Phoenix Comicon wrapped up on Sunday and one of the big events was a Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion with LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner and Wil Wheaton. Check out the full report below with quotes, highlights, pictures and video of the entire panel.
PHOENIX COMICON – TNG MEGA PANEL ON SUNDAY
Five members of the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew got together at Phoenix Comicon on Sunday and delighted the capacity crowd in the 5,000 main ballroom at the Phoenix Convention Center. LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner and Wil Wheaton spent much of the time joking around – making it clear that the famously raucous atmosphere of the TNG set still lives on in their chemistry today. Unfortunately Sir Patrick Stewart had to cancel his appearance at the event, but luckily Brent Spiner channeled Patrick every so often with his dead on impersonation.
Firstly, here are some quick answers to some group questions…
Favorite Guest Star
- Wil and Marina: Billy Campbell ("The Outrageous Okuna")
- LeVar: Mick Fleetwood ("Manhunt")
- Brent Spiner: Saul Rubinek ("The Most Toys")
- Michael Dorn: Jean Simmons ("The Drumhead")
- Marina: being raped, twice ("Violations" and "Star Trek: Nemesis"
- Brent: playing five characters on "Masks," following immediately after Data-focused episode "Thine Own Self"
- Levar: When he had to be a "fluorescent veined lizard" in "Identity Crisis" and spending 21 hours in make up
The group also said some interesting and amusing things of note…here are some selected quotes…
LeVar asked if I was going to be in [Nemesis] and I said "no, there is no way they would put me in that movie…because Rick Berman hates me and there is no way I’m going to be in the movie." And LeVar said "I’m going to go talk to some people to see if you could be in the movie because you should be in the movie."
– Wil Wheaton on how a chance meeting with LeVar Burton resulted in Burton getting him into Star Trek: Nemesis
I asked John Logan, the screenwriter "did Wesley Crusher come back to Starfleet after roaming around the galaxy in The Traveler’s windowless white van eating chloroform candy? Or was he at Starfleet Academy?" and John Logan said "I don’t have enough space in the script to address that, so you are just there and you are in a uniform." So the audience can just choose and ultimately it doesn’t really matter
– Wil Wheaton on how Wesley ended up at Troi and Riker’s wedding in Star Trek: Nemesis after joining The Traveler to journey to other planes of existence ("Journey’s End")
He was really a dirty old man. Yep, he liked the ladies. Or maybe it was just me. No, he had an eye for the ladies, but that is all he had, just an eye, no hands. But he was a really a great guy, but we knew him as a person and not just the ‘Great Bird of the Galaxy.’ He was a really cool guy.
– Marina Sirits on meeting Gene Roddenberry for first time
What I took away from that afternoon was how surprised I was as to how human he was. Because in my mind he was this great visionary who created something that I loved.
– LeVar Burton on meeting Gene Roddenberry for first time
When I sat next to him on the bridge, Brent would go "hey hey" and I would look over to him and he would make these faces to me…and it killed me every single time, it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. I would start cracking up and they would say "we’re rolling now" and Brent would zap into Data and I’m trying to get myself together and constantly getting into trouble and I’m like "it’s him!" and Brent has that child-like innocence.
– Wil Wheaton on Brent Spiner getting him trouble on the set
We had a very strained relationship at first- a rocky start…after a couple of years, after you had your operation, we had a very heart-to-heart talk and it was great after that.
– Michael Dorn on his early relationship with LeVar Burton
Mick Fleetwood who shaved a beard he had for thirty years to play essentially seafood on our show. He was a fish. He had one line, it was "food" and he couldn’t remember it. They actually brought a card in after take ten and it said "food."
– Brent Spiner on guest star (and musician) Mick Fleetwood
Full PHXCC Star Trek Slideshow (including cosplayers):
More from Phoenix Comicon
- Friday solo panels with: LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis
- Saturday: William Shatner
- Exclusive interview: Michael Dorn
Photos and text by Anthony Pascale, video by Nai Wang