Chicago Con: Shatner Says He Is Meeting With JJ Abrams

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, 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 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: 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 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

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For some strange reason – I can’t see how this latest wouldn’t be somehow tainted (and badly) if any of these two actors were in it. While certainlly not disregarding their ability and contribution to what Star Trek was I feel that they should stay there and consider that. Remember the close of Star Trek VI? That where it should of been left – a proper sign off.
If somehow both were younger then I’d be all for it. Perhaps I’m wrong to think this as we as a society should be over that – now shouldn’t we now?
I just continually get this negative feeling that people may associate both the old (actors – plotlines) with what should be new and a step in the right direction – would the hiring and next film do justice to what was Star Trek as we want it to be and loved it? CBS…did the best thing by updating the old series so why can’t they let a sleeping dog lay and move on already?
However….If someway and somehow they were to redo the original pilot The Cage with all the dazzle of todays technology and the vision and charm of the original then that would be great….now wouldn’t it now?

Shatner and Nimoy ARE still Star Trek to me.

This would serve to be an official passing of the torch and a VERY smart marketing move.

The Shatner/Nimoy fans will show up to watch them. And the younger audience their recast counterparts.

It’s win win.

Just have Spock rescue Kirk from that pesky nexus and undo generations as well!

The real Kirk and Spock are coming back.

I can’t wait.

Yes….the real actors are still alive that could portray their respective roles
but when are they going to hang it up already? I can see the nexts films
name now : Kirk & Spock gumming grits at Starfleet Command…..
Perhaps I’m getting carried away with all. But consider this won’t you?

1. These 2 actors have enough $$ – why go ahead with a future project?
2. Their older then the Petroglyphs that are seen in some caves.
3. Unless this story is the greatest thing since sliced bread then why
bother? Kirk is dead and Spock is old. No justification in all at all!
Well….this discussion is both old and lame and this film might be do
IF they’re in it. You can all discuss it to the cows come home. This films storyline must be bad IF they feel they have to bring in old characters.

To me they are Star Trek. But as long as its not a retrospective film on age and mortality like the previous Treks I think I can go for it. The last movie made that mistake. Several films they did that. They went over the same matereil. I think I will not go for ” “Do You remember the time…when this happened?”
“We dont but im afrauf your giing to tell us anyway,”
Then the Abahm Flashback cues because hes not sure what else to write.

For the love of god that’s been the driving force for most of the films already and its getting rather depressing. I dont want to talk about Age, Dying, Mortality, Rebirth anymore. Somehow what Trek has lost is Hope . And that’s been a part of its message. Thats were its been successful.

To me Kirk will always be a Action Hero, More so than any of the other Trek Captains Spock always be his Logical equal and at his side . The outsider that has a unique insight to humanity.
I dont think I need a Origin story to tell me that. I already know the relationship they are going to have.

Action heroes in their seventies just look silly. I cant take Clint Eastwood as a aging Dirty Harry serouisly. A Seventy year old James Bond I cant buy either.

More than likely the studio would be worried over the health of the actors. Unfortuanly society is like that. I’m not willing to get my high hopes up when several times they have been approached to either direct or co star in a major Star Trek Motion Picture or project after VI.
Then the factor of Paramount bean counter executives who dont know Star Trek or just dont really care is getting to old (pardon the pun) and I wouldn’t be surprised if it does happen again. ..
They were in their prime when these guys were doing the Original Series. They are the best… The First Six films were a great extension of that but to me that’s it.

If this a way to sell more Posters, Action Figures, T-Shirts and Collectible plates and charge more money for DVD’s like they have taken advantage of that than more People in seats in the theatres and tell a decent story thats worth it. I think I might pass.

James T Kirk and Spock BEST represent everything that Star Trek stands for.
As a life long Trek fan I haven’t been enthusiastic or excited about Star Trek in 15 years.
The Paramount brass in charge now are aware of that.
They recognize thankfully that DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, and even the majority of TNG SUCKED horribly, and tainted a once noble , exciting, prosperous idea known as Star Trek into a PC, bland, stale, rehashed shadow of it’s former self.
Berman Trek is the bane of Star Trek, a horrific doppleganger cesspool of mediocrity and shameless lack of talent and creativity.
Star Trek is not gaseous anomolies. Star Trek is not techno-babble.
Gene Roddenberry had an edict for the TRUE Star Trek that Berman completely neglected – stripped of all science fiction elements, would the stories be entertaining and relevant? Yes for true Trek. Any one of those episodes could have been about a current event, or some contemporary drama. The same can’t be said for Berman era Trek, stripped of it’s science fiction allegories, what would you have? Nothing. Boring cardboard uninspired characters standing around discussing this, that and the other does not interesting television make.
Berman characters talked TOO much, and didn’t ACT enough. Proactive versus Reactive.
That’s why Shatner and crew are larger than life legends, every frame they occupied had color, drama, and acting RANGE. Berman era Star Trek sadly isn’t FUN. There is no joy. It’s souless eye candy.
I think it’s LONG overdue that Star Trek get back to where it belongs and abandons this tripe that has made Star Trek a laughing stock.
It’s finally COOL to like Star Trek again.

It’s about time that Star Trek goes back to basics. A new movie about Captain Kirk and company would be great, and if Shatner and Nimoy are in it it’ll be even greater.

You say:
“The Paramount brass in charge now are aware of that”
Of what? A romantic notion of what is “True Trek” ? That is for fans who choose an antagonistic view. The old mine is bigger, better etc.
Paramount objective is mostly about making enough profit to keep going.

I remember watching TOS on a black & white TV admiring the costumes, ships and watching Shatner rolling on the floor and jumping with a karate kick while checking out some alien girl’s ass. Then TNG came along and I can’t believe how many times I enjoyed each episode, over and over and every movie including Nemesis.
it is all fun!… give me a break :)… Vision? it is not that serious. If you need serious go read instead of watching TV. There are some interesting Sci-fi authors out that would judge the whole of Star trek experience as a joke.
If you start making a qualitative judgment like “what is better Presley or Foo Fighters?” you’ll get burnt soon enough by someone who says “Mozart” Chomsky, Borges, Ulysses, Kafka, Poe, Mendelssohn and so on.
I am a fan, I enjoy most of it, no moral, cultural or stylistic higher ground here.
I will share a secret that every good TV producer knows…It is not about ‘Vision’ it is about reaching the “nostalgia point” that creates a lasting success.
Enjoy the universe!

“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.”
That was me! My sister asked that question, much to my horror, but I am SO glad that Shatner turned the tables on her. I just wish I could thank him personally, because I was practically in the back row…But, anyway, that was the best weekend of my life!

People are talking about someone to play a young krik take a look at the actor Thomas jane watch deep sea blue and you can see the looks of krik just a thought !