Transformers is sure to be one of the big blockbusters of this summer. The mainstream action movie is full of pop culture references including one nod to Star Trek. The reference comes from the character of Bumblebee (pictured right). Bumblebee is probably the most realized Transformer in the film and certainly gets the most screen time. He befriends the movie’s hero Sam Witwicky (played by Shia LaBeouf). One of the running gags is that the radio in Sam’s Camaro (aka Bumblebee) tunes into all sorts of things all on its own.
When Sam just learns his Camaro is actually a giant robot he asks it (Bumblebee) where he is from. It turns out that Bumblebee (unlike other Transformers in the film) can only communicate through recorded sounds and songs using the car radio. In order for him to indicate that he is from outer space he points up and you hear the distinctive voice of Nichelle Nichols as Uhura saying "hailing frequencies open." Sam immediately picks up on it and realizes his car is an alien robot (this comes after the moment seen in the trailer when Sam states the robot is ‘probably from Japan’). The Uhura phrase is heard again when Bumblebee ‘opens a channel’ to Optimus Prime (the leader of the good guy ‘Autobots’). One might think that this reference was put in by the Transformers and Star Trek writing team of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, but Orci tells TrekMovie.com that it wasn’t in the script and was added in post production…although he did think it was cool.
I will have my review of Transformers up of the film on opening day (per Paramount rules).
Nichelle Nichols gets a small voice cameo in Transformers