Creation Chicago Star Trek 40th Anniversary Convention: Sept 8th: Shatner & Nimoy
The hall was filled to capacity to see Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. Nimoy took the stage first and reminisced about for about 20 minutes, taking time to discuss the origin of his book ‘I am Not Spock’. Then Shatner came on and in his usual energetic way, shared memories of Star Trek, and going on to volunteer several interesting discussions about Star Trek XI. Shatner mentioned that he had spoken with JJ Abrams just one day earlier. [Editor’s note, TrekMovie.com reported last week that Shatner and Nimoy said they were expecting calls from Star Trek XI producer Abrams] Shatner went on to say that he and Abrams will be meeting some time this week. He talked very positively about Abrams, believing that he will be able to create a great version of Star Trek. He also jokingly discussed how very young Abrams is. Shatner’s enthusiastic comments certainly connoted that Kirk and Spock are characters for the film, and that there is a good possibility of Shatner and Nimoy reprising their roles for the film. Nimoy also seemed to be amenable to the film and Abrams, but said he had not yet spoken to Abrams directly. Here are a couple examples of Shatner’s hints:
"On the horizon there are good things for Star Trek and hopefully my involvement"
"the magic of Star Trek is in its origins and that is coming back."
While not directly related to Star Trek XI, this discussion does show how very positive and enthusiastic William Shatner was regarding Star Trek. A young woman asked Shatner to talk to her sister, mentioning that her sister will only listen to him. She said her sister dresses up in Star Trek costumes too often and likes Star Trek too much. Shatner asked the sister to stand, which she did wearing a Q costume from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Shatner asked how old she was and then addressed the young woman asking the question. He told her that her sister was doing the right thing being a devoted Star Trek fan. Then, Shatner told the young woman asking the question that actually it was she that needed help to become a Star Trek fan. It was all very funny and sweet. We have seen William Shatner many times at conventions. He is often positive about Star Trek. Yet, there was a true enthusiasm from him regarding Star Trek and Star Trek that was very nice to see and much more pronounced than previous convention talks. Shatner then left the stage as Champagne was given to some of the audience. Shatner and Nimoy then appeared for a ceremony, led first by Nimoy who thanked all the fans for their love of Star Trek, and then Shatner, who again mentioned that Star Trek has a good future. The two then talked for about 40 minutes, discussing Boston Legal (Shatner is trying to convince Nimoy to appear), directing, their favorite Star Trek episodes and Star Trek XI.
And they knew just where to sign my Trek XI Poster…
Shatner in the gold
Nimoy in the blue
Star Trek Remastered & Christie’s Auction: Dave Rossi
Later that evening, Dave Rossi, a Star Trek fan who worked of star Trek: Enterprise and has helped catalog items for the Christie’s auction, appeared to show fans their first look at the new version of the Star Trek television show. The video he showed is called "The Ship Hits the Fans” which looks at both the HD new version of Star Trek, and the newly designed special effects. Both the video and Rossi clearly stated that there will be no changes to the narratives of the shows. The new effects have been carefully designed to respect the original narratives. It is clear that Rossi loves Star Trek and that this version is being created by those who respect the show and the original special effects. They are trying to complete one episode per week. The original versions of the show will be available for viewing at G4 and TV Land. Rossi asked the audience for their views, and there were many who liked the idea, many who did not like the idea. Richard Arnold mentioned the next day that he was opposed to the changes for several good reasons. He is supportive of creating a HD Star Trek, not of changing the effects. One of the most common complaints was that the icons of the original show should not be changed. While we respect these views, it must be discussed that Star Trek was syndicated for the 1970s not in its original form. The edits of the show often removed whole scenes so more commercials could be added. It wasn’t until the videos appeared in the mid 1980s that most people saw Star Trek as it first aired in the 1960s. Also, doesn’t the clarity of DVD or HD also change the original version of Star Trek? Those who watched the show in the 1960s did not have this clear imagery. Yet, these changes seem to be acceptable to the critics of the new versions. It was a good debate with discussions that respected the variety of views of the new version of Star Trek.Before the presentation, I had the chance to talk with Rossi. He was standing at the back of the room, watching the day’s convention. I thought that he looked familiar as I had seen his picture from Star Trek issues and StarTrek.com. He is a real fan, there watching the convention. He was very nice when I asked if he was Dave Rossi and we spoke about the Christie’s auction. The new version of Star Trek is in good hands with Dave Rossi.
If there was a theme to this convention it was that Star Trek has a good future. Star Trek is back. The word enthusiasm does not apply only to William Shatner regarding Star Trek. There was a feeling of enthusiasm pervasive at the convention. What could be a more appropriate celebration? Thank you for reading about Star Trek.
RELATED STORY: Toronto Con Report (Sept 3)
Abrams Wants to Talk To Shatner and Nimoy
UPDATE: Sacramento Con Report (Sept 10)
Shatner on STXI: "something is in the wind, something exciting", Nimoy jokes about playing Sarek
Editor’s Note: TrekMovie.com would like to thank John for his Con Report. John Tenuto is a sociology instructor at the College of Lake County, Grayslake, Illinois. He teaches a class called ‘The Sociology of Star Trek’. He is married to fellow sociology teacher Mary Jo (who contributed to this report) and they have a son, Nicholas Jose, who is four years old. They are all Star Trek fans. Hopefully we will see more from John in the future.
Photo Note: top photo is not from Chicago Con…all of John’s photos with Shat & Nimoy came out funky, photo from StarTrek.com Vegas Con coverage. The scans of the Shat and Nimoy sigs are from Chicago con.
Help Professor Tenuto with his ‘Sociology of SciFi Fans’ Project
John is currently on sabbatical comparing fans of Star Trek to other genres. You can help by filling out a questionnaire, available here