Simon Pegg was the headliner for Saturday and appeared before a packed and enthusiastic Star Trek Las Vegas Con crowd. The new Scotty offered a few details on the production of the new Star Trek movie and also opined quite a bit about what he would like to see for the future of Star Trek on film and TV, along with talking a lot about his character. Another new universe star at the con on Saturday was Peter Weller, who spent much of his time talking about ancient Rome and Robocop and speaking French, but he got around to talking some Trek too. Get all the details and photos below
Simon Pegg talks about next Star Trek and hopes to see more serious & challenged Scotty
Simon Pegg didn’t have a lot of details on the next Star Trek movie (expected in 2016), but the things he said are consistent with other recent reports. Here is a summary of sequel production related comments…
- Pegg hasn’t read the script but "will do soon"
- Says cast "love getting to hang out together" and they "can’t wait to make Star Trek 3 next year."
- Says "hopefully the release should coincide with the 50th anniversary, which would be very cool."
- When talking about Roberto Orci, Pegg said (mater of factly) "Bob is going to direct the new film"
- On couple of lighter notes he suggested his friend Nick Frost would be great for to play Harry Mudd, and was very open to fan suggestion of Scotty wearing a kilt at some point
While Pegg didn’t have any specifics on the plot of the next movie, he did have an opinion on where he would like to see Scotty go…
I would like to see Scotty challenged more. He is always complaining so if you ask him he is always challenged. I would like to see him in more situations of adversity. It is fun playing Scotty seriously too. I think he has a very serious heart. He is somebody who takes his job incredibly seriously. He is somebody who is fiercely loyal. He has a lot of attributes that are deadly serious. He just goes through life with an attitude that is fairly light and ironic.
Pegg opines about potential Star Trek TV series
At one point when Pegg was talking about good new TV shows like Sherlock (which he said he would love to do), he interjected "it was time" for a new Star Trek TV series. He also showed his Trek nerd cred when he gave detailed answers about what he would do with such a series.
When asked where he would "take the crew" if he could write an episode of Star Trek Pegg said…
I think deep space. And I have a suspicion that the next film will see us out there on the mission. That is what the last part of [Into Darkness] established – that we would be out there as in the series in the midst of nowhere. I would like to go to some of those crazy places like the series did. The series was such an interesting proposition. It was about something fantastic but didn’t have the budget to be that visually fantastic. Sometimes it would get teased because it was studio-based. It didn’t have the lavish effects that you have today on film and on television. So they would boil down the stories to something very real and human and personal and they became these fantastic little plays which I really loved as a kid. They always had a moral and social messages which you had to unpick. That kind of stuff is what Star Trek is fundamentally about. It is a metaphor. I would love to see some of that stuff again.
Pegg on if a potential new Star Trek series set in the new universe should stick to the TOS era or move into the future…
It’s a tough one. With the new iteration of Star Trek things changed a little bit. We are still in that realm. We are still pre-Next Generation and we are still in that time-frame and we should exist in that time-frame. We shouldn’t really discover anything that Picard discovered later. But then you can still come up with new stuff. Star Trek is still about breaking new ground. We should boldly go. I would happy to see some old friends and see some new ones. Kind of like what Doctor Who has done. It is great when you see the Daleks and the Cybermen. I grew up on those guys. So it would be cool to see characters that we have seen before and there are so many. It is an interesting thing. I hope it would just be engaging and fun and certainly have the spirit of the original.
Pegg on the accent & trying to get Scottishisms in ‘Into Darkness + says ‘Scotty is not a clown’
Pegg also talked extensively about developing his character, including giving himself a back-story.
All of us in the cast didn’t want to go into Star Trek doing impressions of our forebears because we wanted to play the characters. We had deep respect for those people and didn’t want to go play them playing them if you know what I mean. I thought I would start doing what Jimmy [Doohan] did. So he is an engineer and basically he works in space and he is from Scotland. I know Scotty’s origins are kind of Linlithgow in the upper east [of Scotland]. Because my family are from Glasgow I wrote myself a little history of Scotty that made him go to university in Glasgow so he picked up a little bit of the west coast.
He also talked about how he worked to fine tune the accent for Into Darkness….
When I watch [Star Trek (2009)] I was kind of "oh no," because I hear it. But for [Into Darkness] I feel it was better. My father in law after the first one was like "that was shyte." So I really had to buck up and go into it with a new "all right, I’m going to do this properly." He asked me to put words in like "Cludgie" which is Scottish for toilet. So I would do these things, like I would say "JJ, I am going to put this in because I think he would say that." And JJ would say "Simon, we need the audience to understand what you are saying." So a lot of the Scottish-isms I try to wheedle in get wheedled out.
The actor also noted that some people misunderstand Scotty as being a comedy character…
I like to mug [my face]. I don’t know if you noticed this watching Star Trek, but by god I make some stupid faces. I’m like "JJ, please tell me when it’s not right to do that." Because I don’t want Scotty as a clown. People refer to Scotty as a comedy character, but he is not a comedy character. He never has been. There is something comic about his reaction to things. He is very kind of cynical. He is older than everyone else. In terms of that character it is always about playing it real. Playing how he would be. He is kind of like an ordinary guy in an extraordinary situation.
Pegg on how he brought Keenser back for more
Pegg told the story of how he expanded the role of Keenser for the first Trek, leading to him being in the second…
When Scotty [beams out of Delta Vega] Deep Roy did this little aww thing. And JJ and I were like "we can’t just leave him on that little snowball, we have got to see him at the end." So we called [costume designer] Michael Kaplan and said "can you make a little Starfleet uniform for Deep Roy?" and he said "yep" and so that little scene at the end was entirely an improvisation. So by the time we get to Into Darkness this partnership we wanted it to continue. He is one of Scotty’s guys. Just because he is this small alien doesn’t mean he isn’t this capable guy.
More tidbits from Simon
- "really liked" moment in Into Darkness when Scotty "really sticks up for his own principles and he doesn’t back down" [leading to Kirk kicking him off ship]
- View of his Scotty is that he secretly believes he is captain [said in Scotty voice] "Oh, I’m really the one in charge here. It’s not the wee guy with spiky hair. It’s me!"
- Pranked Karl Urban and John Cho into record PSA warning people to use "neutron cream" when visiting the National Ignition Facility. He thinks they might be on new "Compendium" Blu-ray release
- Favorite classic Scotty scene is playing bagpipes in Star Trek II
- Gave Chris Doohan a shoutout for his work playing Scotty in Star Trek Continues fan series
Pegged wrapped up his comments by thanking the audience and saying…
This is my first ever Star Trek convention and it’s been an absolute delight.
All’s Well that Ends Weller
summary by Jared Whitley
With the fervor of a revivalist minister, sci-fi icon Dr. Peter Weller lectured an assembled group of Trek fans on art, European and Middle-eastern history, philosophy, and more about Venice than anyone ever, really, needs to know. Yes you read that sentence right: Dr. Peter Weller, who recently completed a PhD in Italian history. And he didn’t let you forget it, including correcting one fan who addressed him as “Mister Weller.”
The doctor title that comes with the PhD is the only one that can’t be taken away from you, unlike a juris or medical doctor. “Ten years from now, I could be a drug addict in a gutter and you’d still have to call me ‘Dr.’ Drug Addict in a Gutter,” he said to widespread laughter.
The surprisingly erudite Weller even switched into French when he noticed an accent on one fan, ending his conversation with her with a gentlemanly “enchante.”
Of course he spent plenty of time talking about RoboCop, Buckaroo Bonzai, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Enterprise. eller is also an accomplished director and only agreed to do his role in Enterprise if he got to also direct some – which (because the show ended immediately thereafter) he never got to. “Manny Coto! Where is that bastard?” he joked to much laughter. He noted that if Enterprise had continued, he would have brought his character back.
Moving forward 100 years, he discussed his role in Star Trek Into Darkness, where he played antagonist Admiral Marcus – note the word “antagonist” and not “villain.” “Everything Marcus says is true. Everything he says about war with the Klingons is true,” Weller said. “He is a patriot. So why is he the bad guy? Because the collateral damage of his plan is the Enterprise. So it’s got to go.”
When fans showed him that there was a new Hallmark toy of his ship, the Vengeance, he hadn’t seen before. “You guys have all seen it? I want one!” he said.
Weller and fans spent a good amount of time discussing RoboCop – and said he wanted nothing to do with the project to get Detroit a RoboCop statue. He rejected the idea and insisted Detroit should instead have statues to MoTown greats like Marvin Gaye and The Supremes to improve the city’s civic pride.
A true gentleman, Weller refused to turn any fan away, and answered questions from everyone who came to stand at the mic.
More from Saturday (and Sunday) to come
TrekMovie is still working on our final wrap-up of Saturday’s activities including the big Voyager and Enterprise actors panels and more. Once Sunday wraps up we will have coverage of William Shatner plus more profanity from Harlan Ellison and more guest stars. We will also be covering cosplay, the Star Trek Wedding and more stuff from around the con.
So stay tuned.
STLV Coverage so far: