? So far we have Uhura and an unamed transporter technician; the boys get a chief engineer! Is this really shaping up as a mysoginists movie?

102. thebiggfrogg - February 20, 2008

Geez, women crewman? You want this to be a box office flop or what?

103. The Guardian of Forever - February 20, 2008

#100- Maybe he transferred from another ship. *shrug*

LOL, I agree with #7. It’s probably an Oompa Loompa.

104. Iowagirl - February 20, 2008

#94
– Trek was an idealistic enterprise. –

You’re absolutely right. But I think the zeitgeist is now a different one. I don’t think for STXI we can expect something as idealistic, with as much passion, soul, vision, and boldness as the original, a message which has managed to outlast for such a long time and is still topical. Today’s young public demands something bombastic, with state-of-the-art visual effects, and a battle of material, and I think that’s basically what they’ll get. I, for one would be very much surprised if STXI’s box office success was due to more than its big explosions.

105. Sarah James - February 20, 2008

Scotty as a civilian? Yay! That sounds exciting. Already love it. And he’s got a midget sidekick, even better. Now, do we also give him the woman who gave him so much trouble that he joined Star Fleet? :D

106. Phil 123 - February 20, 2008

spock should have a midget sidekick too

107. Sarah James - February 20, 2008

#100
Oh that’s simple. Look, Scotty used to be a young Star Fleet engineer. But then Tragedy came into his life and forced him to quit. But finally he gets a grip, throws little miss Tagedy out of his life and has an interesting run-in with the Enterprise, saves the ship (just like in the future old days) and subsequently re-joins the Fleet as new chief engineer of the Enterprise (another redshirt will have to die). The Fleet needs Scotty badly at this time anyway, so they don’t ask questions.

Now how’s that sound? Eh?

108. Sarah James - February 20, 2008

#106
Spock has already so much to do in this movie. Leave some work for Scotty, please.

:)
Sarah

109. sherlock2040 - February 20, 2008

So if it’s going to be a case of new crew take over from old crew, what about Dr Boyce… or Dr Piper?

110. Decker's Stubble - February 20, 2008

So, at some point will Scotty, in a thick Scottish brogue, say to his literal underling, “Get in mah belly!”

Michael Myers, call your office…..

111. marshmelloncraver - February 20, 2008

They should have just cast Findley and Hornswoggle as engineers.

112. Lyle - February 20, 2008

Still hoping for someone to be cast as Gary Mitchell…

113. thebiggfrogg - February 20, 2008

#104
I don’t think the idealism should be surrendered so easily. Nothing wrong with some action and adventure and an exciting space battle or two. I thrill to them myself. But if Star Trek is to be Star Trek it ought to retain some of the essence of the original. Battlestar Galactica, the new reboot, shows that you can do intelligent, thoughtful, and entertaining sci fi without prostituting yourself fully to the MTV and YouTube generations. If ST loses it’s spirit it is just bad Star Wars (in which case, stick with the original). I was a fan of Next Gen and, for awhile Deep Space Nine, too, but I think Next Gen’s The Best of Both Worlds, while an excellent ep, led to a lazy formula where Trek’s progeny followed a “big, bad, overwhelming alien enemy du jour” (the Dominion, the Borg, Species Whatever-it -Was on Voyager, etc.). If Trek is going to fall into such lazy space opera then it ought to die for another generation or so until it can be reinvigorated with some creativity that upholds its ideals.

114. Marian Ciobanu - February 20, 2008

-Wow..a good news…!!!

115. Marian Ciobanu - February 20, 2008

-Sometimes i remember how great was the original crew of Voyager…from the pilot episode..

116. Jorg Sacul - February 20, 2008

I’ve got no problem with the little person actually being human… it would fit Trek “Human Era” continuity, at least from the standpoint that Starfleet vessels were predominantly human in crewage. Spock was an exception, and even the USS Intrepid (fully manned by Vulcans) in Kirk’s time was an exception to the rule.

More than likely the reason for it was budgetary, not human-bigotry on the part of the writers in the 1960s. It wasn’t until the animated series that we got our Arex and M’ress.

117. Closettrekker - February 20, 2008

#116–No question—- it was the budget. TOS, “Journey To Babel” was an expensive production. It is clear from TAS that it was Trek’s purse, not its imagination, which was limited. Animation freed Trek from such constraints, as did the big budget for TMP. I hope the new film will show the true diversity of the Enterprise crew, beyond what we were shown in TOS. It will not violate canon to show an Andorian science officer leaving the rec room, or a little person (human or otherwise) working in engineering! We actually saw very little of the ship’s 430 crewmembers during the show’s 3 season run (and very little of the five year mission, for that matter). Adding such diversity will only enhance what exists in TOS already.

118. boJac - February 20, 2008

106

Everyone should have midget sidekicks! Or better yet, the plot should revolve around the E crew trying to destroy the Romulan’s new weapon, a phaser that can turn people into dwarves!

Set phasers to midget!

119. Cervantes - February 20, 2008

#87 elmachocombo

I agree that hopefully any use of a small person ‘sidekick’ in this won’t be, as you say ‘low brow’. :)

What I will wonder about now, is whether the ‘media’ will fixate on this character come the Movie’s release, depending on his screentime and probably ‘humuorus’ context… I’d rather the ‘overall scope and storyline’ of this Movie to be the focus for journalists.

120. Cervantes - February 20, 2008

or ‘humorous’ context even.

121. Closettrekker - February 20, 2008

#119, #120–Given Abrams’ penchant for secrecy, the so-called “sidekick’s” impact on steering the focus of the storyline will most likely be minimal at best. I doubt he has much screentime at all.

As for comic relief, we all know that is Checkov’s role!

122. Kimmycat - February 20, 2008

#107

I read in a couple of TOS novels (probably not accurate) that Scotty worked as an engineer on various ships prior to joining Star Fleet. I remember the TOS episode “Operation Annihilate” where Scotty mentioned he used to make cargo runs to the planet Deneva. Maybe he was accepted by Star Fleet Academy as a mature adult in his 20’s or 30’s. I attended graduate school in my late 30’s so age is no barrier and probably less so in the 23rd century. Maybe they desperately needed engineering talent and overlooked his age. Perhaps he already had an engineering degree from a university in his native Scotland before he ever joined Star Fleet. I think he was probably bored or restless at home and had no outlet for his engineering talents. I speculate he just decided to leave home and wander around in space working on different ships. That might be why he is so familiar with different types of ships and engineering problems. I actually have a old Star Trek comic book from the early 90’s where he is accepted at Star Fleet Academy in his 20’s instead of the “typical” age of 18. I assume he worked his way up through the Star Fleet ranks to become an officer. In the TOS novel “Vulcan’s Glory”, I think he was a Lt. and was the Assistant Chief Engineer of the Enterprise. As far as the midget sidekick, maybe he is another engineer that Scotty befriended along the way or possibly a mentor. Hmmmmm. I am looking forward to how this will work itself out.

123. Xai - February 20, 2008

Maybe someone already said it, but I think the term “sidekick” probably was not used in the best manner. I suspect, like others here, that we’ll see a crewmember that happens to be a little person. I doubt that he/she will be “comic relief” and more likely there to show diversity in the crew.

124. Closettrekker - February 20, 2008

#123–Well put. That is exactly my take!

125. crazybeach - February 20, 2008

#66
I believe it’s “Don’t panic”.

Hope he has his towel with him, tho…

126. Heywood Jablomee - February 20, 2008

Oh, man… midgets, side-kicks, missing fingers… when did Star Trek turn into a carnival side show? Mugatu says he’s been there and done that, and it was deuce difficult to get the cotton candy out of his fur. The only thing missing would be Spock, “right next to the dog faced boy…”

127. crazybeach - February 20, 2008

#125
Sorry, I meant that in response to The Vulcanista, which was #69 (heh heh)

128. crazybeach - February 20, 2008

Another half dozen quatloos
I don’t make jokes about peoples’ heights, for the simple reason that I am real close to seven feet tall, so technically, everybody’s short to me.

129. Harry Ballz - February 20, 2008

Here’s the distinction…if they have a midget character where the turbolift doors swoosh open and in walks an advisor from the Federation, an emissary, a Starfleet official or an alien, then fine, that makes sense and carries some weight. A person of their own individual merit.

BUT, if TPTB have it be a character portrayed as a midget “sidekick”, then you’re skirting close to the realm of absurd and farcical slapstick “sight gags”……the audience would be laughing for the wrong reasons!

GAG! Please, anything but that!!

130. Orbitalic - February 20, 2008

harry… read #123

131. Orbitalic - February 20, 2008

IDIC people…on the short jokes… this isn’t Junior High

132. Katie G. - February 20, 2008

Re: #92. elmachocombo

“…Yoda was funny for two seconds, then he spoke in his true voice the whole world went, “Holy CrapJacks!” ”

I embarrassed myself beyond belief when that happened. As soon as he spoke, I said ‘OMG, it’s Grover” (from Sesame Street). Unfortunately the theatre was deathly quiet at that moment and the place broke up. I don’t know if it was at me or at the fact that they realized a major movie character was actually Grover. My husband never forgave me for that. Needless to say, we sat through all the credits.

And everyone, can we please drop the word “midget” and use the proper name? It is making me very uncomfortable and I’ll bet that anyone who is a “little person” finds it very offensive. (Geez, I don’t even know the correct term. Can someone enlighten me so I don’t offend anyone?) This is how we get bad press (as Star Trek fans). Sorry guys, but I had to say it.

kg

133. Katie G. - February 20, 2008

Sorry — when I asked can we drop the name “midget”… I meant to add “and the stature jokes that go along with it?”

kg

134. LostOnNCC1701 - February 20, 2008

The Knight Rider TV movie was better then I thought it would be. Yes, it’s plot (and, with one or two exceptions, it’s acting) was transparent/nonexistent and it’s ways of tying in to the Hoff generation were forced, but the KITT scenes were pretty well done (now, admittedly, it’s been like 10 years since I last saw the Hoff Knight Rider, so…). Sadly (and no offense to Roberto Orci), it suffered the same problem as the Transformers movie: it’s impossible to have the movie be only about the car, you need to have stupid humans around.

135. K. M. Kirby - February 20, 2008

But…if he’s the chief engineer replaced by Mr. Scott…what happens to him (and his red shirt)?

136. Closettrekker - February 20, 2008

#135–What happens to all redshirts but Scotty?

#134–I don’t know what else could have been done with Transformers. It was a silly 80’s cartoon. I actually found it to be mildly entertaining, despite knowing nothing about the “characters”. I knew better than to watch Knight Rider, I guess—-not really my thing.

137. Xplodin' Nacelle - February 20, 2008

I keep thinking of that AP scene w/ Mini Me whispering to Britney Spears. “Really, kickstand, huh?”

I really hope that the humor in this new film doesn’t degenerate into something like this.

138. Harry Ballz - February 20, 2008

Wait for it!

139. Daoud - February 20, 2008

It would make perfect sense for Ithenites to appear. That many of them would be engineers makes sense: they have a tremendous advantage over larger humanoids. (And, how about we stick to using the “little copper dudes” or “little dudes” terminology: it’s so Keanuesque.)

That Engineer Scott’s best friend is an Ithenite is no problem. I can’t imagine anyone at Paramount actually releasing any sort of PR blurb about a “midget sidekick”. “Midget” is a verboten word, and no PR person would dare use it unless they want to lose their job immediately. It’s to little people what the ‘n’ word is to African-Americans.

I’m just hoping Chief Engineer Olsen’s nickname is “Welshy”…. Futurama in-jokes would be diiiiiiiivine.

140. Sarah James - February 21, 2008

#139
Please, don’t use German words to express American Style Censorship (also called political correctness).
To forbid words like midget seems ridiculous to me. As a matter of fact it seems like forbidding toddlers to pee in the park. Words should always, in any way, be used with consideration. Considerate, sensitive people usually have no problem with that and nobody has to tell them what is forbidden and what not. We shouldn’t forbid words to raise our young generation, we should educate them better and show them (by doing) how to be considerate, caring human beings. Than there is no need for such pointless discussions. (BTW we never had such weird discussions in TOS – that’s why I enjoyed it so much and I don’t like any of the new shows)

Sarah

141. Angry Puppy » Blog Archive » Incestuous Star Trek Casting: Greg Ellis - February 21, 2008

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142. Kimmycat - February 21, 2008

I need to correct one of my comments from post #122. I watched the TOS episode “Operation-Annihilate” on DVD last night and Scotty mentioned tht he was an “engineering advisor” on the ships that made runs to the planet Deneva. I don’t know if he was actually part of the engineering crew. My Irish-born fiance is also a huge Star Trek fan and I was discussing this article with him. My fiance thinks he may have been a “contract employee” or worked for a private employer and not actually part of Star Fleet at that time. My fiance speculates that Scotty might have worked as a starship designer or on the repair crews. This jogged my memory. I used to have a book called “Star Trek Biographies” that was published back in the mid 1980’s. I lost the book somewhere among my many moves. I don’t think this book was really considered part of offical Trek canon but I do remember Scotty’s autobiography stating that he worked on the crews that refitted and repaired starships. With his background, that would make sense. “Star Trek Biographies stated that did attend Starfleet Academy and was assigned to the refit crews as a Lt. jg (junior grade). I don’t know if anyone else has read that book or if it is accurate.

As far as the little person (I am sorry I used the term “midget” in my previous post #122) mentioned in the article, I hope this individual isn’t in the movie for comic effect. I hope they portray this character as a member of an alien race that just happens to be small in stature.

143. Katie G. - February 21, 2008

Re: #140. Sarah James

I know your comment was addressed to #139 but felt this needed a response.

“(BTW we never had such weird discussions in TOS – that’s why I enjoyed it so much and I don’t like any of the new shows)”

That’s because no one HAD to discuss it. Everyone knew enough not to use questionable “terms”.

“To forbid words like ‘midget’ seems ridiculous to me. As a matter of fact it seems like forbidding toddlers to pee in the park.”

As for ridiculous, toddlers who pee in the park don’t know any better. We do. It’s kinda cute when a toddler does something like that. When an adult does it, it doesn’t quite have the same endearing feel to it, does it?

“Considerate, sensitive people usually have no problem with that…”

Ask one of those folk if they LIKE the word “midget” and you’ll very quickly see why it is not used in polite company. I did not know it was offensive to them but when I found out, I quit using the word. Voluntarily. How does it hurt us to use the proper term to address anyone? If you are a “considerate, sensitive person”, you will choose to, as the Doctor on Voyager says, “do no harm”. It isn’t very considerate if we flaunt our freedom by using words that can hurt, don’t you think?

“…and nobody has to tell them what is forbidden and what not.”

Exactly. They have learned.

“We shouldn’t forbid words to raise our young generation, we should educate them better and show them (by doing) how to be considerate, caring human beings.”

I never saw just ‘not’ swearing teach a child not to swear. They observe that some do and some don’t. Most times the knowledge comes from outside the home so we IN the home need to instruct the little ones while they do not know any better that those words can offend. The kids, unfortunately, sometimes pick them up from their own parents and are confused when they are “corrected”. When they’re adults, they then have to choose for themselves.

It is also discouraged in the work place. Try using it around your boss or, better still, towards a customer around your boss. “Considerate, caring human beings” refrain from using ANY word that hurts or offends another whether we think it’s ridiculous or not. It never hurt anyone to NOT use something questionable.

Each nationality has its customs. Each society has its customs. How does it hurt ANYONE to err on the side of caution when it comes to offense?

#139. (Daoud)

“ ‘midget’ is to little people what the ‘n’ word is to African-Americans”

If that is true, why would anyone refuse to stop doing it? If you look at it that way, maybe it will not seem so ridiculous.

kg

144. thebiggfrogg - February 21, 2008

Nice response, KG. I think it is incumbent on all of us to be sensitive to the pain labels cause. As I middle-aged, white guy who grew up working-class (but never poor) I could easily blow it all off, “Eh, what’s the big deal. It’s just a word.” But I don’t have to face bigotry or ridicule on a daily basis simply for who I am or who my ancestors were, et cetera. My nephew is half-Sierra Leonian (from western Africa) and I dread the day when a school yard taunt ends in the ‘n’ word, as it, sadly, inevitably will. Yeah, easy for me to say, it’s just a word. Its a word with history and words matter.

As for my use of the word “midget,” I want to apologize for using it. I guess it is not an issue I have reflected upon as I have other offensive labels. Given some thought I can see how it could be offensive.

145. CaptainRickover - February 21, 2008

Greg Ellis as Chief-Engineer: Good choice. I guess he will not survive the end of the movie (redshirt syndrome).

Scotty as civilian: Good choice too. I get every time angry when the Berman-Trek (since the late two TNG seasons, entire DSN and VOY) use Starfleet as the US Navy in space. I allways thought Starfleet is much more as just a military organisation, because it is THE big science organisation as well.

Midget sidekick… Well, as long as it is Master Yoda I will have no problem with it. I can just hope Orci, Kurtzman and J.J. don’t use that sidekick-character for some stuipid or naive jokes about little people.

BTW:

#139
#140

As a German I just hope the two of you don’t think my language is the language of evil. The word “verboten” means forbidden and nothing cruel.

146. Katie G. - February 21, 2008

Re: #145. CaptainRickover

“…The word “verboten” means forbidden and nothing cruel.”

Actually I wanted to address that as well but didn’t want to push my luck as my post was getting, um, long.

German is just another language and it’s words are commonly-used in among English sentences like “gesundheit” after a sneeze or “danke schoen” for thank you. As a matter of fact “gesundheit” is listed in the Encarta ENGLISH Dictionary for North America.

In Italian the word “vietare” and “interdire” both mean “to forbid”, then you conjugate it into I, we, you, they etc.

Forbidden can mean a few things: banned, barred, illegal, taboo, illicit. In this case I think we mean to say that using the word “midget” is taboo.

Capisce? Comprende?

I think you get it.

kg

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